Saturday, April 19, 2014

Villanova Penn Relays countdown: Five days left!

Noel Carroll (second from right) and the 1965 two mile relay

Editor's note: For the ten days leading up to the Penn Relays, I will do a countdown of great Villanova athletes with the number of Penn Relays titles corresponding with the day.

On the track against normally waif-like middle distance runners, the 6'2, (relatively) stockily built County Louth native Noel Carroll looked out of place, especially indoors, where smaller men generally reign supreme. For some reason though, Carroll ran his best indoors, setting a European indoor record in the half mile in 1964, and anchoring a Villanova world record setting two mile relay. That same year, Noel Carroll qualified for his first of two Olympics for his native Ireland, participating in the Tokyo games. He would later go on to compete in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. While a two time Olympian and sub-four minute miler, Noel Carroll's greatest impact on Ireland was outside of sport, where he was a spokesman for the Dublin City Council, a high profile advocate for fitness, and helped establish the Dublin Marathon in 1980. The winner of the Dublin Marathon which receives the Noel Carroll Memorial Trophy.

Noel Carroll died in 1998 at 56 years old.

Here's a video from 1990 with Noel Carroll speaking about his career. Notice how he wanted to follow Ron Delany at Villanova so badly.

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