Glen Wilson Dawson (August 1, 1906 – January 19, 1968) was an American runner. He represented the United States in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase at the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics, qualifying for the final both times.


Glen Dawson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 1, 1906.[1] He grew up in Skiatook, Oklahoma, and took up running in grade school.[2] In 1927, his senior year in high school, he set a state high school record in the mile run and won one of the two mile races at the national interscholastic meet in Chicago.[3][4] Subsequently, Dawson attended the Central State Teachers College and from 1929 the University of Oklahoma.[2][5] Dawson competed in the 10,000 meters at the 1928 United States Olympic Trials, but did not qualify for the Olympic team.[6]: 66 

Coached by John Jacobs, Dawson had a successful collegiate career with the Oklahoma Sooners, winning the Big Six mile championship both indoors and outdoors in 1930 and again in 1931; at the 1931 outdoor meet he also won the two miles.[7][8] He placed third in the mile at the 1931 NCAA championships.[9] In 1932, his last year in college, he took up the 3000 meter steeplechase and attempted to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in that event.[2] Dawson lost to Harold Manning at the Midwestern Tryouts in Evanston; before the final Trials he was not favored to make the American team.[10][11] At the final Olympic Trials in Stanford Dawson placed third in 9:18.4e and earned the last spot on the American steeplechase squad; the winner, Joe McCluskey, set a new world best of 9:14.5.[6]: 72 [12]: 109 

In Los Angeles, Dawson was drawn in the same heat as McCluskey and eventual Olympic champion Volmari Iso-Hollo. He qualified for the final by placing third in 9:15.0, a time that would remain his lifetime best.[1] The Olympic final turned into a 3460-meter steeplechase due to a lap counter's error; Dawson placed sixth in 10:58.0.[13]

In 1933 Dawson won the national (AAU) indoor championship in the 1000 meters and defeated Glenn Cunningham in an indoor mile race in Tulsa.[14][15] He was seen as a potential challenger to Cunningham as America's leading miler, but in later races Cunningham proved stronger.[15][16] Dawson won the AAU 1000-meter title again in 1935, and placed fourth (behind Cunningham, Gene Venzke and Archie San Romani) in the 1500 meters outdoors that year.[14][17]

In the Olympic year 1936 Dawson again turned to the steeplechase; he placed second behind Manning at the AAU championships, his best result in the national outdoor meet.[18][19] The Olympic Trials were held separately in New York City the following week; Dawson placed third behind Manning and McCluskey in 9:23.2, qualifying for his second consecutive Olympic Games.[6]: 81  At the Olympics in Berlin he was fourth in his heat, defeating 1932 silver medalist Tom Evenson in a fight for the last spot in the final; in the final he placed eighth in 9:21.1.[1][20]

Dawson retired from running in 1937 to start a business career.[2] He died in Tulsa on January 19, 1968, after a long illness.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Glen Dawson Bio, Stats and Results". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Dawson Hangs Up His Spikes". Miami News Record. March 7, 1937. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "3 World's Records Fall In Prep Games". Chicago Tribune. June 5, 1927. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "All-Century Track and Field Athletics". July 25, 1999. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Munn, Scott (January 19, 1988). "Looking Back on Oklahoma/Jan. 19". Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Hymans, Richard (2008). "The History of the United States Olympic Trials – Track & Field" (PDF). USA Track & Field. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Sooner Distance Star Glen Dawson". Daily Nebraskan. May 21, 1931. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  8. ^ "Men's Outdoor Conference Champions". Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Hill, E. Garry. "A History of the NCAA Championships, 1921–2015: 1500 Meters" (PDF). Track & Field News. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Four Olympic Marks Beaten In Tryout Meet" (PDF). Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 3, 1932. p. 6C. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  11. ^ "Favorites in Olympic Track and Field Tests". Reading Eagle. July 12, 1932. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  12. ^ Hymans, Richard; Matrahazi, Imre. "IAAF World Records Progression" (PDF) (2015 ed.). International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Athletics at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games: Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "USA Indoor Track & Field Champions". USA Track & Field. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Glen Dawson Training Quietly for the Relays 1500 Meter Race With Cunningham". Lawrence Journal-World. April 14, 1933. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  16. ^ "Cunningham Loses To Glen Dawson". The Day. April 22, 1935. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  17. ^ Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian; Track & Field News. "A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2015". Track & Field News. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Glen Dawson". Track and Field Statistics. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  19. ^ Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian; Track & Field News. "History of US Nationals Results: Steeple - Men". Track & Field News. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  20. ^ "Owens Wins Race At The Olympics". Lawrence Journal-World. August 3, 1936. Retrieved November 20, 2015.