Vicki Huber
Personal information
Nickname“Coach Mom”
Born (1967-05-29) May 29, 1967 (age 57)
Wilmington, Delaware
Country United States
Event(s)Middle distance running (1500, 3000, 5000 m), Cross country running
College teamVillanova University
Now coachingSun Valley High School: Track and Field
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)1500 m: 4:07.40 (1988)

3000 m: 8:37.25 (1988)
5000 m: 15:34.94 (1996)

5 K (road): 15:14 (1992, NR)

Vicki Huber (born May 29, 1967) is a retired American middle distance and cross country runner.

Early life and early education

Vicki Huber was born on May 29, 1967, in Wilmington, Delaware.[1] Huber attended Concord High School where she began running as conditioning for field hockey.[1] Concord's coach, Joe McNichol, recalled seeing Huber as "el Caballo", a reference to Alberto Juantorena, a Cuban Olympic champion.[2] McNichol said that she "ran exactly like" Juantorena and that she was "a real thoroughbred."[2] Huber won five state titles as a prep athlete, setting state records in the 800 and 1600 meters.[3]

College career

After graduating from high school, Huber attended Villanova University, where she continued her running career.[1] Huber struggled at first due to the intensity of the training program.[1] At the time, Villanova coach Marty Stern thought that Huber "was a wimp" and hoped "she'd leave and go home."[4] Although she won the 1986 Big East Conference championship in the 3000 meters, she did not qualify for the NCAA track and field championships.[5][6] In the fall of 1986, Huber finished 29th at the NCAA cross country championships.[7] Huber had a breakthrough during the 1987 indoor and outdoor track seasons, winning her first NCAA championships.[1] She won the NCAA indoor championship in the 3000 meters.[6][7] Huber entered the NCAA outdoor championships as the favorite to win the 3000 meters, and she did just that, winning in a meet record time of 8:54.41.[8] That fall, she finished 9th at the NCAA cross country championships.[7]

Huber's success continued in 1988. She won NCAA indoor championships in the 1500 and 3000 meters.[7][9] At the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, Huber successfully defended her title in the 3000 meters, finishing in a collegiate-record time of 8:47.35.[10] She then competed in the 1500 meters at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, winning in a time of 4:07.40.[7][11] Following these victories, Huber attempted to qualify for the Summer Olympics in the 3000 meters. At the Olympic Trials, she faced a field which included American record-holder Mary Slaney.[12] Huber ran with the pack at the beginning of the race before making a move with 1200 meters left.[12] She caught Slaney with 800 meters to go, but Slaney's finishing speed was too much for Huber to overcome.[13] Despite this, Huber finished 2nd with a time of 8:46.48, earning her a spot on the US team in Seoul.[1][12] At the Olympics, Huber finished 6th in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:37.25.[1][7] She ran a competitive race, taking the lead with 800 meters left, but she ended up eight seconds out of medal position.[14]

In 1989, Huber again won indoor and outdoor NCAA championships in the 3000 meters.[1][7] Rather than go to Europe and run professionally during the summer, which would have ended her collegiate eligibility, Huber decided to return to Villanova for one final cross country season.[4] She explained that she "owed it to Villanova" and that the time would be better spent resting and training.[4] In the last race of her collegiate career, Huber won the NCAA cross country championship and led Villanova to a team title.[15] She finished her career with eight NCAA championships.[1]

While at Villanova, she won the Broderick Award (now the Honda Sports Award) as the nation's best female collegiate track and field athlete in both 1988 and 1989.[16][17]

Later career

During the next few seasons, Huber dealt with a number of injuries and illnesses, including back and pelvis injuries in 1990, a stress fracture in 1991, and an Achilles tendon injury in 1994.[18] She had some success, however, finishing fourth at the 1992 IAAF World Cross Country Championships and setting an American road record for the 5K.[19]

After giving birth to a daughter in May 1995, Huber began training again, with the goal of qualifying for the 1996 Olympics.[19] She said, "[after giving birth], I got this fire back in me."[19] She had several impressive results in the months leading up to the Trials, including a time in the 1500 meters that was less than a second off her best.[19][20] Going into the Trials, she was ranked second in the 1500 meters and fifth in the 5000 meters.[20] At the 1996 Olympic Trials, Huber did not finish her heat in the 5000 meters.[7] She was in third place, only needing to finish in the top five to qualify for the finals, when she dropped out of the race.[18] After the race, she said she felt tired, dehydrated, and sick.[18] Her coach, Dick Brown, described Huber as "absolutely devastated" by her performance.[19] Despite this, he asked her if she wanted to run in the 1500 meters, and with the encouragement of a friend, Huber decided to attempt to qualify in that race.[19] Brown told her, "Stay in fourth or fifth place, and if someone moves, try to cover the move."[19] Huber was in fourth place late in the race when she began catching up to Amy Wickus, passing Wickus with only thirty meters left in the race.[21] Huber finished in third place with a time of 4:11.23, earning her a spot on the US team for the Olympics in Atlanta.[22] In the month leading up to the Olympics, Huber's training was limited due to a sore Achilles tendon.[19] At the Olympics, Huber failed to qualify for the semifinals in the 1500 meters.[1][7]

Honors and awards

She was inducted into the Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 2002.[3][23]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bloom, Marc (2001). Run with the Champions. Rodale, Inc. pp. 207–210. ISBN 1-57954-290-5.
  2. ^ a b Marc Bloom (April 24, 2000). "TRACK AND FIELD; Running Back to Past in Bid for an Olympic Future". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b "Vicki Huber-Rudawsky - Inductee". Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame. Retrieved 30 December 2010. ((cite web)): External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ a b c Dick Patrick (November 17, 1989). "Genuine team support; Villanova, Huber: Hopes running high". USA Today.
  5. ^ "Villanova, Syracuse Lead Big East Track". The New York Times. May 4, 1986.
  6. ^ a b Frank Litsky (June 5, 1987). "As times drop, pressure rises". The New York Times.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Vicki Huber". Archived Athlete Bios. USA Track & Field. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  8. ^ Frank Litsky (June 6, 1987). "Duel in 400 Meters Threatens Record". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Donald Huff (April 29, 1988). "Villanova Women Run World Best". The Washington Post.
  10. ^ "Daniel, Huber Set Track Marks". The Washington Post. June 4, 1988.
  11. ^ Frank Litsky (June 19, 1988). "TRACK AND FIELD; Huber Has Eyes On Olympic Games". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b c "History of the Olympic Trials" (PDF). USA Track & Field. p. 223. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  13. ^ Tom Zucco (July 18, 1988). "Old guard alive, well and winning // Familiar names secure U.S. spots". St. Petersburg Times.
  14. ^ Murray Campbell (September 26, 1988). "SUMMER OLYMPICS Slaney again falls short in 3,000-metre medal bid". The Globe and Mail.
  15. ^ Robert Fachet (November 21, 1989). "Nuttall, Huber Run To NCAA Laurels; Iowa State, Villanova Teams Win". The Washington Post.
  16. ^ "Vicki Huber-Rudawsky | Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame". 13 May 2017. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  17. ^ "Track & Field". CWSA. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  18. ^ a b c Diane Pucin (June 15, 1996). "Huber's 5,000 race ends in fatigue and frustration< In Atlanta, she quit for the first time". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h Wischnia, Bob (1997). "And baby makes two. Life isn't easy when you're a single mom, but Vicki Huber is finding a balance and rebuilding her running career". Runner's World. 32 (3). Rodale, Inc.: 74–80. ISSN 0897-1706.
  20. ^ a b Jere Longman (June 11, 1996). "OLYMPICS; Putting Her Life Back on the Track". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Ron Reid (June 24, 1996). "Huber runs third, gets back in games< The ex-Villanovan had been best by problems since the '88 Olympics< She brushed them aside in Atlanta". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  22. ^ "History of the Olympic Trials" (PDF). USA Track & Field. p. 259. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  23. ^ "Inductees 1976-2002". Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2010.