Michael Stember

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Michael Stember
Personal information
Nationality American
Born (1978-01-30) January 30, 1978 (age 39)
Fair Oaks, California, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 155 lb (70 kg)
Sport Track
Event(s) 800 metres, 1500 metres
College team Stanford
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 800 meters: 1:46.20[1]
1500 meters: 3:35.11[1]
Updated on May 5, 2012.

Michael Stember (born January 30, 1978) is a male track and field athlete from the United States, who is known for his achievements in the middle distance events. His first international competition was winning the gold medal in the 1500 metres at the 1997 Pan American Junior Championships. He won a silver medal at the 1999 Pan American Games in the men's 1500 metres. He ran in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, where he qualified for the semi-finals but finished a non-qualifying 9th.[2] He returned to the 2003 Pan American Games and repeated his silver medal in the men's 1500 metres. In 2004 he became the U.S. Indoor 800 m champion.[3] In 2007–2008 he was a volunteer coach at UCLA.[4]

Running career[edit]

High school[edit]

Stember ran for Jesuit High School (Sacramento). As a sophomore in 1994 at the CIF California State Meet he finished second in the 1600 metres, to future Olympic silver medalist Mebrahtom Keflezighi. He won the race as a junior (1995) and senior (1996). His 4:04.00 winning time in the 1995 CIF State Meet was the state 1600 meters record (see the race) until it was demolished by the NFHS (national high school) record set by German Fernandez in the 2008 state meet.[5] However, as fast as Stember was running, he had a habit of running strategically, always finishing with a devastating kick that demoralized his opponents. As a junior, it worked well because no athlete on that level could match his kick at any pace.


He carried this strategy to Stanford University, even though Vin Lananna tried to coax him into occasionally using other strategies. He scored 13 points for the team in 2000, with a second place in the 1500 and 4th place in the 800 metres as Stanford won the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship.[6] Stember holds the Stanford records in both the 1500 metres and 800 metres and was named All American ten times. He ran the 800 metre leg on Stanford's "world record" claiming team for the unsanctioned Indoor "Distance Medley Relay".[7]


In 1999, he was fourth in the World University Games, behind (among others) then-Kenyan Bernard Lagat. A year later, he was the third qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Trials, but had not achieved the A Standard. He spent the summer chasing the mark, achieving it at Herculis in one of the last opportunities before the Olympics. Stember ended up running the men's 1500 meters at the 2000 Summer Olympics, but did not make it to the final round.


External links[edit]