Tim Danielson

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Timothy Ralph "Tim" Danielson is a former American middle distance runner. He is one of only nine U.S. high school athletes to ever run the mile in under four minutes. In 2014, he was convicted of the first-degree murder of his wife.

High school[edit]

While running for Chula Vista High School in Chula Vista, California, Danielson became the second high school 4-minute miler when he ran a 3:59.4 mile at San Diego's Balboa Stadium on June 11, 1966.[1] His mile time puts him sixth on the all-time high school miler list, behind Alan Webb's 3:53.43 (2001), Jim Ryun's 3:55.3 (1965), Drew Hunter's 3:58.25, Matthew Maton's 3:59.38 (2015), and Grant Fisher's 3:59.38 (2015), and is the fastest time ever run by a California high school student.[2]

He won the mile race at the CIF California State Meet in 1965 with a time of 4:08.0 and again the next year with a time of 4:07.0.[3] He won the Golden West Invitational High School meet two-mile race in 1966 in a time of 8:55.4.[4] He was Track and Field News "High School Athlete of the Year" in 1966.[5]


After high school Danielson attended Brigham Young University, where he competed for the track team for a year but never managed to break four minutes for the mile again.[6] He was in the race at the 1967 National Championships where Jim Ryun set the world record at 3:51.1. After running second for much of the race, he faded near the end finish 8th in just over 4 minutes. During that same race, Marty Liquori became the third high school 4 minute miler a step ahead of him.[7] Danielson's career direction changed. Ryun said “I lost track of Tim after that.” He married Carolyn Mooers in February 1968, their first son was born in June, all distractions at the same time he was attempting to qualify for the 1968 Olympics. Before professionalism was allowed “In those days, if anyone married they were finished.” said Liquori.[8]


Danielson began working as an engineer for GKN Aerospace Engine Products in El Cajon, California in 1971.[9] He married his third wife, Ming Qi in 2006; they divorced in 2008.[10]

On June 16, 2011, Danielson was charged in the murder of Ming Qi.[11] He pleaded not guilty.[11] During the trial, Danielson claimed the murder was a suicide attempt, a result of his use of Chantix,[12] a drug known a history of these side effects, included in disclaimers attached to its advertising.[citation needed]

On May 12, 2014 Danielson was convicted of first-degree murder.[13] On July 11, 2014, Danielson was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.[12]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jim Ryun
Track & Field News High School Boys Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Jerry Proctor