Tim Danielson

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Timothy Ralph Danielson (born December 3, 1947 [1] ) is a former American middle-distance runner. He is one of only 21 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 ex-wife.


High school

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. [2] 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, Reed Brown's 3:59.3 (2017), Matthew Maton's 3:59.38 (2015), and Grant Fisher's 3:59.38 (2015), and was the fastest time ever run by a California high school student until Colin Sahlman from Newbury Park High School ran 3:58.81 in 2022. [3] [4]

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. [5] He won the Golden West Invitational High School meet two-mile race in 1966 in a time of 8:55.4. [6] He was Track and Field News "High School Athlete of the Year" in 1966. [7]


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. [8] 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, finishing 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. [9] 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. [10]


Danielson began working as an engineer for GKN Aerospace Engine Products in El Cajon, California in 1971. [11] He married his third wife, Ming Qi in 2006; they divorced in 2008. [12]

On June 16, 2011, Danielson was charged in the murder of Ming Qi. [13] He pleaded not guilty. [13] During the trial, Danielson claimed the murder was a suicide attempt, a result of his use of Chantix, [14] a drug known a history of these side effects, included in disclaimers attached to its advertising. [14]

On May 12, 2014 Danielson was convicted of first-degree murder. [15] On July 11, 2014, Danielson was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. [14]

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  1. https://worldathletics.org/athletes/united-states/tim-danielson-14346532
  2. "The Fearlessness of Extreme Youth: Jim Ryun, Tim Danielson, Marty Liquori". Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  3. Shepard, Jack (2008). High School Track 2009. Jack Shepard.
  4. https://www.milesplit.com/articles/309232/colin-sahlman-breaks-4-becomes-third-fastest-in-mile-ever
  5. Casacky & Peck, Tom & Bill (2006). The California State High School Track and Field Meet 1915-2006. Interis and Tom Casacky.
  6. Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd: July 4th, 1966
  7. "Track & Field News - the Bible of the Sport Since 1948". Archived from the original on 2016-08-18. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  8. Dyestat:Conversation with America's Sub-4 minute prep milers - Jim Ryun - Marty Liquori - Tim Danielson - Alan Webb Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Track and Field Statistics".
  10. Longman, Jeré (13 March 2013). "After the Mile". The New York Times.
  11. Baker, Debbie; Shroder, Susan (June 13, 2011). "Lakeside murder suspect an engineer, ex-track star". The San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  12. Repard, Pauline (June 16, 2011). "Name of woman slain in Lakeside released". The San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  13. 1 2 Repard, Pauline (June 16, 2011). "Lakeside man pleads not guilty in ex-wife's slaying". The San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on August 13, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  14. 1 2 3 Wheeler, Kelly (July 12, 2014). "Former track star Tim Danielson sentenced for killing ex-wife Ming Qi". www.10news.com. Archived from the original on May 25, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  15. Littlefield, Dana; Winkley, Lyndsay (May 12, 2014). "Lakeside man guilty of murdering ex-wife". The San Diego Union-Tribune . Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
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