Coghlan’s Run at Sports Arena Still a Huge Thrill 31 Years Later
But, for me, nothing tops the night of Coghlan’s Mile on the Sports Arena boards during the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor Games.
By Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune
It was 31 years ago this week when Eamonn Coghlan became an Irish storm, when he ran beyond the hype… by a Mile.
Magic was done on the Sports Arena boards on Feb. 20, 1981, and if you were there and didn’t hear the thunder and weren’t blinded by the lightning, if your palms weren’t wet and goose bumps jumping, you were not of this earth. As it was, on that night, this son of Ireland seemed all alone on it.
I’ve been on this newspaper for 40 years, which accounts for so many memories being stored, some put away back in the stacks, a few closer to the window. But when I’m asked to name my greatest sporting moment on San Diego turf, I don’t have to rifle through my card catalog.
I was with the Chargers in Green Bay when Steve Garvey hit the home run. I saw it live on TV in a hotel room, but it wasn’t the same as being there, because those who were have said Qualcomm Stadium hadn’t rocked like that before or since.
There have been so many memorable Chargers games, the 1994 playoff win here over Miami being near the top (the great 1981 playoff win over the Dolphins doesn’t apply). BYU’s stunning, 11th-hour comeback over SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl probably was the greatest football game I’ve seen in person. I didn’t attend Ali-Norton. Tiger Woods’ U.S. Open win at Torrey Pines was dramatic and magnificent. There was UCLA’s semifinal win over Louisville in the 1975 Final Four. So many more wonderful moments.
But, for me, nothing tops the night of Coghlan’s Mile on the Sports Arena boards during the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor Games. It was electrifying. He blew the roof off the joint. If you had never seen a track & field event in your life, even if you were the losers’ parents, you had to feel what it’s like to be a page in history.
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Indoor Mile world record progression HERE.