Richard Thomas Shea Jr.
Richard Thomas Shea Jr.

Class of 1952
Track and Field/Cross Country

One of the Black Knights' most celebrated distance runners, Dick Shea captured Heptagonal and IC4A individual cross country titles three successive years (1949-51), helping Army to three straight team "Heps" titles during that time.

The top performer on Army's dominant cross country team, Shea led the Black Knights to a 19-2 record during his West Point career, a mark that included three straight "shutouts" of arch-rival Navy.

He set seven Academy records in indoor and outdoor track and field and established a meet record in the two-mile run at the prestigious Penn Relays in 1951. Shea repeated as the two-mile champ at both the Penn Relays and Heptagonal Championships in 1951 and 1952.

His standards in the indoor mile run (4:10) and two-mile run (9:05.8) remained on Army's record books for more than a decade. In the past 50 years, only eight Army runners have fashioned a better time in the mile, either indoors or outdoors.

Shea was killed in action in Korea on July 8, 1953, and awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Today, Army's outdoor track and field complex bears his name.