James W. Rudasill
Hometown: Washington, DC
Team: Track & Field

James W. Rudasill '75
Washington, DC
Track & Field
Year Inducted:

As a 19-year-old freshman out of Washington D.C., long-striding James W. Rudasill ’75 turned in the fastest 100-yard dash in Brown track history with a 9.6 clocking against Dartmouth at Brown Stadium. Earlier that year, the 6-2, 175-pound Rudasill had set another Brown track record with a 21.3 in the 220. Setting records was nothing new for Rudasill, whose uncle is the famous National Basketball League star, David Thompson. At McKinley Tech in Washington, Rudasill was an All-League choice and was selected to compete in the high-school All-American meet in Chicago. “I thought I was doing pretty well out there,” he said a few years back, “but then on local TV and before 32,000 spectators I really embarrassed myself by finishing fifth. But it was good for me. I realized I was jivin’ about myself and not working hard enough. After that, I did!” Rudasill feels that his best track instruction came from Glenda Moody, a young woman in her 20s who formed and coached an inner-city track team that gained fame as the D.C. Striders. “She coached track as well as about 98 percent of the men,” Jim says. “I know she was exceptionally helpful to me.” Glenda and one of Brown’s former track stars, Bob Rothenberg, pointed Jim Rudasill toward Brown, but Harvard almost snatched him away. The Crimson finally lost him because their recruited kept saying that Harvard would be good for him while the Brown contacts said that he would be good for Brown. Under Coach Ivan Fuqua, Jim Rudasill became one of the two or three top sprinters in the East. In 1972, he became the first freshman champion in the history of the Heptagonals when he took the 100 in 9.5 seconds (still a Brown record) and the 220 in 21.2 seconds, a new Brown record around a curve. Rudasill thus became the only Brown athlete ever to win two Heptagonal titles in the same meet. That same year he won the New Englands in the 220 (21.5) and at the IC4As finished second in the 100 (9.9) and the 220 (21.3). As a sophomore, Rudasill defended his Heptagonal title in the 220, was third in the 100, and was a member of the winning and school record relay team in 41.3. Although injured most of his junior year, Jim Rudasill won the New Englands. Then, as a senior he was a member of the school record mile relay team at the Penn relay (3:15.4), running a 47.6 second split. Brown’s fastest human is now an attorney with the Federal Government.