|Team:||Track & Field|
Mark A. Thompon '89
Hometown: Lithonia, GA
Sport: Track & Field
Year Inducted: 2000
During the late 1980s, Mark Thompson was a force in just about every race he ran. Known as one of the best hurdlers and sprinters at Brown, Thompson also excelled in the triple jump during his time on College Hill. Mark competed in both the indoor and outdoor seasons for the Bears, and earned the respect and admiration of the league from the beginning.
As a freshman, he enjoyed a season most first years would dream about. At the Heptagonal Games, Mark won the 400m intermediate hurdles with a time of 51.46, and that was not his only success in the Games. He finished third in the 110m high hurdles and was part of the 4x400m relay team that finished third as well. These efforts helped the team place fifth, its best finish in 13 years. Thompson’s first place in the 400m hurdles earned him First Team All-Ivy recognition.
The next year saw Thompson’s continued success in the outdoor season and he also began to take strides in becoming a great indoor performer. At the 1987 Indoor Heps, he too sixth place in the 55m high hurdles, while the team finished fifth, its best-ever finish. At the Outdoor Heps, Thompson, trying to defend his 400m intermediate hurdle title, came up just short in fifth place.
Mark was named a tri-captain his junior year with the Bears, and he led the way for the team, as the indoor squad enjoyed its best season to date with a fourth place finish at the Heps. Individually, Thompson started to excel at the triple jump, finishing with a 47’4” jump and a fourth place finish.
The outdoor team also had its best year ever, finishing third at the Heps. Thompson, again, was one of the main reasons why; he placed fourth in the 110m high hurdles with a time of 14.85 seconds, and was a member of the 4x400m relay team that placed third with a time of 3:14.54. On his way to the Heps that year, Mark and his relay team enjoyed a third place finish at the Penn Relays, and he finished second in the 110m high hurdles and the 400m intermediate hurdles at a tri-meet with Harvard and Dartmouth.
In his final season running with the Bears, Mark was at his best. Again serving as a tri-captain, he led the indoor track team to its third consecutive best-ever finish at the Heps. The team came in second, narrowly losing out to Dartmouth. Mark finished fifth in the 400m dash, and placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 51’-1 ¾”, earning him first team All-Ivy honors. Mark and his 4x400m relay team finally captured its first Heptagonal title by winning the event with a time of 3:18.20, and consequently earned a sport on the All-Ivy First Team.
The outdoor season saw Mark finish his career by earning All-Ivy recognition in three events. He was a First Team All-Ivy selection in the 110m high hurdles, winning the event at the Heps with a time of 14.38. He also earned Second Team All-Ivy honors in the triple jump, finishing third at the Heps with a distance of 49’-3 ½”, and in the 400m intermediate hurdles, placing third at the Heps with a time of 52.36. That time was good enough to earn him a place at the NCAA Championships.
To say that Mark Thompson had a profound effect on the Brown track program is an understatement. Before his time at Brown, the indoor track team had never placed higher than sixth at the Heps. During his time on college Hill, it broke through that plateau three times. As for the outdoor team, it hadn’t placed higher than sixth in 13 years, but did all four years that Mark ran. He currently holds the Brown record in the 400m intermediate hurdles with a time of 50.84, a record he set on May, 26, 1989.
Mark Thompson graduated from Brown in 1989 with a degree in OBM and Economics. After leaving Brown, he went on to run the intermediate hurdles at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Originally a native of Florida, Mark currently resides with his wife, also an Olympic runner, in Lithonia, Georgia.