track and field
Middleman was a member of the U.S. track and field team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In the 10,000-meter competition, he finished 17th in his preliminary heat with a time of 29:50.72. Middleman said of the experience, "If I had run a good race, if I had been on my game [his personal best of 28:04.8, I would have made the finals. I've been through the excuses list -- can't find anything to fit. No explanation...I guess it's one of those deals that when you achieve your dream, everything after that is anticlimactic. The final goal was to make the Olympic team, and I already did that."
A distance runner, Middleman was one of the best in the country when he attended Clark High School on Long Island (New York). He still holds the Nassau Country outdoor record in the 3,000-meter and two-mile races. He then attended the University of Florida in the late 1980s and early 1990s (class of '92) and was a three-time All-America in track and cross country.
While at Florida, Middleman captured five SEC (Southeast Conference) titles: the indoor 3,000-meter and 4x800-meter championship as both a junior and senior. He also won the SEC outdoor title in the 5,000-meter race in 1992. Middleman still holds school records in the indoor 3,000-meter and outdoor 5,000-meter.
In 1992, Middleman competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials and finished toward the back of the pack. After the competition, he wrote a semi-autobiographical book called Pain, the story of a runner who ponders suicide following a disastrous finish at the Olympic trials.
A competitor at the 1989 and 1993 Maccabiah Games, Middleman rebounded from his disappointing finish at the Olympic Trials. He began to train in Raleigh, North Carolina and concentrated on the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter. In 1996, he qualified for the Olympics by finishing third in the 10,000-meter at the Trials. Three years later, he competed in his first marathon. Running in the New York City marathon, Middleman finished 26th with a time of 2:24:52, the highest for an American male.
Birth and Death Dates:
Westbury, New York
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