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Former middle-distance runner, Paul McMullen, died during a ski accident. Few other details are available about the 49-year-old Michigan native.
His 1500m personal best was 3:33.89.
He is originally from a town in Michigan called Cadillac. He went on to compete for Eastern Michigan University. While there he became an eight-time NCAA All-American for the Eagles.
He won the 1996 Olympic Trials.
One thing that amazed me about Paul was his passion for competition. Didn’t matter if it was EMU vs. UM or a world championship final…he was relentless and fearless when he raced, and that passion bled over into everything else he did in life. 1/2 https://t.co/UgXPJpqrim— Kevin Sullivan (@ksully330) March 6, 2021
Tributes pour in over social media
He was a feisty competitor and demonstrated good range with personal bests of 1:45.71 in the 800m and 13:59.40. In 1996 and in 1998 he won the outdoor 1500m and mile USATF championships. Both events took place in Atlanta, GA.
Nick Willis tweeted, “We drive through Cadillac, Mi about 30 times a year, and everytime I think about Paul McMullen–the 1500m Olympian who grew up there. Terribly sad to learn of his passing today. I was fortunate to train with Paul for two seasons. One of a kind. Very sad. He will be dearly missed.” @nickwillis
“Michiganders embrace blue collar work ethic. Northern Michigan takes that mentality & community pride to a another level. Nationally recognized distance runners have emerged from this environment. We’ve lost 3 of them way too early. Jeff Drenth, Ryan Shay & now Paul McMullen. RIP” – Hansons Running @hansonsrun
Paul McMullen was bigger than life. A monster on the Track, the biggest personality in the room, & a friend to all. Paul always took time to be inspiring to others. Here is Paul with our State Record 4×800 team before their race in 2012. Thank You Paul, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/uibbaHbRzM— Coach SAL (@MilfordXC) March 5, 2021
“I am devastated to share the news that EMU Olympian Paul McMullen passed away yesterday from a skiing accident. Paul visited my dad last Thursday and was like a son to him. He was such a great person – always upbeat and positive. Sending deepest condolences to his family.” Sue Parks @SueP329