Nov. 3, 2007
Former Notre Dame standout distance runner Ryan Shay died suddenly this morning, during the running of the 2008 U.S. Olympic marathon trials in New York City. The 28-year-old Shay, a native of Central Lake, Mich., earned All-America honors in nine events spanning his Notre Dame cross country and track careers - making him the most decorated All-America student-athlete in Notre Dame history. That accomplishment was eclipsed last spring, when fellow distance runner Molly Huddle earned the 10th All-America finish of her Notre Dame career.
Shay won the NCAA 10,000-meter race in 2001 - becoming Notre Dame's first track-and-field champion since the early 1970s - and was a four-time All-American in that 10-K event. He earned Academic All-America honors while graduating from Notre Dame in 2002 with a 3.21 cumulative grade-point average, as a double major in economics and computer applications.
Shay's postgraduate training had included ramping up to the marathon distance, more than four times the length of a 10-K. He won the 2003 U.S. Marathon race and was among the favorites heading into the 2004 Olympic trials, before being slowed by a hamstring strain and finishing 23rd.
Shay and former Stanford distance runner Alicia Craig were married four months ago.