At five feet nine inches, distance runner Doug Padilla stands tall in the world of track.
Six times, Doug has been one of the world's top indoor distance runners (1982-86 and 1990). He was Outdoor Mobil Grand Prix champion in 1985 and twice champion of the 5,000-meter race, in 1985 and 1987. In 1990 he was the Indoor USA/Mobil Grand Prix Champion, awarded to the most productive racer of the season - an honor that netted him $12,000. In the eight-week, 11-meet Mobil Grand Prix circuit, he was the best overall male performer in any event. It was a fitting rebound for his career, which seemed in jeopardy for four years because of asthma.
Doug has represented the United States twice in the Olympics: in 1988 at Seoul and in 1984 when he placed seventh in the 5,000-meters at Los Angeles.
From 1983 to 1987 he won five consecutive national indoor championships, four national outdoor championships, and two U.S. Olympic trials.
The strider from San Leandro, California – known for his patented kick – broke seven American records in three distances. Included among those was the outdoor 3,000-meters (7:35.84), the indoor two mile (8:15.02), the indoor 5,000-meters (13:20.55), and the road 5,000 meters (13:30).
Doug transferred to BYU from Chabot Junior College in 1975 and served a Church mission to El Salvador from 1976 to 1978. Upon his return to BYU, he went on to earn eight All-America citations. He won the 1981 NCAA indoor two-mile crown when he out-kicked 1980 Olympic silver medalist Suleiman Nyambui to become the first American since 1972 to win an NCAA indoor distance race.
As a senior in 1981, the electrical engineering major topped the BYU career leader board with a 3:38.37 in the 1,500 meters and a 13:33.50 in the 5,000 meters. As of 1991, he was the only runner to break the four-minute-mile barrier inside the state of Utah.