1996 Hall of Fame Inductee
The luck of the Irish fell on BYU while Carey May competed for the Cougars. Prior to her college career, In Dublin magazine named her the "First Lady of Irish Marathoners." During the years she ran for BYU, the native Dubliner proved herself a power in both intercollegiate meets and world-class competition.
May was a five-time All-American in cross country and distance running at BYU. Her five honors include a second-place finish at the 1981 AIAW Track Championships in the 5,000 meter race. Her final two All-America honors came at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. In 1983 she finished second in the 10,000-meters, setting BYU and Irish national records with a time of 33:04.23. The next year she placed third in the same race, breaking her own BYU and Irish national records (32:51.23).
In 1981 May won All-Region AIAW and All-IAC cross country honors. The following year she was named to the All-Region VII and All-HCAC cross country and outdoor track teams; she was named All-HCAC cross country again in 1984.
In 1983 May soared onto the international running scene, becoming a top marathon contender by winning the Osaka Ladies Marathon with a time of 2:29.23 - a new collegiate and personal record. That same year, she was once again in the international spotlight after winning the Toronto Marathon, where she set a new course record (2:36.07).
May represented Ireland in the 1980 World Cross Country Championships, the 1982 European Championship Marathon, the 1983 World Championship Marathon, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where she finished 28th overall in the marathon. In 1984 she also finished second among the 10,500 competitors in the 10,000-meter Dublin Women's Road Race, the largest women's road race in the world; won both the 10,000-meter Quebec City Race and the Toronto 10,000-meter run; and placed sixth in the New York City Marathon. In 1985 she won the Osaka Marathon again, rewriting her own collegiate and personal records with a time of 2:28.07.
As a Cougar, May's hard work, love of running, and dedication benefited the BYU cross country team. In 1983 she finished 38th in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, helping BYU to a ninth-place team finish. At the 1984 NCAA Cross Country Championships, she placed 62nd to help the Cougars finish sixth.
At the time of her graduation, May held BYU records for the 10,000-meters outdoor (32:51.23) and the marathon (2:28.07).
A geography major, May also covered a lot of territory outside the classroom, bringing honor to herself, to BYU, and to her native land.