Cross Country / Inducted Oct. 15, 2015
Since 2012, Cal State Fullerton’s flagship cross-country event – The Mark Covert Classic – has been named for perhaps the greatest competitor in the history of the program.
After two years at L.A. Valley College, runner Mark Covert transferred to Fullerton where he immediately made his presence felt, winning the 1970 NCAA Division II Individual Cross-Country title while leading the Fullerton team to a second-place overall finish behind champion Eastern Michigan.
A year later, the Titans took home that Div. II national championship for themselves led by Covert, who earned All-America honors in both the three- and six-mile categories.
In 1972, Covert competed at the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials where he placed seventh with a time of 2:23.35. He would go on to earn his bachelor’s degree from Fullerton in 1973 and eventually obtained a masters degree from Cal Lutheran in 1979.
Along with his accomplishments in competition, Covert gained national notoriety by running at least one mile every day for 45 years, which has been certified by the U.S. Running Streak Association as the longest streak in United States history and is believed to be the second longest streak in the world. Covert’s streak began on July 23, 1968 when he was 17 and covered more than 140,000 miles in that span. On July 23, 2013, Covert ended his streak due to a nagging right foot injury after 16,437 consecutive days.
He was also the first runner to wear a pair of Nike running shoes across the finish line of a race. Per his “sponsorship agreement,” Covert earned the pair of shoes he ran in plus two Nike shirts with his name printed on the back.
He currently serves as the Cross Country and Track and Field head coach at Antelope Valley College, a position he has held since 1990. In his time there, Covert has coached nine conference champions and a state champion in cross country along with three conference title holders and nine state champions in track.