April 13, 2004

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Contact: Lisa Eitner, Oread Books, (785) 864-4431

'The Perfect Mile' author to appear at Oread Books with KU legend Wes Santee

LAWRENCE -- Neal Bascomb, author of the new book "The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal and Less than Four Minutes to Achieve It" will appear along with legendary University of Kansas distance runner Wes Santee at a KU bookstore April 17.

Bascomb and Santee will participate in a discussion and book signing from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Oread Books, level 2 in the Kansas Union. The free, public event coincides with the final day of the 2004 Kansas Relays at KU's Memorial Stadium.

Later that evening the Kansas Relays Hall of Fame inaugural class -- Santee, Glenn Cunningham, Bill Easton, Bob Timmons, Al Oerter, Billy Mills and Jim Ryun -- will be inducted during a banquet at the relays' conclusion.

"The Perfect Mile" commemorates the 50th anniversary of the breaking of the four-minute mile and follows three men in their quest to accomplish the impossible: Briton Roger Bannister, Australian John Landy and Kansan Santee. When Santee announced his intention to be the first to shatter the four-minute barrier, Bannister and Landy hoped to prove him wrong and it became a three-way race. A major motion picture based on "The Perfect Mile" is being developed by the team behind the movie "Seabiscuit."

Santee, a 1954 KU graduate, set multiple world records and won many conference and NCAA titles. He took first place in the Kansas Relays mile back-to-back in 1954 and 1955, his first effort turning in the second-fastest American time in history. In 1952, he was named Most Outstanding Performer for anchoring the four-mile relay and for his running of the three-lap leg of the Distance Medley Relay. A 1952 Olympian, Santee ran just a fraction of a second over the four-minute mark in the mile. Bannister broke the four-minute mark in 1954.

Bascomb, a former editor and journalist, has appeared in documentaries on A&E and the History Channel, and he has written for the New York Times.

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