Track and Field
b. June 23, 1892, New York, NY
d. Aug. 24, 1991
Only 5-foot-3 and 120 pounds, Kiviat didn't begin competing in track and field until he was a senior in high school but, within two years, he was the top middle-distance runner in the country.
He won the AAU outdoor 1-mile championship in 1911, 1912, and 1914, the indoor 600- and 1,000-yard runs in 1911 and 1913, and the indoor 1,000-yard again in 1914. He was also national cross-country champion in 1913.
Kiviat set a world record of 3.55.8 in the 1,500-meter run at the Olympic trials in 1912, then continued on to the mile post, finishing in 4:15.6, just .2 seconds above the world record for that distance. A favorite going into the Olympics, he placed second in one of the closest finishes ever. Arnold Strode Jackson beat Kiviat by .1 second, and Kiviat edged Norman Taber of the U. S. for second place in a photo-finish.