Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. - Psalm 146:3


4 WINDS is a worldwide sports ministry, mostly in track and field ( Starting in 1981, Steve and Liz McConkey have worked through ten Olympics. From 1982 to 1992, Steve was a USA National Track and Field Club Coach, with athletes ranking 92 times. After 1992, 4 WINDS works with athletes on all teams. Steve graduated with honors from Western Kentucky University (Master of Public Health), Minnesota State University (BS-Community Health), and Webster High School (WI). They have lived in Bowling Green (Kentucky), Eugene (Oregon), Dallas-Fort Worth (Texas), Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minnesota), and Madison (Wisconsin). In recent years, Steve has had 290 worldwide radio, article, and TV interviews. He still advises world-class runners.
At Dunlap Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa in 1961 in kindergarten. Steve is near the wall. Picture from the Des Moines Register.
In 1967 and 1968, Steve attended Dunlap Elementary in Des Moines. He went on field trips to the Drake Relays when the track was cinder. Now the track is modern. That is where Steve’s interest in world-class track and field started. After 1968, his family moved to NW Wisconsin.
Steve started at the University of Wisconsin-Superior before transferring to Minnesota State University where he received a BS in Community Health. He did his Master of Public Health at Western Kentucky University. Steve graduated with honors at all schools. He went to Webster High School in Wisconsin and was a distance runner at WHS, UWS, and MSU. MSU was third at the 1977 NCAA Division 2 Cross Country Championships. At WKU, Steve was a grad assistant coach in cross country and track and field. The cross country team was sixth at the 1980 NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Championships.
1973 Upper St. Croix Valley All-Conference team. Steve is third from the left and ran for Webster (WI) High School. He was third in the conference that is now disbanded. At that time, it was a strong conference.
Steve attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior before transferring to Minnesota State University in Mankato. He competed in cross country and track.
In 1979 at the Minnesota State University track, Steve ran 43 laps in an hour, which is 10 miles, 1320 yards.
Steve was a grad assistant coach at Western Kentucky University while getting his Master of Public Health. The 1980 cross country team won the Ohio Valley Conference with a perfect 15 points. Eventually, the team finished sixth at the NCAA D1 Cross Country Championships. Steve is second from the left in the back row.
This picture was in the fall of 1981 in Mankato, Minnesota. Someone took this simple black and white Polaroid that was an immediate photo back then. Steve and Liz, with son, just started working in world-class track and field ministries and were visiting family. The red VW was their first car. Steve had a blue one in high school.
Steve was a USA National Track and Field Club Coach from 1982 through 1992, with athletes ranking ninety-two times. At the time, USA Track and Field was called The Athletics Congress. Steve had athletes at the national meets between 1983 and 1992, as he started in the fall of 1982. Exceptions were in 1984 and 1988 when the athletes went to the USA Olympic Trials instead of the national meets. In1992, the Olympic Trials became the national meet during Olympic years.
At the 1984 Olympics, Steve and Liz are in the third row on the left. The athletes won 10 golds, 1 silver.
In 1991, Steve was at the USA Track and Field Championships in New York City. This was on top of the World Trade Center. Pray for the families affected by 9/11.
Steve and daughter at the 1992 Olympic Trials.
Sharing with athletes at the July 4 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympics.
In 1997, Steve was trying to come up with a 4 WINDS logo for t-shirts on this envelope.
From 1971 through 2016, Steve ran 65,865 miles for 45 years. That is 4.01 miles per day. At Minnesota State University in the 70s and the University of Wisconsin a few years ago. They lived fifteen years near the UW football stadium.
2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon at historic Hayward Field. Recently, this stadium was totally remodeled.
At the 2012 Olympic Trials. Later, the USA had great performances at the Olympics in London.
During the 2022 USA Track and Field Championships, Steve was able to minister to America’s best athletes and coaches. Steve and Liz have been doing this since 1981.
In recent years, Steve has had 290 worldwide radio, article, and TV interviews.
Steve and Liz have been married since August 1981. They have three children and many grandchildren.

************MORE PICTURES************

In 1975 while attending the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Steve picked this magazine up at the library. Afterwards, Craig Virgin won two World Cross Country Championships in 1980 and 1981. He ran in three Olympics. Steve started Virgin’s facebook page to get him elected to the USA Hall of Fame. Virgin now operates the page and was elected to the USA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Steve competed for Minnesota State University in Mankato. This is the 1979 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Cross Country championship team. He is in the first row, all the way to the right.
In 1980, Steve ran 10 miles, 1320 yards on a small 176 yard indoor track at Minnesota State University in Mankato. That is 107.5 laps.
With sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis (Olympics 9 gold, 1 silver) before the 1984 Olympics.
With Carl Lewis (Olympics 9 gold, 1 silver) and Todd Harbour, 3:50.34 mile.
Two time marathon Olympic trialist Linda Zeman-Laktasic. She won the 1984 Houston Marathon.
Steve at a USA Track and Field Championships chapel that they used to host. He is kneeling and third from the left.
Long jumper Gordon Laine, fourth at the 1988 Olympic Trials, has jumped 27-2.
1988 Olympic Trials pass.
Todd Sperling (left) and Tom Ansberry (in front) at the The Athletics Congress Minnesota State Championships in November 1988 in Apple Valley, Minnesota. The team won.
Todd Sperling ran a 2:17 marathon and a 8:42 2 Mile equivalent on an outdated 176 yard track. On the roads, he ran 8,000 in 23:14.
High jumper Brent Harken with steeplechaser Matt Pearson. Brent jumped 7-8.5.
Distance runner Gary McAlpin (8:27 3000 in his 30s), John Beaudot (All-American sprinter), and Matt Kolb (18-3 pole vault and USA Olympic Festival medalist).
Speaking at a school with Russ Hodge, former decathlon world record holder.
Tom Ansberry, who finished fifth at the 1992 Olympic Trials in the 10,000, wins the St. Patrick’s Days 5 mile in St. Paul, Minnesota in 23:04.
Ed Stuart jumped 26-2.5 in the long jump. Originally from the Bahamas.
Last Olympic Trials as a USA National Track and Field Coach in 1992.

************PICTURES AFTER 1992************

With decathlon Olympic bronze medalist Dave Johnson.
With Mary Stern, 1988 Olympic Track and Field Coach and world-famous coach from Villanova.
With shot put Olympian Ron Backes.
With Brazil 800 runner Joaquim Cruz (Olympics 1 gold, 1 silver).
Steve and Liz with the South African coaches at the 1996 Olympics. Liz’s mom is from South Africa.
With sprinter Maurice Greene (Olympics 2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).
With Erv Hunt, long-time University of California coach and 1996 Olympic Track and Field Coach.
With Jamaica sprinter Herb McKenley (Olympics 1 gold, 3 silver).
With former decathlon world record holder Russ Hodge and decathlon Olympic gold medalist Bill Twomey.
With 10,000 Olympic bronze medalist Brendan Foster and 1500 Olympic silver medalist Steve Cram. They are now coaches in Great Britain.
Steve and Liz with Nigeria 4×400 Olympic bronze medalist Innocent Egbunike.
Steve and Liz’s three kids played on top 10 Wisconsin high school basketball teams, with two playing at universities. They earned five university degrees.
With pole vault Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson.
Liz worked at the 2004 Olympic Trials in media.
With 4×100 Olympic silver medalist Coby Miller.
With Todd Harbour, 3:50.34 mile and former Baylor coach.
With high jump Olympic silver medalist Matt Hemingway, a relative of famous author Ernest Hemingway.
With world boxing champion Evander Holyfield.
With 400 sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross (Olympics 4 gold, 1 bronze).
Steve and Liz with discus Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Browne-Trafton.
Liz at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
At the University of Wisconsin with Simon Bairu (NCAA cross country champion), Chris Solinsky (first non-African to break 27:00 in the 10,000), Olympic distance runner Matt Tegenkamp, and steeplechase Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager.
With 800 and relay runner Madeline Manning Mims (Olympics 1 gold, 1 silver) and sprinter Lauryn Williams (Olympics 1 gold, 1 silver).
With shot putter Ryan Crouser (Olympics 2 gold). He is the current world record holder.