Walt Murphy is one of the finest track statisticians that I know. Walt does #ThisDayinTrack&FieldHistory, an excellent daily service that provides true geek stories about our sport. You can check out the service for FREE with a free one-month trial subscription! (email: WaltMurphy44@gmail.com ) for the entire daily service. We will post a few historic moments each day, beginning February 1, 2024.

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By Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service (wmurphy25@aol.com), used with permission.

This Day in Track & Field–June 15  

1935–It was later referred to as the “Mile of the Century”, a matchup at the 2nd Princeton Invitation of the last two World Record holders in the Mile, New Zealand’s Jack Lovelock and American Glenn Cunningham (who had set the current mark of 4:06.7 at this meet in 1934), and Bill Bonthron, the world record holder in the 1500-meters.

35,000 fans packed Palmer Stadium as Lovelock, who would win the gold medal in the 1500-meters at the following year’s Olympics in Berlin, won the tactical race handily in 4:11.2. Bonthron trailed by 10 yards, just ahead of Cunningham.

Lovelock said after the race, “Cunningham’s tactics and uneven pacing were disturbing, as Bonthron might catch us both from behind . . . I took two very cautious peeps at (Bonthron), swung out a fraction, and using the wind as best I could, let fly with my sprint.”

Lovelock’s Diaryhttps://thediaryjunction.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-let-fly-with-my-sprint.html


1935—USC teammates Roy Staley and Phil Cope finished in a dead heat in the 120-yard hurdles in a dual-meet against Ohio State, with both equaling the World Record of 14.2.


1956–Parry O’Brien raised his World Record in the Shot Put to 61-4 (18.69) at the U.S. Armed Forces Championships in Los Angeles.

        After a dramatic intro by the host, listen to O’Brien talk about his event and some of the highlights of his career in this wonderful recording from “The Greatest Sports Thrills” radio show that was sponsored by the United States Air Force. (O’Brien was a lieutenant in the Air Force). http://www.otrcat.com/greatest-sports-thrill-p-49515.html

WR Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men’s_shot_put_world_record_progression

1957-Occidental’s Bob Gutowski, using an aluminum pole, thought he had broken his own World Record (15-8  ¼ [4.78]) in the Pole Vault when he cleared 15-9  ¾ (4.82) at the NCAA Championships, which were held in the South for the first time (Austin,TX).

After clearing the bar (originally measured at 15-10  ¼ [4.83+]), a gust of wind blew his pole towards the uprights. An official grabbed it, pointing it away from the pit. The IAAF rule in effect at the time nullified any record if the vaulter’s pole went under the uprights after a clearance, so Gutowski never got credit for a new WR (he did get an AR). In the meantime, the uneven bar was knocked off its pegs while officials were verifying the height, and the “new” height became 15-9  ¾ (4.82m)!

      A number of gold medalists from the 1956 Olympics, which had been held just 7 months earlier in Melbourne,

    Australia was also in action here.

      A day after tying the World Record of 9.3 in his heat, Abilene Christian’s Bobby Morrow, a triple gold medalist in

    Melbourne (100,200,4×100), won the 100y (9.4)  and the 220y (21.0).

      Kansas’ Al Oerter, who won the first of his 4 gold medals in Melbourne, won the Discus with a throw of 185-3


      Indiana’s Greg Bell (Long Jump) won his specialty with a Meet Record jump of 26-7 (8.10)

      North Carolina College’s Lee Calhoun (110h-Hurdles), won the 120y-Hurdles in 13.6 (MR).

      Cal’s Don Bowden, who had become the first American 4-minute miler two weeks earlier (3:58.7), handed

    Villanova’s Ron Delany a rare loss, beating the 1956 Olympic 1500-meter champion to win the

    880y (1:47.2/Meet Record-1:47.8). Delany won the Mile over Oregon’s Jim Grelle, 4:06.5-4:07.1, and helped

    Villanova win what would be its only team title.

      Villanova’s Charlie Jenkins, a double gold medalist in Melbourne (400,4×400), finished 3rd (47.1) in the 440, a race

           won by Morgan State’s Bob McMurray in a photo-finish over Wayne State’s John Telford (46.8 for both)


Sports Illustrated Vaulthttps://vault.si.com/vault/1957/06/24/the-daring-young-man-with-the-big-idea

1963—Buddy Edelen became the first American since 1925 to hold the World Record in the Marathon after running 2:14:28 in Chiswick, England..

WR Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_world_record_progression


BIography-A Cold Clear Dayhttp://www.amazon.com/Cold-Clear-Day-Frank-Murphy/dp/0735103992

1963This was the first year the NCAA Championships, held in Albuquerque, went to a 3-day format. Among the highlights:

Arizona State’s Ulis Williams (45.8) won the 440y over USC’s Rex Cawley (46.1). Cawley won the 440y-Hurdles in

   49.6 to set American and Collegiate records.

Stanford’s Larry Questad won the 100y over Arizona State’s Henry Carr, both being timed in 9.7, with Carr getting

revenge in the 220y (20.5-20.6).

North Carolina College’s Norm Tate won the Triple Jump (51-1/4 [15.55m]).

NYU’s Gary Gubner won the Shot Put (62-5 [19.02])

Washington’s Brian Sternberg won the Pole Vault (16-4  ¾ [5.00m])

USC won the team title.


SI Vaulthttps://vault.si.com/vault/1963/06/24/class-wins-over-mass-at-albuquerque

1967—The NCAA Championships at Brigham Young (June 15-17) got off to a rousing start as Nebraska senior Charlie Greene, taking advantage of the thin air in Provo, ran 9.1 in his heat of the 100-yard dash to equal the World Record that was held by Bob Hayes, Canadian Harry Jerome, and Jim Hines. He would win the final a day later in an auto-timed 9.21.

San Jose State senior Tommie Smith won his heat of the 220y in 20.2, tying the Meet Record. He would match that time while winning his semi-final and final races.

Washington State junior Gerry Lindgren ran 28:44.0 to win the 2nd of his three 6-Mile (10k in ’67) titles (He would win the 3-Mile two days later). Other notable finishers included Southern Illinois junior Oscar Moore (2nd-28:57.4), Minnesota senior Tom Heinonen (3rd-29:28.8), who became the long-time Women’s coach at Oregon, and Wesleyan junior Amby Burfoot (7th-29:48.0), who enjoyed a successful career as a marathoner and is still one of the leading journalists in the sport.

This was the first stop on my month-long journey out West (From NY)It was a beautiful setting, with the campus sitting in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains, which still had a topping of snow. I climbed up the “Y” mountain, named for the huge limestone letter that could be seen for miles, and met members of the Villanova team coming down. Not sure that Wildcat coach Jumbo Elliott approved of this strenuous trek before the competition started. This was the first exposure to many visitors of the Mormon customs (no Coca Cola sold inside the stadium), but the Brigham Young hosts did their best to make everyone feel welcome.


Y Mountainhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y_Mountain#/media/File:BYU_East.jpg

1968— USC edged surprising Washington State by 1 point (58-57) to win the team title at the NCAA Championships

In Berkeley, California (June 13-15).

A number of athletes who did well here also had success at the Olympics later in the year.

San José State junior Lee Evans (45.0) won the 400 over Villanova sophomore Larry James (45.4) and Arizona State senior Ron Freemen (45.4) and they would replicate that finish in Mexico City

Boston University senior Dave Hemery won the 400-Meter Hurdles in 49.28 and went on to win Olympic gold with a World Record time of 48.12.

Another future Olympic champion was Oregon State junior Dick Fosbury, using his crowd-pleasing technique to win the High Jump     (7-2  ¼ [2.19]).

UCLA sophomore Jon Vaughn (17-1/2 [5.19]) won the Pole Vault over USC junior Bob Seagren (16-8 [5.08]), who went on to win gold in Mexico City.

For the third year in a row, Washington State senior Gerry Lindgren came away with two titles, winning the 10,000 (29:41.0) on Thursday(6-13) and then coming from behind on the last lap to win the 5000 (13:57.2) two days later (in 90-degree weather/28 finishers!). He won the 3-Mile/6-Mile double in 1966 and 1967. Lindgren closed out his collegiate career with 10 NCAA titles, having also won X-Country and the Indoor 2-Mile in 1966 and 1967.

USC junior Lennox Miller won the 100-Meters (6-14) in 10.1 (=MR) but was upset in the 200 by Ohio University junior Emmett Taylor (20.8 for both), who was the surprise winner of the 440y in 1967. Miller also anchored USC’s winning 440y relay and, representing his native Jamaica, would win a silver medal in the Olympic 100.

USC’s Earl McCullouch won the 120y-Hurdles in a close finish over Villanova junior Erv Hall, who would win the Olympic silver medal. Both equaled the Meet Record of 13.4.

Villanova senior Dave Patrick set a Meet Record of 3:39.9 while winning the 1500 meters. Kansas junior Jim Ryun, the defending champion, was sidelined by a case of mono but went on to win the silver medal in Mexico City.


NY Times:



Video Highlights (40-minutes/no audio)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSg5B8-KC9Q


NCAA History


T&F News; https://trackandfieldnews.com/history-of-the-ncaa-championships/

1979—High school senior Mary Shea (Cardinal Gibbons,NC) outdueled future great Joan Benoit to win the 10,000-meters at a highlight-filled U.S. Championships (June 15-17) in Walnut, CA. Both bettered the previous American Record (32:52.5-32:52.7).  Shea’s mark still stands as the U.S. High School Record.

Other American Records set over the next two days: Evelyn Ashford became the first American to run under 11-seconds in the 100-Meters, wining her semi-final race in 10.97 (6-16). She won the final in 11.01; Craig Virgin won the Men’s 10,000 (6-17) in 27:39.4, breaking Steve Prefontaine’s previous mark of 27:43.6; Maren Seidler twice raised her AR in the Shot Put (6-16), first to 62-3  ¾ (18.99m), then to 62-7  ¾ (19.09/-16). Deby LaPlante won the 100-Meter Hurdles in 12.86 (6-16); and Neal Pyke won the Men’s 20k-Walk in 1:27:11 (17).

Top 3https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_USA_Outdoor_Track_and_Field_Championships

Shea as a Catholic Nunhttp://ncpreptrack.com/mshea.html

1980–Germany’s Guido Kretschmer scored 8649 points in Bernhausen to break Daley Thompson’s month-old World Record in the Decathlon (8622).


WR Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decathlon_world_record_progression

1991—With his 64-meet winning streak on the line, Carl Lewis came through with a final effort of 28-4  ¼ (8.64) to beat Mike Powell  (28-3  ¾ [8.63]) to win the Long Jump on the final day of the U.S. Championships (June 12-15) at NY’s Randall’s Island. Larry Myricks wasn’t far behind in 3rd (27-10  ¾ [8.50]). This was the qualifying meet for the U.S. team that would compete at the World Championships in Tokyo, where Powell turned the tables on Lewis in an epic duel that ended with him breaking Bob Beamon’s World Record with his winning jump of 29-4  ½ (8.95).

As noted yesterday, Leroy Burrell set a World Record of 9.90 in the 100-Meters, but he met his match in the 200, finishing 2nd to Michael Johnson (20.31-20.42). Johnson would win the 200 in Tokyo, while Burrell would finish 2nd to training partner Lewis in the 100.

2 days after winning her 3rd Heptathlon title (6878/June 12-13), Jackie Joyner-Kersee also added a 3rd win in the Long Jump (22-8 [6.91]). She would win the LJ in Tokyo, but was a DNF in the Heptathlon.

Other winners who went on to claim World titles in Tokyo were Greg Foster (110h), Kenny Harrison (Triple Jump), Charles Austin (High Jump), Dan O’Brien (Decathlon).

Delisa Walton-Floyd (1:59.82) led Meredith Rainey (1:59.87) and Joetta Clark (2:00.48) on to the WC team, while Julie Jenkins finished last in 2:06.32.

Jenkins was the pre-meet favorite but was struck by a van in Manhattan on Thursday while getting ready to head to the stadium for the first round. While she was banged up, it could have been a lot worse. She missed her heat, but officials accepted her appeal, which advanced her to the semi-finals. She qualified for the final but faded after leading through the first 400 meters.

Results(Top 3)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_USA_Outdoor_Track_and_Field_Championships

NY Times Coverage   NY Times Coverage II


1996—Making the U.S. team at the Olympic Trials In Atlanta (with their eventual Olympic medals)

Men’s 100—1.Dennis Mitchell (9.92), 2.Mike Marsh (10.00), 3.Jon Drummond (10.02)…8.Carl Lewis (10.21)

Men’s Triple Jump—1.Kenny Harrison (59-1  1/4w [18.01]–Gold), 2.Mike Conley (57-7  ¾[17.57]), 3.Robert Howard

(56-4  ¾ [17.19])

Men’s Shot Put—1.Randy Barnes (70-1  ½ [21.37]–Gold), 2.John Godina (69-6  ¼ [21.19]–Silver), 3.C.J. Hunter (69-1  ½


Women’s 100—1.Gwen Torrence (10.82–Bronze), 2.Gail Devers (10.91–Gold), 3.D’Andre Hill (10.92)…4.Inger

Miller (10.96), 5.Chryste Gaines (10.96)

Women’s Heptathlon—1.Kelly Blair (6406), 2.Jackie Joyner-Kersee (6403), 3.Sharon Hanson (6352)



2003—Tommy Skipper set a U.S. High School Record of 18-3 (5.56) in the Pole Vault at the Golden West Invitational in Sacramento,  It was a fitting Father’s Day present for his dad Art, the 1992 NCAA Champion in the Javelin (Oregon).

            The Girls’ Vault also produced a National Record, with Kira Costa (San Joaquin Valley,CA) clearing 13-8  ½ (4.18).

            Other notable winners included Duane Solomon (Cabrillo,Ca) in the Boys’ 800 (1:50.16), Bobby Curtis (St.Xavier,KY) in the Boys’ Mile (4:07.06), Shalonda Solomon (Long Beach Poly,CA) in the Girls’ 100 (11.47) and 200 (23.08), and sophomore Brie Felnagle (Bellarmine,WA) in the Girls’ 800 (2:08.67)

Dyestat Coverage: Resultshttp://archive.dyestat.com/3us/3out/goldenwest/results.htm

Skipper Story/Photoshttp://archive.dyestat.com/3us/3out/goldenwest/54.htm


2007–Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar lowered her own World Record in the 5000-Meters by an amazing 7.9 seconds, running 14:16.63 in Oslo.  Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot finished 2nd in 14:22.51, which was also under Defar’s previous mark of 14:24.53



WR Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5000_metres

2012—Senior Shelbi Vaughan (Legacy,TX) won the Discus at the U.S. Junior Championships in Indianapolis (June 15-17) with a throw of 198-9 (60.59) to set the current U.S. Junior and High School Records. Nine days later, she would finish fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials. (It should be noted that UCLA’s Seilala Sua had a number of marks that are superior to Vaughn’s AJR, but they were never ratified by USATF.)

2014—Many future stars gave fans an early look at their talent at the New Balance Nationals Outdoors in Greensboro,NC (June 13-15).

Sophomore Josephus Lyles (T.C. Williams,VA) won the 400 in 46.23, while younger brother Noah finished 2nd to senior Trentavis Friday (Cherryville,NC) in the 200 (20.41-21.00). Noah has won 3 World titles in the 200 (’19, ’22, ’23), 1 in the 100 (’23).

Junior Donavan Brazier (Kenowa Hills,MI), winner of the 800 (1:48.61), set American Indoor and Outdoor Records in 2019 and won the 800 at the World Championships in Doha.

Sydney McLaughlin won the 400-meter Hurdles in 56.89, setting National freshman and age-14 records. 4th was sophomore Anna Cockrell (59.69/Providence,NC), who won the 2019 NCAA title (USC). McLaughlin, now the world’s best 400-hurdler (2021 Olympic and 2022 World champion/WR holder), also finished 2nd in the 100-meter Hurdles.

Senior Raevyn Rogers (Kinkaid, TX/2:04.88) won the 800 over Olivia Baker (Columbia,NJ/2:06.01), who had anchored (2:07.0) Columbia to a National H.S. Record of  3:50.72 in the Sprint Medley the previous day. Rogers went on to win 5 NCAA titles in the 800 while at Oregon (3-outdoors, 2-indoors), and was the silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships and the bronze medalist at the 2021 Olympics.

Senior Keturah Orji (Mt.Olive,NJ), winner of  the Long (20-11  ¾ [6.39]) and Triple (43-1/2 [13.12]) Jumps, is now one of the best triple jumpers in the world (won 7 NCAA titles in the TJ, 1 in the LJ).

Senior Raven Saunders (Burke,SC), winner of the Shot Put (56-7  ½ [17.26]), won 4 NCAA titles and was the silver medalist at the 2021 Olympics


Videos: https://www.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=14188&do=videos&video_id=118910