Walt Murphy is one of the finest track geeks 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.

(c)Copyright 2024-all rights reserved. It may not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.

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

This Day in Track & Field–March 26

(Eastman-Templeton, Lon Spurrier, Emma George, World Cross-’88, ’94, Tara Davis-CR/Born On This Day- Robin Lingle, Barbara Jones/R.I.P.-Van Reenen)

1932—Stanford’s Ben Eastman set World Records for 400 meters and 440 yards when he ran 46.4 in Palo Alto. Bud Spencer, who held the previous 400 records (47.0), wrote in his biography on Eastman’s coach, Dink Templeton—” High Above the Olympians”” Templeton was indeed the only man in track history who coached a runner to a world record from a hospital bed while getting a high enema.

Templeton, who had been stricken with fulminating arthritis five months before, was about to supply last-minute instructions–by a special telephone hookup”. Templeton–“Ben, the executioner is here, and these may be my last words, so listen carefully. You’re ready to knock a second off the easiest record in the book. Get this in your noodle; I want you to tear-ass right from the gun, going as fast as you can without straining. Run easily, but run like hell, and when you hit the turn, keep running. That’s where you’ve been losing time. Keep running even if you have to crawl home on your hands and knees, but don’t let up”. (From the IAAF’s World Records Progression Book).

(Both men are members of the National Hall of Fame)

1955—Ten days after finishing second to Arnie Sowell in the 800 meters at the Pan-American Games in Mexico City, former Cal Bear Lon Spurrier ran 1:47.5 on his home track in Berkeley to set a world record for 880 yards.

With coach Brutus Hamilton shouting encouragement from the trackside, Spurrier ran the entire race as he took down the previous mark of 1:48.6, set by Denmark’s Gunnar Nielsen in 1954. (It should be noted that the World Record for 800 meters at the time was 1:46.6).

Spurrier Link: http://tinyurl.com/ygxbosb

Hamilton was a charter member of the National Hall of Fame.

1960–A week after Bill Nieder had taken the Shot Put World Record away from him, Dallas Long moved back on top with his mark of 64-6 ½ (19.67) in L.A., only to have Nieder regain the record a week later with a monster throw of 65-7 (19.99) at the Texas Relays in Austin.

W.R. Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men’s_shot_put_world_record_progression


1998—Australia’s Emma George twice set the World Indoor Record in the Pole Vault, first clearing 14-9 (4.55m) in Adelaide and then 14-11 (4.55m) in Brisbane. Five days earlier (3-21), George raised her outdoor World Record to 15-3/4 (4.59) in Brisbane. Her efforts in Adelaide capped a fantastic indoor season in the event, with no less than 11 World Records being set by five different women.

                                 (pre-1998 record was Stacy Dragila’s 14-5  ¼ (4.40m)

                                 14-05  1/2      4.41    Daniela Bartova  CZE              2-04-98*

                                 14-06              4.42    Vala Flosadottir   ISL              2-06-98

                                 14-06  1/4      4.43          Bartova                           2-14-98

                                 14-06  3/4      4.44          Flosadottir                      2-14-98

                                 14-07  1/4      4.45    Anzhela Balakhonova  UKR     3-01-98

                                 14-07  1/2      4.46           Bartova                          3-06-98

                                 14-08              4.47    Emma George  AUS                3-07-98

                                 14-08  1/4      4.48    Stacy Dragila  USA                 3-08-98

                                 14-08  1/4      4.48            Bartova                         3-08-98

                                 14-09              4.50            George                          3-26-98

                                 14-11              4.55            George                          3-26-98

                                 *-mark was never ratified because the bar was supposed to be set at the pre-determined

                                     height of 4.40 (14-5  1/4).


2021—Two weeks after winning the NCAA Indoor title with a Collegiate Record of 22-9 (6.93), Texas’ Tara Davis won the Long Jump at the Texas Relays with a leap of 23-5  ¼ (7.14) to break the 36-year old Outdoor Collegiate Record of

22-11  ¼ (6.99) that was set by UCLA’s Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1985! She went on to win the NCAA Outdoor title and finish 6th at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She has since won the silver medal at the 2023 World Championships and the gold medal at the 2024 World Indoor Championships.