This Day in Track & Field–March  25


1942–A Night in the Bronx—From Wally Donovan’s “A History of Indoor Track & Field”.

“The curtain came down on the 1942 indoor track season with one of the most smashingly successful indoor meets ever.

The meeting was for the benefit of the Navy Relief Society. It was conducted on an oil-splattered banked board track, measuring 9 laps to the mile, and was primarily used for auto racing.

A crowd of more than 5,000 jammed into the huge Coliseum in the Bronx to see the six All-Star events. They saw six world marks created.”

Roy Cochran got credit for two of those marks in one race, clocking 47.9 for 400 meters and 48.2 for 440 yards.

The same was true for John Borican, who ran 1:50.0 for 800 meters and 1:50.5 for 880 yards (breaking his own World Records). He was the 1941 U.S. Champion in the Decathlon!

John Borican, photo courtesy of NJ

A Georgetown quartet of Charley Fish, Charley Williams, Hugh James, and Hugh Short won the mile relay in 3:17.2, and Seton Hall won the 2-mile relay over a tough Fordham team in 7:33.9 (also faster than the outdoor record) with a lineup of Anthony Luciano, Frank Fletcher, Robert Ranier, and Chester Lipski.

No records were set in the mile and 2-mile, but the winning times were fast. NYU senior Leslie MacMitchell won the former in 4:07.8, just missing the World Record of 4:07.4 that he shared with Walter Mehl and future Hall-of-Famer Greg Rice took the longer race in 8:52.9, not far off his World Record of 8:51.1.

2nd in the mile was Gil Dodds, who would later set 3 World Records in the event. 3rd in 4:14.1 was Frank Dixon, a 5th-year student at St.Francis Prep H.S. (Queens, NY)

A National Hall of Fame member, Cochran would win gold medals in the 400 and 4×400 at the 1948 Olympics after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Cochran   Rice  MacMitchell  Borican  Dodds

1978—Maren Seidler raised her American Record in the Shot Put 4 times on this date in San Jose,CA:

      58-02           (17.73/19 inches better than her previous mark of 56-7 [17.24])

      58-04  ½      (17.79)

      60-03           (18.36)

      60-06  ½     (18.45)

Hall of Fame Bio (2000)

World Cross Country Championships


1978–Glasgow, Scotland provided ideal x-country conditions for the World Championships–torrential rain, wind, and a difficult, muddy course! Providence College’s John Treacy, who was the bronze medalist in the Junior race in 1973 and 1974,  won the Men’s title, while Guy Arbogast (5th) and Craig Virgin (6th) led the U.S. to the silver medals. The other American scorers were Greg Meyer (20th), Jeff Wells (29th), Bill Rodgers (44th), and Mike Roche (52nd). Treacy, who is still active in the sport as the Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, went on to represent Ireland at 4 Olympics (Silver medal-1984 Marathon).  He had won the NCAA Indoor 3-mile title earlier in the month and would win his 2nd World Cross title in 1979 (see below).

In the Women’s race, Norway’s Grete Waitz destroyed a strong field as she won the first of her five World titles, and Julie Shea (4th), Jan Merrill (7th), Kathy Mills (11th), and Brenda Webb (15th) combined to give the U.S. the team silver medals.

Other Notable/U.S. Finishers

Senior Men(12.3km):2.Aleksandr Antipov (URS), 3.Karel Lismont (BEL), 8.Franco Fava (ITA), 11.Steve Jones (Wales), 14.Gerry Deegan (IRL), 50.Donal Walsh (IRL), 60.Neil Cusack (RL), 71.Ray Treacy (IRL), 72.Marc Hunter (USA), 73.Charles Vigil (USA), 99.Bobby Thomas (USA), 146.Chris McCubbins (CAN); DNF-Jos Hermens (NED), Carlos Lopes (POR), Fernando Mamede (POR); Team:1.France 151, 2.USA 156

Senior Women(4.728km):2. Natalia Mărăşescu (RUM), 3. Maricica Puică (RUM),12.Christine Benning (ENG), 19.Tatyana Kazankina (URS), 23.Cindy Bremser (USA), 26. Fiţa Lovin (RUM), 43.Wendy Smith-Sly (ENG); DNF-Gabriella Dorio (ITA); Team:1.Romania 30, 2.USA 37;

Junior Men(7.036km): 1. Mick Morton (ENG), 10.Rod Berry (USA), 19.Gelindo Bordin (ITA), 25.Paul Schultz (USA), 34.Said Aouita (MAR), 37.Kevin Byrne (USA), 38.Jeff Milliman (USA), 54.Tim O’Neill (USA), 55.Steve Ferri (USA); Team:1.England 53, 2.Canada 53, 3.Spain 54;


1979–25,000 fans turned out at Green Park Racecourse in Limerick, Ireland, to watch their hero, John Treacy, despite falling late in the race, win his 2nd straight World X-Country Men’s title.  Treacy slowed near the finish as spectators jumped onto the course. ‘I was terrified they would knock me over or that so many would come onto the course that it would be impossible for the others to finish”, said Treacy, who needed a police escort to leave the course. Treacy looks back at that day and his career:

Grete Waitz, who had set a World Record while winning the first of her nine NY City Marathon titles the previous November. was also a repeat winner. The United States won the Women’s team title for the 2nd time as it got solid performances from Ellison Goodall (3rd), Jan Merrill (7th), Julie Shea (8th), and Margaret Groos (11th).

Jeff Nelson  (Burbank, CA), who set a High School 2-mile record of 8:36.3 later in the year, finished 4th in the Men’s Junior race, just 2 seconds away from a bronze medal.

Other Notable/U.S. Finishers

Senior Men(12km):2.Bronislaw Malinowski (POL), 3.Aleksandr Antipov (URS), 7.Steve Jones (Wales), 13.Craig Virgin (USA), 21.Nick Rose (ENG), 27.Franco Fava (ITA), 41.Fernando Mamede (POR), 43.Gerry Deegan (IRL), 44.Dan Dillon (USA), 47.Donal Walsh (IRL), 49.Marc Hunter (USA), 64.Bill Donakowski (USA), 70.Eamonn Coghlan (IRL), 79.Ray Treacy (IRL), 81.Robbie Perkins (USA), 90.Greg Meyer (USA), 93.Gelindo Bordin (ITA), 101.Steve Flanagan (USA), 137.Bobby Thomas (USA), 152.José Abascal (ESP), 166.Thomas Wessinghage (GER), 172.Knut Kvalheim (NOR); Team:1.England 119, 2.Ireland 198;

Senior Women(5.04km):5.Svetlana Ulmasova (URS), 14.Anne Audain (NZL), 17.Paula Fudge (ENG), 19.Jennifer White (USA), 23.Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR), 36.Julie Brown (USA); DNF-Gabriella Dorio (ITA); Team:1.USA 29, 2.Soviet Union 48;

Junior Men(7.36km):1.Eddy de Pauw (BEL) 23:02, 2.Steve Binns (ENG) 23:09 3.Ildar Denikeyev (URS) 23:20, 4.Jeff Nelson (USA) 23:22, 12.Jim Hill (USA), 24.Herb Wills (USA), 27.Geoff Turnbull (ENG), 36.Steve Cram (ENG), 54.Paul Donovan (IRL), 66.John Gregorek (USA), 71.Mike Sheely (USA), 79.Alan Scharsu (USA); Team: Spain


1984–The World X-Country Championships came to the U.S. for the first time and were held at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The U.S. won the Women’s team title for the 2nd year in a row–Betty Jo Springs, a member of the 1983 winning team, led the way with her 9th-place finish, with Cathy Branta (10th), Sabrina Dornhoefer (16th) and Cathie Twomey (17th) completing the scoring. Romania’s Maricica Puică, the 1982 Champion, won her 2nd title as 5-time Champion Grete Waitz finished 3rd.

As he did in 1983, Pat Porter (33:34) set a fast pace in the Men’s race, while 37-year old Carlos Lopes (33:25), the 1976 Champion, ev entually pulled away for his 2nd win, while Porter was passed by England’s Tim Hutchings (33:30) and Wales’ Steve Jones(33:32) in the final 100-meters. The U.S. won the silver medals for the 5th time in 7 years, as Porter’s 4th-place finish was backed up by Ed Eyestone (6th), Craig Virgin (17th), John Easker (28th), Jeff Drenth (41st) and Mark Stickley (65th).

The Men’s Junior race was won by Spain’s Pere Casacuberta, the last “non-African” to win the event.

NBC’s broadcast position was on the Grandstand roof at the racetrack. During a break in the action below, announcer Frank Shorter, never one to pass up an opportunity for a workout, took a couple of laps around the roof’s perimeter! A security guard, clearly a fan, joined Shorter for part of the workout, saying, “I’m not going to pass up this opportunity”.

Other Notable/U.S. Finishers

Senior Men(12.086km):5.Wilson Waigwa (KEN), 10.Francesco Panetta (ITA), 11.Alberto Cova (ITA), 13.John Treacy (IRL),, 15.Martti Vainio (FIN), 16.Mohammed Kedir (ETH), 19.Paul Kipkoech (KEN), 21.Rob de Castella (AUS), 23.Fernando Mamede (POR), 62.Karel Lismont (BEL), 94.Dan Dillon (USA), 113.Steve Binns (ENG), 115.Domingo Tibiduiza (COL), 144.Troy Billings (USA); DNF-Gelindo Bordin (ITA); Team:1.Ethiopia 134, 2.USA 161

Senior Women(5km):1. Maricica Puică (RUM) 15:56, 2.Galina Zakharova (URS) 15:58, 3.Grete Waitz (NOR) 15:58, 4. Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) 16:04, 18.Lynn Williams (CAN), 20.Tina Krebs (DEN), 24.Rosa Mota (POR), 25.Brenda Webb (USA), 32.Nan Doak (USA); Team: 1.USA 52, 2.England 65;

Junior Men(8km):1.Pere Casacuberta (ESP), 12.Pat Piper (USA), 16.Simon Gutierrez (USA), 21.Ron Harris (USA), 23.Dan Foley (USA), 29.Dennis Cullinane (USA), 48.William Mangan (USA): Team: Ethiopia

1990–Running in her 5th World Cross Country Championships (2nd in 1986, 4th-1987,1988, 6th-1989), Hall of Famer Lynn Jennings, leading from the start, won the first of her three consecutive World titles on a picturesque course in the foothills of the French Alps (Aix-les-Bains). Said the winner, “The only way to win international cross-country races is to go out hard. Today my hard was harder than anyone else’s”.  Princeton grad Jennings, who would win nine U.S. X-Country titles, wore a black ribbon on her left shoulder in memory of her grandfather, who died on the day she left for France.

Morocco’s Khalid Skah (34:21) won the Men’s race in a close finish over the Kenyan duo of Moses Tanui (34:21) and Julius Korir (34:22). Kenya’s John Ngugi, the 4-time defending champion, finished 20th after being among the leaders in the early stages of the race.

            Jennings writes about how running saved her life in 2014

Other Notable/U.S. Finishers

Senior Men(12.2km):5.William Mutwol (KEN), 7.Domingos Castro (POR), 9.Paul Kipkoech (KEN), 11.Salvatore Antibo (ITA), 15.Martín Fiz (FRA), 23.Ed Eyestone (USA), 37.Aaron Ramirez (USA), 38. Abel Antón (ESP), 59.Bob Kempainen (USA), 72.Frank O’Mara (IRL), 79.Bill Taylor (USA), 110.Terry Croyle (USA), 133.Bill Mangan (USA), 134.Dennis Leck (USA), 171.Mark Coogan (USA), 177.Craig Dickson (USA); Team:1.Kenya 42, 2.Ethiopia 96;

Senior Women(6km):2.Albertina Dias (POR), 3.Yelena Romanova (URS), 15.Derartu Tulu (ETH), 17.Annette Sergent (FRA), 21.Aurora Cunha (POR), 30.Angela Chalmers (CAN), 33.Sabrina Dornhoefer (USA), 34.Elaine van Blunk (USA), 44.Shelly Steely (USA), 52.Leah Pells (CAN), 103.Leanne Martin (USA), 117.Janet Smith (USA); Team:1.Soviet Union 37, 2.Ethiopia 75…5.USA 112;

Junior Men(8km):1.Kipyego Kororia (KEN) 22:13, 2.Richard Chelimo (KEN) 22:14, 3.Fita Bayissa (ETH) 22:24, 4.Ismael Kirui (KEN) 22:32, 6.Matthew Birir (KEN), 12.Salah Hissou (MAR), 13.Stefano Baldini (ITA), 19.Mark Carroll (IRL), 20.Mark Johansen (USA), 37.John Coyle (USA), 49.Jason Bunston (CAN), 74.Jeff Campbell (USA), 76.Paul Stoneham (USA), 93.Jason Mohr (USA), 104.Jamey Harris (USA): Team:1.Kenya 12, 2.Ethiopia 27

Junior Women(4.4km):1.Liu Shixiang (CHN) 14:19, 2.Yan Qinglan (CHN) 14:20, 12.Melody Fairchild (USA), 16.Tegla Loroupe (ETH)72.Deena Drossin-Kastor (USA), 90.Becky Spies (USA), 96.Shelly Smathers (USA), 105.Amy Giblin (USA);  Team:1.Kenya 20, 2.Japan 44;

HOF Bio (Jennings)