This Day in Track & Field–April  11

1914—19-year old Harry “The Horse” Liversedge, a senior at San Francisco Polytechnic H.S., threw the javelin 184-9  ½ (56.32) at Stanford to not only smash the previous High School Record but also the official American Record of  169-10  ¼ (51.77), which was set by Bruno Brodd in 1913.

         Less than a week earlier, Liversedge had thrown 171-3  ¼ (52.20) in an exhibition event at Stanford. Later in the year, Liversedge enrolled at Cal-Berkeley, where he played rugby and football in addition to competing in T&F. He was the 1916 IC4A champion in the Shot Put and went on to win the bronze medal in that event at the 1920 Olympics.

         In addition to his athletic achievements, Liversedge also had a stellar military career, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in the Marine Corps. He led the invasion of Iwo Jima during World War II, and a Marine patrol under his command raised the flag on Mount Suribachi. Read more at the links below.

Cal’s Most Heroic Olympian:

Marine Obituary:

H.S. Record

1959–The World Record of 63-2 (19.25m) in the Shot Put, shared by Parry O’Brien and Dallas Long, was bettered by Long and Bill Nieder on this day, but neither got credit for a new record. Competing in separate “exhibitions”, Long and Nieder threw 64-5  ½ (19.645m?) and 63-8  ½ (19.415m?), respectively.

1981–Willie Banks bettered his American Record in the Triple Jump with his winning leap of 56-9  ½ (17.31) in San José,CA.

1987–Djibouti’s Ahmed Saleh (2:10:55) repeated as the men’s individual champion on the first day of the 2nd World Cup Marathon, held on the same course in Seoul, Korea,  that would be used for the 1988 Olympic race. The Soviet Union’s Zoya Ivanova (2:30:39) won the women’s race the following day(4-12).

            NBC had planned to send a crew, including announcers Charlie Jones and Frank Shorter, to cover the event since it would help serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for their Olympic broadcast the following year. But I wasn’t part of that plan until Jones convinced NBC to bring me along, since I had been part of the network’s T&F production team at the 1983 and 1987 World Championships and would serve in the same role at the 1988 Olympics.

            Part of the trip involved a stop at the radio station that was part of the Armed Forces Network, where Jones and Shorter were interviewed prior to the races.