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

This Day in Track & FieldApril  26


1902—Georgetown’s Arthur Duffey won the 100-yard dash at the Penn Relays for the 3rd year and tied the World Record of 9.8 that he already shared with many others.

Penn set a World Record of 8:04.8 on the 2-mile relay.

From the NY Times Archives: The eighth annual intercollegiate and interscholastic relay races, under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania Athletic Association, were held on Franklin Field this afternoon and attracted an enthusiastic crowd of almost 10,000 spectators. It was the greatest event of its kind ever held in America. The entry list included more than 125 colleges and schools, while more than 600 athletes competed in several events.




1913—Batons were used for the first time at the Penn Relays. Prior to this, runners would simply touch hands at each exchange. (Or was it 1914?).

Michigan set a relay record of 8:00.0 in the 2-mile Relay, and Illinois became a 1st-time winner at Penn with its victory in the Mile Relay (3:22.8).

The NY Times referred to the meet as the “Pennsy” Relays!


1924—The World Record in the 2-mile Relay was broken for the 3rd year at the Penn Relays. Boston College’s turn this year was running 7:47.6 with a lineup of William McKillop, Pat Mahoney, Louis Welch, and Tom Kavanaugh (the last two legs might have been reversed). It was the first win at Penn for B.C.

Syracuse’s Chet Bowman won the 100-yard dash (10.0) over a field that included the University of Edinburgh’s Eric Liddell, who went on to win Olympic gold in the 400-meters in Paris. Liddell was one of the central figures in the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire. Liddell had finished 2nd in the 220y the previous day to Johns Hopkins’ Lou Clarke.

Ohio State’s Larry Snyder won the 120-yard Hurdles (15.4) and later became the head coach at his alma mater. Among the athletes he coached (all Olympic gold medalists) were Jesse Owens, Mal Whitfield, and Glenn Davis.


NY Times: https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1924/04/27/101592794.pdf?pdf_redirect=true&ip=0



1941—Roy Cochran anchored Indiana to victory in the Mile Relay (3:16.4) and ran the 3rd leg on the winning 2-Mile Relay(7:41.1) at the Penn Relays. One of the best 400m-hurdlers in the world at the time, he missed out on an opportunity to compete at the 1940 and 1944 Olympics that were canceled due to World War II. After serving in the Navy in the Pacific during the war, he finally got a chance to compete at the 1948 Olympics and came away with gold medals in the hurdles and the 4×400 Relay. He was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2010.

Les MacMitchell, who had equaled the World Record (4:07.4) for the Mile during the indoor season, anchored NYU to wins in the 4-Mile (17:29.8/4:09.4 split), Sprint Medley (3:28.4), and Distance Medley (10:05.5) relays.

Indiana’s Archie Harris, the National H.S. Record holder in the event (175-8  ½ [53.55+]), set a Relays Record of 167-1/8 (50.91+) in the Discus.



HOF Biohttps://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/roy-cochran




1947—Illinois won 3 titles at the Penn Relays—the 440y, 880y, and Distance Medley Relays, with Herb McKenley anchoring the 2 sprint races and running the lead-off ¼-mile in the DMR. Illinois was denied a 4th title when freshman Reggie Pearman outdueled McKenley on the anchor leg to lead NYU to victory in the Mile Relay (3:18.8). McKenley lost some ground when he ran into NYU’s 3rdrunner at the final exchange. He quickly caught up to Pearman and had the lead coming off the final turn, only to have Pearman run him down in the homestretch.

Billy Mathis, who ran the lead-off leg on the winning sprint relays, also won the 100-yard dash in 9.9. He was the 1946 NCAA Champion in the 100.

Curt Stone and Horace Ashenfelter, a future Hall-of-Famer, ran the middle legs as Penn State won the 4-Mile Relay in 17:32.6. Stone would become a 3-time U.S. Olympian at 5000-meters, while Ashenfelter won the gold medal in the Steeplechase at the 1952 Olympics.

NYU’s Irv “Moon” Mondschein was one of 5 men who tied for 1st-place in the High Jump (6-4 [1.93]) and he was the outright winner of the Long Jump (23-9  3/8 [7.24]). He would become a 3-time U.S. Champion in the Decathlon, place 8th in that event at the 1948 Olympics, win 2  NCAA titles in the High Jump, and would enjoy a long coaching career, which included a 23-year stretch at the University of Pennsylvania.

New Hampshire’s Boo Morcom, returning to Penn after serving in the military during World II, won the Pole Vault    (14-3 [4.34+]) 4 years after winning his 2nd consecutive title in 1943. As reported yesterday (4-25), he became a legend in Masters competition, competing in many events into his 70s. He was a coach at Penn for 35 years and later coached at his alma mater.

Results  https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1947/04/27/87741962.html?pageNumber=153





1952—For the 2nd year in a row, Manhattan’s “Fab 4” of John O’Connell, Joe Schatzle, Lindy Remigino, and Bob Carty swept the 440y (42.0) and 880y (1:26.2) races at the Penn Relays. Carty earned a 3rd Relays watch as a  member of the winning Mile Relay team

( 3:22.2). Running the 3rd leg on that team was Lou Jones, who would set World Records in the 400-meters in 1955 (45.4) and 1956 (45.2). Remigino went on to win Olympic gold in the 100 and the 4×100 in Helsinki later in the year. He was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2017.

Lockbourne Air Base, with the great Mal Whitfield running a modest 2:02.5 split 3rd leg on a muddy rain-swept track, won the

2-Mile Relay (8:01.6). Lockbourne AB also got a win in the Shot Put  (52-11 [16.13]) from Otis Chandler, who would become the 4th member of his family to become publisher of the Los Angeles Times! (Military personnel were allowed to compete in the college events during World War II and the Korean conflict).

Army’s Dick Shea won the 2-mile (9:33.5) for the 3rd year in a row. He set a relay record of 9:11.9 in 1951. He was killed in action while serving as acting company commander in the second battle of Pork Chop Hill in Korea on July 8, 1953, and awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Today, Army’s outdoor track and field complex bears his name.

Eventual NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner NY,  a hurdler from Williams College, became an ardent supporter of the meet as a member of the “Friends of the Penn Relays”.

Results   https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1952/04/27/93366728.html?pageNumber=206




1958—For the 3rd year in a row, Ron Delany, the 1956 Olympic Champion at 1500-meters,  anchored Villanova to wins in the Sprint Medley and Distance Medley at the Penn Relays, as well as running the 3rd leg on the winning Mile Relay!

Michigan State won the 2-Mile Relay as Willie Atterberry dove at the finish line to hold off the late charge of Manhattan’s Tom Murphy, who later lamented that he misjudged the shortness of the Penn homestretch. He used that photo of the finish (see below) as motivation for the rest of his career! Atterberry was one of the best 400-meter hurdlers in the U.S. during his career, winning the National title in 1962.

Both teams were timed in 7:30.1, 8-1/2 seconds faster than the previous Relays Record of 7:38.6 that was set by a Tom-Courtney-anchored Fordham team in 1954!

Indiana’s Greg Bell, another gold medalist from the 1956 Olympics, won the Long Jump(25-8  ¼[7.83]) for the 3rd year in a row.

Attendance: 43,618

Results  https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1958/04/27/89087592.html?pageNumber=236