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.

by Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service  (wmurphy25@aol.com)

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

This Day in Track & FieldMarch  14

(Delany, ’70 NCAA, ’81 NCAA, ’81 AIAW, ’86 NCAA, ’93 WIC, The “X-Man”, Casey Combest/Dueling H.S. Nationals, Last meal atCoogan’s/Born On This Day-Bumbalough, Kim Conley, Tessa Sanderson/R.I.P.- Dorothy Odam)

1958—Villanova’s Ron Delany, spurred by competition from steeper Phil Coleman and an announced 3/4-mile split of 3:01 (it was actually 3:05.3!), got his first World Indoor Record in the Mile, running 4:03.4  at the Chicago Daily News meet to break the previous mark of 4:03.6, set by Denmark’s Gunnar Nielsen at the 1955 Millrose Games.

       “People expected me to break the record all year. I am not a machine. I can’t be turned on and off. I just felt good at the end of three-quarters and I decided I could do it.”

Delany would lower the record twice more in New York the following year, first to 4:02.5 at the U.S. Championships and then to 4:01.4 at the NY Knights of Columbus meet. Jim Beatty finished a distant 4th in 4:15.6 in Chicago, who would end Delany’s reign as record-holder when he ran the first indoor sub-4 (3:58.9) in 1962!



New York City, Madison Square Gardens, in the 1950s, from sport stadium postcards

1964—John Uelses, the first man to clear 16 feet indoors,  jumped 16-4  ½ (4.99m) in Cleveland to regain the American Indoor Record in the Pole Vault.


1970—A repeat 1-2-3- sweep in the Shot Put enabled Kansas to win the team title over Villanova (27-1/2 to 26) at the 6th NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit.

For the 2nd year in a row, Junior Karl Salb (67-2  ½ [20.48+) was the winner over teammates Steve Wilhelm (64-7  ½ (19.69+) and Doug Knop (61-1  ½ [18.63). It was Salb’s 2nd of 3 wins in the event.

Michigan State’s Herb Washington equaled the World Record in the 60y-dash with his winning time of 5.9.

Villanova’s Larry James won the 440y and anchored the Wildcats to a win in the Mile Relay (3:15.3). Villanova had been favored to win the team title, but suffered upsets in the Distance Medley (3rd in a blanket finish with unheralded Manhattan and Missouri-9:49.2/9:49.3/9:49.3) and the Mile (Marty Liquori-4:03.6) finished 2nd to William & Mary’s Howell Michael-4:03.1).

The homegrown foursome for Manhattan, the last team to qualify for the meet, was John Lovett (1:54.1/Power Memorial), Mike Kenny (49.6/Nazareth), Al Novell (2:58.4/Power), and Tom Donahue (4:07.1/Bishop Ford). All of them were products of the CHSAA (Catholic H.S. league). The last three were all “walk-ons” for the Jaspers.

The race had to be re-started after Lovett fell on the opening leg, and Donahue’s late spurt gave him enough of a lead to hold off a challenge from Villanova’s Chris Mason, who was passed right before the finish by Missouri’s Mike Kelly.

Harvard’s Ed Nosal (63-6  ¼ [19.36]) and Keith Colburn (2:09.9), the respective winners of the Weight Throw and the 1000y, wore Yale shirts on the victory stand to protest the NCAA’s decision to bar the fellow Ivy League school from post-season competition because of a violation by the school’s basketball team.

Other notable winners/events:

600y-Rick Wohlhuter (Notre Dame) 1:09.5

880y-Mark Winzenried (Wisconsin) 1:51.7

2-Mile-1.Jerry Richey (Pittsburgh) 8:39.2…3.Dick Buerkle (Villanova) 8:40.9, 4.Gary Bjorklund (Minnesota) 8:42.6

60y-Hurdles-Thomas Hill (Arkansas State) 6.9

Triple Jump—Milan Tiff (Miami/Ohio) 51-11  ½ (15.83+)

Results   (for subscribers) NY Times Coverage  Day 1   Day 2  Wikipedia


1975  South Africa’s John Van Reenen set a World Record of 224-8 (68.48) in the Discus in Stellenbosch