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This Day in Track & Field–February 2

1928–Germany’s Otto Peltzer, the first man to hold the World Outdoor Records in the 800m/880y and the 1500-meters simultaneously, was a winner at 1000 yards before 15,000 fans at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden. The starter of the race was none other than the colorful Mayor of N.Y. City—Jimmy Walker.

Inexperienced on a board track, Peltzer had to fight his way through the field before breaking away for the win. He was rewarded for his effort with a rousing ovation from the crowd and a rendition of the German National Anthem from the house band!

Lloyd Hahn (4:18.6) won the Wanamaker Mile for the 2nd year.



Early track spike cobbled by Adi Dassler, circa 1924-1928, photo by adidas Communications

2007—The 100th edition of the Millrose Games, the world’s most famous indoor meet,  was held at Madison Square Garden in front of 15,000 fans.

Among the highlights:

Bernard Lagat won the 5th of his record 8 Wanamaker Miles in 3:54.26

Russia’s Yelena Isinbaeva cleared 15-9  ¾ (4.82) in the Pole Vault (the highest ever in the U.S.)

40-year old Gail Devers won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.86

    A gala celebration was held the night before, drawing many of the meet’s past stars.






Wanamaker Mile Winnershttp://www.runningpast.com/wanamaker_mile.htm

2013 —Excited to be lining up next to Tirunesh Dibaba on the starting line of the 2-mile at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury Crossing(M.A.), 16-year-old Mary Cain let the great Ethiopian runner have her own way once the race got underway.

Dibaba won easily in 9:13.17(still the 8th-fastest performance indoors), while Cain was following the instructions of coach Alberto Salazar, who had told her, “I don’t care what your time is today, I just want you to compete and do the best that you can. And we don’t worry about times. I told her to forget about the first couple of girls. Your job is to compete in the ‘second race.’” And compete she did, finishing 3rd in the race (closely behind former Villanova star Sheila Reid (9:37.97) and running 9:38.68 and an intermediary 9:04.51 for 3k to smash Melody Fairchild’s 22-year old National H.S. Records of 9:55.92 and 9:17.4!

It was the 2nd record-breaking race in a row for Cain, a junior at N.Y.’s Bronxville H.S., who had set new standards in the mile (4:32.78) and 1500 (4:16.11) a week earlier at the New Balance Games at N.Y.’s Armory.

The Men’s distance race was also won by an Ethiopian, 18-year-old Hagos Gebrhiwet, who set a World Junior Record of 7:32.87 in the 3000 meters. It was the fastest time ever run in the U.S. at the time. Finishing 2nd was Galen Rupp, whose time of 7:33.67 fell just short of Bernard Lagat’s American Record of 7:32.43.