Walt Murphy is one of the finest track geeks that I know. Walt does #ThisDayinTrack&FieldHistory, an excellent daily service providing the true geek’s 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.

1938--Glenn Cunningham won his 5th Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in front of another capacity crowd of 16,000 in Madison Square Garden, His time of 4:11.0 matched the Meet Record that he already shared with Joe Mangan. Cunningham, content to sit through a slowish ½-mile split of 2:07, went on to win by 12 yards over Archie San Romani, who was followed closely by future and past winners of the race—Chuck Fenske(1940) and Gene Venzke(1932).

Sprinters and hurdlers had to run 3 rounds, with World Records being set in both events.

After running 6.2 in his heat of the 60y, Columbia’s Ben Johnson matched the WR of 6.1 in his semi-final (a record he already shared with others, including Jesse Owens) and took sole possession of the record when he ran 6-flat(6.0) in the final.

Glenn Cunningham trading card, from Kansas Historical Society

Allan Tomlich tied the World Record of 7.4 in the 1st round of the 60y-Hurdles, and that time was matched by Forrest “Spec” Towns in his semi-final race. Towns, the 1936 Olympic gold medalist in the 110m-Hurdles, ran another 7.4 in the final, beating Tomlich, the 1937 U.S. Outdoor Champion(Towns was 3rd), by 4 feet.

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1938/02/06/96796282.html?pageNumber=71

Resultshttps://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1938/02/06/96796337.html?pageNumber=75

2016—18-year-old Vashti Cunningham, a senior at Bishop Gorman H.S. in Las Vegas, outdueled American Record holder Chaunté Lowe to win the High Jump in Albuquerque, winning on fewer misses as both cleared 6-4  ¾ (1.95).

Cunningham first cleared 6-3  ½ (1.92) to break the 32-year old High School Record of 6-3 (1.905?) that was set by Lisa Bernhagen (Wood River,Idaho) in 1984 before raising the record to 6-4  ¾.

The daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham went on to win U.S. and World Indoor titles the following month, raising her H.S. and American Junior Records to 6-6  ½ (1.99) at the U.S. Nationals.

Vashti Cunningham, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, June 23-26, 2022, photo by Kevin Morris

She has since medaled at the 2018 World Indoor Championships (silver) and the 2019 World Outdoor Championships (bronze). She was 10th at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships, 6th at the 2021 Olympics, and 11th at the 2023 Worlds.

2022—When preps Alan Webb and Drew Hunter ran their first sub-4 minute miles at NY’s Armory, they finished behind more experienced runners in their respective races. Not so with Colin Sahlman, the linchpin of California’s powerhouse Newbury Park team.

Competing in the open mile at the Dr.Sander Invitational at the Armory, he not only broke 4-minutes for the first time, running 3:58.81, but he won the race over the likes of Conor Holt (4:00.01), Jonah Koech (4:00.24), Ryan Hill (4:00.39), and Robby Andrews (4:01.17)!

Coach Sean Brosnan with Colin Sahlman, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto

Moving into 3rd place with a ¼-mile to go, Sahlman took the lead heading into the final turn and stormed away from the rest of the field down the home stretch, running 27.8 for his final 200-meters. He became the 13th U.S. prep to break 4 minutes and moved into 3rd place on the all-time indoor list, trailing only Hobbs Kessler (3:57.66) and Hunter (3:57.81), with Webb (3:59.86) now sitting in the #4 position. Four of the five indoor sub-4 prep times (Hunter also ran 3:58.25) have been run at the Armory!

Newbury Park’s incredible depth was also on display in the Invitation 3000, which took place shortly before the mile went off. Junior Lex Young finished 4th with a time of 7:57.06, falling just short of the National H.S. Record of 7:56.97 that was set by his brother Nico in 2020. Finishing 8th in 8:01.72 was another junior, Aaron Sahlman, Colin’s younger brother, who is now #4 on the all-time H.S. Indoor list. (The race was won by Binghamton University’s Dan Schaeffer in 7:53.74).

Armory Coverage

Resultshttps://results.armorytrack.com/meets/11201

Race Video

Post-Race Interviewhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEqJNmZDRQ0

Analysishttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLwXP_O2a2E

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