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This Day in Track & Field–March 4

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

1925–Competing at the Fifty-Fifth Indoor Games of the 106th Infantry at its armory at Atlantic and Bedford Avenues in  Brooklyn, Finland’s Paavo Nurmi broke his own World Indoor Records for 1-1/8 miles(4:55.8) and 2000-yards (4:59.6).

1967—Getting wins from Charlie Messenger in the 2-mile (8:59.8), Erv Hall in the 60y-hurdles (7.4), its mile relay            ( 3:19.2), and Dave Patrick in the Mile (4:09.4), Villanova easily won the IC4A team title over Army (36-18) at NY’s Madison Square Garden. Patrick, who had earlier run heats in both events, also contributed a 1:51.7 anchor to the Wildcats’ 2nd-place 2-mile relay team.  Showing no effects from his busy weekend, Patrick would return the following week to win the 880y at the NCAA Championships, beating Jim Ryun and setting a World Record of 1:48.9!

    Among the other winners were Yale’s Mark Young in the 600y (1:11.5) and Notre Dame’s Peter Farrell in the 1000y (2:12.5). Both went on to have long and distinguished coaching careers, Young at his alma mater, Farrell at Princeton. Now retired, both serve as officials at the various Ivy League/Heps Championships.

A close 2nd to Young in the 600 was Colgate’s Tom Albright. The two might have been teammates since, as Young explains, “1963/64 was my senior year in high school. Colgate was recruiting me to play football, but I spoke with Jack Warner, the track coach. Thanks (and thankfully) to my high school track coach’s guidance, I chose to go to Yale, whose coach (Bob Giegengack) was the head Olympic coach that year. In ’67, which I think was Jack’s last at Colgate, I won the IC4A 600-yard title over Albright. We might have been teammates! My senior year, Jack was at Cornell where he succeeded a pretty good hurdler named Glenn Davis. He and I played the “what if” game many times over the years that our Ivy League coaching careers overlapped”.

      This was the last time the IC4A Championships would take place at the “old” Madison Square Garden (8th Avenue & 50th St.) after being held there continuously since 1934! The meet would be held at the present Garden from 1968-1970 before moving to Princeton in 1971, where it stayed, with a few exceptions, until 1997.

IC4A Sites:

102nd Engineers Armory/now the New Balance T&F Center (1922-1931)

258th Field & Artillery Regiment Armory-NY (1932-1933)

“Old” Madison Square Garden (1934-1967)

“New” Madison Square Garden (1968-1970)

Princeton (1971-1986, 1988-1989, 1991-1992, 1994-1995, 1997)

Harvard (1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2008-2010, 2015)

Cornell (1998)

Reggie Lewis Center (1999, 2001-2002, 2004)

Boston University (2003, 2005-2007, 2011-2014, 2016-?)


1989–Sparks flew on the 2nd day of the World Indoor Championships in Budapest as Kenyan Paul Ereng (800), Cuban Javier Sotomayor (HJ), and the Netherlands’ Elly Van Hulst (3000) set World Records in their respective events.

In the 800, U.S. Champion Ray Brown, who had lost all of his Virginia school records to Ereng, set a torrid pace through 600-meters (24.58, 50.83, 1:17.98), with Ereng sitting in his usual position near the back of the pack.

World Indoor 1989 Champs Athlete Medal, photo courtesy of EBay

Even some of his most loyal fans, accustomed to watching him make up the biggest of gaps, just like he did in winning the Olympic gold medal in Seoul the year before, thought he was out of it. But Ereng, wearing his U.Va. singlet and a borrowed pair of shorts (there were no official Kenyan uniforms on hand), worked his magic again, sprinted down the backstretch, passing leader (and defending champion) Jose Luis Barbosa on the final turn on his way to the win and a world (and still collegiate) record of 1:44.84 (Sebastian Coe held the previous world mark of 1:44.91). Brown finished 5th (1:47.93), one place behind U.S. teammate Stanley Redwine(1:47.54).  

Ereng had been the head x-country coach at Texas-El Paso (UTEP) since the fall of 2003 before moving on to Texas A&M.

“Soto” won the High Jump with a clearance of 7-11 ½ (2.43) to match his then-outdoor world record, and Van Hulst set a new mark of 8:33.82 in the Women’s 3000.

WR Video(800): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-724HNIYJI

IAAF Results:



1995–Michael Johnson, who had run 47.43 (1990) and 46.70 (1991) while winning his first two U.S. Indoor titles in the 400 on the 11-lap track at Madison Square Garden in NY, showed in Atlanta what a difference a bigger track can make by winning his 3rd title in 44.63 to smash his previous World Record of 44.97. 44.63 is still the Championship Record.

Other records were set by Lance Deal in the Men’s 35-pound Weight Throw (WR/84-10  ¼ [25.86m]), Sheila Hudson in the Women’s Triple Jump (AR/46-8  ¼ [14.23m]), and Carlette Guidry in the Women’s 200 (AR/22.73).

NY Times Coverage