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.

This Day in Track & Field–March 5

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


(’66 USi, ’89 WIC, ’94-USi, Pompey, Sammy Watson/Birthdays-Orji, Erv Hall, Randy Matson/R.I.P.-John Belushi)


1864—British universities Oxford and Cambridge each won four events in the inaugural collegiate dual meet. The events contested were the 100-meter, 440-meter, mile, steeplechase, high jump, “broad”/long jump, 120-meter hurdles, and 200-meter hurdles.

1934—Under the guidance of coach Pete Waters, Manhattan College upset favored NYU to win its first IC4A team title as the meet moved to its new home in Madison Square Garden. All running events were conducted at metric distances (as they were for the next 2 years before the meet reverted to imperial distances).

One of the most exciting events of the night for the 15,000 spectators was the 1500-meters, which featured Princeton’s Bill Bonthron and Penn’s Gene Venzke, two of the premier milers of the 1930s. Bonthron (3:57.4) trailed Venzke by as much as 25 yards with only three laps remaining, but he quickly erased the deficit and went in front just as they hit the finish line together!

Waters would lead the Jaspers to 3 more IC4A Indoor titles (1935,1936,1940) and later become the NYAC coach.

N.Y. Times Coverage

1960—Dallas Long threw 63-7 (19.38m) in the Shot Put at the Southern Pacific AAU meet in Los Angeles to break Parry O’Brien’s World Outdoor Record (63-4[19.30m]). Long (2) and Bill Nieder (3) improved the world record five times during the year.

1960–Villanova edged Yale, 27-23 1/5, to win the IC4A team title as the Elis’ anchorman fell during the decisive mile relay. Among the individual winners were Villanova’s Frank Budd (60y-6.2), Boston University’s John Thomas (HJ/7-1/2 [2.15]), Yale’s Tom Carroll (1000y-2:12.2), and Dartmouth’s Tom Laris (2-mile/8:59.0). Former Manhattan stars Tom Murphy  (1320y-3:02.4) and Ken Bantum (S.P./56-1/4 [17.075m) won special AAU handicap events. (From T&F News).

1966–The U.S. Indoor Championships (March 4-5) moved from its customary home in N.Y. City to Albuquerque, New Mexico (the meet eventually moved back to N.Y. for many years), and fans were treated to a slew of World Records.

19-year-old Bob Seagren became the first man to clear 17 feet indoors when he won the Pole Vault with a jump of 17-1/4 (5.19). Finishing 2nd (16-6 [5.03]) was John Pennel, the previous record holder (16-10 [5.13m]).

Bob Seagren on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Art Walker jumped 54-9  ½ (16.70m) in the 5,100’ altitude to better his own record in the Triple Jump.

17-year-old prep Bill Gaines(Mullica Hills,NJ) ran 5.9 in his heat (3-4) to tie the World Record for 60 yards. Then, in a photo finish over Tennessee freshman Richmond Flowers, who also finished second in the 60-yard hurdles, Gaines won the final in 6.0.

The women were even more prolific in the record business, as Tennessee State Tigerbelles Edith McGuire (24.1) and 1964 Olympic 100-meter champ  Wyomia Tyus (6.5) set new records in the 220-meter and 60-meter races. Charlette Cook lowered the 440-meter record to 54.2, and Hungary’s Zsuzsa Szabó-Nagy improved the 880-meter mark to 2:08.6.

There was much finger-pointing as local organizers had to deal with domestic and international no-shows and a failed T.V. deal with CBS. Read Gwilym S. Brown’s cover story in the S.I. Vault for the details.

The Championships moved back to Albuquerque in 2010, remaining there through 2014, and were held again in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2023.

Sports Illustrated Vaulthttp://www.si.com/vault/1966/03/14/607881/soaring-above-snafus

1989–On the 3rd and final day of the 2nd World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Ireland’s Marcus O’Sullivan, the current head coach at Villanova,  won his 2nd of three World Indoor titles in the 1500-meters (3:36.64), with Jeff Atkinson taking the bronze and setting an American Record of 3:38.12. Mike Conley also won his 2nd straight title, winning the Triple Jump with a leap of 57-11 (17.65m).

            While visiting the arena upon our arrival in Budapest, I joined Jerome Ingram, a fellow member of the NBC team, in a hasty retreat when fans started besieging him for an autograph, thinking he was Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson!

IAAF Report