Walt Murphy is one of the finest track statisticians 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–May 31

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

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

1880—Lon Myers, a National Hall of Fame charter member, set an American Record of 4:29.5 for the mile in New York.


1902–Georgetown’s Arthur Duffey ran 9-3/5s at the IC4A Championships at NY’s Berkeley Oval to ostensibly set a World Record in the 100-yard dash. Duffey had shared the previous mark of 9-4/5s with many others. However, based on a 1904(1905?) article that claimed that Duffey (and others) had received expense money that exceeded the allowable limit, the AAU branded him as a professional and retroactively wiped the mark (as well as all of Duffey’s other marks) from its record books (The IC4A followed suit).

There was speculation that the AAU took a strong position against Duffey because he had “…shoes specially made, rather than using equipment from the company headed by A.G. Spalding, a close friend of AAU President James L. Sullivan”. (From the Progression of IAAF World Records).

It took a while to get him in, but he was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2012

HOF Biohttps://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/arthur-duffey

NY Times Coverage:



Here is a link to great footage of Duffey running later in 1902 at a meet in England. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3J_KGwlwWY&feature=related  (From the Mitchell and Kenyon Collection.

1913—Cornell’s John Paul Jones, who was 4th in the 1500 at the 1912 Olympics, won the IC4A Mile at Harvard in 4:14.4, setting the first World Record in the event recognized by the IAAF.





1913–Sweden’s Alexis Ahlgren lowered the Marathon best to 2:36:06.6 in London.

WR Progression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_world_record_progression