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.

This Day in Track & Field–February 7

 (1st 15′ Vault, Stones-No WR!, M.Everett Breaks McGrady’s Mark, ’09-NB, J.Simpson, Hobbs Kessler/Born On This Day-Dalilah Muhammad, Trey Hardee/ R.I.P.-Kuznyetsov, Kuts, Moon Mondschein/Blazing Saddles)


1925–Paavo Nurmi ran 9:08.0 at the Wilco A.A. Carnival at the Thirteenth Regiment Armory in Brooklyn to break Joie Ray’s World Indoor Record in the 2-mile (9:08.4).

Paavo Nurmi, photo by Wikipedia

1942–Cornelius “Dutch” Warmerdam, a charter member of the Hall of Fame, won the Millrose Pole Vault with a leap of    15-3/8 (4.58) to become the first man to clear the 15-foot barrier indoors.

NYU’s Leslie MacMitchell won the Wanamaker Mile in 4:11.3. (He would win again in 1946).



Hall of Fame Bio:


1953–Mal Whitfield ran 56.6 for 500 yards at the NYAC Games at Madison Square Garden to break George Guida’s World Record of 56.9. (2nd of the 6 WRs he would set during the 1953 indoor season)

Mal Whitfield won gold at 800m and 4x400m in London 1948. In WW2, he was a tail gunner for the Tuskegee Airmen, photo by Wikipedia Commons.

1975Two days after jumping over the host during an appearance on the Johnny Carson show, Dwight Stones was shocked to find out he hadn’t set his 3rd  World Indoor Record of the season at the L.A. Times meet.

            After a “screaming” clearance at 7-4 (2.235?), Stones had the bar raised to 7-5  ½ (2.275?), 1/4’’ above his 3-week-old record of 7-5  1/4.  After missing on his first attempt, Stones then cleared cleanly, producing what he later called “THE best jump I’ve ever jumped in my life”.

            His celebration was short-lived, however. When officials conducted their required re-measurement, they discovered that the height of the bar was only 7-5  3/8, which had to be rounded down to 7-5  ¼ (2.27). So, instead of a new World Record, an irate Stones only got credit for tying his previous mark!

            There was no such controversy in the Women’s High Jump, with Joni Huntley adding an inch to her American Indoor Record with her clearance of 6-2  ¼ (1.89). Huntley had set an American Outdoor Record of 6-2  ¾ (1.90) two weeks earlier in New Zealand.

            In a star-studded Men’s Mile, Filbert Bayi (3:59.6) held on to win over John Walker (3:59.8), Rod Dixon (4:01.1), Byron Dyce (4:01.3), and Steve Prefontaine (4:03.4).