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 14

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


1925–The great Paavo Nurmi became the first man in history to run under nine minutes for 2-miles when he was clocked in 8:58-1/5 at the New York Athletic Club Inv. in Madison Square Garden.

Paavo Nurmi, photo by Wikipedia

1953–Two future Olympic gold medalists and Hall of Famers starred at the National H.S. Championships, held at NY’s Madison Square Garden on the same day as the Senior Championships. Milt Campbell (Plainfield,NJ) won the 60y-hurdles (7.2/4 hurdles) and High Jump (6-3), while Charlie Jenkins (Rindge Tech, Ma) won the 440y-dash (50.7).

Campbell had already won the silver medal in the Decathlon at the 1952 Olympics and went on to win the gold medal at the 1956 Games in Melbourne. Jenkins won two gold medals in 1956 in the 400 and 4×400 relay.

Tom Murphy, who would make the 1960 Olympic team in the 800-meters, anchored St.Augustine (Brooklyn,NY) to a win in the Mile Relay (3:26.3), and John Kopil (Bayonne, NJ), who had set a National H.S. Record of 4:20.1 earlier in the season, won the Mile (4:22.7).

Among the highlights at the evening’s Senior Championships, which many observers called “the greatest AAU of all”: Villanova’s Fred Dwyer (4:12.4) won the Mile over Fred Wilt (4:13.0); Harrison Dillard won the 60-yard hurdles for the 7th year in a row; Bob Richards won the Pole Vault (15-1/2 [4.585]); Horace Ashenfelter (13:47.5) broke Greg Rice’s meet record in the 3-mile; Mal Whitfield edged Ollie Sax to win the 600-yards(1:10.4 for both) and joined his Grand Street Boys teammates (Herb McKenley, George Rhoden, Andy Stanfield) on the winning sprint medley (440-100-220-330); Parry O’Brien won the Shot Put (55-10  ¾ [17.03]); Henry Laskau won his 6th mile-walk title.

(For Subscribers): https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1953/02/15/83808859.html?pageNumber=177

Forgotten Champion(Campbell):


Hall of Fame Bios:



1970–Returning to the same track in Louisville where he set his first world record in 1966, Martin McGrady ran 1:08.5 for 600 yards to better his previous mark of 1:09.0.

Sports Illustrated Vaulthttp://www.si.com/vault/1970/02/23/554092/mcgradys-game-deck-deal