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 15

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

1890–The first Boston A.A. meet was held in Mechanics’ Hall in Boston (14 laps to the mile). A crowd of 5,000 witnessed a series of handicap events, which included a Mile that drew 50 entries. The winner was Gil Collamore, who ran with a handicap of 85 yards.

(From Wally Donovan’s All-Time Indoor T&F Record Book/1962).

Early track spike cobbled by Adi Dassler, circa 1924-1928, photo by adidas Communications

1963—Trailing Tom O’Hara by 2 yards at the bell at the NYAC Games in Madison Square Garden, Jim Beatty responded with a blistering kick over the last ½-lap to regain the lead and win the Mile in 3:58.6, breaking his year-old World Indoor Record of 3:58.9. O’Hara finished 2nd in 3:59.2 to become the first man to run indoors for under 4 minutes in a losing effort!

As noted on February 13, O’Hara would return to the meet the following year and lower the record by a full two seconds by running 3:56.6, with Beatty as the official starter.


Record Progressionhttp://www.tf-stats.com/world_indoor_men.php


1964–17-year-old Gerry Lindgren, a senior at Rogers H.S. (Spokane, WA), stole the show with his front-running battle against Australia’s Ron Clarke in the 2-mile at the Cow Palace in Daly City, CA. Clarke won the race in 8:36.9, while Lindgren, who would make the U.S. Olympic team in the 10,000 meters later in the year, ran an amazing 8:40.0 to set a U.S. High School record that would stand for 49 years until Edward Cheserek ran 8:39.15 at the 2013 Millrose Games!. En route, Lindgren also established a H.S. Record for 3000 meters, 8:06.3(Broken by Cheserek’s 8:05.46)



(From Jack Shepard’s High School Track)

*-junior, **-sophomore

8:39.15      Edward Cheserek’ (St. Benedict’s, Newark, New Jersey)          2013

8:40.0        Gerry Lindgren (Rogers, Spokane, Washington)            1964

8:40.70     *Lukas Verzbicas’ (Orland, Sandburg Park, Illinois)         2011

8:42.60      Jackson Heidesch (Dowling, West Des Moines, Iowa)    2023

8:42.66      ————**Cheserek’                                                  2011

8:42.7        Jeff Nelson (Burbank, California)                                 1979

8:43.16      ————*Cheserek’                                                    2012

8:43.24      ————*Verzbicas’                                                   2011

8:43.24      Connor Burns (Southern Boone, Ashland, Missouri)       2023

8:44.45      ————Heidesch                                                      2023

**10 performances by 6 performers**

8:45.16     *Brodey Hasty (Brentwood, Tennessee)                       2017

8:45.19      Alan Webb (South Lakes, Reston, Virginia)                  2001

8:46.08      Noah Affolder (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)                         2017

8:47.11      Kole Mathison (Carmel, Indiana)                                  2023

Oversized track:

8:43.2        Dave Merrick (Lincoln-Way, New Lenox, Illinois)            1971

8:45.6        Craig Virgin (Lebanon, Illinois)                                    1973

1974—Some of the biggest names in the sport were on hand for the opening meet of the professional  International Track Association’s  2nd season at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island.

Kenya’s Ben Jipcho was the star of the show. Running indoors for the first time, he gained some experience on the 11-lap board track by winning the 2-mile (8:34.0) comfortably over George Young (8:45.8) and Gerry Lindgren (8:47.2). He came back less than an hour later in the Mile, the meet’s featured event, and held off Jim Ryun for his 2nd win of the night (4:03.3-4:03.9).

Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Bob Hayes won a special 40y-dash over Cliff Branch (4.4 for both), Rod Milburn won the 60y-hurdles (7.0), Henry Hines (25-11 [7.90]) won the Long Jump over Bob Beamon 25-6  ¾ (7.79),and Norm Tate (25-0 [7.62]), and Karl Salb (66-10  ¾[20.39]) won the Shot Put over Brian Oldfield (66-10  ½[20.38]) and Randy Matson    (64-11  ¼ [19.79]).

Each winner earned a whopping $500.00!

NY Times Coverage