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.

by Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service (WaltMurphy44@gmail.com), used with permission

This Day in Track & Field/X-Country–March 23

1963–Arizona State sophomore Henry Carr, a future Hall-of-Famer, set World Records for 200 meters and 220 yards by running 20.3 in a triangular meet on his home track in Tempe, Arizona. He also won the 100-yard dash in 9.5, finished 2nd in the Long Jump (23-9 [7.24]), anchored the winning 440y-relay, and ran a 46.0 2nd leg on a Mile Relay that set a Collegiate Record of 3:07.2. Carr went on to win gold medals in the 200-meters and 4×400 relay at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.  HOF Bio(1997)https://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/henry-carr

1963–In Memphis, John Pennel, who was inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame in 2004, bettered the World Record in the Pole Vault with his clearance of 16-3 (4.955m?)., but, for unknown reasons, the AAU never submitted that mark and a subsequent jump of 16-4 (4.98m) on April 10 to the IAAF for official recognition.

HOF Biohttps://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/john-pennel


1963—4 American Records were set or tied at the U.S. Women’s Indoor Championships, which were held at French Field House in Columbus, Ohio:

220y–Marilyn White 24.8

440y—Sue Knott 57.0

880y—Leah Ferris  2:13.6

70y-Hurdles—Janell Smith 9.2(=AR)

Other winners included:

50y—Willye White 5.9

100y—Edith McGuire 11.1

High Jump—Eleanor Montgomery  5-5  ½

Long Jump—19-4  (2. Willye White 19-2, 3. Martha Watson 18-9)

1968–Doris Brown (4.5k/15:00) won her second straight International/World X-Country title in Blackburn, England, and led the U.S. to its first team title (a 1-point win over England/19-20).

Tunisia’s Mohammed Gammoudi (35:25.4) beat England’s Ron Hill (35:26.8) to win the Men’s title.

Other notable/U.S. finishers

Senior Men(12.1km):10.Ian McCafferty (SCO), 18.Lachie Stewart (SCO), 27.Bill Clark (USA), 30.Michel Bernard (FRA), 31.Gaston Roelants (BEL), 34.Herb Lorenz (USA), 36.Don Lakin (USA), 39.Tom Heinonen (USA), 66.Donal Walsh (IRL), 69.Bill Reilly (USA), 82.Moses Mayfield (USA); Team: England

Senior Women(4.5km):2.Vicki Foltz (USA), 5.Linda Mayfield (USA), 11.Cheryl Bridges (USA), 18.Natalie Roche (USA), 26.Laurie Schutt (USA)

Junior Men(7km):1.John Bednarski (ENG) 20:59.6, 2.Pierre de Freyn (BEL) 21:00.6…6.Ian Stewart (ENG), 24.Karel Lismont (BEL); Team: England


1986–The U.S. men got top-15 finishes from  Pat Porter (6th), John Easker (10th), Ed Eyestone (13th) and Bruce Bickford (15th) at the World X-Country Championships in Neuchatel, Switzerland, but had to settle for the bronze medals behind Kenya, which ended runnerup Ethiopia’s 5-year winning streak and began its own 18-year run at the top (1986-2003). Kenya was led by John Ngugi, who won the 1st of his 5 World Cross titles!

Other members of the U.S. team (6 scored)–Alan Scharsu (79th), 2-time World Champion Craig Virgin (1980-1981/81st), Jeff Drenth (87th), Randy Reina (99th), and Keith Brantly (DNF).

In the Women’s race, England’s Zola Budd (14:49.6), running in her typical barefoot style on a slippery course, easily retained her title as American Lynn Jennings (15:07.8) took the silver medal. Winning the bronze medal was France’s Annette Sergent, who would win gold in 1987 and 1990. Nan Doak was 6th, but the U.S. finished one place out of the medals in 4th. With only one finish chute, there was a pileup at the end of the race, leading to some confusion in the team scoring. New Zealand was originally announced as the winner, but officials corrected themselves and rightly crowned England as the team champion. Ethiopia made a modest debut in the Women’s race, finishing a distant 17th in the team standings.

Other notable/U.S. finishers

Senior Men(12k):2.Abebe Mekonnen (ETH), 5.Paul Kipkoech (KEN), 6.Pat Porter (USA), 9.Alberto Cova (ITA), 10.John Easker (USA), 13.Ed Eyestone (USA), 14.Rob de Castella (AUS), 15.Bruce Bickford (USA), 22.Steve Moneghetti (AUS), 23.Gelindo Bordin (ITA), 25.Steve Binns (ENG), 27.Mohammed Kedir (ETH), 31.Domingos Castro (POR), 48.Markus Ryffel (SWI), 79.Alan Scharsu (USA), 87.Jeff Drenth (USA), 99.Randy Reina (USA), 127.Karel Lismont (BEL), 129.John Treacy (IRL), 140.Martti Vainio (FIN ), 157.Gerry Deegan (IRL); DNF-Keith Brantly (USA), Fernando Mamede (POR)

Senior Women(4.65km): 5.Rosa Mota (POR), 22.Aurora Cunha (POR), 28.Paula Ivan (RUM), 3Betty Springs (USA) , 38.Yvonne Murray (SCO), 39.Sabrina Dornhoefer (USA), 41.Charlotte Teske (FRG), 54.Leslie Seymour (USA), 67.Brenda Webb (USA), 80.Hassiba Boulmerka (ALG), 120.Angela Chalmers (CAN): Team: England 65, 2.New Zealand 67;

Junior Men(7.75km):1.Melese Feissa (ETH), 7.Brahim Boutayeb (MAR), 9.William Mutwol (KEN), 10.Peter Rono (KEN), 15.Scott Fry (USA), 18.Mark Dani (USA), 24.Chris Borsa (USA), 35.John Nuttall (ENG), 37.Harry Green (USA), 47.Reuben Reina (USA),  68.Khalid Skah (MAR), 76.Greg Whiteley (USA); Team:1.Ethiopia13, 2.Kenya 32;


Videos(Parts 1-4):





1991—Sergey Bubka jumps 20-1 (6.12m) in Grenoble to set his third World Indoor Record in the Pole Vault in eight days. He cleared 20 feet even (6.10m) on March 15 and 20-1/2 (6.11m) on March 19.