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.

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

This Day in Track & Field–May 18 

1895—Yale’s “Wild Bill” Hickok set the first official American Record in the Shot Put with his toss of 44-1  ½ (13.45) at Harvard. Hickok, a 3-time IC4A champion (1893-1895), was a guard on the Yale football team and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.



1912—Stanford’s George Horine cleared 6-7 (ratified as 6-6  ¾ [2.00]) at the  Western Olympic Trials, which were held at Stanford. It was the first World Record in the High Jump recognized by the IAAF.

        Horine would win the bronze medal at the Stockholm Olympics later in the year. Check the links below for information on Horine’s technique.

Wiki Bio: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Horine


OG Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd1kuIhtNOs

Santa Ana H.S.

WR Progressionhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_high_jump_world_record_progression


1957–A couple of legends-to-be (in different sports) led Kansas to its 6th straight Big-7 title. Sophomore Wilt Chamberlain, who would become one of the NBA’s all-time greats, won the High Jump with a clearance of 6-5 (1.96), while teammate Al Oerter, who had captured the first of his four Olympic gold medals six months earlier in Melbourne, won the Shot Put (53-6  1/2/ 16.32) and Discus (179-10/54.81).

        Chamberlain, who competed in many events at Overbrook H.S. in Philadelphia, was a big fan of the sport and was often spotted in the stands at meets around the country. Read Lynda Huey’s account of how she and Tracy Sundlun were  there at the beginning of “Wilt’s Wonder Women Track Club”.


1957–Duke’s Dave Sime ran the 3rd 9.3 of his career in Raleigh,NC, to once again equal the World & American Records in the 100-yard dash

Appreciating a Legendhttp://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=210765725


1958—Russia’s Vasiliy Kuznetsov became the first man to score more than 8,000 points (1950 tables) in the Decathlon, totaling 8,014 points in Krasnodar, Russia. The previous World Record of 7,985 was set by Rafer Johnson in 1955.



1962–A big day at the Coliseum Relays for two of the sport’s greats.  With two of his four Olympic gold medals already under his belt, Al Oerter got his long-awaited first (of four) World Records and broke the 200-foot barrier with his winning throw of 200-5 ½ (61.09m+). Jay Silvester, who held the previous record of 199-2 (60.72m), finished 2nd (198-2/ 60.40m). Oerter didn’t have much time to enjoy his new-found status as Soviet Vladimir Trusenyov threw  202-3 (61.64m) less than a month later.

60th Anniversaryhttps://worldathletics.org/heritage/news/al-oerter-discus-world-record-usa

Dallas Long, who had won the bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics (and would win the gold in 1964), won the Shot Put with a toss of 65-10 ½ (20.08m) to regain the World Record from Bill Nieder (65-10 [20.06+]). Both Oerter and Long are members of the U.S. T&F Hall of Fame:

Somewhat overshadowed by the two records was a classic matchup in the Men’s Mile. New Zealand’s Peter Snell,  who had already established himself as the world’s best 1/2-miler (1960 Olympic gold, World Record earlier in the year), moved into new territory when he established a World Record of 3:54.4 in the Mile in January. Facing him would be the man he feared most in this “new” event for him–Dyrol Burleson, the American Record holder (3:57.6) and the world’s #1-ranked miler in 1961.

Snell and “Burly” were content to follow Cary Weisiger through the 3/4-mile split (3:02.1), and the race came down to a sprint over the last 220-yards. Burleson was clocked in 26-seconds for his final 1/2-lap, which would have beaten most mortals, but Snell was quickly becoming a “god” in the sport, and his masterful 24.5 brought him across the line first in 3:56.1, an American All-Comers Record, while Burleson just missed his AR with his runnerup time of 3:57.9.

Sports Illustrated Vault:


1974—17-year-old Joni Huntley, a senior at Sheridan H.S., had become the first American woman to clear 6 feet in the High Jump while winning the U.S. Indoor title earlier in the year and became the first to do it outdoors in Eugene to win her 3rd Oregon state title. She also won the 100y (11.3) and the 100-meter hurdles (14.6).

Huntley was a 9-time U.S. Champion (5 indoors, 4 outdoors) and won the bronze medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles (she was 5th at the 1976 Olympics). She jumped a lifetime best of 6-5  ½ (1.97) in L.A. and is currently a teacher at Forest Park School in Portland, Oregon.

She was honored, along with fellow HJ’er Dwight Stones, at the NYAC the night before the 2016 Millrose Games.

Dwight Stones-Joni Huntley




1980–Daley Thompson  scored 8622 points in Götzis, Austria, to break Bruce Jenner’s World Record by 4 points.  It was the first of Thompson’s four World Records in the event.

WR Progressionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decathlon_world_record_progression