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.

This Day in Track & Field–May 19

(c)Copyright 2024-all rights reserved. It may not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.

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

1956-Duke’s Dave Sime ran 9.3 for the first time at the Carolinas AAU meet in Raleigh to equal the World Record for the 100-yard Dash (he would run 9.3 twice more).   The record for the metric version of the 100 was also equaled on this day when Bobby Morrow ran 10.2 at the South USA meet in Houston. Morrow would go on to win 3 gold medals (100, 200, 4×100) at the Melbourne Olympics later in the year, while a previous injury forced Sime to pull up in his heat of the 100 at the U.S. Trials. Both men are members of the National Hall of Fame.

    Sime, who would win a silver medal in the 100 at the 1960 Olympics,  was an “accidental” sprinter who excelled in baseball, football, and basketball in high school. Working out with the track team to get in shape for baseball during his freshman year at Duke, his speed caught the attention of track coaches Bob Chambers and Al Buehler. “I never saw anything like him,” Buehler said.  “He could really move. We timed him in the 100-yard dash on a field that wasn’t groomed, and he ran the distance in 9.8 seconds.  We knew he could do better after some training, and we were ecstatic.  He had enormous talent and intelligence and was a hard worker.”  Read more at the link below.

NY Times Obituary:


Sime & The CIA!:


WR Progression (100m)https://worldathletics.org/records/by-progression/16647

1963—Arizona State’s Henry Carr ran 20.4 in Tempe, Arizona, to set an American Record for 200 meters. The following year, Carr would win Olympic gold in the 200 and 4×400 in Tokyo.


Francie Larrieau, Pacific Coast Track Club, cropped, Wolf Reihartdt archive, photographer unknown

1973—Francie Larrieu regained the American Record in the Mile from Doris Brown when she ran 4:38.7 at the Bakersfield Classic.

Larrieu set the first of her six American Records in the event when she ran 4:41.5 on June 5, 1971, only for Brown to lower the mark to 4:41.3 the next day and then to 4:39.6 on June 12.

Dwight Stones set many records during his Hall-of-Fame career, but he might have set one here that won’t appear in any stats book!

Locked in a tie at 7-2  ¾ (2.205?) with Robert Joseph after his first 8 jumps, Stones then needed an additional 9 attempts (for a total of 17!) before winning the long jump-off with a 3rd-jump clearance of 7-1 (2.16). (From T&F News)

            Fittingly, Larrieu-Smith and Stones competed for Tom Jennings’ Pacific Coast Club and were inducted into the National Hall of Fame together in 1998.

Hall of Fame Bios




1975—Germany’s Karl-Hans Riehm had quite a day in Rehlingen, Germany. He set 3 World Records in the Hammer, and all six of his throws were better than the previous record of 251-6 (76.66)

His series:

251-08      76.70WR

254-05      77.56WR

251-11      77.10

257-06      78.50WR

253-02      77.16

253-06      77.28

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


1978–Jumping at the PAC-8 Championships in Corvallis, Oregon, UCLA senior Mike Tully thought he had broken the World Record in the Pole Vault when he cleared 18-8  ¾ (5.71m), but his celebration was short-lived. While officials were trying to remeasure the height for confirmation (per IAAF rules), the crossbar fell off, and when it was replaced, the official mark became 18-8 (5.69m)!



Jan Merrill, Grete Waitz, photo by Mark Shearman

1979—Jan Merrill ran 15:33.8 at the Lite Invitational in Durham, NC, to break Kathy Mills’ American Record of 15:35.52. Joan Benoit came in second in 15:43.1.

Edwin Moses won the 400-meter Hurdles in 47.69, the 4th-fastest time in history at the time.

Candy Young, a junior at Beaver Falls (PA) H.S. won the 100-Meter Hurdles in 13.34, breaking her own American Junior and High School Records of 13.45.