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–March 7

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

1925–Paavo Nurmi ran 4:12 flat to set a World Record in the Mile at the 174th Infantry Armory in New York.

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

1959—With less than two laps to go in the Mile at the Knights of Columbus meet in Madison Square Garden, Hungary’s Istvan Rózsavölgyi sprinted from 4th to 1st and quickly opened up a 5-yard lead on Ron Delany.  The Irishman, the 1956 Olympic champion at 1500 meters and a Garden favorite had closed the gap as they entered the final turn and was able to move ahead in the short run-in to the finish line to capture his 30th straight win at a distance! His time of 4:01.4 broke his 2-week-old World Indoor Record of 4:02.5, which was set on the same track at the U.S. Indoor Championships. Rózsavölgyi was also under the old record with his time of 4:01.8.

Delany was mobbed by well-wishers as soon as he crossed the finish line (see video link).

A 2nd World Indoor Record was set by Australia’s Al Lawrence, who won the 2-Mile in 8:46.7

            Other highlights:

            Two eventual Hall-of-Famers met in the 60y-Hurdles, with Hayes Jones (7.1) edging Lee Calhoun, who would win

    his 2nd Olympic gold medal in the 110m-Hurdles the following year in Rome. Jones, the bronze medalist in 1960,

    would win his own gold medal in 1964.

            Josh Culbreath (1:10.9) won the 600y over Charlie Jenkins (1:11.1), the 2-time Olympic gold medalist in

    1956 (400,4×400), and Tom Murphy won the 1000y in a quick 2:09.3, just .5s off Arnie Sowell’s WIR of




Mile Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T05KblDEDQ

Madison Square Garden indoor track site, from Chrome Postcard (you can purchase at https://www.stadiumpostcards.com/madison-square-garden-c-29-dt-37128-c/), from Stadium Postcards


1964—Yale’s Wendell Mottley won the 600y in 1:09.3, just missing his week-old World Record by .1s, and Villanova beat Manhattan by one point to win its 3rd straight team title at the IC4A Championships in Madison Square Garden.

  Other winners included Fordham’s Sam Perry (60y-6.2), Villanova’s Tom Sullivan (Mile-4:11.8), LaSalle’s John Uelses (PV-16-1  ¼ [4.91]), and NYU’s Gary Gubner (SP-61-9  ¾ [18.84]). (From T&F News). Uelses was the first man to clear 16’ indoors in 1962 while he was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

  Competing for his native Trinidad & Tobago, Mottley would go on later in the year to win the silver medal in the 400-meters at the Tokyo Olympics and would add a bronze medal in the 4×400 relay.

NY Times Coverage


1970—Sweden’s Kjell Isaksson set a World Indoor Record of 17-6  ¼ (5.34) in Gothenburg, Sweden.