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  (wmurphy25@aol.com), used with Permission. 

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

This Day in Track & FieldMarch  15


1968–UTEP’s Bob Beamon set a World Indoor Record of 27-2  ¾ (8.30) in the Long Jump on the opening day of the 4th NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit’s Cobo Arena (3-15,16). Not done for the night, he also won the Triple Jump      (52-3  ½ [ 15.93+]).

Full recap tomorrow(3-16)



1969—Sophomore Karl Salb (66-8  ¼ [20.32]) led a Kansas sweep in the Shot Put to lead the Jayhawks to the team title at the 5thNCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit. Finishing 2nd and 3rd were teammates Steve Wilhelm (61-0 [18.59] and Doug Knop (60-9  ½ [18.53]). They would repeat the sweep the following year. It was Salb’s 1st of his 3 wins in the event.

The meet featured a few medalists from the previous year’s Olympics in Mexico City.

San Jose State’s Lee Evans and Villanova’s Larry James had won gold and silver in the 400-Meters, but James had the upper hand here in the 440y (47.3-47.6). It was the 2nd of 3 straight wins for James. Evans and James were the slowest of the 8 qualifiers and were relegated to the so-called “slow” section!

Kansas senior Jim Ryun, who won the silver medal in the 1500-Meters, needed a last-ditch lunge to edge Villanova’s Marty Liquori to win his 3rd straight title in the mile, with both being timed in 4:02.6. It had been a terrific battle between the two future Hall-of-Famers, with Liquori saying after the judges had picked Ryun as the winner, “I thought I had won, because my nose was almost down on the boards I was leaning so much”. There was some controversy about Ryun’s participation  in the Mile after he had dropped out of the 2-mile the previous night (see below).

Villanova’s Erv Hall, the silver medalist in the 110m-Hurdles, won the indoor version (60y) in 7-flat (7.0).

Another resident of “Speed City” (San Jose State), John Carlos, the bronze medalist in the 200-Meters, won the 60y in 6-flat (6.0).

USC’s Bob Seagren, the gold medalist in the Pole Vault, lost here on misses to Miami-Ohio’s Les Smith, with both clearing 16-6 (5.03).

Back to that 2-mile. Ryun, bothered by a sore knee and blisters sustained during his Mile heat in the afternoon, had limped off the track after 3 laps, prompting Villanova coach Jumbo Elliott to lodge an “honest effort” protest, asking that Ryun be disqualified from the Mile final. The protest was denied, and Ryun apologized to Liquori for dropping out of the race. Said Liquori, who finished 6th (8:54.4) in the race, “He said that was all he could do. Above all, he said he didn’t want to lose a friend”.

In Ryun’s absence the race was won by USC’s Ole Oleson (8:45.2), who, along with Yale’s Frank Shorter (8:45.3), passed Villanova’s Dick Buerkle (8:45.3) right before they hit the finish line.

(From Jim Dunaway’s coverage in T&F News)



1975—After a slow first ½-mile (2:08), Villanova’s Eamonn Coghlan (4:02.0) had no trouble overtaking UTEP’s Wilson Waigwa (4:03.5) to win the Mile on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit. 3rd was BYU’s Paul Cummings(4:06.2).

With Craig Masback on the anchor leg (1:52.4), Princeton (7:35.0) edged Fordham (7:35.4) to win the 2-mile relay.

Arnold Grimes won the Triple Jump (3-14) with a Collegiate Record of 55-4 (16.865?) to help UTEP (36) win the team title.

Other notable winners:

60y-Hasley Crawford (Eastern Michigan) 6.0

440y-Mike Sands (Penn State) 48.5

600y-Stan Vinson (Eastern Michigan) 1:10.2

880y-Mark Enyeart (Utah State) 1:52.4

1000y-Keith Francis (Boston College) 2:08.4

2-Mile-Nick Rose (Western Kentucky

High Jump-Greg Joy (UTEP) 7-2 (2.18+)

Pole Vault-1.Earl Bell (Arkansas State) 17-2 (5.23+)



1980—Sophomore Suleiman Nyambui won the Mile/2-Mile double (4:05.26/8:36.82) at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the 2ndyear in a row to help UTEP win the team title for the 5th time in the last 7 years (UTEP-76, Villanova 42). He would go on to win the silver medal in the 10,000-Meters at the Moscow Olympics later in the year.

Other notable winners/events:

60y-1.Curtis Dickey (Texas A&M)…3.Stanley Floyd (Auburn) 6.14

1000y-Don Paige (Villanova) 2:05.80

High Jump—Franklin Jacobs (FDU) 7-4  ¼ (2.24)

Long Jump—Carl Lewis (Houston) 26-4  ½ (8.04)

Shot Put—Michael Carter (SMU) 67-7  ½ (20.61)



1981–Willie Banks jumped 56-7  ¾ (17.26m) at UCLA to set the first of his seven American Outdoor Records in the Triple Jump. (He would set an American Indoor Record less than a week later in Tokyo (3-21, 56-5  ¼ [17.20m])

1983–Long-time prep aficionado Jim Spier, with the assistance of Mark Young, the women’s coach at Yale, the host school,  was responsible for staging the ”Record Assault”, the first post-season indoor high school meet. The result was 3 National Records, with sophomore Cathy Schiro (Dover,NH), a future Olympic marathoner,  breaking her own marks with times of 16:20.8 at 3-miles and 16:52.48 at 5,000-meters, and Columbia (NJ) running 4:04.36 to set a new standard in the girls Sprint Medley (Felicia Blake, Kim Duke, Quay Whitlock, Pam Riley-2:15.6).


1986—Arkansas (M/3rd straight) and Texas(W/1st) won the team titles at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

As reported yesterday, Pittsburgh’s Lee McRae won the 1st of his 3 straight titles in the 55-Meter dash on Friday     (3-14) and set a World Record of 6-flat(6.00).

Other notable winners/events:


Long Jump-Kenny Harrison (Kansas State) 26-9  ¼ (8.16/5th in the Triple Jump!)


55m-1.Gwen Torrence (Georgia) 6.62, 2.Michell Finn (Florida State) 6.72

       The meet was marred by the realization that the required curb was not in place for the races on the oval, meaning the track was short! That also meant that the 59.81 that Arkansas’ Roddie Haley ran to win the 500-meters couldn’t be accepted by the sport’s statisticians as a World Record (Official World Indoor Records weren’t recognized by the IAAF until 1987, and the 500 still isn’t a “Record” event).



1991–Fans in most countries probably looked at it as “just” another World Record, but those of us who still believe in the world of feet and inches marveled at another barrier being broken as Ukraine’s great Sergey Bubka, competing at a meet in San Sebastian, Spain, became the first man to clear 20-feet (6.10m), indoors or outdoors. It was the 2nd of four world records that Bubka would set during the 1991 indoor season.

Sports Illustrated Vault: http://tinyurl.com/Bubka20