Walt Murphy is one of the finest track geeks that I know. Walt does #ThisDayinTrack&FieldHistory, an excellent daily service providing the true geek’s 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–February 17

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

1932—Leo Sexton, who would go on to win Olympic gold in L.A., won the Shot Put at the NYAC Games in NY’s Madison Square Garden with a toss of 52-8  3/8 (16.06) to set a new World Indoor Record.

Sexton, who stood 6’-4”, 240 pounds (1.93, 109kg), was the 1930 IC4A Indoor champion while at Georgetown,  won the first U.S. Indoor title in the 35-pound Weight Throw(1932), was a 3-time U.S. Champion in the Shot Put (2xindoors-1931,1933; 1x-outdoor-1932), and a 3-time U.S. Outdoor champion in the 56-pound Weight Throw (1930-1932).





1934—Walter Marty, who set a World Outdoor Record of 6-8  5/8 (2.04) in the High Jump in 1933, added the Indoor Record to his resume by going higher (6-8  ¾ [2.05]) at the NYAC Games in Madison Square Garden. Finishing 2nd was George Spitz, who held the previous record of 6-8  ½ (2.04). Marty would win U.S. Indoor and Outdoor titles in 1934.

Wiki Biohttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Marty



1961—Ralph Boston, the 1960 Olympic gold medalist, broke the World Indoor Record for the Long Jump twice at the NYAC Games at Madison Square Garden. He first jumped 25-11  ½ (7.91) to better his previous best of 25-10 (7.87), then produced the first indoor 26-footer with a leap of 26-1  ¾ (7.97). Soviet Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, the bronze medalist in Rome the previous year, had problems with the short (for him) runway and fouled on all six of his jumps in his U.S. debut.

Another U.S.-Soviet duel panned out a little better, with World Record holder Valeriy Brumel getting the better of John Thomas in the High Jump. Brumel, the silver medalist in Rome (who was also making his U.S. debut) cleared 7-3 (2.21),  while Thomas, who finished a disappointing 3rd at the Rome Olympics, could only manage a height of 7-1 (2.16).

Sports Illustrated Vaulthttp://www.si.com/vault/1961/02/27/579583/valeris-high-high-jump

1963—Japan’s Toru Terasawa set a World Record of 2:15:15.8 in the Beppu Marathon



1968—Villanova set a World Indoor Record of 7:23.8 in the 2-mile relay at the Mason Dixon Games on Louisville’s spacious 220-yard banked wooden track. The lineup was Ian Hamilton (1:51.6), Charlie Messenger (1:53.2), Frank Murphy (1:49.8), and Dave Patrick (1:49.2).

The man who reinvented the HJ, Dick Fosbury, photo by UPI.

Oregon State’s Dick Fosbury wowed a new set of fans with his unique style, winning the High Jump (7-1  ¼ [2.165?]) a day after winning at the NYAC Games in New York.


1973—Francie Larrieu ran 4:35.6 in San Diego to set World and American Records for the Mile. Prep Debbie Heald set the previous mark of 4:38.5 in 1972

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