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–February 23

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

1957–Villanova’s all-star lineup, which included two recent gold medalists from the 1956 Olympics, beat out the New York Athletic Club for the team title at the AAU Championships held at NY’s Madison Square Garden.

Ron Delany, who won the 1500-meters in Melbourne, won the Mile (4:07.0) for the 2nd year in a row, while 400m-champion Charlie Jenkins won the 600y (1:10.4) over a field that included Tom Courtney, the Olympic 800-meter champion. Villanova also got a win from Phil Reavis in the High Jump (6-9  ½ [2.07]) and a 2nd-place in the Pole Vault from Don Bragg, who would win the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics.

Delany’s return to Ireland after the Olympicshttp://www.si.com/vault/1957/01/21/599204/a-new-irish-hero-goes-home


1963—Just 8 days after running 3:58.6 at the NYAC Games to break his own World Indoor Record in the Mile, Jim Beatty returned to Madison Square Garden and came close to setting another record with his winning time of 3:59.0 at the U.S. Indoor Championships. It was his 3rd straight Mile title (1961-1963). Behind Beatty, who led every step of the way, were Jim Grelle and Bill Dotson, both of whom just missed joining the still-exclusive sub-4 minute club with their respective times of 4:00.0 and 4:00.4.

January 1962 cover of Track & Field News, the Bible of the Sport, courtesy of TFN

The Soviet Union’s Igor Ter-Ovanesyan (LJ/26-6  ½ [8.09]) and Valeriy Brumel (HJ/7-3  ½ [2.22+]) continued their winning ways over their American rivals, Ralph Boston (25-9  ¾ [7.86]) and John Thomas (7-0 [2.13+]).

Jack Yerman, a gold medalist in the 4×400 at the 1960 Olympics, ended his career by winning the 600 yards in 1:09.4, just .1s off the World Record.

The meet drew another good crowd of 16,213 fans to the Garden. Sitting in the front row at the finish line was General Douglas MacArthur!  While others were trying to get his autograph, Beatty interrupted his victory lap to get MacArthur to sign his program! (see video link)

Mile Video (great post-race coverage)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBMQEZAbfmA


1986–Johnny Gray ran 2:04.39 in San Diego to set a World Record for 1000-yards.

 Russia’s Galina Chistyakova set a modest World Record of 44-6  ¾ (13.58) in the Triple Jump, which hadn’t yet become a staple on the international circuit.

1986—Holland’s Nelli Cooman set a World Record of 7.00 for 60 meters in Madrid. She ruled indoors during her peak years, winning two World (1987,1989) and six European (1985-1989, 1994) titles at 60-meters. Her 7-flat time is still =#15 on the All-Time World Performers’ List.