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 29 (Sadie Hawkins Day)

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

1964–Yale’s Wendell Mottley, running without spikes on Cornell’s 220-yard  flat track, ran 1:09.2 to set a world record for 600-yards. Mottley, competing for his native Trinidad & Tobago, went on later in the year to win a silver medal in the 400 and a bronze medal in the 4×400 relay at the Tokyo Olympics.


1964—Hayes Jones bid farewell to indoor competition by breaking his own World Record in the 60-yard hurdles with his winning time of 6.8 at the All-Eastern Games in Baltimore. Jones had earlier won his 6th U.S. Indoor title, and went on later in the year to win the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics(won the bronze in 1960)


1980–The 92nd U.S. Indoor Championships, held at NY’s Madison Square Garden, were the first conducted under the auspices of The Athletics Congress (TAC), the group established to oversee the sport of track and field. (Was formerly part of the Amateur Athletic Union-AAU).

Running out of the “slow” section, Craig Masback, who would later become the CEO of USATF, won the Mile in 4:02.2. Eamonn Coghlan won the 3-miles with an Irish Record of 13:02.8. Finishing 3rd was Bruce Bickford, who set an American Record of 13:06.7. Other notables included Franklin Jacobs, who took the High Jump with a leap of 7-4  ½ (2.25) as a hurting (ankle) Dwight Stones finished 4th; Curtis Dickey, winner of the 60-yard dash in 6.09; Rod Milburn, who won the hurdles in 7.09; and Earl Bell, who jumped 18-2  ¼ (5.545?) to win the pole vault. Prominent female winners: Evelyn Ashford-60y (6.76), Madeline Manning-880y (2:04.5), Stephanie Hightower (former USATF President)-60y-hurdles (7.4), and Louise Ritter-High Jump (6-3/1.905?).


2004–North Carolina’s Laura Gerraughty set a Collegiate Record of 62-9  ½ (19.14m) at the U.S. Indoor Championships, which were held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury Crossing, MA (she would improve the record to 62-10 [19.15m] two weeks later at the NCAA Championships)..

            A day after winning the 800, Jen Toomey added the 1500-meter title. She’s still the only woman to complete the 800-1500 double. Another doubler was Gail Devers, who won the 60 (7.12) and 60-hurdles (7.81) on the first day of competition (2-28).

            Stacy Dragila cleared 15-5 (4.70m) to win her 8th (and final) title in the Women’s Pole Vault.

Complete Resultshttp://www.flashresults.com/2004_Meets/indoor/usa_indoor/

2020(New)—Making the U.S. Olympic team at the Marathon Trials on a chilly and windy day on a challenging course in Atlanta were:

Men: Galen Rupp (2:09:20), Jake Riley (2:10:02), and Abdi Abdirahman (2:10:03), who edged Leonard Korir (2:10:06) for

the coveted 3rd spot on the team.

Jake Riley finished 2nd, Abdi Abdirahman in third, Galen Rupp (winner) greeted them,
2020 Olympic Trials Marathon, February 29, 2020, photo by Kevin Morris

Rupp, the silver medalist in the 10,000 in 2012 and the bronze medalist in the Marathon in 2016 qualified for his 4th Olympics, while Riley made his first U.S. team, and the 43-year-old Abdirahman qualified for his 5th Olympic team!

Women: Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:27:23), Molly Seidel (2:27:31), and Sally Kipyego (2:28:52), who qualified for her 2nd

Olympics, the first as a U.S. citizen for the native of Kenya…4.Des Linden (2:29:03)

It would be the first Olympics for Tuliamuk, also a native of Kenya, and Seidel, who was competing in her first



Top 10 and Other Notableshttps://www.nbcsports.com/olympics/news/olympic-marathon-trials-results

NY Timeshttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/sports/olympics/olympic-marathon-trials.html

Runner’s Worldhttps://www.runnersworld.com/news/a31083276/olympic-marathon-trials-results-2020/

HighlightsMen  Women

Since the pandemic would postpone the Olympics, the runners would have to wait 17 months before competing against the rest of the world in Sapporo in early August 2021.

Seidel would surprise everyone by winning the bronze medal in the women’s race, with Kipyego finishing 17th and Tuliamuk failing to finish.

Rupp, the bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympics, would finish 8th in the men’s race, followed by Riley (28th) and Abdirahman (40th).