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 (WaltMurphy44@gmail.com), used with permission

This Day in Track & Field–March 19

1960–Bill Nieder got the first of his three World Records in the Shot Put with his toss of 63-10 (19.45) in Palo Alto, CA. The record only lasted a week before Dallas Long threw 64-6  ½ (19.67) on March 26, but Nieder took it back a week later with a monster throw of 65-7 (19.99) on April 2 at the Texas Relays in Austin.

Nieder, who went on to win Olympic gold later in the year, became an actor in Hollywood and had an embarrassing debut as a professional boxer in 1961. “When you throw an iron ball, it doesn’t come back at you.”

WR Progression: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men’ s_shot_put_world_record_progression

SP Battlehttps://www.si.com/vault/1960/04/25/589341/the-shotput-explosion


1960–San Jose State’s Ray Norton ran 20.6 in Berkeley to equal the World Record for 200m/220y, shared by Andy Stanfield, Thane Baker, Bobby Morrow, and Germany’s Manfred Germar.

WR Progressionhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men%27s_200_metres_world_record_progression

1978— With the IOC and the IAAF still resisting calls to add longer races for women to the Olympic program (the longest event at the 1976 Games in Montreal was 1500 meters), the inaugural Avon International Marathon, organized by running pioneer Kathrine Switzer, drew many of the world’s best female distance runners to a steamy Atlanta. The success of this race (and subsequent editions), along with the help of others, eventually led to the addition of the women’s 3000 and Marathon at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Marty Cooksey was the winner of this first race, which continued through 1984 (2:46:26).




1983Arizona State junior Leslie Deniz broke the American Record in the Discus twice on her home field in Tempe, first throwing 210-4 (64.10) and then 211-1 (64.34). Lorna Griffin set the previous mark of 207-5 (63.22) in 1980.

Deniz, who would win NCAA and U.S. titles in June (and Olympic silver in 1984), would set three more ARs over the next 13 months, finishing with a best of 213-11 (65.20) in 1984.


1983–Seb Coe ran 2:18.58 in Oslo to set a World Indoor Record for 1000 meters.