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 10
Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), used with permission.
(c)Copyright 2024-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.
1920—Dartmouth’s Earl “Tommy” Thomson was a double winner at the Millrose Games, finishing first in the 70-yard High and Low Hurdles.
Missouri’s Jackson Scholz won the 70-yard dash over Loren Murchison and Charlie Paddock, while Joie Ray won the 4th of his 7 Wanamaker 1-1/2 mile races (the precursor to the Wanamaker Mile).
Representing his native Canada, Thomson would win the gold medal in the 110-meter Hurdles at the Antwerp Olympics later in the year, with Murchison and Paddock winning gold in the 4×100 relay(Paddock also won silver in the 200).
Jackson Scholz was the first Olympian to compete in 3 games, 1920, 1924, and 1928. He went on to become a pulp fiction novel writer. photo: Public Domain
Scholz would go on to become a 3-time U.S. Olympian, winning gold in the 4×100 in 1920 and gold and silver, respectively, in the 200 and 100 in 1924. He was portrayed in the iconic movie Chariots of Fire.
1962–Two world indoor records fell at the L.A. Times Invitational. Jim Beatty became the first man to run a sub-4 minute mile indoors when he ran 3:58.9 to break the previous mark of 4:01.4, which was set by Irishman Ron Delany in 1959. The second mark fell in the 1000 yards as Peter Snell ran 2:06.0 to smash Ernie Cunliffe’s previous mark of 2:07.9.
Given a heads-up by his coach, Mihály Iglói, that Beatty would be shooting for sub-4, ABC’s Wide World of Sports was on hand to cover the potentially historic race. Sadly, I could only hear the audio description of the race since my TV chose to go dark during the following day’s broadcast! (I had avoided reading any news accounts of the race).
January 1962 cover of Track & Field News, the Bible of the Sport, courtesy of TFN
Getting help from Los Angeles T.C. teammates László Tábori and Jim Grelle, Beatty took the lead for good with three laps to go, passing the 3/4-mile split in about 3:01.2 and then sprinting away to history.
From “Bring Back the Mile”
Beatty Looks Back
Race Video(the audio is slightly ahead of the video):
Mike Fanelli took a closer look at the 60th anniversary of Beatty’s historic race.