Thursday, May 23, 2024

This Day in Observe & Discipline-February 9, 2024, Ray Conger, Larry James, by Walt Murphy’s Information and Outcomes Companies

Walt Murphy is likely one of the most interesting observe geeks that I do know. Walt does #ThisDayinTrack&FieldHistory, a superb each day service offering the true geek’s tales about our sport. You possibly can try the service for FREE with a free one-month trial subscription! (e-mail: ) for your entire each day service. We are going to publish a couple of historic moments every day, starting February 1, 2024.


This Day in Observe & Discipline–February 9

by Walt Murphy’s Information and Outcomes Service  (, used with permission


1929–15,000 followers in Madison Sq. Backyard cheered wildly as Ray Conger handed the legendary Paavo Nurmi within the final ½-lap to win the Wanamaker Mile in 4:17.4. It was the primary of three consecutive Wanamaker wins for Conger, who dropped out of the 1500 ultimate on the 1928 Olympics.

He was handled to an indoor model of NY’s famed Ticker-Tape parades as he was showered with torn items of paper.

“When the American star broke the tape, sedate outdated gents have been slapping one another on the again. Strangers have been shaking fingers. The band performed “Cheers for the Crimson, White, and Blue”. (From the NY Occasions Archives)

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Journal cowl of the period that includes Paavo Nurmi

1957–Arnie Sowell ran 1:50.3 on the 50th Millrose Video games to set a World File within the 1/2-mile. He additionally acquired credit score for the World File for 800 meters (1:49.7). Ending 2nd to Sowell for the eighth straight time indoors was Tom Courtney, the 1956 Olympic Champion at 800 meters.

There was lots of pre-race hype concerning the impending duel, with Courtney, who had tied the 600y file the week earlier than in Boston, shifting up in distance to tackle his outdated rival.

 “Final week, I used to be stuffed with operating and tied the 600 file,” Courtney contemplated. “So, logically, I ought to run the 600 once more, however I would like the prospect to beat Sowell.”

  Sowell, in the meantime, was extra involved with on the brink of run the 1000y two weeks later on the U.S. Indoor Championships.

“Whereas it is probably not good to say no to satisfy administrators who invite you,” Sowell noticed on Millrose eve, “I’m not able to run my greatest but. To be truthful, I’m a bit uninterested in all of the speak about a rivalry. Generally it could aid you win, however it could additionally beat you. Courtney’s not the one to take the lead, but when the tempo is sluggish, I’ll should. If I’m out entrance and considering an excessive amount of about Tom behind me, I’ll be operating his race, not mine. Tonight,” Sowell concluded, “I’ll see a shoot-’em-up film, sleep late, learn within the afternoon, and within the race if the tempo is sluggish, I’ll take it.”

 And sluggish it was, with Sowell taking the lead midway by means of the race and holding off a late cost by Courtney to get the win and the information.

Milt Campbell, the 1956 Olympic Champion within the Decathlon, set a brand new World File of 7-flat (7.0) in his semi-final of the 60-Yard Hurdles and matched that point within the ultimate.

Eire’s Ron Delany (4:06.5), the winner of the 1500-Meters on the Melbourne Olympics,  gained the Wanamaker Mile for the 4th 12 months in a row.

Indoor veteran Reggie Pearman (1:11.0) gained the Mel Sheppard 600y by two yards over Villanova’s Charlie Jenkins, the 1956 Olympic Champion at 400 meters.

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1968–It was billed as the primary Madison Sq. Backyard Invitational, however it’s remembered extra because the final meet to be held within the “outdated” Backyard, which was situated in Manhattan at fiftieth Road and eighth Avenue. The promised look of Jim Ryun helped draw a stunning crowd of 15,000 for what was generally known as the USTFF (U.S. T&F Federation) meet, one which attracted collegians at a time when there was an ongoing dispute between the NCAA and the AAU. Ryun gave the gang what it got here for,  profitable the mile in 3:57.5, the third quickest ever run on the time. As an experiment, he competed the following day on the Michigan State Relays, the place he gained the Mile in 4:03.4.

            Villanova sophomore Larry James gained the 500y in an eased-up 56.0, simply in need of the World File of 55.5, then got here again with a 47-flat anchor 440 to steer the Wildcats to victory within the Mile Relay. Jim Dunaway wrote in T&F Information, “James (who excelled within the 180y- and 330y-hurdles at White Plains H.S. in NY) can be after a 400-meter hurdles Olympic berth”. In fact, James, who handed away late in 2008, went on to win the silver medal within the 400-meter on the Mexico Metropolis Olympics and gained a gold medal within the 4×400 relay.

            The winner of the 60-yard sprint was Nebraska’s Charlie Greene. Ending 2nd was one O.J. Simpson of USC.

Sports activities Illustrated Vault:

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