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This Day in Track & Field History, Bob Beamon, Eamon Coghlan, Sergey Bubka, by Walt Murphy News and Results Service

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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: ) 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  (, used with Permission. 

This Day in Track & FieldMarch  15


1968–UTEP’s Bob Beamon set a World Indoor Record of 27-2  ¾ (8.30) in the Long Jump on the opening day of the 4th NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit’s Cobo Arena (3-15,16). Not done for the night, he also won the Triple Jump      (52-3  ½ [ 15.93+]).

Full recap tomorrow(3-16)


1969—Sophomore Karl Salb (66-8  ¼ [20.32]) led a Kansas sweep in the Shot Put to lead the Jayhawks to the team title at the 5thNCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit. Finishing 2nd and 3rd were teammates Steve Wilhelm (61-0 [18.59] and Doug Knop (60-9  ½ [18.53]). They would repeat the sweep the following year. It was Salb’s 1st of his 3 wins in the event.

The meet featured a few medalists from the previous year’s Olympics in Mexico City.

San Jose State’s Lee Evans and Villanova’s Larry James had won gold and silver in the 400-Meters, but James had the upper hand here in the 440y (47.3-47.6). It was the 2nd of 3 straight wins for James. Evans and James were the slowest of the 8 qualifiers and were relegated to the so-called “slow” section!

Kansas senior Jim Ryun, who won the silver medal in the 1500-Meters, needed a last-ditch lunge to edge Villanova’s Marty Liquori to win his 3rd straight title in the mile, with both being timed in 4:02.6. It had been a terrific battle between the two future Hall-of-Famers, with Liquori saying after the judges had picked Ryun as the winner, “I thought I had won, because my nose was almost down on the boards I was leaning so much”. There was some controversy about Ryun’s participation  in the Mile after he had dropped out of the 2-mile the previous night (see below).

Villanova’s Erv Hall, the silver medalist in the 110m-Hurdles, won the indoor version (60y) in 7-flat (7.0).

Another resident of “Speed City” (San Jose State), John Carlos, the bronze medalist in the 200-Meters, won the 60y in 6-flat (6.0).


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