1915-2013: About the Track and Field Marks

I have reprinted Steve Brand’s 2012 track and field annual (2013 is being updated as this is written).

Steve and I have shared an equal love of high school track for many years.  My newspaper, the Evening Tribune published the first annual in 1965 and another was published in 1971.

Chula Vista's Tim Danielson was on cover in 1971.

Chula Vista’s Tim Danielson was on cover in 1971.

I attempted to list the top 50 performers in each  standard event, plus the leaders in other infrequently run events.

The research was a labor of love for me and I was thankful that my newspaper thought enough of the effort to publish my findings.

I left the newspaper business in 1972, at about the time Steve Brand arrived at The San Diego Union.

All marks from 1973 forward were compiled by Steve (probably 95 per cent  came after Brand took over the lists). I would be responsible for those before 1972.

Rancho Bernardo's Molly Grabill was featured in 2011.

Rancho Bernardo’s Molly Grabill was featured in 2011.

Brand has kept the all-time and yearly lists alive, verifying, authenticating, running down performances that weren’t published in the newspaper.  He has listed thousands of performances.

As track and field evolved, keeping and updating an annual list became more challenging.

Yards were replaced by meters when the United States went to the metric system. Age-old hand timing (just what it means, timed by the hand on a stopwatch) gave way to automatic timing.

You could wait up to an hour or more for results at major track meets in the past. With automatic timing,  results now are available as soon as the last runner crosses the finish line.

Dirt and crushed granite tracks were replaced by all-weather layouts. Diet and training became more important.

Steve Brand has kept pace with all of this and I hope he continues.  I’ll be around to help.

(The 1915 date in the title represents the first year of the California state meet, although marks were kept further back.  Leslie Dana of San Diego High was reported to have run a 10.1 100-yard dash and covered 440 yards in :51.6 in 1913).

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8 Responses to 1915-2013: About the Track and Field Marks

  1. Devon says:

    I just found this looking for previous issues on track and field records in San Diego County. How does one get a copy of the track and field guide? And do they come out every year? My husband, John Boyd, was in the 1971 guide as one of the top 880 runners. He has lots of stories about being on the Chula Vista track and cross country teams with Coach Taylor. It was a pretty good team that year and went down to the wire with Sweetwater for the Metro League title. He also battled Warren Racine of Coronado for the 880 best time finally beating him at their league meet and then again at the Metro League Individual championships. He also held the record at one time during the 1970 year. So that’s why I’ve been looking for back issues to get for him to relive his glory days!

    • Rick says:

      Are you referring to the Evening Tribune guides that we edited in 1965 and 1971? Tom Shanahan and then Steve Brand took over the gathering of marks for yearly track guides several years later. Both of mine were printed in small quantities and distributed to area high school track coaches. Your husband is listed in our 1971 edition, with a fast time of 1:57.5 in the 880, good for seventh in the San Diego Section finals. You might look on Ebay under high school track and field.I have some Kinko reprints of the ’71 book. Many of my ’65 and ’71 original copies were lost in our house fire in 2003. Good luck.

      • Devon says:

        Thank you! I will look there. After I sent you the post, I saw it online and there he was! By the way, I was the reason he didn’t do as well at the CIF finals as he’d been up all night at our prom! Ce la vie!

      • Rick says:

        Dates of Proms and San Diego Section track and field finals always were in conflict. Congratulations on still being together.

  2. Brian flyin Theriot says:

    Wow. Memories.

    Brian Theriot
    Newport. 1975 — 46.9
    1:45. 3:36. 3:56 mile

    • Rick says:

      I remember you, Brian. A rapid quartermiler for Newport Harbor. Saw you in the 1975 state meet in Balboa Stadium. Had you been checking our track-and-field section?

  3. Thank you both for the list and historical data.

    After all these years, being the 1st winner in women’s discus only to be surpassed and the win a blip on the radar of a life time reaching for the zest and accomplishment of ‘winning’.

    I’d say you two are winners, year after year.

    Thank you for sharing your passion and our history!

    • Rick says:

      You’re in a very select group, a state champion (1976 discus from Poway High). Congratulations. Your achievement became part of the lore of interscholastic sports for girls, coming on the heels of Title IX. You deserved to be able to compete and you excelled.

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