WANT TO KNOW WHEN & WHERE the U.S. men’s track & field championships have annually been held? Here’s an historical compilation for you, listing not only the sites & dates of each meet but also providing a précis of what happened.
As with the meet results themselves, the material comes from two sources. For the meets of 1876–1985, the work was done by Bill Mallon & Ian Buchanan; for 1985 to the present the author was T&FN’s Glen McMicken.
The original Mallon/Buchanan introduction:
Following is a brief synopsis of the national championship meets and their highlights. We have tried to indicate in all cases the dates, sites, and exact venues, as well as details about weather and new records set.
First however, the history of the governing bodies for this meet must be mentioned. In 1870 the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) was by far the best known athletic club in the United States. That year they started their series of athletic meets, known as the Spring Games and Fall Games of the NYAC two per year.
Early in 1876, it was decided that a national championship meet was necessary and desirable and the best known meet of the year was chosen to serve that purpose. Thus, in late 1876, the 7th Annual Fall Games of the NYAC became the first national championship meet.
The NYAC sponsored the meet for three years. In 1879 however, a national organization had been formed, composed of many member athletic clubs and known as the National Association of Amateur Athletes of America (NAAAA). They sponsored the 1879 meet and ran the meet through 1887.
In 1888 a rival organization to the NAAAA, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) came into being, quickly became the more powerful group, and held a national meeting in that year. The NAAAA, however, refused to fold immediately and also conducted a national championship in 1888 thus there were two that year.
The national championship was held under the aegis of the AAU for almost a century. In 1978 the President’s Commission on Amateur Sports was able to pass the Amateur Sports Act that delineated how amateur sports should be governed in this country. The AAU, which controlled the majority of the sports on the Olympic program, would see its powers severely crippled.
A new organization, The Athletics Congress (TAC), was chosen to oversee track & field athletics. In 1980 TAC held its first national championship and control of the meet has rested there since.
[Ed: At its convention in December of ’92 TAC changed its name to USA Track & Field, or USATF.]
(September 30, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
First year held. The actual title was “The 7th Annual Fall Games Of The NYAC,” and Mott Haven was the NYAC’s track, which was at the corner of Mott Avenue and 15th Street. It was 1/5th of a mile (352y/322m) in length, was pear-shaped and had a 125y (114m) straightaway. The meet was marked by rain and cold weather all day. Four Canadians (Harold Lambe and the brothers Pearson—Robert, James & Harold) were the first foreign competitors.
(September 08, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
This was technically The 8th Annual Fall Games Of The NYAC. The first American Records seen at the national meet were set in the shot and hammer. The best events were the sprints, in which 4ft could cover the first 5 finishers in both.
(October 12, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
The 9th Annual Fall Games Of The NYAC, this was the last year the championships were conducted by the NYAC. Despite a cold, windy day, the attendance was noted to be outstanding. William Wilmer set an American Record in the 220. In the 100, 10.0 was recorded but it was wind-aided.
(September 27, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
These were the first championships conducted by the National Association Of Amateur Athletes of America (NAAAA), although the site did not change. Weather was perfect, cool and clear with only light breezes. The track was noted to be in perfect condition. Lon Myers won the first triple (100, 220, 440). Attendance was excellent although the last day of the Astley Belt Race was being held concurrently.
(September 25, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
117 athletes competed on a perfect day—clear and warm with no wind. Myers won a quadruple: 100, 220, 440, 880.
(September 24, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
The day was clear and unseasonably warm with a light breeze against the runners in the straight. Unfortunately the track was in poor condition and the field was noted to be weak, keeping the marks mediocre. The attendance was about 1000. Myers tripled again in the three short races.
(June 10, New York, New York; Manhattan Polo Grounds)
The day was cloudy and threatening as the meet left Mott Haven for the first time and was moved from the fall months. The track was located at 110th St. & 6th Ave, and was 1/3rd of a mile (587y/536m) in length with the 220 run around a turn. Four American Records were set: Frank Lambrecht (SP, HT), H.W. West (56lb Weight), and James Tivey (120H).
(June 02, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
The day was clear and warm with gusty winds against the finishers, which held down times in the running events. There were 77 starters but no foreigners for the first time ever. Lambrecht doubled in the shot and hammer, while Malcolm Ford won both the high and long jump.
(September 27, New York, New York; Williamsburg Athletic Club Track)
The Williamsburg track was noted to be 1/5th of a mile in length and in disgraceful condition as the meet returned to the fall. Over 2000 people watched the meet, with the most excitement being provided by Ford, winning the 100 and broad jump, and Myers, who won the 220, 440, and 880.
(June 13, New York, New York; Manhattan Athletic Club Grounds)
The day was warm and clear with no wind. Lambrecht set the only record, breaking the American standard in the hammer. Ford won what is now known as the Owens/Lewis triple—100, 220, and long jump (“broad jump” in the parlance of the times).
(June 26, New York, New York; Staten Island Athletic Club Grounds)
Squalls of wind and rain met the athletes, but 1200 spectators braved it out to watch. The Staten Island track was 1/5th of a mile in length, but, for the first time, the 220s were held on a straightaway. Ford repeated in the 100, 220, and broad jump.
(September 17, New York, New York; Manhattan Field)
The Manhattan AC had changed its track, it now being 440y, and allowing the 220s to be run on the straight. For the first time ever, the lanes were staked and roped for the 220. The day was perfect and 3000 spectators showed up. They saw 3 American Records: Al Copeland in the 220H, Tom Ray (Great Britain) in the pole vault, and Edward Carter in the 5M.
(September 19, Detroit, Michigan; Detroit Athletic Club Grounds)
Late in 1887, a rival organization emerged to the NAAAA, this being the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The dispute was not settled until early 1889, so 1888 had two national championships, that of the AAU being held first. In addition, for the first time, the national meet left New York City. The day was warm and clear with a fresh wind from the north. The Detroit AC track was 440y in length and also had a 220y straightaway.
(October 13, New York, New York; Manhattan Athletic Club Grounds)
The meet was twice postponed, from September 15 and October 06. It was a cloudy, warm day, with no wind. The papers derided the results, claiming that the true national championships had been held a few weeks earlier.
(September 24, New York, New York; Travers Island Track)
Travers Island was the new NYAC track, having replaced the Mott Haven facility. The oval was 1/5th of a mile in length, causing the 220 to again be run on the turn. The day was hot and muggy with intermittent thunderstorms. John Owen was a double winner, taking both sprints.
(October 11-12, Analostan Island, Washington, DC; Columbia Athletic Club Grounds)
The meet was held over two days for the first time, although this was not scheduled. The pole vault did not finish because of darkness and was completed the next day. The Columbia AC Grounds were on an island (now known as Theodore Roosevelt Island) in the middle of the Potomac, a mile from the White House. The Spirit Of The Times commented that every club should have an island, perhaps attempting to paraphrase John Donne. The track was oddly 436y (399m) in length with the 220 being run on the turn. The day was cloudy and some rain fell, but this did not prevent John Owens from breaking “even time” in the 100y for the first time ever, as he was timed in 9.8 seconds, although one of the watches did not stop.
(October 03, St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis Jockey Club Grounds)
The day was cloudy and warm with a brisk wind against the finishes. The oval was actually a horse track and was a mile in length; thus, not only the 220, but the 440 was run on a straightaway. The meet was the second known use of electrical timing earlier in 1891, it had been used at a small meet in Syracuse, New York. The timing, however, was not “fully automatic,” being started by hand and only stopped electrically.
(October 01, New York, New York; Manhattan Field)
The day was warm and clear with almost 2000 spectators in attendance. The only records were meet bests in the hammer and 56lb weight by Jim Mitchel.
(September 16, Chicago, Illinois; Chicago Athletic Association Grounds)
This was a highly unusual meet as the organizers decided to add a multitude of odd events, many for the only time ever. These included all three standing jumps, the pole vault for distance, 56lb weight for height, and the first national championship in the hop, step & jump (triple jump). Because of this the papers proclaimed the setting of multiple World Records, but they were hardly significant.
(September 15, New York, New York; Mott Haven Track)
2 World Records were set at this edition: Thomas Lee broke the 220 mark, and Stephen Chase broke the record for the 120 hurdles.
(September 14, New York, New York; Manhattan Field)
The Manhattan AC track was no longer called the Polo Grounds, but it was the same old 440y track. The weather was cool and clear, with gusty winds which pushed the sprinters and hurdlers to fast times as it blew at their back.
(September 12, New York, New York; Manhattan Field)
It was a warm, muggy day, with threatening weather and intermittent drizzles. The big race of the day was in the 440, where Olympic champion Tom Burke outraced Bernie Wefers, who was favored.
(August 28, New York, New York; Manhattan Field)
The discus was held at the meet for the first time, and was marked by Charles Hennemann setting an American and World Record. He was joined by Wefers who equaled the global best in the 100y.
(June 23, Chicago, Illinois; Parkside Field)
Perhaps the least scintillating meet to date, as the only records set were three meet marks: Alvin Kraenzlein in the high hurdles, Meyer Prinstein in the long jump, and John Flanagan in the hammer throw.
This meet was held just outside of Boston, on the site that is now a train/subway station. The day was beautiful but very windy and this negated Art Duffey’s time of 9.8 in a heat of the 100.
(September 15, New York, New York; Columbia Field)
For the first time, a national junior championship was held, although the term had a different connotation; more correctly it was a novice meet, as age was not a determinant of entry. The senior and junior championships were held concomitantly. Denis Horgan of Ireland showed up at the last minute, unannounced, and avenged his Olympic defeat to Richard Sheldon.
(June 15, Buffalo, New York; Pan-American Grounds)
It was breezy, but the meet was held under a warm sun. The meet was part of the Pan-American Exposition, a world’s fair which was held in Buffalo during the summer of ’01, and during which multiple sporting events were conducted.
(September 13, New York, New York; Travers Island Track)
The day was cold and rainy. Because of this the crowd was small and quite unenthusiastic, also because the performances were not outstanding.
(September 11, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
The track was noted to be in terrible condition and caused a rash of slow times by the runners.
(June 04, St. Louis, Missouri; Francis Field, Washington University)
The meet was held in St. Louis as part of a summer-long sports festival which culminated in the Olympics in September. The meet started amidst a heavy downpour with almost no spectators, but late in the day the sun broke through. Among the late-arriving spectators was Alice Roosevelt, Teddy’s daughter. The meet was marred by a horrendous decision in the 100.
(August 05, Portland, Oregon; Multnomah AC Track)
The meet moved to the West Coast for the first time. Times were slowed by the track, which was less than a quartermile and had two extremely sharp turns. On the field, Wes Coe recorded a new World Record in the shot.
(September 08, New York, New York; Travers Island Track)
The top performer was Harry Hillman, who broke the World Record in the low hurdles.
(September 07, Norfolk, Virginia)
The meet was held as part of the summer-long Jamestown Exposition. Several records were set: John Eller broke the low hurdle standard set by Harry Hillman at the ’06 meet, Ralph Rose broke the shot WR, and John Flanagan recorded a new WR in the 56lb weight.
(September 19 & 23, New York, New York; Travers Island Track)
The weather was hot and muggy. This must have caused extreme problems for the milers, who were forced to run their race twice without a decision being reached, the result of erroneous lap-counting. Because of the errors, the mile was finished on the following Wednesday.
(August 14, Seattle, Washington)
For some reason, the field events were measured to 100ths of an inch. This was the first nationals at which the javelin was contested and it was won by the great all-round weight thrower Ralph Rose. It was far from Rose’s top mark of the meet, however, as he again broke the shot WR. In addition, Forrest Smithson equaled the WR in the 120 hurdles. Despite these marks, the overall quality was low, probably due to the meet being held out west, far from the true hotbeds of track.
(October 15, New Orleans, Louisiana; Tulane University Grounds)
In an otherwise dull meet, Bruno Brodd broke the AR in the javelin.
(July 01, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Forbes Field)
Repeating his ’07 AAU performance, John Eller again broke the low hurdle WR. In addition John Nelson set an AR in the 220.
The 440 hurdles was contested at the national meet for the first time.
(August 07, San Francisco, California; Pan-Pacific International Exposition Stadium)
The day was typical summer-in-San Francisco, as a brisk wind swept down the finish straight. This helped the runners to post times that would have broken 2 WRs (440H, triple Jump) and equaled 4 others (220, 440, 120H, 220H), all negated by the wind’s help. The 440 was contested on a straight course Two days after the main meet ended, the first nationals in the decathlon was contested at the same site.
(September 09, Newark, New Jersey; Weequahic Park)
Bob Simpson broke the high hurdle WR and George Bronder set a new javelin AR.
(September 01, St. Louis, Missouri; Francis Field, Washington University)
The meet was marked by mediocre performances, only 2 meet records being set, those in the mile and 440H.
(September 21, Great Lakes, Illinois; Great Lakes Naval Training Station)
A record was set as there were more than 400 competitors. It was virtually an interservice meet as most of the athletes had enlisted by now, the last year of WWI. It was also the last meet for most of the athletes before departing for Europe, and in some cases, simply their last meet.
(September 13, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Franklin Field)
Joie Ray broke the meet record in the mile but the best event was the high jump where John Murphy broke the meet record and led 8 jumpers over 6ft (1.83).
For the first time the AAU Championships doubled as the Olympic Trials; this was also the first version of a final OT. Three events usually contested—5M, 220 hurdles, 3M walk—were omitted as they were not Olympic events.
(July 04, Pasadena, California; Tournament Park)
For the first time, a relay championship was contested with the AAU, and these events were held the day after the main championships, on July 05.
(September 09, Newark, New Jersey; Weequahic Park)
This was certainly the best attended meet to date, as more than 40,000 spectators turned out on a cloudy and cool day.
(September 01, Chicago, Illinois; Stagg Field [Illinois AC Grounds at the University of Chicago])
Four meet records fell: high jump, pole vault, discus and javelin.
(September 06, West Orange, New Jersey; Colgate Field)
The highlight of the meet was Charley Paddock’s equalling the WR in both short dashes.
(July 04, San Francisco, California; Kezar Memorial Stadium)
The meet followed the by-now standard pattern of the junior meet on one day (July 03), followed by the main meet (July 04) and the relay championships (July 05).
The quality of competition was extremely high as 7 MRs were set and 2 were equaled. One, in the 3M walk, was also an American Record. For the first time the relays counted towards the overall team championship.
(July 02, Lincoln, Nebraska; Nebraska Memorial Stadium)
Two unusual events were held—the medley shot put and the 56lb weight for height. On July 04, the crowd was treated to two WRs being set within 3 minutes. This was in the 4 x 110 relay, which was run in two sections. In the first heat, the NYAC team ran 41.4, only to lose out to the winners of the second heat, the Newark AC.
Both short hurdle races saw WRs. In the highs, Johnny Morriss set his in a heat and later won the title, while Heys Lambertus set his in the final of the low hurdles. In addition, Glenn Cunningham broke the American standard in the 1500. Ralph Metcalfe claimed another NCAA/AAU double-double in the 100 and 200.
The Milwaukee papers heralded this as the greatest of all AAU championships, and it receives our vote also. The day was extremely hot as 17,000 spectators witnessed three WRs and an AR. The race that brought them all to their feet was the 1500, where Glenn Cunningham broke the WR, only to lose to a better effort by Bill Bonthron. Other global bests were set by Jack Torrance in the shot and Glenn Hardin in the intermediate hurdles. The AR was set in the steeple by Harold Manning. Ralph Metcalfe won the 100 and 200 to finish off three consecutive years of sprint doubles at the NCAA and AAU.
(July 04, Lincoln, Nebraska; Nebraska Memorial Stadium)
The day was extremely windy and several purported World Records in the 100 and high hurdles could not be allowed. Eulace Peacock’s mark in the long jump was not illegally aided and bettered the listed WR, but not Jesse Owens’ pending mark.
(July 04, Princeton, New Jersey; Palmer Stadium)
George Varoff set a WR in the vault in an otherwise ho-hum meet.
Walter Mehl set an AR in the 1500, but the highlight of the meet was Dutch Warmerdam’s WR in the vault, as he recorded history’s second 15-footer.
(June 29, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Franklin Field)
The last prewar meet went out with a bang. Grover Klemmer broke the 400 WR and Fred Wolcott equaled the 110H record. In addition, Billy Brown recorded an AR in the triple jump, and meet records were also set in the 100, 200 and high jump.
(June 20, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
The quality of the meet suffered as many of the athletes were overseas. Only two meet records fell, those in the vault and the 56lb weight.
(June 20, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
The war’s influence on American track was underscored by the fact that for the first time ever no meet records were set at the national meet.
(June 18, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
Once again the paucity of athletes and lack of training time produced a meet where all the AAU records survived.
(June 30, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
The war was in its last year as Barney Ewell finally broke the record drought, lowering the meet 100m record.
(June 29, San Antonio, Texas; Alamo Stadium)
The athletes were back but the quality was still not that of the prewar editions. The only meet record was by Bob Fitch in the discus.
(July 05, Lincoln, Nebraska; Nebraska Memorial Stadium)
Steve Seymour set a WR in the javelin and Harrison Dillard lowered the meet standard for the low hurdles. Dillard doubled by also winning the highs.
Meet records were set in the 10K, 400H and shot. Meet records were also tied in the 200 lows and by Andy Stanfield in both sprints but the 200 record was disallowed because of following wind. The attendance was 8000.
(June 23–24, College Park, Maryland; University of Maryland Stadium)
It was 95° with high humidity as Dick Attlesey set a high hurdle WR in the heats. In the hammer, Sam Felton bettered Pat Ryan’s ’14 mark to erase the oldest meet record from the books.
In perfect conditions Jim Golliday became the sixth man to set a meet record of 10.3 in the 100m. The crowd of 15,000 was one of the largest in AAU history to that time but they missed the long throws, which were held on a nearby baseball field before a handful of spectators.
(June 20–21, Long Beach, California; Veterans Memorial Stadium)
Winds of up to 10mph (4.5mps) put paid to record chances in the straightaway events and horizontal jumps. The 10,000, which served as the final Olympic Trial, was won by Curt Stone in AR time.
(June 26–27, Dayton, Ohio; Welcome Stadium)
The multiplicity of meet records in the track events was of little significance as Imperial distances were used for the first time since ’31. Walter Davis broke the high jump WR, just missing 7-0 (1.83). This was the first major track meet ever for Dayton and it was well supported (attendance 9500 on Friday, 7500 on Saturday) despite 93-degree temperatures and high humidity.
(June 18–19, St. Louis, Missouri; Public Schools Stadium)
Although no American or global marks fell, 12 meet records did, 7 on the track and 5 in the field. Both nights of competition were hot and humid with little wind.
(June 24–25, Boulder, Colorado; University of Colorado Stadium)
The 5261ft (1604m) altitude was a handicap to the distance runners but there were some fine performances in other events. Five meet records were broken and one tied. The outstanding performance was Arnie Sowell’s 880 meet record, which missed the WR by only a 10th. The well-organized meet drew crowds of 8500 and 14,500 despite overcast conditions with occasional drizzle.
(June 22–23, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
This was a fine meet, although many top athletes skipped it because of the Olympic Trials which were held the next weekend. Nine meet records and 3 WRs were posted. In the 100, Bobby Morrow equaled the WR, and Jack Davis set a WR in the 110H. Both of these marks came in the heats. Additionally, Thane Baker equaled the WR for the 200 around a turn.
(June 21–22, Dayton, Ohio; Welcome Stadium)
This was one of the worst-organized meets in AAU history (“AAU Meet Fouled Up” read the front-page headline in T&FN) and unfavorable weather conditions also marred the competition. The attendance was listed as 6799. The lane staggers in the 220 and 440 were incorrectly measured and among the many officiating errors was the awarding of a meet record to Henry Laskau in the 2M Walk with a time 30 seconds faster than his actual time. ARs were set in the 2M steeple and 440 hurdles.
(June 20–21, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
Following the Dayton disaster, the 70th AAU was one of the best-organized and most successful in history. Two WRs, 1 AR and 10 MRs (plus one equaled) was the final tally at the conclusion of this memorable edition. The world marks were by Glenn Davis in the 440H and Hal Connolly in the hammer, while Deacon Jones set an AR in the 2M steeple. Ideal weather was enjoyed by 8000 fans on Friday, 10,000 on Saturday.
(June 19–20, Boulder, Colorado; University of Colorado Stadium)
A good meet but without the luster of ’58, the big record news being history’s fastest 220H around a turn by Charlie Tidwell. Additionally, meet records fell in the 1500, shot and discus. After 6000 attended the Friday session, rain kept the crowd down to 8000 on the final day. The high altitude (5261ft/1604m) slowed the long runs.
(June 24–25, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
John Thomas set a WR in the high jump and Ira Davis set an AR in the triple jump. Meet records were posted in 7 other events and tied in one other. As in ’56, the meet was just a week before the Olympic Trials.
(June 24–25, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
Frank Budd was credited with a WR 9.2 in the 100y. There were, unusually, no double winners but meet records were set in 6 events. After an attendance of less than 10,000 on the first day there was a near-capacity crowd of some 20,000 on Sunday, the largest crowd at Downing Stadium since the ’36 OT. Rain threatened the meet on both days but the weather held clear.
(June 22–23, Walnut, California; Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Mt. San Antonio College)
Paul Drayton equaled the WR in the 220. Canadian Bruce Kidd set an all-comers record in the 6M, while Peter McArdle posted an AR in 2nd. A second AR came from Al Oerter in the discus. Due to the burgeoning feud between the NCAA and the AAU there were no collegiate champions for the first time since the NCAA began in ’21. Contested in fine weather, ,the meet drew crowds of 8000 and 10,000.
(June 21–22, St. Louis, Missouri; Public Schools Stadium)
This was the first championships to be held on a synthetic surface and it helped Bob Hayes break the 100y WR. In addition, Pete McArdle set another AR in the 6M, and Canadian Bill Crothers equaled the all-comers record in the 880. Six meet records were posted and 1 equaled, while wind nullified potential records in the 220 and high hurdles. Attendance was 7500 on Friday and 10,000 on Saturday. Said Hayes, “I like this track. I wish they made all tracks like this.”
(June 26–27, Brunswick, New Jersey; Rutgers University Stadium)
The new cinder track, which had been imported from England, had only been laid 3 weeks previously and had not settled properly. An added disadvantage was that there were only 6 lanes for the 200 and 400. The outstanding event was the 1500, in which Tom O’Hara, Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, and Jim Ryun all beat Cary Weisiger’s AR. 7 MRs were set as 24,000 total watched the two days. For the first time in meet history, all performers had their times/marks officially recorded.
(June 26–27, San Diego, California; Balboa Stadium)
Billy Mills and Gerry Lindgren set a WR in the 6M and Jim Ryun (mile) and Bob Schul (3M) claimed ARs. Additionally, Hal Connolly bettered his listed WR in the hammer but he had an earlier superior mark awaiting approval. After cold weather on Saturday evening, it was markedly warmer the following day. Attendance: 12,400 and 15,320.
(June 25–26, New York, New York; Downing Stadium, Randalls Island)
Numerous meet records were set and New Yorkers also witnessed their first outdoor sub-4:00 mile. It was humid and hot—92 on Saturday (attendance 6000) and 85 on Sunday (attendance 12,000).
(June 22–23, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
The meet was held on Thursday/Friday, with crowds of 7246 & 11,600. WRs were set in the mile by Jim Ryun and the vault by Paul Wilson. Additionally, Ed Burke set an AR in the hammer; meet records were set in 7 other events.
(June 20–21, Sacramento, California; Hughes Stadium, Sacramento City College)
The 100, run on dirt, was one of the most amazing events in the history of any meet. In the heats, Charlie Greene and France’s Roger Bambuck equaled the WR of 10.0 and in the semis Jim Hines and Ronnie Ray Smith brought the record down to 9.9. Additionally, Hines ran a windy 9.8 in the heats and there were a total of 32 clockings of 10.1 or faster, albeit several wind-aided. George Young and Casey Carrigan set ARs in the steeple and vault in another Thursday/Friday meet.
(June 28–29, Miami, Florida; Miami-Dade South JC Stadium)
In high humidity and mid-90s temperatures, 5 MRs were set and 1 equaled. The two sessions saw 9500 and 10,500 attend. The track was synthetic.
(June 26–27, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
Bakersfield hosted the championships for the sixth time in 15 years and the facilities were once again superb. Daytime temps had reached 110 earlier in the week, but for the twilight/evening meet it had cooled to the 80s as crowds of 9700 and 13,700 turned out. There were surprise winners galore.
(June 25–26, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
WRs were set by Rod Milburn in the semis of the 120H and John Smith in the 440. Wayne Collett equaled the previous WR in finishing 2nd to Smith. Sid Sink also set an AR in the steeple, but the breakout star of the meet was sprinting doctor Delano Meriwether. The weather was generally good although a slight rain fell on the second day. Attendance was solid at 8100/11,700.
(June 15–17, Seattle, Washington; Husky Stadium, University of Washington)
The meet was staged over 3 days for the first time (first two days drizzly and cool, final day sunny and warm with 10,557 spectators). The top event was the 10K where Greg Fredericks broke the AR in leading the next 3 finishers under the previous best.
(June 14–16, Bakersfield, California; Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield College)
The track events were held over imperial distances for the last time. It was also the final nationals ever held on a non-synthetic surface. No new records were established in the post-Olympic doldrums. A chilly first day held attendance to 1000 but warmer temperatures brought out 6000 and 9200 for the last two.
With temperatures in the high 70’s and light breezes, Steve Williams equaled the 100m WR and Rick Wohlhuter set an AR in the 800. Crowds were solid at 7000 & 12,100.
(June 20–21, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
No records were posted at the last men’s-only nationals. With the recent passing of Steve Prefontaine and weather on the coolish side, attendance was perhaps a little less than expected at 8000 & 10,300. Jamaica’s Don Quarrie became the first foreigner to win a 100 title since Canada’s Charles McIvor in 1877. McIvor was not on hand to congratulate Quarrie.
For the first time the men’s and women’s championships were combined and the meet was staged with a 2-week break before the Olympic Trials. After rain on the first day, the next two were sunny and bright, with crowds of 5780 and an SRO 12,561. Ron Laird set an American Record in the 5K walk.
For the third successive year the meet was held on the UCLA campus, but performances seemed lackluster after a brilliant NCAA the previous weekend, with no men’s records set. USC’s Clancy Edwards was the star, becoming the first since Hal Davis in ’43 to win an NCAA/AAU 100/200 quadruple.
(June 15–17, Walnut, California; Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Mt. San Antonio College)
Running on a fast new track, Craig Virgin highlighted the last AAU meet by setting a wire-to-wire AR in the 10K. After two sunny days the weather turned cold on the final one. Attendance the last two days was 8471 & 10,627.
(June 13–15, Walnut, California; Hilmer Lodge Stadium, Mt. San Antonio College)
This was the first championships to be staged by TAC (The Athletics Congress). With the Olympic Trials again being held a week later, the winning marks were below par in most events, despite excellent, albeit hot, weather. Saturday’s attendance was 5640, and Sunday’s was announced as 6572, although T&FN said, “It looked like at least 10,000.”
(June 19–21, Sacramento, California; Hughes Stadium, Sacramento City College)
In scorching temperatures that topped the century mark every day, Willie Banks twice improved his AR in the triple jump. Attendance was a solid 6060/10,013/13,113 as Carl Lewis joined Jesse Owens ’36 as a winner of both NCAA and TAC 100/LJ doubles.
(June 18–20, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tom Black Track, University of Tennessee)
Carl Lewis became the first man to score a 100/long jump double in consecutive years since Malcolm Ford in 1885–86. Billy Olsen and Dan Ripley jointly raised the AR in the vault. A sideshow to the World’s Fair, the meet drew embarrassingly small crowds of 951, 1180 and 1027 despite near-perfect weather “We can’t ever do this again as a satellite,” said meet director Stan Huntsman. “The meet has to stand on its own.”
For the first time the men’s championships was restricted to athletes eligible to represent the U.S. in international competition, as this was the selection meet for the new World Championships. Crowds of 2612, 8234 & 10,367 were on hand for The Carl Lewis Show as he won a 100/200/long jump triple. His time in the 200 was an AR, the fastest time ever at sea-level, and the second-fastest of all time. For only the second time since the NCAA Championships began in ’21, no collegiate champion took a national title. There were thunderstorms on the final two days.
(June 07–09, San José, California; Jaguar Stadium, San José City College)
In view of the Olympic Trials the following week, a high percentage of leading athletes were absent. The top mark was by Earl Bell who set an AR in the vault in becoming the first U.S. 19-footer. It was generally sunny and warm as the meet drew crowds of 500, 2800 & 8100.
Willie Banks produced history’s longest triple jump to claim the first WR seen at a TAC Championships. The weather was generally warm and dry, but heavy rain fell on the morning of the final day. The multi-events were contested on June 17 & 18, after the main part of the meet. Overall attendance: 4743/7711/9631/92/120.
(June 18–21, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
Gusting, warm winds blew Charlie Simpkins to the No. 2 all-conditions triple jump ever, and Carl Lewis doubled in the 100 and long jump, both wind-aided. The top two in each event except the decathlon qualified for the Goodwill Games.
(June 25–27, San José, California; Jaguar Stadium, San José City College)
Carl Lewis won his 50th straight long jump competition and added a 200 win and a 100 silver. Butch Reynolds set and equaled the 400 meet record in the semis and final. The triple jump produced a big mark for the third year in a row, this time the No. 3 world all-time by Mike Conley.
(June 16–18, Tampa, Florida; Pepin-Rood Stadium, University of Tampa)
The final time there was a separate U.S. championship meet in an Olympic year saw muted results in many events as bigger names held out for the Olympic Trials. Doug Nordquist set a meet record in the high jump. Intermittent rainstorms interrupted the first day.
(June 13–17, Houston, Texas; Robertson Stadium, University of Houston)
A boycott by local favorite Carl Lewis thinned the crowds and opened the door for Leroy Burrell to win the 100 on his home track. Dave Johnson amassed the No. 2 all-time American decathlon score, while Antonio Pettigrew notched a JC record in the 400. Unseasonably cool conditions eased the pain for the sparse crowd on the penultimate day.
Originally scheduled for Mt. SAC, the meet was moved in late ’89. Athletes hoping for a Goodwill Games berth were required to compete here. Dave Johnson and Dan O’Brien topped the first decathlon that saw two Americans score more than 8400 in the same meet. O’Brien set a dec WR in the long jump and had the highest Day 1 score ever by an American.
Attendance final three days: 700/3500/8400
(June 12–15, Randalls Island; Downing Stadium )
Athletes were far more prepared than the aging facility, recording 11 world-leading marks as the Championships were held in the Big Apple for the first time in 25 years. The top three in each event with the standard qualified for the Worlds in Tokyo. A WR for Leroy Burrell in the 100 and Carl Lewis’ 65th straight long jump win couldn’t take the shine off Dan O’Brien’s No. 2 all-conditions decathlon. Officials neglected to bring a wind gauge for the first day of O’Brien’s event.
(June 19–24 & 26–28, New Orleans, Louisiana; Tad Gormley Stadium)
For the first time, the Trials also served as the U.S. Championships. The only thing more intense than the heat in the Big Easy was the legal maneuvering over the men’s 400 with Butch Reynolds, when the Supreme Court intervened to let him compete and the opening round was run on the 23rd, which was scheduled to be the first of two off-days. Pumped up by Reebok as the Dan & Dave show, the decathlon disintegrated after a no-height by O’Brien in the vault.
Attendance: 13,461/16,942/14,358/13,902/10,000 (400h)/16,329/17,255/16,717/18,298 (9-day total 137,262)
(June 15–19, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
After six years away from Oregon, the meet—now under the USATF brand—returned to Hayward Field with berths in the Stuttgart World Championships up for grabs. Michael Johnson zipped to a U.S. all-comers record of 43.73 in the 400. Stiff breezes pushed Andre Cason to a pair of windy 9.79s in the prelims before he edged Dennis Mitchell to win in 9.85w, while Tom Pukstys set an MR in the javelin.
Attendance: 6638/7371/8055/9305/10,653 (5-day total 42,022).
(June 14–18, Knoxville, Tennessee; Tom Black Track, University of Tennessee)
With U.S. athletes able to compete in the Goodwill Games without appearing at the nationals, many top stars bypassed the meet. An American Record from Lance Deal in the hammer went almost unnoticed as it came on the same day as the O.J. Simpson slow-moving Bronco chase. Scott Huffman added a centimeter to the AR in the vault.
(June 14–18, Sacramento, California; Hughes Stadium, Sacramento City College)
Wonky weather compounded the woes of the old guard as a new crop of stars emerged. Unexpectedly mild temps and the first rain in mid-June for 75 years saw Michael Johnson turn the 200/400 double with a meet record 43.66 the highlight. Mark Croghan nabbed the other MR with a 9-second steeple win.
Attendance: 2133/4237/11,321/15,597/16,583 (5-day total 49,871).
Purpose-built for the Olympic Games, the future Turner Field saw Michael Johnson put on a show with a 43.44 and a WR 19.66. Allen Johnson tied Roger Kingdom’s AR in the 110H at 12.92 after Jack Pierce set an all-comers record in the semis with a 12.94. Moseying to a 5:12 to close out his 8726 dec win, Dan O’Brien made up for his PV debacle at the ‘92 Trials and set the stage for Olympic gold in the same stadium later in the summer. Steamy conditions put paid to any remarkable marks in events longer than 800.
Attendance: 12,319/21,597/13,689/12,349/16,735/17,821/26,871/30,141 (8-day total 151,522)
With Athens World Championships berths in play, performances were disappointing across the board with only two meet records. Tom Pukstys nabbed the JT standard with the new implement, while Maurice Greene tied the 100 mark to move to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. list. Seneca Lassiter completed a NCAA/USATF double in the 1500, the first since ’81. Michael Johnson took advantage of the IAAF’s new Wild Card rule to compete in Athens after missing this meet due to injury.
Attendance: NA/2317/7589/9197/8001 (4-day total 27,104)
(June 17–21, New Orleans, Louisiana; Tad Gormley Stadium)
Back at the site of the ‘92 Trials with the expected sultry conditions of The Big Easy, John Godina won the first SP/DT double since ’55 and Bryan Bronson sped to the No. 3 spot on the all-time world list in the 400H. No major championships berths were on the line, so some stars gave the meet a pass or ran different events.
Attendance: 5456/9814/6826 (3-day total 22,096)
(June 24–27, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
Jeff Hartwig’s AR in the PV was the top mark of the week, but again Michael Johnson bypassed the meet due to injury and used a Wild Card to qualify for Seville, where he would set the 400 WR. Curt Clausen set a meet record in the 20K walk, which was contested on a road course.
Attendance: 6675/7444/9149/8913 (4-day total 32,181)
Record-setting attendance saw sellouts or near-sellouts each of the 8 days, and the multitudes saw a 200 showdown between 100 champ Maurice Greene and 400 champ Michael Johnson fizzle out as both men went down with hamstring problems in the final. Pascal Dobert went to No. 5 on the U.S. all-time list in the steeple and Allen Johnson had his record eighth sub-13 effort in the 110H.
Attendance: 23,221/23,450/23,503/23,077/23,124/23,296/23,361/24,072 (8-day total 187,104)
(June 21–24, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
The only thing colder than the conditions were the performances as WC spots were up for grabs. Benefiting from the Edmonton bye as reigning champion, Maurice Greene made a brief appearance to set a world-leading mark in the heats of the 100. Six men surpassed 230-feet in the hammer for the first time at a U.S. Championships.
Attendance: 4726/6843/9118/7865 (4-day total 28,552)
Held in conjunction with the Junior Championships, a windy weekend and cooler Bay Area temps brought only the second sub-28 10,000 in meet history. Adam Nelson set a meet record in the SP, and Lance Deal won a record ninth hammer title. The decathlon was held across the bay in Berkeley on June 19-20.
Tom Pappas had the highest non-Dan O’Brien dec score ever to highlight an otherwise mediocre trials meet for the Paris Worlds. The U.S. Junior Championships were again held in conjunction with the meet.
Attendance: 3736/6057/7644/7698 (4-day total 25,135)
A return to the California capital brought out more than 20,000 spectators a day again and they were rewarded by meet or Trials records in seven events. Daniel Lincoln and Meb Keflezighi set MRs in the steeple and 10K, while Maurice Greene led five other athletes in garnering OT records.
Attendance: 19,666/20,440/22,107/20,122/20,758/22,303/22,511/24,323 (8-day total 172,230)
(June 23–26, Carson, California; Home Depot Center)
Gusty winds throughout the meet made top-level performances difficult. Justin Gatlin became the first 100/200 doubler since 1985 but only with a controversial reinstatement after a false start in the heats of the dash. Kerron Clement’s 400H was the world’s fastest since 1993 and made him the first NCAA/USATF doubler since ‘86.
Attendance: 5237/5710/10,194/9802 (4-day total 30,943)
Nasty Midwest storms delayed several events for a day on the first day, and then for hours on the final day. All three rounds of the 100 were run on the same day for the first time since ‘75. Bernard Lagat, awaiting release from Kenya to represent the U.S., won the first 1500/5K double ever. On his first and only attempt, Breaux Greer set an MR and won a record seventh JT crown. The Juniors were held in conjunction starting on June 21.
Attendance: 3900/6034/9276/7907/6833 (5-day total 33,950)
A massive AR came from Breaux Greer in round 2 of the JT. Tyson Gay’s sprint double featured a meet record into the wind in the 100 and the No. 2 200 time ever. Alan Webb set an MR in the 1500, and Michael Robertson was the first collegiate winner of the DT since 1990. Juniors were held in conjunction, starting on June 20.
Attendance: 4409/5480/8525/7719/7407 (5-day total 33,540)
(June 27–30 & July 03–06, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
An AR and the fastest time ever run in the 100 were the good news for Tyson Gay at the OT. The bad news—he tweaked his hamstring in the 200 quarters. Decathlete Bryan Clay became the No. 2 American ever. Bernard Lagat again won a 1500/5K double, and David Oliver’s 110H title came with the fastest winning time in Trials annals. The loudest cheers came in the 800 when Christian Smith completed the “Oregon sweep” with a dive at the line.
Attendance (all noted as sellouts): 20,964/20,604/20,733/20,949/20,927/20,936/20,834/21,176 (8-day total 167,123)
(June 25–28, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
Spending less than 10 windy seconds in the heats of the 100, Tyson Gay assured his place at the Worlds with the seventh-fastest run in history. Youngsters claimed a pair of records, with German Fernandez getting the 5K AJR and Marquise Goodwin the HSR in the LJ. Reigning World 1500 champ Bernard Lagat opted to run the first round of the 800 to seal his Daegu berth.
Attendance: 8621/9134/10,053/10,633 (4-day total 38,441)
(June 23–27, Des Moines, Iowa; Drake Stadium, Drake University)
An off year for international championships didn’t help as the majority of events saw their worst winning performances in years. David Oliver’s 110H to move to =4 on the U.S. A-T performer list wasn’t one of those. Bershawn Jackson also starred over the sticks in the 400H with the =12th best U.S. time ever.
Attendance: 7124/8463/9024/7437 (4-day total 32,048)
(June 23–26, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
Local favorite Jesse Williams soared over a meet record in the HJ and moved to =4th on the U.S. all-time list, and another Duck hero, Ashton Eaton, set an American dec record in the 110H on the way to the No. 5 spot on the U.S. all-time performer list. Trevor Barron smashed his own AJR in the 20K walk to win the Senior title.
Attendance: 9949/10,057/10,812/10,033 (4-day total 40,851)
(June 22–25 & June 28–July 01, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon) (Hammer in Beaverton on June 21)
Oregon alums thrilled the home crowd. Ashton Eaton set a WR in the dec, obliterating the old AR on the way, and Galen Rupp was a very popular winner of one of the greatest U.S. 10Ks ever and shattered the MR to complete a distance double. Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson dipped under 13 in the 110H. After his AJR the previous year, Trevor Barron upped the ante with an AR in the 20K walk.
Attendance: 20,936/21,795/21,809/21,626/22,602/21,097/20,791/22,497 (8-day total 173,153)
(June 20–23, Des Moines, Iowa; Drake Stadium, Drake University)
Reversing the sprint direction to take advantage of a steady breeze produced the top two performances of the meet in the shape of a Tyson Gay 100/200 double that included an MR in the 100. Duane Solomon broke a 5-year streak of wins by Nick Symmonds in the 800, while Galen Rupp picked up his fifth 10K title in a row.
Attendance: 6567/7622/8638/10,003 (4-day total 32,830)
(June 26–29, Sacramento, California; Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State University) (Shot staged downtown on June 23)
The SP was held in front of the state capitol, where Joe Kovacs moved to No. 11 on the U.S. all-time list to win. An off year diluted the performances in many events and opened the door for Alabama’s Hayden Reed to become the first NCAA/USATF doubler in the discus since 1990.
Attendance: 5500/5824/8131/9227/9601 (5-day total 38,283)
(June 25–28, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon)
Sprinting to the No. 3 spot on the U.S. all-time list and No. 5 on the world all-time list, Justin Gatlin set an MR in the 200 in his first win in the event since ‘05. Evan Jager continued his win streak in the steeple and set an MR, while Trayvon Bromell dashed to an extended season CR in the 100.
Attendance: 8762/9081/10,116/10,746 (4-day total 38,795)
(July 01–04 & 06–10, Eugene, Oregon; Hayward Field, University of Oregon) (20W in Salem on June 30)
A sprint double by Justin Gatlin and a slew of wins by athletes with Oregon ties kept the capacity Hayward crowds engaged. Matthew Centrowitz set an MR in the 1500 and Galen Rupp took a record eighth straight 10K gold. Noah Lyles broke Roy Martin’s 1985 HSR in the 200 and moved to No. 4 on the all-time World Junior list.
Attendance (no admission charge for stand-alone hammer on July 06): 20,987/21,866/22,424/21,713/21,835/22,256/22,847/22,944 (8-day total 176,972)
(June 22–25, Sacramento, California; Hornet Stadium, Sacramento State University)
Scorching temperatures, including a high of 107 on day one, made the first half of the meet a battle for survival in the stands and on the track. Ryan Crouser set an MR in the shot and moved to No. 3 on the U.S. all-time list and No. 6 on the list with the longest throw since 1989. Triple jumper Will Claye became the No. 4 U.S. all-time performer in the TJ, and Sam Kendricks joined the 6-meter club in the vault.
Attendance: 6601/7302/8020/7829 (4-day total 29,743)
(June 21–24, Des Moines, Iowa; Drake Stadium, Drake University)
Another off-year meet, another slate of ho-hum winning marks and a minimal crowd to match. Noah Lyles claimed the sole world-leading mark of the meet in the 100. One of the weirder highlights was a “left-handed world record” in the discus from Reggie Jagers. Matthew Centrowitz won his fifth career 1500 title. The conclusion of the meet was delayed by 3 hours due to weather.
Attendance: no figures were announced
(July 25–28, Des Moines, Iowa; Drake Stadium, Drake University)
The latest-starting nationals since 1918 was a vast improvement marks-wise over the previous year’s iteration in the same venue. Sam Kendricks sailed over an AR in the PV and three men topped 22m in the SP, a first for a single nation in a single competition. Donavan Brazier had a remarkable negative-split win in the 800, and Lopez Lomong claimed a 5/10 distance double.
Attendance: 5179/7150/8218/9820 (4-day total 30,367)
(canceled by C19 pandemic)
The meet, which was also to act act as the Olympic Trials, was scheduled for July 19–22 & July 24–28 at Eugene’s new Hayward Field.
The meet is now scheduled for July 18–21 & July 23–27 at Hayward Field.