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The Career of Charles Hornbostel, Half-miler of the 1930s

“Chukken” – twice an Olympic finalist and a “Tireless Wonder” on the boards

The career of Charles Hornbostel, half-miler of the 1930s 


Olympic champions Tom Hampson and John Woodruff and World record-holders Ben Eastman, Sydney Wooderson and Rudolf Harbig are understandably the most readily remembered 800 metres runners of the 1930s. Totally forgotten, it would seem, except by the most studious of historians, is a man who reached both Olympic finals in that decade, earned newspaper headlines galore, and who promptly retired after having helped set two World records within less than two hours.  

Charles Christian Hornbostel was born in Evansville, the third largest conurbation in the US  state of Indiana, on 26 September 1911 and died, aged 77, on 13 January 1989. As is the American custom regarding anyone named “Charles”, he was nicknamed “Chuck”. The origins of this term of familiarity are said to be in the Middle English language (1150-1500), in which “Chukken” was the equivalent of “Charles”, but the connection seems distinctly tenuous. Whatever that source, Hornbostel’s surname is most unusual, shared now by only about 1500 people worldwide, and derives from a district near the town of Celle, in Germany. Even so, a distant relative named Henry Hornbostel claimed to have run a 4min 21sec mile in 1891, which was somewhat unlikely as the amateur World best was less than three seconds faster, but subsequent expert research gave him credit for what in that era would have been a still respectable 4:38⅘.

Charley Hornbostel was not quite in Olympic medal-winning class, placing 6th in 1932 and 5th in 1936 in those 800-metre finals, and he had plenty of near misses in the US AAU Championships: 2nd in 1932 and 1933, 3rd in 1934 and 1936. As a student at Indiana University, he won the highly competitive National collegiate (NCAA) title in three successive years, at 800 metres in 1932 and 880 yards in 1933 and 1934 (on the last occasion by the wide margin of 1.2 seconds), and this triple feat was only subsequently equaled by Olympic champion Woodruff in 1937-38-39 at 880 yards and not again until 1992-93-94 at 800 metres by Jose Parrilla, of Tennessee, who ran in the heats of the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Even this impressive competitive record of Hornbostel’s might seem to be worth no more than a foot-note in the sport’s history – except that he was rightly described in numerous US newspapers throughout the 1930s as one of the “Super Stars” of what was such a consistently vibrant demonstration of track and field’s values and virtues – the American indoor season.

Yet this vital aspect of intense competitiveness is almost entirely ignored in what has since been written about that decade, and the leading performances figure only as an after-thought, even though, for example, the fastest mile ever run before World War II was by Glenn Cunningham, with 4:04.4 in March 1938 on what was described pedantically as an oversized indoor track at Hanover, New Hampshire. One drawback so far as giving full due to racing on the boards is concerned is that the standard distances in the 1920s and 1930s were not those of the Olympic schedule but were at 60 yards, 600 yards, 1000 yards and two miles, and even the 1500 metres/1 mile did not figure at the AAU indoor championships until 1932. The European indoor records for 800, 1500, 3000 and 5000 metres had all been set by leading athletes (Olympic champions Lugi Beccali and Paavo Nurmi among them) invited to compete in the American indoor season as there was nothing remotely comparable for them on home ground. 

Such distinctions made by statisticians and historians to the detriment of any event out of what they considered to be the ordinary have prevailed into the 21st Century, with the otherwise remarkably comprehensive IAAF handbook of progressive World best performances and records, produced in collaboration with the ATFS under the expert editorship of Richard Hymans, listing only those indoor records officially ratified since 1987. The indoor handbooks also issued by the IAAF and the ATFS to mark World Championships from 2001 onwards contain the evolution of World indoor best performances and official records only at metric distances. These show that the fastest times for 800, 1000, 1500, 3000 and 5000 metres by the end of 1939 had all been set in the USA, in the absence of any meaningful indoor competition in Europe, and among them the 1500 metres of 3:48.4 by Glenn Cunningham was only six-tenths slower than the outdoor record and his fastest mile of 4:07.4 on a conventionally-sized indoor surface was merely one second slower than the outdoor record.  

It is worth pointing out that indoor tracks have an obvious advantage over those outdoors because of complete shelter from the weather, but this is offset by the number of tight curves which runners have to negotiate. In a mile race on a 176-yard track (thus 10 laps to the mile), this would involve 20 such turns, though when Cunningham ran his 4:04.4 mile indoors in 1938 he had a slightly easier task because the newly-built track measured 6.73 laps to the mile, and thus had a circumference of 261.5 yards. Cunningham had been specially invited to test the speed of the surface, and afterwards he drew attention to a hazard of indoor running to which none of the sport’s historians have given any attention. In the 1930s smoking cigarettes and cigars was widespread, which created an unhealthy atmosphere at indoor meets to the distinct disadvantage of runners, and on this occasion Cunningham’s coach, Bill Hargiss, asked that the 3000 spectators should refrain from doing so. Cunningham enthusiastically told the local press in a post-race interview, “It’s the first race that I’ve ever run under such favorable conditions. Race promoters at Madison Square Garden and other large venues would record faster times if smoking was prohibited”.  

Charley Hornbostel’s first Olympic appearance in 1932 was at the age of only 20, and he emerged like some deus ex machina. Even by typically precocious American standards, his breakthrough as a half-miler was nothing short of startling. He certainly had not broken 1:56 for 880 yards before that year – the US high school record stood at 1:56.2 from 1926 to the credit of a future miler of distinction, Rufus Kiser. Apparently, Hornbostel had not even been good enough to qualify for his high-school track team in Evansville, and when he took up running cross-country at Indiana University it was only to aid his fitness for basketball. Newspapers which were to follow his every move for the subsequent five years made no mention of him during 1931, and more to the point an international group of statistical experts, who have in recent years painstakingly constructed annual ranking lists for 1921 through to 1950, listed 54 athletes in 1931 at 1:56.4 for 800 metres or 1:57.1 for 880 yards (804.67 metres) or faster and Hornbostel was not among them. 

In that year the USA had provided four of the five leading 800 metres runners in the World and 23 of the top 50, and the favoured one for Olympic success would certainly have been Eddie Genung, who had won the national AAU title in 1930 and 1931, setting a meeting record of 1:52.6 for 880 yards on the latter occasion, which was the fastest in the World for the year. Genung had also been NCAA champion in 1929 while at the University of Washington, and in 1931 the winner of that event had been Dale Letts, of the University of Chicago, ranking 3rd in the World at 1:53.5 for 880 yards.

Maybe Hornbostel was encouraged or inspired by a leading miler and two-miler well established at Indiana University, Henry Brocksmith, who would set a US two miles record of 9:13.6 in 1932. Or maybe the veteran coach, Billy Hayes, spotted a talent nobody else – even Hornbostel himself – had realised. Whatever the motivation for taking up the sport in all seriousness,  Hornbostel was within a matter of no more than a few months at most enjoying high-level success. He first made his mark indoors in Olympic year, winning the Western Conference 880 yards, and then outdoors in April he picked up another major inter-college title, the Big Ten Conference 880. He would have competed in the first major open meet of the season, the Drake Relays, in Des Moines, Iowa, in April, for Indiana University in the 4 x 440 yards, but he and team-mate Ivan Fuqua and coach Hayes were severely shaken, cut and bruised when their car overturned on their way there. 

Happily recovered, Hornbostel’s first NCAA victory in 1:52.7 for 800 metres (also timed in 1:53.5 for 880 yards) earned his place at the US Olympic Trials, and in Evanston, Illinois, on 2 July he won at both 800 metres, 1:52.6, and 1500 metres, 3:57.8, which was 16 days before the Trials final. At the ideal build for his event, 5ft 11in (1.80m) tall, he was not lacking in confidence, despite (or maybe because of) his inexperience, winning his 800 metres heat at the Trials in 1:54.0 and then leading at the bell in the final in a slow 58.0 before finishing 2nd to Eddie Genung as eight-tenths of a second covered the first six places – Genung 1:52.6, but only estimated times given for the other seven, among them Hornbostel 1:52.8, Edwin (“Ned”) Turner, of the University of Michigan, 1:52.9, and Dale Letts a non-qualifying 6th in 1:53.4. Hornbostel’s Indiana team-mate, Henry Brocksmith, also missed out, 5th at 1500 metres.

The high expense for so many countries of sending athletes to Los Angeles restricted the number of entries for the 800 metres to 21, of which there were three each from Canada, France and the USA; two each from Brazil, Germany, Great Britain and Mexico; and one each from Argentina, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland. Two of them – Otto Peltzer, of Germany, and Séraphim Martin, of France – had set World records, though not too recently; Peltzer had run 1:51.6 for 880 yards in 1926, Martin 1:50.6 for 800 metres in 1928. Phil Edwards, of Canada, and Jean Keller, of France, had taken part in the 1928 Olympic final. Tom Hampson, of Great Britain, was the British Empire Games champion. The fastest man of the year so far, Ben Eastman, of the USA, at 1:50.0 for 800 metres, was actually missing because he had opted for the 400 metres instead.  

Hornbostel then improved a couple of yards to a personal best 1:52.4 in winning his Olympic Games heat. This was faster than Genung (1:54.8) and Hampson (1:53.0), winners in the other two heats, which must have set Hornbostel’s heart a-flutter. The third American, Turner, also qualified for the final, together with Edwards, Peltzer and Martin, plus another Canadian, Alex Wilson, and a  second Briton, John Powell. Hampson, running a conservative first lap in 54.0 as Edwards led in 52.3, won majestically in a World record 1:49.8 (1:49.70 electric timing), with Wilson 2nd in 1:49.9, and the rest a long way behind – Edwards hanging on for 3rd in 1:51.5; the Americans 4th, 5th and 6th (Genung 1:51.7, Turner 1:52.5, Hornbostel 1:52.7); and then Powell 7th and Martin and Peltzer, by now well past their best, in the last two places.   

In the 1936 Trials, for which John Woodruff and Charles Beetham were the favourites, Hornbostel finished strongly to take 2nd place to Woodruff, 1:51.0 to 1:51.3. Beetham, who had beaten Woodruff for the AAU title a week before, collided with another runner and fell 300 yards from the finish. By coincidence, the opponent with whom Beetham got entangled was a fellow student of Hornbostel’s at Indiana University, Marmaduke Hobbs. At the Olympics Hornbostel again won his heat (1:53.2) and his team-mates won the other two (Woodruff 1:52.7, Henry Williamson 1:53.1). They were joined in the final by Phil Edwards again, Juan Carlos Anderson (Argentina), Gerald Backhouse (Australia), Brian MacCabe (Great Britain), Mario Lanzi (Italy)  and Kazimierz Kucharski (Poland). 

To be honest, this was a bit of a mixed bunch ! Woodruff was by far the fastest of the year at 1:49.9. The next three in the pre-Games rankings were also Americans but had all missed out in the Trials:  Abraham Rosenkrantz 4th, Ben Eastman 6th and the luckless Beetham. Lanzi was the European Championships silver-medallist from 1934, but his Italian title win during the Olympic build-up had been a solid three seconds slower than what Woodruff had done. Kucharski had run 1:51.6 in 1935. Anderson, Backhouse and MacCabe had not broken 1:53. The final perhaps reflected uncertainty, or maybe a ready submission to Woodruff’s apparent superiority, because the first lap was 57.4 and Woodruff, who would run a 46.8 for 400 metres the following month, inevitably out-sped the rest in a time of 1:52.9 which was slower than every Olympic final but one since 1906 ! Lanzi was 2nd, Edwards 3rd (as he had been four years previously), Kucharski 4th and Hornbostel 5th almost two seconds behind Woodruff. Maybe the increase in pace to a 55.5 second lap was just too much for Hornbostel, who trained no more than three days a week. Arthur J. Daley, who for almost 50 years was the track & field correspondent for “The New York Times”, described the final as “one of the strangest races ever run in the Games”. 

So far as his domestic successes were concerned, Hornbostel’s 1933 NCAA win at Stagg Field, Chicago, was by the narrowest of margins from Glenn Cunningham – World mile record breaker the next year – as both ran 1:50.9 for 880 yards, thus equaling Ben Eastman’s World record from 1932 (Eastman’s 400 metres option at the Olympics had brought him 2nd place to fellow-American Bill Carr as both broke the World record). Cunningham had already won the NCAA mile in 4:09.8 before pressing Hornbostel so hard that afternoon in Chicago, but both he and Hornbostel were well used to taking on Herculean doubling-up tasks for their universities to score valuable match points … and even turning out yet again in the 4 x 440 yards relay if required to finish off the day.

Hornbostel did have two national titles to his name, winning the AAU indoor 1000 yards in 1934 and 1936, and he also set a World record indoors for 600 yards of 1:11.3 in February of 1935, which beat a time that had stood since 1925. His competitive career seems rather on the sparse side at the top level outdoors, though he would have most likely raced regularly, if more modestly, for Indiana University, and he found his keenest form indoors after graduation. He and Glenn Cunningham were endlessly featured in newspaper headlines previewing or reporting on meets throughout the indoor seasons of the 1930s, and in the breezy manner of sports coverage in those days the pair of them were described regularly as “The Twin Tireless Wonders of Track & Field”.

Not surprisingly, considering he had set his World record mile of 4:06.7 outdoors in 1934 and would be Olympic 1500 metres silver-medallist in 1936, Cunningham had the edge over Hornbostel, but not by much because in 1935 it was stated in the press of their five encounters outdoors that Cunningham had won twice at one mile and Hornbostel two out of three at the half-mile. At 600 yards, which was too short a distance for Cunningham, Hornbostel came into his own, and at 1000 yards, described in the press as their “compromise distance”, they were constantly well matched, though it was Cunningham who eventually set an ultimate record, beating Hornbostel in an epic contest, 2:10.1 to 2:10.3, at the indoor season’s end in New York’s fabled Madison Square Garden in March 1935. 

The winning time of Cunningham’s almost exactly equalled the existing outdoor best of 2:10.0 set by Italy’s 1932 Olympic 1500 metres champion, Luigi Beccali, in Milan in 1933, and easily disposed of the previous indoor best of 2:12.0 from 1922 by Hal Cutbill, who was AAU champion at the distance that year. Only an hour or so later Cunningham and Hornbostel were back on the track, winning at one mile and 600 yards respectively. A remarkable American all-rounder, John Borican, who was also an international-class 400 metres hurdler, would take the indoor 1000 yards record to 2:08.8 in 1939, which was almost a second faster than the outdoor best, which was rarely run but still officially recognised by the IAAF.

Hornbostel’s night of nights the previous month at the famed annual Millrose Games, again at Madison Square Garden, had been watched excitedly by the customary “full house” of 16,000 spectators. He and Cunningham went their separate ways on this occasion, and while Cunningham won the mile in a meet record 4:11.0 Hornbostel upstaged him as he rewarded the promoters and the massed crowd with his 600 yards World record in what Alan Gould, the respected track & field writer for the Associated Press news agency, described as “a spectacular ‘iron man’ stunt by the lanky bespectacled runner”. Hornbostel had started the evening by winning the 1000 yards in 2:13.0, which was only a second outside the then standing fastest time ever, and within an hour was back on the track for his 600 yards in 1:11.3, improving on the best set in 1925 by Alan Hellfrich, who had been an Olympic 4 x 400 metres relay gold-medallist the year before. For comparison, Ben Eastman ran 600 yards outdoors in 1:09.2 in 1933 and 1:08.8 in 1934.

Hornbostel had some interesting things to say about his opponents, and a knowledgeable and inquisitive Pennsylvanian sports editor, Bill Reedy, found him in expressive mood in July of 1934, having finished the US outdoor season and in the process of preparing for an autumn tour of Japan with an AAU group of athletes, where he would run a relatively modest 1:54.4 for 800 metres. He discussed the merits of a range of athletes, ranging from an Indiana University team-mate, Ivan Fuqua, who had won Olympic gold in the 4 x 400 metres relay in 1932 and was only four-tenths slower than Hornbostel’s indoor 600 yards record, to Bill Bonthron, who had set an outdoor 1500 metres World record of 3:48.8 less than a month before the interview, and also including Ben Eastman, who had beaten Hornbostel at 880 yards in his World record 1:49.8 equally recently, and Gene Venzke, who had overcome Cunningham for the 1933 AAU indoor title at 1500 metres in 1933 and would do so again in 1936. 

“Bonthron is the most dangerous  because of his terrific finish”, Hornbostel said, “but Fuqua has the best competitive spirit, while I think none match the endurance of Eastman. Venzke’s consistent speed makes him great, while Cunningham probably has the best balance of all these track virtuosos”. Bill Reedy responded positively and prophetically to these thought-provoking but a shade abstract views:  “In outlining the assets of each of these famous five, Hornbostel is virtually naming all the attributes which must be fully possessed by that hoped-for figure, the perfect miler, whom track enthusiasts dream may some day fashion the new ‘miracle mile’ – a mile in four minutes”. Reedy’s use of the words ‘some day” suggest that he didn’t believe that four minutes was imminent, but if anyone in 1934 was going to work their way gradually towards it Reedy most probably reckoned it would be Cunningham.

Hornbostel would never have entered into any such theorising. His occasional forays at longer distances included that 3:57.8 for 1500 metres before the 1932 Olympics and 4:15.1 for the mile the next year, though maybe he hinted at least once at unrealised potential in unusual circumstances. Another of the American milers who, save for Gene Venzke, was not in Cunningham’s class was Joe Mangan, from Cornell University, who had run the second fastest two miles ever by an American in 1933, 9:15.4, winning for Cornell & Princeton against the visiting Oxford & Cambridge Universities team, though completely overshadowed that afternoon by Jack Lovelock’s World record mile of 4:07.6 during the same match. 

Mangan had been refused an entry for the prestigious Princeton Invitational of  June 1935 and so went to a meet organised by New York AC at another historic track, Travers Island, and promptly set a US record for the ¾-mile of 3:01.4, which was just fractionally slower than the official outdoor record of 3:00.6 by Jules Ladoumègue, of France. Hornbostel finished only five yards behind Mangan. The Frenchman had made history by becoming the first to beat 3:50 for 1500 metres and 4:10 for the mile in 1930-31, and it was his mile record that Lovelock surpassed. Mangan would run a 4:11.0 mile indoors in February of 1936, beating Venzke and Cunningham, and maybe Hornbostel was capable of some sort of similar time, too, but that, of course, is pure supposition. 

John Cobley’s profile elsewhere in racingpast graphically tells the full story of Glenn Cunningham’s competitive career, and Cunningham himself provided a perspective when he committed words to print late in life at the age of 71, collaborating with a journalist, George X. Sand, on the inspirational biography entitled “Never Quit” to which John Cobley refers.  Two years previously, in 1979, Cunningham had been invited back to Madison Square Garden to receive the award as the venue’s outstanding track performer of the century, and as he waited for the presentation he reflected on his most vivid impressions of the many times he had raced there: “The familiar glare of the overhead lights, bathing the track in a brilliance rivalling the sun. The pat-pat-pat of mixed rhythms as runners rounded the curve and went into the stretch. The gentle murmurs of the crowd erupting into a roar as an especially exciting race neared its end. It started my adrenalin flowing”. For Cunningham it must have been as if he and Charley Hornbostel were re-running one of their many scintillating races of more than 40 years before. 

Hornbostel regularly took part in the Princeton Invitational meet and in 1934 had been 2nd at 880 yards when Ben Eastman won in his World record 1:49.8. Hornbostel’s time of 1:50.7 was also under the previous record which he shared with Cunningham. The United Press news agency correspondent was naturally lavish in his praise of Eastman, but also had words of commendation for Hornbostel, writing that “he ran his heart out in a futile effort to reach the white tape first”. If the organisers had thought to place time-keepers at the 800-metre mark, Eastman would have had another World record of probably 1:49.1 and Hornbostel would have become the clear fourth fastest ever at 1:50.0. Only Tom Hampson and Canada’s Alex Wilson at the 1932 Olympics had otherwise broken 1:50. Cunningham set his mile record of 4:06.7 at the same meet, and Arthur J. Daley captured the mood perfectly in his report for “The New York Times”: 

“It was no day for the weak of heart. The mile run came only a few minutes after the same crowd had roared its acclaim at Blazin’ Ben Eastman, of the Olympic club, for his five-yard victory over Charles (Chuck) Hornbostel in the unbelievable half-mile time of 1:49.8, also a new World’s record. Not since the Olympic Games have there been such twin performances as these in the same day, and the mile and half-mile records can take their place in stature and in greatness with any two marks in the athletic almanac”.

Then Daley described at great length both races as if Eastman was a hunter and Hornbostel a dangerous but doomed prey, saying by way of introduction of the half-mile, “Not in his college career has Hornbostel been beaten at a half-mile, although Cunningham vanquished him at 800 meters a year ago. But the Hoosier whirlwind could not withstand the blazing speed of Blazin’ Ben … Ben was loaded for bear today and he let the Hoosier have both barrels up to the last turn and opened up a seven-yard lead. But the Indianan came dashing up with his characteristic closing burst and cut the margin down to four yards with 100 to go, but he was unable to go through. For a few agonizing moments he held his own and then dropped back as Eastman hit the wire a full five yards ahead”.

Internationally, Hornbostel’s most notable achievement came about in the British Empire-v-USA post Olympic match at the White City Stadium, London, on 15 August 1936. At 2.45 in the afternoon he started the lead-off stage in the 4 x 880 yards relay, with Robert Young, Henry Williamson and Woodruff to follow, and this quartet won in a World record 7:35.8 but not by much from the imperialist line-up of the Olympic finalists, Brian MacCabe (GB) and Gerald Backhouse (Australia), together with Vernon Boot (New Zealand) and the 1932 Olympic finalist, John Powell (also GB), who had reached the Berlin semi-finals. Their time was 7:36.6, though one newspaper report claimed that the difference between the two teams was only two yards.  This race made a nice contrast with Hornbostel’s experience at the same match in Los Angeles four years before where the Empire quartet had beaten the USA by 60 yards.

At 4.35 Hornbostel was back on the cinders for the 4 x 1 mile relay, again running the opening stage, with Gene Venzke, Archie San Romani and Glenn Cunningham to come, and the result was much more decisive as the Americans won by 50 yards in another World record 17:17.2, from Clarke Scholtz (South Africa), Bernard Eeeles, Bobby Graham and Jerry Cornes (all GB). As is apparent from the winning time, an average of no more than 4:19 or so per man was required for the record, though it is worth pointing out that only 17 men in the World beat 4:19 during 1936, of which 10 were from the USA, three from Great Britain, and one each from Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway. The New Zealander was, of course, the Olympic 1500 metres champion in World-record time, Jack Lovelock, who won the three miles at the Empire-USA match. The World 4 x 1 mile record was improved one second the next year by an Indiana University team anchored by Don Lash, who had beaten Paavo Nurmi’s World two miles record with 8:58.4 at Princeton earlier that year. Losing a World record to his alma mater must have caused mixed feelings for Hornbostel.

Hornbostel – like so many athletes of his generation retiring prematurely to concentrate on earning a living – did not compete again, though still not yet 25 years old, and concentrated instead on building a business career and on his eventual family commitments. Having graduated from Harvard Business School, he was highly successful in his professional life, being appointed president of the Financial Executives Institute in 1947. At his death he was survived by his wife, a son and daughter and three grandchildren.   

Another Indiana University athlete to win the NCAA title was Campbell Kane, in 1940 and 1941. He was 2nd in the AAU Championships to Charles Beetham in 1939 and 1940, but all  Olympic aspirations were, of course, thwarted by war. Charley Hornbostel was by no means forgotten because the Indiana University coach, Billy Hayes, told the local press, “Ever since Kane came to me with an unimpressive high school record I’ve held the record of Hornbostel before him”. Suitably inspired, Kane persevered with his track career after graduating and wartime US Navy service and was a winner at the Millrose Games indoors in 1945. Even by 1955, when an eminent pioneering US statistician, Dr Don Potts, published all-time lists of his country’s leading athletes, Ben Eastman ranked equal 5th at 880 yards outdoors and Hornbostel equal 15th.  

The 51 middle distance World records of the 1930s – 

800 to 2000 metres, indoors and out, in chronological order


Introduction: It’s a matter of personal judgement as to what actually constitutes the middle distances, and a reasonable argument could be made that the 3000 metres/2 miles should also be included. One significant absentee among the events listed below is 800 metres/880 yards indoors, and this reflects the lack of such competition at this distance. The indoor record of 1:51.4 for 880 yards, set by Lloyd Hahn, of the USA, in 1928, was faster than the existing outdoor records for both 800 metres and 880 yards and was not matched indoors until John Borican, also of the USA, ran 1:51.4y in February 1942 and then 1:50.0m/1:50.5y the following month. Borican’s time was not beaten until 1957. 


1500 metres: 3:49.2 Jules Ladoumègue (France), Paris, 5 October 1930

1000 metres: 2:23 Ladoumègue, Paris, 19 October 1930

2000 metres: 5:21 Ladoumègue, Paris, 2 July 1931

¾-mile: 3:00⅗ Ladoumègue, Paris, 13 September 1931

¾-mile: 3:00⅗ Eino Purje (Finland), Paris, 13 September 1931 (not ratified)

1 mile: 4:09⅕ Ladoumègue, Paris, 4 October 1931

1 mile Indoors: 4:11.2 Gene Venzke (USA), New York, 6 February 1932

1 mile Indoors: 4:10.0 Venzke, New York, 17 February 1932

1500 metres Indoors: 3:53.4 Venzke, New York, 27 February 1932

880 yards: 1:51.3 Ben Eastman (USA), Stanford, California, 9 April 1932 (not ratified)

800 metres: 1:50.0 Eastman, San Francisco, 4 June 1932 (en route to 880 yards, not ratified)

880 yards: 1:50.9 Eastman, San Francisco, 4 June 1932

800 metres: 1:49.8 Tom Hampson (GB), Los Angeles, 2 August 1932 (Olympic Games)

1 mile Indoors: 4:09.8 Glenn Cunningham (USA), Chicago, 25 March 1933

880 yards: 1:50.9 Charles Hornbostel (USA), Chicago, 17 June 1933 (not ratified)

880 yards: 1:50.9 Cunningham, Chicago, 17 June 1933 (not ratified)

1 mile: 4:07.6 Jack Lovelock (New Zealand), Princeton, New Jersey, 15 July 1933

1500 metres: 3:49.2 Luigi Beccali (Italy), Turin, 9 September 1933

1500 metres: 3:49.0 Beccali, Milan, 17 September 1933

1000 yards: 2:10.0 Beccali, Milan, 4 November 1933

1500 metres Indoors: 3:52.2  Cunningham, New York, 24 February 1934

1500 metres Indoors: 3:52.2 Bill Bonthron (USA), New York, 24 February 1934 (estimated)

1 mile Indoors: 4:08.4 Cunningham, 17 March 1934

1 mile: 4:06.8 Cunningham, Princeton, New Jersey, 16 June 1934

800 metres: 1:49.1 Eastman, Princeton, New Jersey, 16 June 1934 (unofficial, not ratfied) :

880 yards: 1:49.8 Eastman, Princeton, New Jersey, 16 June 1934

1500 metres: 3:48.8 Bonthron, Milwaukee, 30 June 1934

1500 metres Indoors: 3:50.5 Cunningham, New York, 23 February 1935

1000 yards Indoors: 2:10.1 Cunningham, New York, 16 March 1935

1500 metres Indoors: 3:49.9 Venzke, New York, 22 February 1936

1500 metres: 3:47.8 Lovelock, Berlin, 6 August 1936 (Olympic Games) 

800 metres: 1:49.7 Cunningham, Stockholm, 20 August 1936

2000 metres: 5:21.8 Gunnar Höckert (Finland), Malmö, 2 October 1936 (not ratified)

2000 metres: 5:20.4 Miklós Szábo (Hungary), Budapest, 4 October 1936

1000 yards: 2:09.7 Elroy Robinson (USA), Fresno, California, 15 May 1937

2000 metres: 5:18.4 Henry Jonsson (Sweden), Stockholm, 2 July 1937

880 yards: 1:49.7 Robinson, New York, 11 July 1937

800 metres: 1:47.8 John Woodruff (USA), Dallas, 17 July 1937 (officially 1.52 metres short)

2000 metres: 5:16.8 Archie San Romani (USA), Helsinki, 26 August 1937

1 mile: 4:06.4 Sydney Wooderson (GB), Motspur Park, 28 August 1937

¾-mile: 3:00.4 Joseph Mostert (Belgium), Paris, 26 September 1937

1500 metres Indoors: 3:48.4 Cunningham, New York, 26 February 1938

1 mile Indoors: 4:04.4 Cunningham, Hanover, New Hampshire, 3 March 1938

1 mile Indoors: 4:07.4 Cunningham, New York, 12 March 1938 (conventional sized track) 

¾-mile: 3:00.3 Wayne Rideout (USA), Princeton, New Jersey, 18 June 1938

800 metres: 1:48.4 Wooderson, Motspur Park, 20 August 1938 (en route to 880 yards)

880 yards: 1:49.2 Wooderson, Motspur Park, 20 August 1938

1000 yards Indoors: 2:08.8 John Borican (USA), New York, 11 March 1939

1000 yards: 2:09.3 Charles Fenske (USA), Milwaukee, 2 June 1939

¾-mile: 2:59.5 Wooderson, Manchester, 6 June 1939 

800 metres: 1:46.6 Rudolf Harbig (Germany), Milan, 15 July 1939


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