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Home > Forums > FROM THE SPORTS STAFF > From the record book > Area outdoor track and field bests > The best performances in area track and field history
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:48 PM
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Lynn Burke Lynn Burke is offline

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The best performances in area track and field history

These lists are updated through April 8 of the 2014 season.


This is an attempt to document nearly 100 years of high school outdoor track on the Peninsula and in the Peninsula area. It should be considered a preliminary document.

Corrections and updates are actively sought.


These lists cover schools in the Peninsula, Bay Rivers, Tidewater and Tri-Rivers districts, their predecessor schools and private schools in those areas. Since the Daily Press has covered Suffolk schools on a sporadic basis, these lists do not include any of the Suffolk schools.

During segregation, schools that educated whites and blacks had separate athletic organizations and did not compete against each other. White schools were members of the Virginia Literary and Athletic League, later the Virginia High School League. Black schools were members of the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic League, later the Virginia Interscholastic Association.

There is no separation on these lists. All schools are included equally.


What’s included:
 Times and distances from multi-team weekend meets.
 Wind-aided times, because in most cases we’re not sure what’s wind-aided and what’s not.

What’s excluded, at this point:
 Weekday dual, triangular and quadrangular, etc. meets, though if there is overwhelming sentiment for including “regular” meets, I can do a second research run, though it will take time.
 Post-season national meets like the Golden West. At some point I would like to add those times, but I’m not sure what’s a post-season high school meet and what’s a summer AAU meet, and I’m not sure I have access to full results. Suggestions and guidance will be appreciated.
 Indoor track times. I’d like to look at the district and regional meets that were held outdoors, and I’d like to eventually do a record list for indoor track.


The first list includes up to the top 25 performances in each event. Athletes can be listed as many times as they qualify. If an athlete has 10 of the best performances of all-time, then he or she will be listed 10 times.

The second list is the progression of the record, from the first recorded time or distance of the event to the present-day record.


This document considers events in yards and events in meters as separate events, so there are separate records for the 100-yard dash and the 100-meter dash.

Because field events have always been measured in feet and inches, there is no distinction between a field event held during the yards era and the meters area.


During the period when yards were the standard, almost every meet was hand-timed. So we have converted any FAT markings backwards to hand times. We are converting any hand times in meters to FAT.

This document follows the Track and Field News FAT conversion standard which adds .24 of a second to any hand time in a race under 400 meters and .14 to a 400-meter race. No time is added for any race that’s over 400 meters.

Generally, any time with two digits to the right of the decimal point is a fully-automatic time. And any time with a single digit is a hand time.


For many years, newspapers only listed the winner’s time in the results. Sometimes the stories carried details of other performances, but most times they did not. And for the majority of events, we have no access to trials results. If we have found these additional times, they are included if they qualify for the listings. If a meet wasn’t reported to a media outlet or available from other sources, it isn’t included, although we are using outside sources in an effort to be as comprehensive as possible.

And, I might have overlooked the time or distance when I was entering data into the database.


The primary sources are the archives of the Daily Press and The Times-Herald, the papers published in Newport News. For the last few years, we’ve also relied on meet results posted on

To fill in gaps, we’ve used information from the following:
Dogwood Relays web
Flat Hat (William and Mary student newspaper), Williamsburg
Journal and Guide, Norfolk
Journal Newspapers, Northern Virginia
Knoxville Journal-Sentinel
Krabba, Hampton High School student yearbook
News and Observer, Raleigh
Philadelphia Inquirer
Queen City Relays (Charlotte) website
Richmond Afro-American
Roanoke Times
Times-Dispatch, Richmond
Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk
Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg
Washington Post
Charlottesville Daily Progress


c = converted, either from hand times in meters or to hand times in yards.
q = time is from a qualifying heat.
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