Track And Field: Crossing the Bar

For some reason, the year following an Olympiad is usually one for track's record books. Olympic medal winners seem to work extra hard to prove that their victories were no flukes; the losers muster extra energy to prove that their defeats were. Thus, in 1961, after the Rome games, no fewer than eleven major world marks were shattered. In 1965, after Tokyo, another 14 fell.

The same pattern has emerged in 1969. At the recent N.C.A.A. championships in Nashville, Tenn., an unknown 440-yd. runner named Curtis Mills streaked across the tape in 44.7...

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