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PROTRACK » ProTrack Team of the Century » 400m/440yds Contenders

400m/440yds Contenders

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1 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:04 am

youngy

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Anyone with any nominations and info on the possible contenders are most welcome to contribute.


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2 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:54 pm

GUEST 1

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Need some NSW runners to step up for the team.

Bill McManus, Sydney NSW.

Robert Ballard Albury NSW.

3 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:59 pm

youngy

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Received the following email:

"Hi Paul , trying to get into the new forum, will keep trying . I would like to nominate John DeCoite ,, John still holds the aust pro record for the 400 yds at Wangaratta , we had two pace makers Gary Barker & David Brown and held Five Omega stop watches certified , Regards Brian Morgan"


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4 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:52 pm

MA

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Robert Ballard won the 400m at Wangaratta in 1987 from a very tight mark (scr maybe ??). In those days there was a heat, semi and a final all on the same day. It was awesome to watch.

Rob would be tough to beat in this category.

5 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:49 am

hagger

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ive heard ian hagger had a walk over and pulled out a 46 second run, not to mention 2 stawell sashes

6 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:20 pm

1/4miler

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DeCoite, Ballard (80's) and McManus (early 1900's).

7 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:18 pm

Admin

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JH wrote:What about John MacDonald from Qld who held the world pro record in the late 60's at 46.1 also won the 800 at Bendigo.

Thanks JH. Hard to find running info on John 'Cracker' McDonald - we know he represented Australia at rugby.

There's no mention of him in Percy Mason's book.

Will have a look on the weekend for some more info and pending that will definitely slot him into the top 12. Appears he was the equal of Baxter in his day.

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8 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:08 pm

Boned

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Might be only academic as adding/boning a runner to the 12 shouldn't affect the final 5 or final 2 as they should come from the names already on the list.

9 re Baxter on Fri Aug 20, 2010 9:31 pm

smokey


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According to New South Wales Pro Track Calendar 1974/75 season Ross Baxter ran a world pro record for 400m of 47.2sec at Burnie in a special attempt.(good track)

He ran at Waverley 1975-76? on the grass athletic track and beat John McDonald (Qld) by some metres 3-4? in a scratch race beating the Victorian representatives by 10 metres. Kelvin Peart was the first Vic home.

He was also a Gift winner in NSW and as JH said won a 800m at Bendigo


John DeCoite ran on the same track (very wet) and ran 46.9sec off scr. and the following night won the backmarkers 400m in 46 sec off 6 metres. Three quality runs in 2 days. He also ran sub 30 sec for 300m at Wangaratta.

I think on the knowledge that I have and as good as Baxter was that DeCoite was the bettor runner.

10 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:39 pm

Admin

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Top 12 contenders
for the 400m/440yds


Robert Ballard (NSW)
Ross Baxter (NSW)
John DeCoite (VIC)
Ian Hagger (VIC)
Tom Hassell (SA)
Mark Hipworth (VIC)
Peter Kitto (SA)
John 'Cracker' McDonald (QLD)
Bill McManus (NSW)
Dallas O'Brien (VIC)
Ian Probert (TAS)
Brendan Wilson (SA)

* Thanks to those people who alerted us to John McDonald both here and by private email. He is a definite top 12 quarter mile contender.

* Jack Fitt & Peter Toyne are already in the team as 550m/600yds members.

* Some athletes on the Australian national rankings did run pro and enjoyed success, mainly at the Gift distance - Garner, Jamieson, Ladbrook, McKenzie, Callaghan etc, but it's difficult to find any pro-running 400m performances. The athletes need to have run pro 400's at some stage.


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11 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:52 pm

Admin

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smokey wrote:
John DeCoite ran on the same track (very wet) and ran 46.9sec off scr. and the following night won the backmarkers 400m in 46 sec off 6 metres. Three quality runs in 2 days. He also ran sub 30 sec for 300m at Wangaratta.

I think on the knowledge that I have and as good as Baxter was that DeCoite was the better runner.


DeCoite ran 29.9 for 300 yards, not 300m.

No man in history has run sub 30sec for 300m.

The current 300m world record is held by Atlanta Olympic dual gold medallist Michael Johnson with 30.85. It was run in Pretoria at altitude, 10 years ago. Usain Bolt ran 30.97 ealier this year in the Czech Republic, to miss Johnson's mark by .12sec.



Last edited by Admin on Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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12 metrics v/s imperial on Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:00 pm

smokey


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oops still having trouble with yards and metres even after all these years,

13 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:03 am

youngy

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Here's an email received on John McDonald.

Hi Paul
.........I can say John 'Cracker' McDonald was one of the great all round runners Australia has produced in the last 50 years.

Around 1970 he ran 3 1/2 yards inside evens in his semi of the Bendigo Thousand narrowly missing a berth in the final. He then saddled up on the same Monday afternoon to win his heat of the 880 yards and went on to win the final in a sizzling 1.45.8 off a tight handicap.

He came back to Bendigo in 1972 to equal Herb McKenley's ( Jamaica ) world 440 yard professional record . Herb McKenley is now deceased but John McDonald is still going strong.

John is on the executive of the Queensland Rugby League and is a State of Origin selector. He represented Australia in Rugby League tests against Great Britain and New Zeland and in 1980 coached Queensland to victory in the inaugural State of Origin Rugby League series.

These days John and his family run a printing business in Ruthven Street Toowoomba called "Cracker Print and Paper '' . John and son Geoff have presented several Toowoomba 300 gifts for the QAL conducted in conjunction with a Rugby League series in Toowoomba.

World 440 record
46.7 seconds - J.N.McDonald (Toowoomba) Bendigo 13/03/1972


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14 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:35 am

GUEST 1

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That race McDonald won st Bendigo in 72, was not an invite, it was the 400m handicap event and he won off scratch in 46.7, going around runners in the final after earlier winning his heat.

15 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:37 am

Sharkey

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For those not sure,
440yds = 402.336m
400m = 437.445yds

16 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:40 pm

youngy

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400m/440yds
FINAL 5 contenders


Robert Ballard (NSW) 1980's
Ross Baxter (NSW) 1970's
John DeCoite (VIC) 1980's
John McDonald (QLD) 1970's
Bill McManus (NSW) 1900's









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17 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:13 pm

Admin

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1972 Australian National Athletic Championships - Perth

400m FINAL - Saturday 25 March 1972
1 Wayne Collett USA 46.7
2 Bill Hooker Vic 46.9
3 Gary Eddy Vic 47.1
4 Charles Asati KEN 47.4
5 Ross Wilson Qld 47.6
6 Murray Bird Tas 48.8

Two weeks before the nationals, John McDonald ran 46.7 for 440 yards (2m further than 400m) on a grass track in a handicap event.

Fair to say John McDonald at the time was probably the best 400m runner in the country - amateur or pro.

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18 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:10 pm

youngy

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This is probably the toughest to pick so far. Virtually came down to a final pick of three. Initially it seemed relatively straight forward but the information on John 'Cracker' McDonald has shown that if anything this entire process has unearthed some 'gems'.

Percy Mason's book published in 1985, "Professional Athletics in Australia" whilst is very good in a lot of ways was light on for detail in many areas, particularly in respect to non Victorian material, and the case of John McDonald highlights that. McDonald doesn't get one mention in the book even though he was probably the fastest 440 yards runner of his time, quite probably in Australia - amateur or pro.

It's for this reason we are down to three athletes -


John McDonald
Bill McManus
Robert Ballard


Whilst extremely diverse in terms of achievements, it is diffucult to line the three of them up.

John McDonald
We've already read about Cracker McDonald in other posts - he was basically the gun quarter miler in the late 60's and early 70's running and winning from scratch in the NSWAL and QAL. There is one unconfirmed report he may have run 46.1 off scratch for 400m at a NSW or QLD meet. Certainly his 46.7 emulating Herb McKenley was by all acounts a brilliant performance.

Bill McManus
Born at Muttama in 1869, Bill McManus started his running career at the age of 14. During the next 35 years of competition, McManus raced in 400 events for 116 wins, 72 seconds and 30 thirds. At his best, McManus was considered the best all round athlete in the world.

A long striding runner, he was extremely fit, capable of winning four events in a day and nine events in nine days over various distances. His best distance was the 440 yards.

McManus won the 440 yards at Stawell in 1899 off the back mark of 12 yards and returned in 1900 to win the 440 again off 6 yards. He was 2nd in the 1900 220 yards off 3 yards. In 1901 and 1902 McManus ran 2nd off 6 yards in the 440 yards.

He won the 100 yards professional title in Sydney in 1901.

He won over 20 440 yard races off scratch:

May 1900, Gympie, QLD
Dec 1901, Great Western VIC
Mar 1902, Hamilton VIC
Dec 1903, Talbot VIC
Jan 1904, Maryborough VIC
1904, Clunes, VIC
1904, Hamilton, VIC
1904, Ballarat, VIC
1904, Garden
1904, Ravenswood, VIC
1906, Hamilton, VIC
1907, Clunes, VIC
1907, Wal Wal, VIC
1908, Wal Wal, VIC
1908, Willaura
1908, Maryborough QLD
1908, Mt Morgan QLD
1908, Rockhampton QLD
1908, Sydney NSW
1909, Rainbow VIC

McManus adopted Stawell as his home town and relished in the ideal training conditions available at the time.

In the 1908 half mile at Stawell, McManus beat world champion Jack Donaldson and four weeks later won again over 440 yards at Maryborough in Queensland.


Robert Ballard
Ballard was the first ‘reinstated’ professional athlete to compete at an Olympic Games when he ran in the 4 x 400m relay at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Through the 80’s and 90’s, Ballard became the most accomplished pro runner from 120m to 400m in the sport, winning several races off tight handicap including three consecutive backmarker races at Stawell between 1987 and 1989.

Ballard ran 2nd on his Stawell debut in the Bill Howard 100m. In 1986 he was favourite when runner up to Glen Chapman in the Stawell Gift. He made two more Stawell Gift finals finishing 3rd in 1997 and 4th in 1998.

Ballard was 3rd in the Australian 400m title and made three Australian national finals going well inside 47s each time.

Ballard’s life time 400m PB of 46.19 was run in an Olympic warm up meet at Seoul in September 1988.

So the choice comes down to:
an Aust pro record holder who was arguably the best quarter miler in the country, amateur or pro;
the best quarter miler for the first 10 years of the century and has the Stawell 400m named after him;
and the first to make an Olympic team and with 46.19, probably the fastest pro running 400m runner for the first 90 years of the century.

Tough decision - to be announced after further consideration.


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19 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:14 am

youngy

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400m/440yds Members of the
Pro Track
Team of the Century


John McDonald (QLD) 1970's
&
Robert Ballard (NSW) 1980's


Bill McManus just missed out only because he was 31 at 1900 and it is difficult to fathom he could have been a far superior runner through the early 1900's as the other two were in their prime. There is little evidence of what times McManus was running or the quality of the opposition. Whilst he was winning off scratch - there may have only been a couple of other runners in the event and he could have been running times like 55s plus.

McDonald and Ballard's times and performances were proven to hold up against top class opposition.

No doubt McManus's overall record is super impressive and worthy of being in the team, and with that in mind it's without hesitation we select him as the first reserve.


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"Let's Go While We're Young"

20 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:29 am

dkrushka


Didnt Kerry McConnon run 43.8 seconds ??? off 20 to win the Stawell 400M? Have to look this up, but if this is correct, thats bloody quick and would put him in the mix!

21 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:13 pm

BA


Almost correct David. Kerry McConnon ran 43.8 off 24m to win the Stawell 400m Backmarkers. He gave the Australian 400m Professional champion from the same year (Ken Beaton) a 2m head start and won convincingly in a time that has never been bettered at Stawell (or possibly any Gift event?). In my opinion there is no doubt McConnon should have at very least made the top 12 in this category. He certainly had the measure of some of the others in the top 12.

22 Re: 400m/440yds Contenders on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:52 pm

youngy

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BA wrote:Almost correct David. Kerry McConnon ran 43.8 off 24m to win the Stawell 400m Backmarkers. He gave the Australian 400m Professional champion from the same year (Ken Beaton) a 2m head start and won convincingly in a time that has never been bettered at Stawell (or possibly any Gift event?). In my opinion there is no doubt McConnon should have at very least made the top 12 in this category. He certainly had the measure of some of the others in the top 12.


Kerry's 400m run was outstanding and he blitzed the field in that 1985 final. If this was a list of runners based on ONE outstanding 400m run, yes, I accept he would be on the list, but it's not - it's the best 400m runners based on sustained results over a few seasons or more.

Comparing Kerry's one off very good run at Stawell against the sustained excellence of the athletes below is like saying Shane Ellen (former Adelaide spare parts player) is one of the greatest full forwards of all time because he kicked 5 goals in a grand final. It was one great effort, but hardly comparable to those who have sustained years of success.

Take into consideration that McConnon ran off 24m - you don't get to run off 24m (when in career best shape) if you are in the class of the athletes below.

Also the time of 43.89 was hand held by one person - always dubious and would not be considered legitimate in IAAF sanctioned events.

I'd be surprised if Kerry would ever really run a electronic sub 48s peg to peg on a synthetic track.

Most of the athetes on the top 12 list have a recorded PB of sub 48secs, or the equivalent off their handicaps - which were a lot less than 24m. At their best these guys were running off single figure handicaps and making finals if not winning them. They are recognised as athletes that had they run amateur (and those like Ballard & Hassell did prove it in the amateurs) they would be national class athletes.

Kerry was a very good pro-runner but there's not a single athlete on the list who off scratch were not capable of beating Kerry McConnon off level marks.



Top 12
Robert Ballard (NSW)
Ross Baxter (NSW)
John DeCoite (VIC)
Ian Hagger (VIC)
Tom Hassell (SA)
Mark Hipworth (VIC)
Peter Kitto (SA)
John 'Cracker' McDonald (QLD)
Bill McManus (NSW)
Dallas O'Brien (VIC)
Ian Probert (TAS)
Brendan Wilson (SA)


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