The 'Larry Byrne Archives' are a living document, chronicling the Top 50 Marks ever run by a New York Athlete in each event, Indoors and Out. Beginning in the mid-60's, and transferred online to MileSplit NY in 2014, the Archives are updated yearly to include new names and marks, and push out others. However, some of the very best athletes persevere, and the threshold to be included gets harder every year.
We decided to run the numbers, and see what the All-Time lists say about the marks they include. More specifically, we wanted to see which time period in NY History has stood the test of time, which have fallen to the wayside, and is the current generation of athletes so strong, they're wiping away marks previously thought untouchable? Let's dig in.
- Four marks still exist from the 1950's, a wildly different time in our Sport. Despite the technological advancements in both equipment and training, these athletes transcended talent. On the track, the only mark left is Tom Carroll's (Fordham Prep) NY #4 All-Time, with a 1:49.2h. In the Field, the oldest comes from 1954, and belongs to none other than the most successful Olympic Athlete of All-Time, Al Oerter (Sewanhaka) in the Discus.
- Don't sleep on the 60's. Although it is the second least represented decade, until 2016, two Relay State Records were still held by squads from 1966. Huntington broke the 4x400m State Record in 2016, but the 4x200m Record still stands at 1:25.4y from White Plains in Jun 7th, 1966.
- Four of the Top Five Mile's ever run, were achieved in the 1970's, including the State Record set by Matt Centrowitz (Power Memorial) at 4:02.7. Not only that, all four athletes belonged to the CHSAA.
- The 80's were dominated by the Hurdles and the High Jump. Almost 20 of the top marks in the 110 Hurdles are still on the books from the 80's, including the current state record set in 1987 by Joe Galeano (Centereach) at 13.46. His Indoor Mark was finally broken this year.
- The 90's Distance Running Slump is real. Well documented in American Running History, the 90's saw a true decline in distance running nation-wide. As such, the 90's are less represented the further up in distance you go, with only one mark in the 3200m and two in the Steeple.
- On the Track, the current crop of athletes are better represented than any other decade. That is, except in the 800m. Only 6 athletes have run faster than 1:51.7, which was the 50th best mark heading into 2010.
- In the Field, the current generation of athletes are on par, but do not supersede the previous athletes. Advances in the Pole Vault composition have seen the most increases, while the High Jump has been the slowest to improve.
- Despite the change from Cinder to Synthetic, the transition from yards to meters, and the advancement of Spike Plate technology, fast athletes from the past stand the test of time. Just think how fast they would be today, given the advancements we've listed, and more.