The low hurdle race is an generally disused type of hurdle races for track and field. The event, generally run within or close to a distance of 200m, was popular up until 1960 at the international level. Then, the IAAF had stopped ratifying records for the 200m low hurdles and the event was a much less popular event. United States high schools ran an shortened version of this race called the low hurdles of 180 yards, until 1974when the majority of states and the NFHS were able to run the low hurdles of 330 yards that with metrification evolved into the 300 meter intermediate hurdles which is a shorter version of the world’s 400m hurdles. Since the race took place during an era of male dominance there was no female version of the race. At the time that the race lost its world record women would only run hurdles , and when they did it was the 80-meter hurdles that were over barriers similar to lower hurdles for men.
The height of the lower high hurdles were 30 inches. This was referred to as 2 feet and 6 inches or 76.2 centimetres. The same height women today run to complete their high hurdles. Typically, they are the 400-metre hurdles. The races were often performed on straightways and therefore required tracks to be built using longer “chutes” for the obstacles, 200-metre straight as well as the single turn 400 metres or 440 yards. The tracks were referred to as “panhandle track.” In large stadiums, where seating for football games was a primary consideration the races began deep within a tunnel.
With lower hurdles, the race was much faster and less technical than the 110m hurdles, which is a race that goes over high hurdles, which is a foot (30 cm) higher. Sprinters could switch over to the low hurdles with great success. Jesse Owens once held the world record for the 200-meter and the 220 yard low hurdles. These were set as part of the 1935 multiple world record day . It was described as the biggest athletic achievement since 1850.”
The last World Record holder who was officially recognised for the competition included Don Styron from Northeast Louisiana State University, whose 21.9 hand-timed record was established on April 2, 1960, in a dual meet against Louisiana State University. The record has held since. Modern racers use Fully Automatic Timing (FAT). Its fastest FAT time to date is 22.30 (with a wind of -0.6 mps) set on May 16 2010, 2010 by Andy Turner set at the Manchester City Games in a specially-designed race, however, using standard conversion that Styron’s record is more impressive. Turner ran a faster time than 22.55 in the race of Olympian Laurent Ottoz of Italy in 1995. Ottoz had bettered the automatic timing that was 22.63 from British Olympic medalist and multi-time World Champion Colin Jackson, who held the record for the world in the more standard 110-metre hurdles for nearly 13 years. The IAAF currently recognizes three records. Styron as a hand-timed mark in a straight, Turner as an automatic timed mark on a straight and Ottoz as an automatic timed mark on a bend.
The high school record in the low hurdles at 180 yards was set in 1964 by three boys competed, Earl McCullouch from Long Beach Polytechnic High School as well as Don Castronovo of Oceanside High School in Oceanside, New York and Steve Caminiti from Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California separately ran the 180 yard low hurdles at 18.1. The record was never broken, and the event was discontinued in regular high school competitions ten years later , in 1974.
Note This: Low Hurdles (on the turn) were contests, at the high school girls level, throughout the state of Illinois until 1985. The following are most likely to be the most speedy times ever recorded.
1984-85 Nicolle Thompson – East St. Louis (Lincoln) – :27.0
1983-84 Sametra King – Romeoville (H.S.) – :27.3
1981-82 Chris Crowther – Joliet (West) The year was 1981 :27.7
1980-81 Loretta Wiltgen – Country Club Hills (Hillcrest) – :27.9
1979-80 Gwen Brown – East St. Louis (Lincoln) 1979-80 Gwen Brown – East St. Louis (Lincoln) :28.0
While it’s no longer run outside of the United States, this race is still run in other countries, such as Norway.
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