Peanut Gaines or Damiere Byrd? Who’s really the S.J. 55 record holder? And the complete S.J. all-time boys indoor 55 top-50!!!

Who holds the South Jersey record for the 55-meter dash?

It’s a great question with no easy answer.

In 1967, Clearview junior Bill “Peanut” Gaines tied the world record of 5.9 for 60 yards, which is the exact same distance as 55 meters. It’s actually 54.864 meters — about five inches shy of 55 meters — but for statistical purposes they’re the same distance. All track historians list marks for 60 yards alongside those for 55 meters.

Peanut’s mark was hand-timed, which isn’t surprising, considering fully automatic timing hadn’t been invented yet.

Generally, hand-timed marks are converted for list purposes by adding 0.14 seconds for races where the starting line and finish line are the same and by 0.24 for races where the start and finish are different, such as a 55.

So Peanut’s 5.9 would convert to a 6.14.

Gaines’ mark was achieved at an AAU meet, which is probably why Ed Grant’s New Jersey Track and Field Annual never listed it as a record, although it did list it separately. But Gaines was racing in the meet to get the best competition, which shouldn’t be a reason to reject a record. He was one of the top sprinters in the world. He wasn’t going to find competition in regular high school meets. And the indoor season back then was very short, so Peanut didn’t have a lot of options. He did compete for Clearview that winter and the meet was in-season. There is absolutely no reason not to consider it for record purposes.

Courier_Post_Sat__Mar_5__1966_

Damiere Byrd, a former Timber Creek sprinter and current New England Patriots wide receiver, is generally acknowledged as the South Jersey record holder and co-state record holder in the 55.

Byrd ran a FAT 6.26 en route to a 6.74 in the 60-meter dash at the 2011 New Balance Nationals at the Armory. Mario Heslop of Franklin Township matched the state record with a 6.26 in the trials at New Balance Nationals at the Armory in March 2018.

Before Byrd, Camden sophomore Jamar Ervin held the South Jerey record and a share of the state record with a 6.30 at the Archbishop Malloy Stanner Games at the Armory on Jan. 14, 2001. That broke the accepted South Jersey record of 6.31, set in 1984 by Olympic gold medalist Dennis Mitchell of Edgewood at 1983 Easterns at Jadwin Gym in Princeton, and tied the accepted state record set in 1995 by the late Joe Dawkins of Hackensack at 1995 Nationals at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, en route to 3rd-place in the 60-meter dash in 6.78.

So who’s the South Jersey record holder? Gaines or Byrd?

It’s both.

It’s the only fair way.

Today starts the all-time indoor South Jersey top-50 lists!

All-Time S.J. Indoor 55-Meter Dash Top-50

6.30 … Jamar Ervin [Camden], 2001
6.31 … Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
6.34 … A.J. Bunton [West Deptford], 2006
6.36 … Kenny Reynolds [Willingboro], 1986
6.37 … Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 1979
6.38 … James Brown [Glassboro], 2009
6.39 … Damiere Byrd [Timber Creek], 2009
6.41 … Chris Church [Millville], 2007
6.42 … Thomas Walls [Wilson], 2006
6.42 … Dominique Irons [Haddon Heights], 2013
6.43 … George McKey [Willingboro], 1982
6.43 … Anthony Averett [Woodbury], 2013
6.44 … Thomas Hampton [Clayton], 2019
6.45 … Paul Wheeler [Kennedy], 1983
6.45 … Miekel House [Rancocas Valley], 2020
6.45 … Sherron Bullock [Camden], 2004
6.45 … Rob McGriff [Camden], 2006
6.45 … Antonio Tarantino [Paul VI], 2018
6.46 … Albert Newkirk [Camden], 1996
6.46 … Darnell Charles [Oakcrest], 2012
6.46 … Kashif Miller [Haddon Heights], 2014
6.47 … Anthony Jones [Edgewood], 1982
6.47 … Darren Ford [Vineland], 2004
6.47 … Reggie Morton [Oakcrest], 2012
6.47 … Curtis Fitzpatrick [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2013
6.47 … Jonathan Taylor [Salem], 2016
6.47 … Josh Washington [Woodbury], 2019
6.47 … Ahmad Brock [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2020
6.48 … Gary Gordon [Willingboro], 1995
6.48 … Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 2012
6.48 … Caleb Williams [St. Joe’s-Hammonton], 2015
6.48 … Clayton Crosse [Washington Twp.]. 2016
6.49 … Louis Smith [Burlington Twp.], 1997
6.49 … Michael Bolling [Willingboro], 2001
6.49 … Martin Booker [Pennsauken], 2016
6.49 … Ryquell Amstead [Millville], 2014
6.49 … Malachi Melton [Cedar Creek], 2019
6.50 … Darian English [Woodrow Wilson], 1993
6.50 … Jamaal Harris [Palmyra], 2002
6.50 … Zachary Clarke [Camden], 2008
6.50 … Shawney Kersey [Woodbury], 2007
6.50 … Rasheed Grandy [Absegami], 2010
6.50 … Bobby DeMarco [Holy Spirit], 2008
6.51 … Mikhail Micheaux [Eastern], 2013
6.52 … Dennis Davis [Edgewood], 1999
6.52 … Jamar Byrd [Vineland], 2005
6.52 … Sean McPherson [Delsea], 2010
6.52 … Davon Tucker [Sterling], 2015
6.52 … Shai Mumford [West Deptford], 2014
6.52 … Sterling Pierce [Rancocas Valley], 2014
6.52 … Sincere Rhea [St. Augustine], 2019
6.53 … Justin Frazier [Pennsauken], 2009
6.53 … Darrell Bush [Woodbury], 2012
6.53 … Aidan Burns [Clearview], 2018
6.53 … Cameron Dobbins [Williamstown], 2015

All-Time Hand-Time List
5.9 … Bill “Peanut” Gaines [Clearview], 1967
6.1 … Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
6.2 … Carl Lewis [Willingboro], 1979
6.2 … Paul Wheeler [Kennedy], 1983
6.2 … Kenny Reynolds [Willingboro], 1986
6.3 … George Hartsfield [Glassboro], 1965
6.3 … Manny Small [Williamstown], 1975
6.3 … Charles Johnson [Buena], 1975
6.3 … Luis Moore [Overbrook], 1976
6.3 … Mike Parker [Salem], 1981
6.3 … Anthony Jones [Edgewood], 1983
6.3 … George McKey [Willingboro], 1982
6.3 … Darien English [Woodrow Wilson], 1990

60-Meter Dash
6.70 … Damiere Byrd [Timber Creek], 2011
6.83 … Jamar Ervin [Camden], 2001
6.87 … Chris Church [Millville], 2007
6.93 … A.J. Bunton [West Deptford], 2006
7.01 … Michael Bolling [Willingboro], 1999
7.02 … Rob McGriff [Camden], 2006
7.03 … Gary Gordon [Willingboro], 1995
7.03 … Albert Newkirk [Camden], 1996
7.04 … Thomas Hampton [Clayton], 2018
7.06 … Sherron Bullock [Camden], 2004
7.06 … Fabian Santiago [Oakcrest], 2012
7.08 … Curtis Fitzpatrick [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2013

4 thoughts on “Peanut Gaines or Damiere Byrd? Who’s really the S.J. 55 record holder? And the complete S.J. all-time boys indoor 55 top-50!!!

  1. Kenneth Henry June 22, 2020 / 7:00 pm

    Hi Kenneth Henry tan indoor at Princeton for state there is a time for 55 mm dash. Please check for that time

    Like

      • Kenneth Henry August 31, 2020 / 2:39 pm

        ocean city fall 1987.

        Like

  2. Fred L Rucker June 23, 2020 / 6:31 am

    Paul Wheeler 6:45 1983 JFK, not Willingboro.
    As always keep up the great work.

    Like

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