Gene Pratt’s mysterious S.J. 440 record that stood for 18 years!!!!! And the complete S.J. boys indoor 400-meter dash top-50!!!

You won’t see Gene Pratt’s name on this list, but the Palmyra star held the South Jersey indoor 400-meter dash record – actually, the 440-yard dash record – for nearly two decades.

Pratt ran 50.4 in 1958 to set a South Jersey mark that lasted until Bill Galbraith ran 50.3 to place second to Neptune’s Mike Peniston at the 1976 Meet of Champions.

Pratt, part of the legendary Palmyra Pratt family, ran his 50.4 at Madison Square Garden according to a list of South Jersey indoor records that appeared in the Courier-Post on Feb. 6, 1970.

Courier_Post_Fri__Feb_6__1970_

That mark was matched by Jerry Clark of Deptford, when he won the 1967 state Group 3 race at the Jersey City Armory.

Here’s the mystery: When did Gene Pratt run 50.4? Millrose never had a 440 – they always ran 300, 600, 1,000, etc. back then. What other meet could he have run at the Garden? There’s no mention of it in the Inquirer or Courier-Post throughout 1958.

Adding to the mystery is the fact that my earliest New Jersey Track Annuals, from the late 1960s, don’t list Pratt’s 50.4.

In any case, Willingboro’s Jeff Bradford was first in South Jerey under 50 seconds with his 49.5 at the 1983 state Group 4 meet at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym, and Olympic gold medalist Lamont Smith was first under 49 seconds with his 48.68 at the 1991 Meet of Champions, also at Jadwin.

47.90 … Brandon Outlaw [Moorestown], 2018
48.27 … Jade Smith [Camden], 2002
48.36 … Mohammad Kanu [Lenape], 2000
48.48 … Amir Brock [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2017
48.50 … Alex Reber [Cherry Hill East], 2013
48.55 … Royce Reed [Bridgeton], 1995
48.64 … Keith Griffith [Florence], 2010
48.68 … Lamont Smith [Willingboro], 1991
48.74 … John Morris [Camden], 2001
48.75 … Luke Colehower [Haddonfield], 2017
48.79 … Gabriel Moronta [Pleasantville], 2020
48.7h … Curt Mcintyre [Bridgeton], 1992
48.91 … Marlin Gross [Bridgeton], 2001
48.91 … Rob Gary [Lenape], 1998
49.03 … Ian Moore [Lenape], 2001
49.05 … William Mobley [Eastern], 1990
49.11 … Darrell Bush [Woodbury], 2012
49.13 … Eric Chekemian [Washington Twp.], 2001
49.19 … Amir Brock [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2017
49.1h … Antonio Abney [Willingboro], 2007
49.24 … Duke Mack [Pleasantville], 2007
49.24 … Zachariah Murray [Haddonfield], 2019
49.26 … Tim Carey [Washington Twp,], 2010
49.2h … Dennis Mitchell [Edgewood], 1984
49.2h … Maurice Young [Camden], 2002
49.45 … Devon Patton [Willingboro], 1990
49.53 … Carl Smith [Camden], 2005
49.58 … Barry Bethea [Eastern], 2010
49.62 … Alex Dessoye [Egg Harbor Twp.], 2017
49.63 … Daniel Fenton [Millville], 2019
49.5h … Jeff Bradford [Willingboro], 1983
49.5h … Brian Bennett [Edgewood], 1985
49.65 … Marquan Jones [Pennsauken], 2016
49.65 … Aaron Younger [Delsea], 2007
49.66 … Matt Kordos [Buena], 1999
49.67 … Isaac Clark [Pleasantville], 2013
49.67 … Ahmad Brown [Holy Spirit], 2020
49.70 … Isaiah Whaley [Atlantic City], 2019
49.72 … Norman Morris [Penns Grove], 2015
49.72 … Francis Terry [Sterling], 2016
49.76 … Nick Brown [Bridgeton], 1999
49.81 … Sherman Goree [Camden], 2007
49.85 … Sean Mayers [Cherokee], 2002
49.86 … Martin Booker [Pennsauken], 2017
49.86 … Akmed Muhummed [Oakcrest], 2012
49.88 … Darius Holmes [Willingboro], 2012
49.89 … Tarence Walker [Pleasantville], 2017
49.98 … Reuben McCoy [Winslow Twp.], 2004
49.98 … Steve Greer [Eastern], 2008
50.03 … Mike Patterson [Pleasantville], 1997
50.03 … Marvin Lewis [Willingboro], 2001

2 thoughts on “Gene Pratt’s mysterious S.J. 440 record that stood for 18 years!!!!! And the complete S.J. boys indoor 400-meter dash top-50!!!

  1. Fred L Rucker June 28, 2020 / 9:49 am

    As always keep up the good work. Is there a chance you will list the top 300 meter times?

    Like

    • sjtcaweb June 28, 2020 / 2:53 pm

      Hey Ruck — I’m going to try and make a list of the top 300, 600, 1,000 and 1,500 times. Won’t be able to do top 50 on those events but will try to do top 20’s or at least top 10’s. Hope you’re well.

      Like

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