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800m/880yds Contenders

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1800m/880yds Contenders Empty 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:05 am



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

2800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:56 pm



Dean Paulin was good as I've seen in the last 20 years.

3800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:54 pm

Seb Coe


Scott Petersen
Mark Holcombe
Kris McCarthy


4800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:49 am

Way Back


Chris Fisher use to clean up at the Bendigo middle distance races back in the 70s and 80s.

5800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:00 pm



Steve Hocking won the Vic pro title at Wang and was a very good backmarker in his day.

Other good half milers back then were Pat Healy & Mark Hipworth.

6800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:25 pm


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star

Late 80's and early 90's had a couple of guns in Marcus Downes and Paul Schnyder.

7800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:14 pm



McCracken, Downes, Sheales best of the 60s.

8800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:14 pm



The Age, February 10 1958

World Pro. Record Goes
Wangaratta, Sunday.
Distance Runner Peter Sheales running off scratch smashed the professional world half-mile record with a time of 1-52.8 at Whorouly, near Wangaratta yesterday.

The previous record was set by J D Fitt who ran the distance in 1-53.6 in 1392 in Christchurch (N.Z.).


The Age, January 30 1961

Sheales Sets World Pro. 880 Mark

From Ron Carter
Wangaratta Sunday.

Peter Sheales smashed his own world professional 880 yards record but two-miler John Toleman failed in his world record attempt at the Wangaratta Gift meeting yesterday.

Sheales cut his world record by 1.7 sec eith a run of 1-51.1 in a heat of the half mile during the afternoon, with the temperature well over the century.

Toleman did not run up to expectations and was 9.5 sec outside his world record when he won the two-mile scratch race in 9 mins 15.2 sec, last night.

Sheales who started from 6 yards, almost missed breaking a special tape 6 yards past the normal finish when he forgot about his record attempt in his efforts to win the heat.

He went to the line in a desperate finish with Ralph Palethorpe, and then almost hit a steel post as he staggered to the second tape.

"I can only remember my trainer John Donegan shouting "Over here, over here" as I finished the race," Sheales said.

Palethorpe running from 44 yards, won the heat by inches.

Tolemans' record bid failed because none of the nine runners in the two-mile race was willing to make a fast early pace.

However he still has another chance to beat the record in the two-mile handicap tomorrow night.

He won last night's race by 30 yards.

9800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:07 pm



I've dispensed with a top 12 - hard to find 12 really good half milers. Seemed to be a dearth of half milers through the years.

FINAL 5 contenders

Harry Downes (VIC) 1960's
Chris Fisher (SA) 1970's
Herb Hedemann (VIC) 1910's
Dean Paulin (VIC) 1990's
Peter Sheales (VIC) 1950's

10800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:16 am



800m/880yds Members of the
Pro Track
Team of the Century

Peter Sheales (VIC) 1950's
Chris Fisher (SA) 1970's

Peter Sheales (VIC) 1950’s
After Jack Fitt set a world professional 880 yard record in 1932 at Christchurch N.Z., the record stood for 26 years until Peter Sheales broke it at Whorouly in February 1958.  Running from scratch in the final of the half mile handicap, Sheales ran 1min 52.8sec to finally break a record that was long overdue.

The record stood for three years before Sheales broke his own record in extremely hot conditions  at Wangaratta , running 1min 51.1sec. on 28th January 1961.

At the VAL Christmas meeting on 22 December 1957 at Olympic Park, Sheales established a new Australian professional mile record, covering the distance in 4mins 10.4secs thus clipping 1.2 seconds off the previous record. What was remarkable was the track was in poor shape and the hot windy conditions were certainly not conducive to a fast time. Sheales ran the time winning the handicap mile off scratch.

Sheales ran off scratch numerous times in 880 yards event through the late 50’s and early 60’s, winning over 20 races.

His world pro 880 yards record stood until 1966, when it was broken by Harold Downes.

Sheales won the backmarkers mile at Stawell in 1957 off 15 yards in 4mins 8.8secs. The following year he won the Herb Hedemann Invitation mile off 5 yards in 4mins 5.8secs.  In 1961, He repeated his Hedemann mile win, running 4min 6.2sec off scratch to break the Australian professional mile record.

Sheales went on to a stellar field umpire career in the VFL between 1965 and 1972, umpiring 136 games including two grand finals (1967 and 1971) in the days of one umpire.

Chris Fisher (SA)1970's
As one of the country's best amateur middle distance athletes in the early 1970's, Chris Fisher won three open national 1500m titles from 1970 to 1972, four SA state titles over 800 metres and 1500m and represented Australia in the 1970 Commonwealth and 1972 Olympic Games.

His best international performance was at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh Scotland, when Fisher ran fourth in the 800m final in then personal best of 1-47.78.

Fisher was the first SA athlete to ever break the four minute mile barrier when he won the Herb Elliott mile at an international meet in Melbourne on 18th March 1971. His best ever time for the mile was 3min 57.3sec.

After the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he was enticed to turn professional by the International Track Association and ran on the international professional track circuit against the likes of Kenyan champion Kip Keino and USA world record holder Jim Ryun. Fisher won and was placed in several ITA events over 800m and 1500m, running in front of big crowds across the USA.

In 1975 Fisher won the 1500m Herb Hedemann Invitation from scratch in 3mins 43.7sec - a new professional Australian record. He then spent more time overseas before returning to Stawell in 1979 to win the Energy Mile from scratch in 4mins 10.0sec.

In 1980, Fisher again won the Herb Hedemann invitation 1500m off scratch in 3mins 46.7sec. He won the Bendigo mile five years in a row and dominated the 1982 invitation distance series at Bendigo winning all three events over 800m 1600m and 3200m.

To this day, Chris Fisher still holds the SA (amateur) state record for 800m with his 1min 47.0s recorded in Oslo on 14th December 1971.

11800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:36 am



Hipworth must go in for the early 80's. Won Wang off 8m. Also won Stawell off a similar peg. I must be getting memory fade as I cannot remember Paulin doing much in the 90's over 800m. Over the mile yes but not the 800.
We have had no-one match the likes of the old timers since open athletics over 800m.

12800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:07 am

Iron Maiden


Pepe wrote:Hipworth must go in for the early 80's. Won Wang off 8m. Also won Stawell off a similar peg. I must be getting memory fade as I cannot remember Paulin doing much in the 90's over 800m. Over the mile yes but not the 800.
We have had no-one match the likes of the old timers since open athletics over 800m.

Chris McCarthy also ran and won pro races during the mid 1990's. There is no doubt he would have been quicker than the others on his way to Sydney Olympic 2000 selection.

There is a good story about Chris rolling his car down an embankment on his way to Strath Creek before winning 2 races on that same day.

13800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:36 am



AA WEBSITE - Mccarthy was only 20 as at 31 dec 1999. His best running was from 2000 onwards.

Kris MCCARTHY (Vic) Male 15 Oct 1979
Competition Event Position Result
International Competition
2000 Olympic Games 800 metres 46/62 Ht8 4th 1:48.92
2001 Universiade 800 metres 5/45 Ht5 1st 1:49.29; SF1 5th 1:46.77; Final 5th 1.46.15
4 x 400 metres 4 Ht2 4th 3:08.19; Final 4th 3.04.51 (Ran heat only)
2002 Commonwealth Games 800 metres 3/27 Ht2 2nd 1:48.85; SF2 3rd 1:47.06; Final 3rd 1:46.79
4 x 400 metres 5 Ht2 4th 3:04.39(47.4); Final 5th 3:02.22 (Ran heat only)
2002 World Cup 800 metres 9/9 DNF
2003 World Championships 800 metres 20/58 Ht4 2nd 1:47.61; SF2 7th 1:47.64

National Competition
1999-00 Aust. T & F 800 metres 3 (1st Aust.) 1:45.91
2000-01 Aust. T & F 800 metres 1 1:47.08
2002-03 Aust. T & F 800 metres 1 1:48.20
2003-04 Aust. T & F 800 metres 2 (1st Aust.) 1:47.99

14800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:09 pm



Thanks for the comments. McCarthy was considered but just not quite enough info on him from pre 2000.

Hipworth would have been in a top 10. Paulin's record is mainly at 1500 and the mile but he was very handy over the 800m.

The one Phantom threw up - Paul Schnyder probably should have been in the top 5. Schnyder had a PB of 1-46.86. Probably didn't see quite enough of him on the pro circuit as the pro/amateur marriage opened up and he didn't quite have the impact some others had once he could run in the VAL.

The other one who would have been a massive chance in the TotC had he run a lot more often is Justin Rinaldi. Only had a few starts with the VAL in the mid 90's, but was a genuine class athlete. I'm surprised his name does not appear on the All Time 800m Ranking List as I thought he had run sub 1-47.4. But the best I could find was when he won the Australian 800m title in 1997 in 1-47.78.

15800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:41 pm



I would still dispute Paulins credentials in the 800m. I would rate Peterson, Hane and Howarth higher from the 90's.
Don't confuse his mile feats with 800m where he has won a couple of herbs a backies mile and a 3200. Yes, he was more than handy over the 800m but this doesn't rate him in the top 5 of all time. I struggle to see how he is in the same sentence as Hipworth. Converting Hipworths performances off single digit handicaps he runs faster than anyone mentioned so far in this thread.

16800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:29 pm



Hi Pepe,

Fair point on Paulin in regard to other 90's runners.
But I think you rate Hipworth far higher than his achievements over 800m warrants. Hippy did spend several years in the 80's chasing sprint and gift glory with a stawell final and a burnie win.
When it all went open when Hippy was at his best in his mid 20's, Hippy struggled at open national level over 800. He went to the nationals once in 87 and ran 6th in his heat.
Paulin, Schnyder, Polkinghorne, M Downes all made national finals.
Before Hippy went to King he was a good 800 runner but not as good as others.

17800m/880yds Contenders Empty Re: 800m/880yds Contenders Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:30 pm



McCarthy did most of his pro running prior to 2000, think his last win was Maryborough in 2000 in the 800m. Chris was off a tough mark with 2nd and 3rd off 100m+ and the closest runner starting around 50m in front of him. Had about 10 wins in 2 years I reckon from maybe 97 onwards but only ever saw him at Stawell each year after 2000 and not on the circuit.

18800m/880yds Contenders Empty 800m Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:02 pm



1. peter bourke
2. paul schynder
3. kevin moses

19800m/880yds Contenders Empty distance races back Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:20 pm


Chris Fisher use to clean up at the Bendigo middle distance races back in the 70s and 80s.

20800m/880yds Contenders Empty 800m+ Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:33 am


just read this old thread would like to throw up steve hocking as he won over 400m,550m,800m,1600m,and 3200m and he won the victorian and australian pro 800m at wangaratta (1.51s)and bendigo(1.50?)

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