Ivory Crockett

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Ivory Crockett (born August 24, 1948) is a former sprinter who, for a time, held the distinction of being "the world's fastest man" when he broke the world record for the 100-yard dash in 1974.


Crockett was born in Hall, Tennessee, where his father was a sharecropper. His family moved to Missouri when Crockett was a young boy.[1]

Crockett was a track star from his time at high school in Webster Groves in St. Louis County, Missouri. In 1968 as a senior he ran the second fastest time that year by a high-school student.[1] He was recruited to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, where he competed successfully on their track team, including becoming twice USA champion in the 100 yards sprint, in 1969 and 1970.[2]

In 1974, he ran the fastest 100-yard dash with manual timing of 9.0 seconds, a record he still holds.[3] This was deemed at the time by the Los Angeles Times as "Immortality in 9 Seconds Flat",[4] and he was quickly tagged with the title the world's fastest man by Track and Field News[5] who put him on their June 1974 cover.[6]

Crockett never ran in the Olympics for the USA having been eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 1972 USA Olympics trials and the quarter-finals of the 1976 trials.[7]

Crockett has gone on to become an administrator and director of business development for the College of Nursing at Forest Park Hospital in St Louis, Missouri.[1]

After college, he moved back to Webster Groves where he had attended Brentwood and Webster Groves High School. His local community recognised his achievements by naming a park in his honour, 'Ivory Crockett Park'.[1][8] As a gift to his local community, Crockett started in 2004 the 'The Ivory Crockett Run "4" Webster', a fun walk/run.[9]

Crockett has not always been given the credit due to him for what he achieved as a track athlete.[10] Some people questioned his winning of his national titles because rivals were missing, and they even doubted the legitimacy of his world record. This rankled because he was married and had had to battle financial tough times to keep on running.[10] Looking back however, living in West County, Missouri and the father of five children, Crockett could reflect ""Life has been really, really good to me,....Who would have thought this would have happened to me."[1]

World Rankings[edit]

Crockett was voted to be ranked among the best in the USA and the world in the 100 m sprint event in the period from 1969 to 1974, according to Track and Field News.[11][12]

He was also voted to be ranked 10th in the USA and 4th in the world in the 200 m sprint in 1973.[13][14]

100 meters
Year World rank US rank
1969 4th 2nd
1970 9th 5th
1971 - 9th
1972[15] - 7th
1973[16] 10th 3rd
1974[17] 6th 3rd


  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.zoominfo.com/CachedPage/?archive_id=0&page_id=291405460&page_url=//www.timesnewspapers.com/sports/000915wgtf.html&page_last_updated=2002-06-08T06:34:19&firstName=Ivory&lastName=Crockett "Worlds Fastest Man", Rick Frese, Webster Groves Track, Webster-Kirkwood Times. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-06-17.  A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved 3 February 2012
  3. ^ http://www.alltime-athletics.com/m_100yok.htm#2 All-time best performances at 100 yards with manual timing
  4. ^ *http://frankwykoff2.com/wykoff_congratulates_ivory_crockett.htm Immortality in 9 seconds flat, LA Times.
  5. ^ http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/archive/Interviews/June74IV.pdf Archived Track and Field News Interview by Jon Hendershott, June 1974, Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  6. ^ https://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php/archivemenu/28-covers/131-past-covers-1967
  7. ^ http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field, R Hymans, USA Track & Field, 2008
  8. ^ http://mo-webstergroves2.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=178&ART=1218&admin=1 Ivory Crockett Park, Webster Groves. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  9. ^ http://www.smtcstl.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=88&Itemid=96 The Ivory Crockett Run "4" Webster, Sports Medicine Training Center. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1088625/1/index.htm "Gold To Ivory... For sprinter Ivory Crockett, the unappreciated world-record holder..." Pat Putnam. Sports Illustrated, 3 June 1974. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  11. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 100 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. 
  13. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 200 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News. 
  15. ^ 1972 Year Rankings at 100m
  16. ^ 1973 Year Rankings at 100m
  17. ^ 1974 Year Rankings at 100m

External links[edit]