Maxie Parks

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Maxwell Lander "Maxie" Parks
Personal information
Born (1951-07-09) July 9, 1951 (age 67)
Arkansas City, Arkansas
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight172 lb (78 kg)
College teamUniversity of California Los Angeles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)400m: 44.82[1]
Maxie Parks
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1976 Montreal 4x400 m relay

Maxwell Lander ("Maxie") Parks (born July 9, 1951) is an American former athlete from Fresno, California.

Winner of the USA Olympic Trials in 1976,[2] he did not gain a medal in the individual event (he came fifth[1]), but did become a winner of a gold medal in 4 × 400 m Men's relay race with Herman Frazier, Benny Brown, and Fred Newhouse at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. In the 1970s he competed for the UCLA for several years.[3] In 1977 he ran on the 1977 IAAF Athletics World Cup, anchoring the 4 × 400 m relay team to what appeared to be a runaway victory when he collapsed on the track with a severely pulled hamstring 150m from the finish. This unfortunate injury denied the USA a seemingly certain victory in the team competition, the victory instead going to East Germany.[4] Parks did not compete again that season, but did return in 1978 to again capture the national title at 400 m.

Any hope of Olympic success in 1980 was denied by the USA boycott of those games, but in any event Parks's form meant he only reached the semi-final stage at the Olympic trials.[5]

Prior to UCLA he was a graduate of Washington Union High School,[6] then Fresno City College.

Parks was in 2010 honoured as a member of the '100 Stars for 100 Years' for Fresno City College. In the publicity for the event, Parks is stated as having received the honour of being, in 1990, inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.[7] Parks has also been elected into the California Community College Track and Field Hall of Fame[8]


Parks was ranked among the best in the USA and the world in the 400 m/440 y events over the period 1973 to 1978, according to the votes of the experts of Track and Field News.[9][10]

100 meters
Year World rank US rank
1973 - 5th
1974 - 6th
1975 - -
1976 5th 3rd
1977 4th 2nd
1978 4th 3rd

USA Championships[edit]

Parks was a very successful competitor in the US National Championships between 1973 and 1978:[11]

USA Championships
Year 100m
1973 4th
1974 -
1975 -
1976 1st
1977 3rd
1978 1st

Best performances[edit]

Notes for tables:

  1. world rankings are based on the best time for each athlete.
  2. 440 yard times are converted to 400 metres times by subtracting 0.3 s for manual-timed results.[12]
  3. for comparison with automatically-timed races, manual times have a factor of 0.14 s added.[12]
400 meters
Year Result World Rank Location Date
1973[13] 45.5 9th Bakersfield Jun 16
1974[14] 45.76 11th Austin Aug 24
1975[15] 45.9 30th Bakersfield May 17
1976[16] 44.82 4th Westwood Jun 12
1977[17] 45.45 7th Zurich Aug 24
1978[18] 45.15 6th Westwood Jun 10


Parks has a nephew, Adolphus Parks, who is a promising young college athlete.[19]


  1. ^ a b Sports Reference, Maxie Parks biography.
  2. ^,5229368 'Parks winner in 400 meters', Lodi News-Sentinel, 30 June 1976
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) UCLA Bruins, 1973 Track and Field, Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  4. ^ The Cup Turned Into A Coup, Kenny Marks, Sports Illustrated, 12 September 1977. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  5. ^ The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field, R Hymans, USA Track & Field, 2008
  6. ^ Trackinfo
  7. ^ '100 Stars for 100 Years List is Complete', 30/7/2010. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  8. ^ FCC Distinguished Alumni
  9. ^ "World Rankings Index--Men's 400 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  10. ^ "U.S. Rankings Index--Men's 400 meters" (PDF). Track and Field News.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2012-06-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2003, Track and Field News, Retrieved 18 March 2012.
  12. ^ a b 440 Yard and 400 Meter Racing – Facts and Figures
  13. ^ 1973 Year Rankings at 400m
  14. ^ 1974 Year Rankings at 400m
  15. ^ 1975 Year Rankings at 400m
  16. ^ 1976 Year Rankings at 400m
  17. ^ 1977 Year Rankings at 400m
  18. ^ 1978 Year Rankings at 400m
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Adolphus Parks, Cerritos College biography. Retrieved 18 March 2012.