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Really All-Time Points Leaders


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  • Really All-Time Points Leaders

    With some research into the pre-T&FN years, here are the all-time rankings points leaders from 1900 to present.

    Most Points
    89 Noureddine Morceli
    77 Hicham El Guerrouj
    74 Kip Keino
    67 Steve Cram
    66 Glenn Cunningham
    66 Steve Scott
    65 Said Aouita
    64 John Walker
    60 Paavo Nurmi
    60 Steve Ovett

    (rest of US leaders)
    56 Joie "Chesty" Ray
    47 Jim Ryun
    44 Dyrol Burleson
    33.5 Gene Venzke
    30 Marty Liquori
    29 Sydney Maree
    25 Archie San Romani
    24 Charles Fenske
    24 Jim Grelle

    Most #1 rankings
    7 Morceli
    6 El Guerrouj
    5 Cram
    4 Nurmi
    3 Walker, Ovett, Gunder Hagg, Jack Lovelock, Peter Snell

    (US leaders)
    2 Cunningham, Ryun, Liquori

    For years prior to 1947, I ranked a world's top three, and filled out the top ten from the world list (the half point for Ray came from a tie on the world list). Not a very good system for places 4-10, but it's the best I got.

    For 1943-45 and 1900-19 (except for 1908 and 1912) I ranked only five and scored it 5-4-3-2-1.

    Just thought it might be interesting.

  • #2
    Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

    What criteria did you use for ranking these runners?



    • #3
      Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

      Exactly the same as T&FN's world rankings criteria.


      • #4
        Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

        What I meant was..where did you get ranking points for Nurmi?


        • #5
          Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

          For 1947 to present, I used T&FN's world rankings as-is.

          From 1921 to 1946 (years for which I have relatively detailed information) I created a top ten by ranking the world's top three and then using the world list for ranks 4 through 10. (For this event, I combined the 1500 & mile world lists.) Prior to 1921 I just used the world list. In 1900-1907, 1909-1911, 1913-1919, and 1943-1945, I scored only five deep on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

          Nurmi's rankings were as follows:
          1921 #2 (ran year's best times but bombed in the biggest race)
          1922 #1 (undefeated)
          1923 #1 (undefeated, beat #2, set WR)
          1924 #1 (undefeated, won OG, set WR)
          1925 #1 (undefeated)
          1926 #2 (lost only to Peltzer and Wide; winning record v Wide)
          1927 #9 (based on world list)

          My source for both world lists and Nurmi's complete seasonal records for 1921 through 1928 is "Track & Field Perfomances Through the Years, Vol. 4", published by ATFS and available through the IAAF.

          Nurmi was quite accomplished at the 1500/mile, and I'd say it was only his third best event (after the 10k and 5k).


          • #6
            Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

            What happens to the all-time lists if you revise your five-deep scoring from 5-4-3-2-1 to 10-9-8-7-6?


            • #7
              Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

              Chesty Ray, Arne Andersson, and Gunder Hagg get more points, and that's about it. The idea behind giving fewer points for those time periods is that there wasn't quite enough worldwide competition to warrant a full ten-deep ranking; T&FN has done so at times.

              But to answer your question directly:

              89 Noureddine Morceli
              81 Chesty Ray
              77 Hicham El Guerrouj
              74 Kip Keino
              67 Steve Cram
              66 Glenn Cunningham
              66 Steve Scott
              65 Said Aouita
              64 John Walker
              60 Paavo Nurmi
              60 Steve Ovett

              Andersson and Hagg still don't make the top ten, and a runner most fans never heard of goes to #2 -- and he earned most of his points while the rest of the track & field world was busy in WWI.


              • #8
                Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                To continue for the 5000 meters:

                Most Points
                113 Paavo Nurmi
                82 Emil Zatopek
                70 Haile Gebreselassie
                66.5 Lauri Lehtinen
                66 Lauri Virtanen
                59 Ron Clarke
                55 Harald Norpoth
                54 Kip Keino
                52 Ville Ritola
                51 Murray Halberg

                (US leaders)
                27 Marty Liquori
                27 Greg Rice
                22 Sydney Maree
                21 Steve Prefontaine
                17 Doug Padilla
                12.5 Earle Johnson
                12 Bob Kennedy
                10 Bob Schul
                9 Ralph Hill
                9 Gerry Lindgren
                9 John Romig

                Most #1 rankings
                7 Nurmi
                5 Zatopek, Gebreselassie, Halberg, Said Aouita

                (US leaders)
                1 Liquori, Schul

                Two patterns emerge: the Flying Finns of the 20s, 30s, and 40s were quite dominant (supplying 4 of the top 10 and 3 of the top 5), and the USA has never been much of a factor.


                • #9
                  Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                  Who are the highest all-time points leaders in all of t&f? Lewis? Nurmi? Bubka? I'd like to see that list


                  • #10
                    Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                    I'm working on it -- my files need some updating and re-editing. Nurmi will probably top 300 points. He's got 60 in the 1500/mile, 113 in the 5k, probably nearly 100 in the 10k, and was also one of the top steeplechasers of his time (although he rarely ran it). I'll have to check my files, but various reports have him running a marathon in 1932, either a time trial or the Finnish Oly trials, which could earn him a few more points. Lewis has 342 points total, which is tough to beat. As far as the most points in a single event, that's still way up in the air (but Lewis is our current leader with 148 in the LJ).

                    My files currently only go back to 1900, and are only truly reliable from 1921 to present. They are constantly changing as I get my hands on new info.


                    • #11
                      Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                      10,000 meter scoring leaders:

                      103 Paavo Nurmi
                      86 Haile Gebreselassie
                      79 Emil Zatopek
                      64 Ron Clarke
                      63 Ilmari Salminen
                      58 Paul Tergat
                      54 Pyotr Bolotnikov
                      51 Viljo Heino
                      49 Miruts Yifter
                      48 Salvatore Antibo, Eric Backman, Khalid Skah

                      (US leaders)
                      30 Frank Shorter
                      23 Mark Nenow
                      18 Billy Mills, Craig Virgin
                      11 Bruce Bickford
                      9 Lewis Tewanima
                      7 William Kramer
                      6 Gerry Lindgren
                      5 Curt Stone, Max Truex

                      Most #1 rankings
                      8 Nurmi
                      7 Zatopek
                      6 Gebreselassie
                      5 Salminen
                      4 Clarke

                      (US leaders)
                      1 Billy Mills, Bruce Bickford


                      • #12
                        Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                        Steeplechase scoring leaders:

                        No pre-1947 athletes made the top ten, so I see no reason to rewrite ... thlete.pdf
                        (note: Nurmi scored 14 points and a #1 ranking in 1922)

                        (US leaders)
                        75 Henry Marsh
                        29 Joe McCluskey
                        19 Brian Diemer
                        18 George Young
                        17 Harold Manning
                        14 Mark Croghan
                        13 Floyd Lochner
                        10 Horace Ashenfelter
                        8 Glen Dawson
                        7 John Gregorek, Mel Dalton, Michael DeVaney

                        Most #1 rankings
                        6 Moses Kiptanui
                        5 Gaston Roelants
                        3 Bronislaw Malinowsky, Henry Marsh, Erik Elmsater, Volamri Iso-Hollo

                        (US leaders)
                        3 Marsh
                        1 Ashenfelter, Manning

                        Nurmi totals 300 points exactly, with 20 #1 rankings. Well short of Lewis' 342 points/28 #1 rankings. You can argue about a lot of things, but it seems indesputable that Carl Lewis had the greatest career in track & field history.

                        Note: If you, like I, believe that T&FN should eliminate Ben Johnson from their 1987 rankings, Lewis goes to 343 points and 29 #1 rankings.


                        • #13
                          Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                          One more, the long jump:

                          Points leaders
                          148 Carl Lewis
                          118 Igor Ter-Ovanesyan
                          111 Larry Myricks
                          92 Ralph Boston
                          89 Ivan Pedroso
                          86 Mike Powell
                          63 Arne Robinson
                          60 William DeHart Hubbard
                          58 James Beckford
                          53 Erick Walder

                          (US leaders, ctd)
                          52 Greg Bell
                          44 Mike Conley, Ed Gordon
                          40 Jesse Owens, Willie Steele

                          Most #1 rankings
                          10 Lewis
                          8 Boston
                          6 Hubbard
                          4 Arne Robinson, Owens, Steele


                          • #14
                            Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                            No disrespect to your rankings but I am having a hard time believing Pedroso was better than Powell!


                            • #15
                              Re: Really All-Time Points Leaders

                              Those aren't Squire's rankings, those are T&FN's. They don't say Pedroso was "better" than Powell (although with 5 straight world indoor titles and 4 straight outdoors one might make that case). They simply say that Pedroso earned more points thorugh the years than Powell did.

                              This is largely explained by the fact that Pedroso first ranked in the year in which he turned 20, while Powell didn't make it until he was 22.