Chuck Hornbostel


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  1. 1 Career

Charles Christian “Chuck” Hornbostel (September 26, 1911 – January 13, 1989) was an American middle-distance runner. He made two Olympic finals at 800 meters and once tied the world record at 880 yards.


As a sophomore at Indiana, Hornbostel won the 800 meters at the 1932 NCAA Championships in a meeting record time of 1:52.7.[1] As the NCAA Championships were simultaneously an early Olympic tryout meet, he qualified for the Olympic Trials in Stanford, where he placed second behind Eddie Genung and qualified for the team.[2] At the Olympics in Los Angeles Hornbostel won his heat, running 1:52.4 and beating the eventual silver medalist, Alex Wilson of Canada.[3] In the final he placed sixth, again running 1:52.7.[4]

Hornbostel repeated as NCAA champion in 1933, beating mile champion Glenn Cunningham by inches as both clocked 1:50.9 for 880 yards.[5][6][7] 1 This equalled Ben Eastman’s world record from the previous year.[8][9][10] Two weeks later Cunningham beat Hornbostel at the national championships in 1:51.8 (800 m).[11]

Hornbostel won the NCAA championship for a third and final time in 1934, this time in 1:51.9 (880 yards).[12] At the Princeton Invitational, however, he was decisively beaten by Eastman, who ran 1:49.8 to break his own and Hornbostel’s record.[13] Hornbostel was some five yards behind in 1:50.7, also under the old record.[14][15]

Hornbostel qualified for the Olympics again in 1936, placing second to eventual gold medalist John Woodruff at the Trials in 1:51.3.[16] In the slow and tactical Olympic final Hornbostel finished fifth.[17] After the Olympics he took part in two world-record-setting relays on the same day, running 4 x 880 yards in 7:35.8 and 4 x Mile in 17:17.2.

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