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Mark Gaughan's Power Take: Bennett's Lamar Smith was a giant in WNY sports

I love watching the world track and field championships, currently being held in London. I especially like watching the split times of every race and seeing how close the leaders are to the world record.

World records are fascinating. Do you know who holds the oldest men’s track record? It’s Hicham El Guerrouj, the greatest middle distance runner ever, who set the 1,500 mark in 1998. This got me thinking about the Western New York track and field records.

Do you know the oldest boys track record? It’s held by Bennett’s Lamar Smith in the 100 meters. The year? 1981. Smith also holds the 200 mark, set in 1982. Think about that. Despite all the advances in diet and training, Smith’s records still stand after 36 years. The next oldest boys track record was set in 1999. I’m on the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame advisory committee. Why have I never pushed for Smith to be an inductee? That's a mistake I won't make again. Smith is an underappreciated giant in WNY sports history. He should be a slam dunk for the Greater Buffalo Hall.


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