60 Years of Rankings

Pictured: Liz McColgan – where does she come in our distance rankings? (Pic by Jeff Holmes for Great Run)

In 1960, Simon Pearson, Tom McNab and Tommy Robertson published a typed booklet containing the Scottish Best Performances in 1959.

This was the first time a detailed Scottish rankings list had been published. This initial work was continued annually and led to the formation of the Scottish Association of Track Statisticians.

Now, our historian Arnold Black has summarised the top 10 from the rankings in every event and published on the SATS website.

Rankings on the SATS website

Using this summarised ranking, Arnold has scored the ranking lists on a simple points basis – 10 points for first place down to 1 point for tenth place, identifying the athletes who have made the most significant impact over the last sixty years.

There are provisos of course in looking at events in this manner. One is cut-off; current athletes’ careers are not complete and athletes in 1959 would have had earlier careers.

In the latter situation, the pre-1959 careers of athletes have been considered in the scoring. Also, this series takes no account of success on a wider stage, in British or international competition.

In a series of articles, Arnold reviews the results by event category:

60 Years of Rankings – Arnold Black looks back at sprints

60 Years of Rankings – Arnold Black looks at our throwers

60 Years of Rankings . . . Arnold Black on ‘Over the Barriers’

60 Years of Rankings . . . Going the Distance

60 Years of Rankings – Above and Beyond

60 Years of Rankings – Middle Distance


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