I've seen my share of great High School quarter milers, but two that stick out are William Reed(45.17) and Obea Moore(45.14). Both ran incredibly fast times from grades 9-11, and strangely both got injured there senior years and in Reed's case he did not run at all, and with Moore he ran in about 3 meets. Being from The east coast I saw Reed many times, (Indoor Nationals, Penn Relays) and Moore (Indoor Nationals, and Penn Relays as well) I know we have some high school historians on this board, who did you think was the better 400 runner?
I never saw Reed run while he was in HS, but Darrell Robinson and Bill Green both were better HS runners than Obea Moore. But the best I ever saw was Ulis Williams (Compton CA) in 1961. Going way back, Ted Meredith and Frank Sloman would rate consideration.
I am not sure about Bill Green being a better HS runner then Obea Moore. Green's best time was 45.51, Moore ran faster 4 times during his HS career, not to mention going sub 46.0 about 10 times in his HS career. I know Robinson is the HS record holder and only HS athlete to go sub 45.0, but Moore never really got to run his senior year due to a hamstring injury, who knows what he could of ran, not saying he would of broken Robinson's record. I failed to mention on my first post about Clinton Davis (45.4)Henry Thomas(45.09) and Chris Nelloms(45.36), they rank up there with the Reed's, the Moore's and the Robinson's.
I have to agree with the choice of Reed over Moore
because I watched a meet two decades ago I believe
was on the campus of Duke and William Reed ran
against Carl Lewis in the rarely ran distance
of 300m and when a high school runner wins the
race while laughing at the top sprinter on the
planet that should you something about
A area that you individuals have forgotten
about is academics and I tried to keep up
with these two talented people and from what I
heard is that they both were very weak in this
area because they were constantly transferring
from school to school.
Both are good, but a guy named Julian Rifas is better then both of them. This is an amazing story and since I went to high school with the guy i can definitely tell you that it is true... During the 1998 track season Julian Rifas was a sophmore at my high school. He had ran track as a freshmen in a few dual meets the prior year but started the season late so never fully developed. In the 98 season( as a sophmore) Julian Rifas ran the first dual meet of the season and ran a 46.75! But after he crossed the finish line he did a little showboating. Because of this our coach got extremely upset at Julian( they also had prior disagreements before the season even started...long story) and told him he would not be able to run in the following meet. So Julian quit the team and did not run again for the rest of that year. Following that season our coach got fired(what a surprise) and a new coach was brought in for the 1999 season. Julian was convinced to run his junior year since we had a new coach. Julian was much bigger and stronger his junior year then his sophmore year so expectations were high. And Julian Rifas definitely did not let anyone down. In the first DUAL MEET of the season, Julian Rifas ran a 45.29. It was the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen, this guy was flying! But this is were the story takes a sad turn. The following day a car crash left this poor kid with a severly broken leg. It never fully healed and Julian Rifas was never able to run for the rest of his high school career. He missed his whole senior season. I have seen Obea Moore in person run the quarter mile and this is the only time I have ever seen anyone run as fast. Im telling you, if not for this tragedy, Julian Rifas is the person we would be talking about as the best 1/4 miler in high school history.
Obea Moore without question. We:re talking about a kid who ran 20,xx in the 200m, 45-low in the 400m, and 1.49 in the 800m -- an event I thought would wind up being his best had he not suffered setbacks along the way. Yes, Reed had that 44,4 relay leg on the previous WJR 4x4; Moore wasn:t far behind with a 44,8 anchor on Muir:s 4x400m at CIF State Meet in 1995. Moore had great range. Seems like you guys are judging the two as purely 400m runners. Which was the better athlete?
This one is difficult in the sense of father's pride because my son, Christian McFadden, a HS All-American 800 runner in 96, anchoring Bensalem HS's SM Relay team (a lackluster 400 meter leg kept Bensalem out of the money) despite my son's 1.51.00 vs Obea Moore...did not medal...but anyway...
Obea Moore was absolutely incredible (he had the Penn Relays crowd screaming a few months later) and William Reed was the same (if you've never been to Penn Relays, it kind of sounds like: Wooooooooooo...when someone like William takes the baton).
But for my money, there was no other COMPETITOR like Tony Darden of Norristown HS, PA, c. 1976. He was UNBEATABLE no matter the time it took to win. AND he ran down and beat Alberto Juan Torreno of Cuba--the unbeatable 12 meter stride guy--within a year of Juan Torrono's win in the Olympics.
So Obea vs William is moot. Tony Darden was the best ever--he never lost a race from his sophmore year to beyond the unfortunate US boycott of the 1980 Olympics.
Hands down Obea Moore? Reed ran 10.0, 20.5 and 45.4 as a soph in 1986, and in '87 hit 45.17 and 44.2 split. Overall better athelte is very very tough, and head to head 400 race would be a toss up. I think Reed was the faster of the two as far as footspeed goes, but there times at 400 are virtually identical.
Darden is not a bad response to this question. Unlike Moore and Reed, Darden was healthy his senior year of 1976, and won the AAU Juniors in 45.7. That was the second-fastest high school mark ever, behind Ronnie Ray's 45.8 440 on a one-turn track.
Moore's 45.14A in '96 placed him 4th on the high school all-time list. Reed's 45.17 in '87 placed him 3rd.
The problem with this type of comparison is the implication that everyone who ever held the high school record was better than any of these three. And a single PR is hardly a good basis on which to judge.
I'd have to agree with Jim Rorick that Ulis Williams gets the top spot. Based on world rankings while in high school, Williams is one of only three 400m runners to earn a top-10 ranking.
Williams was ranked No. 2 in '61; Bill Green was No. 2 in '79; high school record holder (44.69) Darrell Robinson was No. 5 in '82. I cannot think of anyone before 1947 who would have been a solid candidate for a No. 1 ranking while still in high school.
P.S. on Darden: He was hardly unbeaten following high school. His only major wins were at the '79 Pan-Am Games, and the U.S. Olympic Festivals of '79 and '81.
I agree that one PR does not make a athlete the best, but if you looke at Reed and Moore, they both ran sub 46.0 a number of times in High School. Both were consistent at 45 point. Mr. Johnson, im interested to get your opinion on the best HS sprinter overall, I would have to go with Roy Martin on that one.