Adolph Plummer, sprinter, Died at 77


Adolph Plummer was born on January 3, 1938, and died on November 30, 2015.

He was an American track and field athlete.

Adolph is best remembered as for at one time having been the world record holder in the 440 yard dash.

In 1961 running for the University of New Mexico (UNM), Adolph became NCAA (USA Collegiate) champion at 440 yards.

During his time at UNM (1959 to 1963), Adolph was a member of an outstanding Lobos track team.

During this period, Adolph won four Western Athletic Conference (WAC) 440 yard titles, plus three 220 yard titles and was voted a two-time All-American in the 440 yards.

On May 25, 1963, running in his last race for UNM at the WAC Championships in Tempe, Arizona, Plummer shocked future Olympic champion Ulis Williams on his home track and beat Glenn Davis’s five-year-old record, clocking a 44.9 for 440 yards (Williams also broke the old world record by 0.1 second).

Adolph only memory of the race was hearing the starter say “set” before the race began.

Adolph time was also fast enough to tie the existing world record in the shorter 400 metres (he equalled the old world record running the longer distance of 402.34 m).”

This run was the first ever under 45 seconds and broke the old record by the huge margin of 8 tenths of a second.

In 1964, Adolph attempted to qualify for the Olympic Games but trailed in last in his heat due to the flare-up of an arthritic knee, a condition that was to eventually end his athletics career.

In 1965, Adolph returned to the track specializing in the 220 yard/200 meter event.

That year he became USA national champion at 220 yards and was ranked number one in the world at that distance.

Adolph was a native of Brooklyn, New York City and served in the United States Air Force before attending UNM.

After attending UNM, Adolph moved to Colorado and worked as an educator in the Denver public school system.

He also served for a time as an associate dean in the Athletic Department at UNM in charge of education.

Adolph Plummer passed away on November 30, 2015 in Denver.