ON THIS DATE: Jimmy Kneubuhl breaks record that stands forever

When Punahou’s Andrei Iosivas wowed the crowd with five gold medals at the state track and field championships two years ago, nobody had seen anything like it.

But part of that hype came because fellow Buffanblu Jimmy Kneubuhl was so far before their time.

On this date in 1934, Kneubuhl won five golds in an ILH track and field meet before a crowd of 3,000 at Alexander Field, breaking the mark in the 440 with a 49.1-second effort.


Thanks in part to Kneubuhl, 28 points, Punahou outscored Saint Louis by 17 points with McKinley a close third.

He was the first athlete to cover the 440 in under 50 seconds to break marks set in 1925, beating William Pacheco of Saint Louis by at least five yards. Kneubuhl broke his stride 75 yards from the finish or his time would have been lower but the time has still never been equaled mostly because the race only contained 1 1/2 turns. He also tied the mark of 10 seconds in the 100, sharing it with Tin Luke Mark of McKinley in 1921. It was the second time in two years Kneubuhl ran it in 10 flat. Bernard Farden of Kamehameha also tied the mark in 1922. Kneubuhl later ran the 100 yards in 9.7 seconds, a mark that has never been broken in Hawaii.

The state switched from yards to meters in 1980. Four boys broke 10 flat in the state meet that began in 1959, but nobody threatened Kneubuhl’s mark. Jerry Andrade of Waialua (1967), Leilehua’s Mike Cary (1976) and Mike Glazier (1977) and Terrance Derby of Pearl City (1979) all ran a 9.9.


Kneubuhl also won the 220 in 22.5 seconds, the javelin in 161-11.75 and the broad jump in 21-4.80.

He was not the only record breaker from Punahou, as Ted Locey won both hurdles events and finished second to Kneubuhl in the 220 and broad jump and third in the javelin. Kneubuhl and Locey scored 43 points between them, three more than runner-up McKinley.


Locey broke his own record in the 220 hurdles at 24.9. His previous record was 25.4 set a year earlier. He won the 120 hurdles in 16.7 in the first running event of the meet.

Kneubuhl, who was born in American Samoa, went on to be the first track and field athlete inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 after attending Stanford and becoming an executive with Standard Oil in New York City. He was a world record holder in a relay for the Cardinal.

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