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Cornelius (Dutch) Warmerdam

Photo of Cornelius (Dutch) Warmerdam

Inducted: 1974, athlete

Born: June 22, 1915 - Long Beach, California
Deceased: November 13, 2001

Pole Vault - 4.79 m

Few, if any, athletes have ever dominated an event as did "Dutch" Warmerdam in the pole vault during the 1940s. He was the first man to clear 15 feet, accomplishing that feat on April 13, 1940. Over the next two years, he raised the world record to 15' 7 3/4" outdoors, a mark that remained unbroken for 15 years. He also held the world indoor best at 15' 8 1/2". Overall, he had 43 vaults over 15 feet at a time when no other vaulter in the world had yet to clear 15 feet. Warmerdam learned to vault in a cabbage patch with a bamboo pole before enrolling at Fresno State, where he achieved a best clearance of 14' 1 3/4". He later competed for the San Francisco Olympic Club during a period when he won or tied for nine National AAU titles, seven of them outdoors. In 1942, he won the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. His last competition was in 1944 when he cleared 15 feet -- what else? -- at the National AAU meet. Deprived of Olympic competition by World War II, Warmerdam later returned to Fresno State as head track coach.

Records Held
World Record: Pole Vault - 4.77 m (May 23, 1942 - )

1944 AAU: Pole Vault (1st)

undergraduate: Fresno State (Fresno, California)


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