Santa Monica Track Club

The Santa Monica Track Club (also known as SMTC) was formed in 1972 by Joe Douglas as a post-collegiate track club.[1] By the 1980s, the team came to be a major player in worldwide Track and Field competition, with team members setting numerous World and National records. The membership list reads like a Who's Who of Olympic athletes and the SMTC logo became a recognizable icon on the uniforms of those elite athletes.


In its first year of existence, 1968 Olympian from Puerto Rico, Willie Rios joined the club and qualified to run in the 1972 Summer Olympics. In 1974, member Reid Harter set the first American Record in the road 30 Kilometre run. By 1976, three team members qualified for the 1976 Summer Olympics.[2]

In 1979, a young Carl Lewis, then known as a top level High School long jumper, joined the club for competitions beyond his collegiate career at the University of Houston. Lewis went on to be the dominant force in sprinting and long jump for the next decade. Coached in the off season by his collegiate coach Tom Tellez, other elite sprinters were attracted to the club, including Carol Lewis, Carl's sister and University of Houston teammates Joe DeLoach, Leroy Burrell and Kirk Baptiste. The club developed an impressive record of Olympic and World Championships, limited in many situations because teammates were the closest competition at the highest level. Lewis and Burrell exchanged the prestigious World Record in the 100 metres four times.

Four members of the club, Michael Marsh, Leroy Burrell, Floyd Heard and Carl Lewis, representing the Santa Monica Track Club tied the world record in the 4x100 meters relay at the Herculis meet in Monaco. The record lasted for four days until it was surpassed by a team representing the USA that consisted of three of the SMTC members, with Dennis Mitchell replacing Heard. The same four members set the World Record in the 4 x 200 metre relay, set at the Mt. SAC Relays in 1994.[3] That record lasted over 20 years until it was surpassed by .05 by a team from Jamaica at the 2014 IAAF World Relays. Also Kevin Young's World Record in the 400 metre hurdles set in winning the 1992 Summer Olympics stood until 1 July 2021.[4]

The club was elected into the Mt. SAC Relays Hall of Fame in 2011.[5]


The club is funded through the Santa Monica Track Club Foundation, founded by Ed Stotsenberg (who had the personalized license plate SMTC 1), an early Masters runner who joined the club in the mid-1970s and became its president.[6][7]

Notable membersEdit


External linksEdit