Pole Vaulting Classic: Bob Gutowski

Bob Gutowski broke Dutch Warmerdam’s world pole vault record of 15 years standing. In April 1957, Gutowski cleared 15-8¼ (4.78) to become the new world record holder, and later in the season he improved to 15-9¾ (4.82), but the height was not approved as a world record because the pole passed under the bar, in contravention of IAAF rules.

Gutowski finished fourth at the 1956 Final Trials and only made the team after Jim Graham withdrew. As a contemporary of Don Bragg and Bob Richards, Gutowski found championships hard to come by, but he tied Bragg for the 1958 AAU indoor title and while at Occidental he tied for the NCAA title in 1956, winning it outright in 1957.

Gutowski was also a talented long jumper and his best mark of 24-8¾ (7.54) came in the 1960 AAU decathlon. This was to be his last major competition – less than one month later, at the age of 25, he was killed in an automobile accident.

Personal Bests: PV – 15-9¾ (4.82) (1957); LJ – 24-9 (7.54) (1960); TJ – 46-11½ (14.31) (1957).


Bob Gutowski
Bob Gutowski

Leave A Comment