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The olympic trials has a site that show the results and standing records for each event. In the records section for each event, they list all the records, one of which is HF. What does HF mean? Here is the example from the 1500m:

WR  Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco  3:26.00  Rome, Italy
AR  Bernard Lagat Nike  3:29.30 Aug 28, 2005 Rieti, Italy
MR  Steve Scott Sub 4 TC    3:35.15 Jun 29, 1980 Eugene
HF  Daniel Komen (en route) Kenya   3:32.81 Jun 08, 2008
WL  Asbel Kiprop Kenya  3:29.33 Jun 05, 2016 Birmingham, Great Britain
AL  Ben True  Saucony   3:36.05 Jun 17, 2016 Boston, United States
OS  3:36.00 

Here is a link to the site: http://trialsresults.usatf.org/

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Yeah, that's a mystifying one, because you won't see it anywhere else.

  • WR = World Record
  • AR = American Record (outside the USA, this means "Area Record"; properly it should be NR or National Record)
  • MR = Meet Record (it's ambiguous if this means Olympic Trials record or US Championships record - this event, regardless of setting)
  • HF = Hayward Field (elsewhere this would be a "facility record," "venue record," or "track record" - generally of little consequence unless the venue has hosted many high-level events)
  • WL = World Leader, fastest time in the world so far this year, in this event
  • AL = American leader, fastest time in this event by an American this year, relevant only because the field for the Olympic Trials is limited to US citizens
  • OS is the Olympic Standard, the time athletes needed to reach to qualify for selection to the team - a top three finish wouldn't matter if an athlete hasn't beaten this time in the qualifying period.

"Area Records" can also be called "Continental" records, since the IAAF's "Areas" align roughly with the continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, NACAC, Oceania. You see a lot of these at Olympic and World Championships. The use, in the USA, of "American Record" to indicate a national record means the "AR" abbreviation can be ambiguous.

There's also a concept formally known as "All-Comers Records" which is similar to national records. A national record is the fastest time by a citizen of a given state, regardless of where it's run, e.g. if Nick Willis sets a national record in Boston, it's still the New Zealand record despite being run in the USA. The all-comers record is the fastest time inside the borders of a given state, regardless of the nationality of the athlete. For example, most of the all-comers records in China were run by foreign athletes at the 2008 Olympics or 2015 World Championships. All-comers records are a non-issue at a national event like the Olympic Trials, in which all athletes share a single nationality, but can be hyped by meet promoters in other contexts (and sometimes there's a legitimate thrill to it: "Nobody has ever run this fast here!")

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Surely it would what most sports people see immediately... Hall of Fame.

Except not. It appears from a search of the time and name on Google, that it's the name of the track, and thus the track record? http://www.stevestandf.com/track-and-field-world-records/world-records--2 shows:

Hayward Field 3:32.81* Daniel K. Komen, Kenya, 2007 (*en route in Mile)

as the track record for the 1500. And https://www.newswire.com/news/2016-u-s-olympic-trials-set-to-take-off-on-beynon-track-at-hayward-12540863 indicates the current Olympic trials are at Hayward.

If some are like me were just as unclear on some of the others, seems they could be:

WR: World Record AR: America Record MR: Meet Record (at the location... this specific competition\event?) WL: World Leader (for the year) AL: America Leader (for the year) OS: Olympic something or Official Speed???

Why use the quirky track abbreviation I know not. But I can't get the links you gave to show the records anymore, they're all blank. So maybe this whole topic is gone to history 8-)

  • 2
    As a minor aside, I haven't seen "HF" to signify "Hall of Fame." That's usually "HoF," as signified by this Google search. – user527 Jul 13 '16 at 12:18

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