Francis J. Berst, Sr.

Francis J. Berst, Sr.

Born in Buffalo, NY on January 12, 1912

Attended Bennett High School in Buffalo, NY

Attended Manhattan College and Canisius College where he received a Master degree.

Passed away on August 15, 2004 in Clarence, NY

Athletic Career:

  • 7-time US National throw Champion (1941, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950)
  • Set US National Records the 56-pound weight throw twice (1942 and 1947)
  • 1953 Canadian National Champion
  • Set Canadian Records in the 56-pound weight throw three times in 1950 (best is 41-0)
  • Set Niagara AAU Records in
  • 35-pound weight throw in 1942 (55-7)
  • 56-pound weight throw in 1942 (39-3 1/4), in 1947 (41-6), in 1955 (42-3 1/2)
  • 16-pound Hammer event has been an “unofficial” 185 feet best throw
  • 56-pound weight throw: 42-3 1/2 (Niagara AAU Record)
  • Set US national Record of 39 Feet 3 1/4 inches in 1942 (US and Niagara AAU Record)
  • Set US national Record of 41-6 in 1947 (US and Niagara AAU Record)
  • 35-pound weight throw (indoors): 55-7 (Niagara AAU Record)

Honors

  • Named to First Team All-High Football team for the 1931 season as a tackle
  • Earned All-East honors as a left tackle on the gridiron.
  • Earned All-Metropolitan honors as a left tackle on the gridiron.
  • Named to the 1941 All-America track and field team in the 56 Pound Weight Throw by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
  • Named to the 1942 All-America track and field team in the 35- and 56-Pound Weight Throws by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
  • New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame Class of 1951
  • Awarded a life membership to the NYAC in 1951
  • Niagara Track & Field Hall of Fame Inaugural Class (Class of 1998)
  • Manhattan College Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 1999
  • U.S. Track and Field Association Hall of Fame 1998