Friday, March 16, 2018

V 8 N. 21 October, 1967


    The Pre-Olympic meet in Mexico City allowed those who participated to get a feel for competition at altitude. Combine 7349 feet with the end of season blahs and, while there were competitive races, only one significant mark was produced. That was a 27-4¾ long jump by Russia's Igor Ter-Ovanesyan which gave him a share of Ralph Boston's world-record. This wasn't entirely unexpected as he had a 27-6¾ practice jump on a previous day. He opened with a 27-4 before tying the record. Olympic champion Lynn Davies jumped 26-8, within two inches of his personal best. France's Jack Pani improved his career best by half an inch, taking third at 26-4¼ to edge US's Phil Shinnick, who tied his PR at 26-3½.
Igor Ter Ovanesyan
Lynn Davies and Ralph Boston

Jack Pani

Bob Beamon and Ter Ovanesyan

Phil Shinnick
    Does the altitude make a difference? Three PRs and an oh, so close, hmmm. Is a 28 footer possible next year? Okay, that is unlikely, but a high 27s could be in the books.
    Whereas jumpers were enthusiastic about competing at altitude, distance runners were in an experimental mode. The effect of the elevation had to be in the thoughts of every 10,000 entrant. The six non-altitude trained world class runners placing in the top seven were 1:52 to 2:31 slower than their bests. Tunisa's Mohamed Gammoudi held off East Germany's Jurgen Hasse by two tenths in 30:16.0.
Juergen Haase

Roelants in action

Mohammed Gammoudi

That race in Mexico City
Unidentified Mexican runner followed by
Haase and Gammoudi
For third place finisher Gaston Roelants of Belgium, this is the first of a challenging triple. The next day he returned to win the steeplechase in 8:57.8, the fastest ever at an altitude above 5000'.
    Here comes the part that may raise on eyebrow or two. What is supposed to be a 30K road race “reportedly” is a full marathon, yes, 26 miles 385 yards. Roelants wins in a surprising 2:19:37 to better the previous best at over 5000' by nearly 11 minutes. So far we are all buying this, right? Okay, here comes a tidal wave of doubt. Late in the race Gaston “claims” he walked for two kilometers. “Claims”? No one follows the runners throughout the race? He still wins by almost 2 ½ minutes.
Gaston Roelants
    No matter the distance, Gaston is one tough dude. Dick Drake writes, “He smashed out a front tooth when he slammed a bottle of soda water to his lips minutes before the race.” You are standing on the starting line holding a front tooth in your hand. What do you do with it? Being the tough guy that he is, we can only imagine he dropped it in his jock for safe keeping.
    One would think that the end of Randy Matson's season was met with rejoicing by the big guy. This was his 34th competition of the year so we can forgive him for a less than Matsonesque 65-2¼ considering that he won by 8 feet. Likely this meet wasn't high on his weekly to-do list. He flew down the night before the competition and left immediately after throwing, not waiting to pick up his medal. Something about attending classes.
Edmund Piatkowski
    The discus produced an interesting note. Poland's Emund Piatkowski won easily at 193-8, but it was second place finisher Namakoro Niare of Mali who set the record. His 186-4 was “the all time Negro record”.
Namakoro Niare
    How casual was this meet? In order to supply competition for the Polish 4x4 team, Ron Whitney and Bill Toomey teamed up with Canadian Brian McLaren and Italian HH winner Eddy Ottoz to form a feel good international bonding experience. The Poles won in 3:05.5 but Whitney and Toomey had splits of 45.5 and 45.3.
    As the rest of this issue is devoted to “HIGH SCHOOL WHERE ARE THEY GOING”, “JUNIOR COLLEGE WHERE ARE THEY GOING”, “PACING TRENDS IN THE 800”, “ELIGIBILITY CHANGES”, “ALL TIME DECATHLON LISTS”, “ATHLETES PREDICT U.S. TEAM” and “ALL TIME ALTITUDE RECORDS”, leaving us to fill the rest of this with tidbits and gossip.
    Hal Connolly, Perry O'Brien and Mike Larrabee are giving up the comfort of retirement for one last shot at the Olympics......Off the top of your head, who were the 5000 and 10,000 gold medal winners in the last Olympic Games (Tokyo)? That's right, Bob Schul and Billy Mills. Yep, they are back in training also.....Ever wonder how fast Kip Keino can run the 400? Fret no more.
Kip Keino cranking one
In the Zambian Championship last month, Kip won in 49.9 an hour before his 3:38.1 1500. No mention of why. Maybe just something to fill the time......
Five name athletes have competed for Verne Wolfe at North Phoenix HS. According to this issue of the magazine they are”Dallas Long, Tom Laris, Jim Brewer, Miles Lister and Miles Lister”. Okay, Miles Lister was good discus thrower, but one mention is enough. No idea who they left off. Here's an idea, let's check Wikipedia to see if Verne's page mentions them. I can only hope that you are sitting down. There is no Verne Wolfe page on Wikipedia. How can this be?
Vern Wolfe
Are we in a previously unknown alternative universe? Alert readers, the challenge is before you. Justice must be done. Who will wear the armor of knowledge to do battle with the forces of ignorance by writing Verne's page?.....There is a profile on Terry Thompson, Oregon State's half miler who placed second in this year's NCAA race. Terry takes three months off from training every summer to engage in a guilty pleasure, thereby missing prime opportunities to compete in major meets. He will skip training for next year's Olympic Games because of this indulgence. What is it? Drugs? Alcohol? Women? No, salmon. Terry is a commercial fisherman who owns his own boat.
Counselor Thompson

Terry Thompson
He is seldom on dry land during the summer. Terry grew up in Newport, Oregon where he attended Newport High his sophomore year before the family moved to Salem where he finished his last two years at South Salem. He attended the University of Missouri but the call of the sea was too much and he returned to complete his education at Oregon State. He has owned eight fishing boats and has been politically active on many boards, as a state representative and a Lincoln County supervisor.…....Don't know about the neighborhoods in which you have lived, dear reader, but your reporter has never run in areas where the following from the On Your Marks column was a significant problem. “Several British long distance runners who use a commons in southern London for training have complained about being approached by prostitutes. Says miler John Simpson 'I have been stopped several times and many of my friends have had their time trials completely ruined.'” Guess this depends on how you define “ruined”.

I just cannot visualize a working girl in high heels running as fast as a miler.  Ed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

V 8 N. 20 September , 1967

    The party is pretty much over for US athletes this year. With the end of the European tour, all that remains is our minimal participation in the World Student Games in Tokyo August 30 - September 4.
Tommy Smith
    Ron Whitney completes a marvelous season in the 400 hurdles with his 16th win in 17 meets. His 49.8 gives him the gold by four tenths over England's John Cooper.
Ron Whitney

John Cooper
(Cooper was killed in the Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crash outside of ParisFrance on March 3, 1974.)

Gaoussou Kone

 Gary Carlsen's 196-4 discus throw puts him 15 feet up on the competition. Tommie Smith loses the 100 to Gaoussou Kone of the Ivory Coast but returns to win the 200 in 20.7. Neil Steinhauer wins the shot at 62-11½ and takes third in the discus at 174-5. Van Nelson leads the 5000 and 10,000 until the final straight where he is out-sprinted by home town hero Keisuke Sawaki both times. An injured left arch leaves Wade Bell in sixth (1:48.9) far behind Australian Ralph Doubell's 1:46.7.
Ralph Doubell
Ron Copeland takes second to Italy's Eddy Ottoz in the hurdles 13.9 to 14.0. This has been a season of ups and downs for vaulter Bob Seagren (bad pun intended). A world record 17-7 crowned his early season, but this meet ends it at 15-9.
    The lack of emphasis the US has placed on this meet is evident in the the 400 relay where a makeshift team of Smith, Whitney, Copeland and....wait for it......Seagren places fifth in 40.7.
Ralph Boston
Randy Matson
    On the other side of the world, Ralph Boston, Dick Railsback and Randy Matson are going through the motions in Sweden. In a 15 day period Matson wins nine competitions with marks between 63-11¼ and 65-4¼, a far cry from his world record 71-5½ earlier in the year. Railsback wins five meets with a best vault of 16-6¾. Boston doesn't do as well. Competing with an unspecified injury, he wins only four of seven meets with a best of 24-4¼.
    This is not to say there isn't competition at home. Most of it is of the all comers variety. Surprisingly, shot putter Dave Davis has returned from retirement and, without benefit of significant competition, has posted a lifetime best of 64-8 ½. Good to see you back, Dave.
    In our last report we told you of Rick Sloan's amazing decathlon debut. His 7869 points place him sixth in the world this year and sixteenth on the all time list. Now we have further details. The August issue of T&FN had the meet in Culver City. The correct location is the track at venerable Mt. San Antonio College. We can forgive this error because, on July 14-15 in the SPAAU Championships in Culver City, he got through the first day in impressive fashion before dropping out with an elbow injury which kept him from throwing the javelin. His 7869 came four weeks later on August 11-12 in the SPAAU Invitational. His marks this day in smoggy, 95 degree conditions are 10.7, 22-5, 44-0½, 6-9½, 48.6 and 15.2, 155-4½, 16-5, 115-9, 4:28.6. The 20 year old UCLA junior works with assistant coach Ken Shannon in field events and head coach Jim Bush in running events.

Payton Jordan

    Bits and pieces: Stanford head coach Payton Jordan has been selected as the head coach for the US Olympic team next year.....You have to love Bill Toomey. In an unreported meet in London he won the 400 in 47.4 then returned to place second in the intermediates in 53.2. 
Bill Toomey
Reports that he helped the maintenance crew sweep up after the meet are not true......All fifty states contest the traditional 100, 200, high jump, etc, but some events are not conducted in state meets nationally. If you attend the state meet in Indiana or Michigan with hopes of seeing the discus, you will be disappointed. The javelin is contested in 19 states and the triple jump in 10. The event with the greatest growth is the 2 mile which is included in 23 state meets. Six years ago it was run in only two states. If you can guess who these innovators are, you are really, really good. We'll let you ponder this until the end of this report....
Dyrol Burleson

Several readers have asked about the picture of Dyrol Burleson.  It was taken last year in Turner, OR at Cascade HS when he addressed some to the Cascade students.  The article is from the Statesman Journal electronic news.  Written by Jusin Much.  
Dyrol Burleson Article    Clik here.   There are some glaring innacurracies which any of our older readers will catch.  We choose not to go into them.   Ed.

Is Dyrol Burleson back in the game? Maybe. The ex-Oregon great has been maintaining fitness on a 50 mile per week regimen but is now doubling that in preparation for an attempt at making the Olympic team.....George Young is also on the 100m/wk plan in preparation for the Olympics, a quest dependent on whether a bleeding ulcer remains dormant. He says he was in top shape in April when the ulcer kicked up and forced him to curtail training.........
Morgan Groth
Half miler Morgan Groth has nine months left in the Marines. Having been assured he will not be going to Viet Nam, he is considering reenlisting if he will be assigned to the west coast so that he can train under the guidance of his Oregon State coach, Sam Bell, now the head man at Cal.....

Sam Bell
.Want to catch up on track in Louisiana? You can do so by requesting a free copy of “Louisiana Track and Field”. The address: 1525 Lowerline Street, New Orleans, LA 70118......And now the answer you have been waiting for. The two states that had the two mile in their state meet in 1961 are Georgia and Maine. But then you probably already knew that. 

This just in from Tom Trumpler:  He has added additional information about that quiz on how many states ran the 2 mile back in the day.  I am adding Roy's name to his letter.

George (and Roy), another state was California, which first contested the two mile run at the state track & field championships in 1965.

- Ralph Gamez of Berkeley H.S. had the honor of being the first 2-mile champ, and he also repeated in 1966.
- The attached JPG pic of the results (from Bill Peck's great book on the history of the Cal State T&F meets 1915-2006) notes that the temperature was 90+ degrees.
  That is true, but on the track the temperature was 100+ degrees, and driving around Bakersfield that afternoon, all the temperature displays at commercial    buildings were hovering at 103-104 degrees.
- A second footnote declares -- "Mike Ryan (Wilcox H.S., CC) ran 8:57.8 on November 7, 1964 for an all-time California HS best."
 - Because of the November date, with a 2-mile run on a track, this most likely was recorded during the 5-man 2-mile time trial for T&F News "Postal National Cross Championship."
  - So, George (and Roy)  are asking  "Why didn't young Mr. Ryan run the 2-mile?"
     - In the 1960's, California state rules did not allow an athlete to run 2 distance races in the same meet.  Athletes like Mike Ryan and Tim Danielson may well have excelled in two races, even at the state meet, but they had to choose one of three races: the 880, mile or 2 mile.
   -  So, then, George asks "Well, which event did Tim Danielson and Mike Ryan run in 1965?"
     - On this same hot Bakersfield track, Tim Danielson (junior from Chula Vista) became the 1965 state mile champ with Mike Ryan finishing second.

George (and Roy) a second attached JPG file shows the results from that same meet for the 880 -- a phenomenal battle on a sizzling hot track between Richard Joyce and hometown favorite Clark Mitchell, with Joyce prevailing in a then National HS Record of 1:48.8, and Mitchell taking the silver medal in 1:49.3. It was the greatest HS 880 race ever run.

- Also included for fun is a video summary of the 1965 Cal state two mile:

Thanks again for allowing us to relive these classic memories!
Tom Trumpler
Camarillo, CA
Hey Bucko,

Wonderful response Tom.    I too got caught up in your answer, and then when I reread Roy's question,  I noted that he referred to the number of states having the two mile in (1961) not 1967, the year of this particular replay.  While California started running the two mile in 1965, the question was about 1961.  This  was indeed confusing to all of us, except Roy.   George

Then from John Bork:

Good stuff ....

And in that great  1965 - 880 Race won by Richard Joyce,  Greg Hall from Aviation didn't even
make the final.  What a great group of HS 880 men!

Didn't Rich Joyce contract "Gout" at USC which dramatically curtailed his running?

Also, worth noting than none of those outstanding 880 State Meet finalists went on to better things in college?



Aka: John Bork

Response from Tom Trumpler:

880 1965 Calif State Final:
- Greg Hall of Aviation HS did run in the 880 state final.
- See footnotes with prelims heat results at the bottom of the 880 JPG file.
- Greg Hall of Aviation placed 3rd in heat 1 with the same time (1:54.3) as Richard Joyce to qualify for the final.
- Greg ran slower than 1:53.6 in the final, so he just wasn't listed. The problem for Greg was that he went out with the leaders running a 54 second first lap (Joyce ran 54.0, 54.8). Then trying to hang with the leaders, in 100 degree heat, he fell back in the pack.
- Buck, interesting that you and I now live approx 750 feet from each other (on a direct line down the hill), and that Greg Hall now lives four miles from us on Blanchard Road off of Santa Rosa Road.

P.S. to George: One year later, John Bork became the cross country and track coach at Aviation High School, Redondo Beach, CA

Hey Bucko,

880 1965 Calif State Final:
- Greg Hall of Aviation HS did run in the 880 state final.
- See footnotes with prelims heat results at the bottom of the 880 JPG file.
- Greg Hall of Aviation placed 3rd in heat 1 with the same time (1:54.3) as Richard Joyce to qualify for the final.
- Greg ran slower than 1:53.6 in the final, so he just wasn't listed. The problem for Greg was that he went out with the leaders running a 54 second first lap (Joyce ran 54.0, 54.8). Then trying to hang with the leaders, in 100 degree heat, he fell back in the pack.
- Buck, interesting that you and I now live approx 750 feet from each other (on a direct line down the hill), and that Greg Hall now lives four miles from us on Blanchard Road off of Santa Rosa Road.

P.S. to George: One year later, John Bork became the cross country and track coach at Aviation High School, Redondo Beach, CA

- 1961 or 1965, as long as there were kids getting the chance to run the 2-mile (in dual meets, section and state championships), that was a blessing for distance runners.
- In the 60's in California, distance runners were only permitted to run one event per meet (880-mile-2 mile), while the sprinters and leapers and throwers were allowed up to 4 events.
In dual meets, that meant that, without the 2-mile, all the distance runners had to hope for one of the 3 slots for their school in the 880 or mile. All the other distance runners then became spectators, or, the coach would intentionally sit some exceptional runners, just so the underlings would have a chance to earn points for a letter.
- Fortunately for me, in 1964 our league was among a few chosen statewide as a test-bed to see how adding the 2-mile would impact (mostly added time to run the meet) dual meets. Things went well, and in 1965 the 2-mile became a state sanctioned event for dual meets and the state championship.
Tom Trumpler

Clark Mitchell went on to run for UNM. I think his career PR was 1:48+.  Pete Brown

Sunday, March 4, 2018

V8 N. 19 Sir Roger Bannister R.I.P.

Sir Roger Bannister (1929-2018) R.I.P.

March 4, 2018

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister, an English medical student, with the help of two of his training partners, Chistopher Chattaway and Christopher Brasher, and their advisor/coach Franz Stampl,  an Austrian who had been interned in England during World War II, pulled off  the single most significant event in our sport or any sport for that matter in our lifetime.  

In today's New York Times  Frank Litsky and Bruce Weber make a good attempt, with the help of a Sports Illustrated quote, to describe Roger Bannister in a short paragraph. 

Tall and lanky with a long, forceful stride and a blond head that usually bobbed above his competitors’ in a race, Bannister was a gentleman athlete with a philosophical turn of mind. He was a quiet, unassuming champion, a character of a type that has seemingly vanished in the modern era of sports celebrity. Sports Illustrated called him “among the most private of public men, inexhaustibly polite, cheerfully distant, open and complex.”

At the age of 88, Sir Roger's health had clearly been in decline.  As a neurologist, he knew well what he faced with Parkinson's Disease, just as he knew well what he faced in attempting to run the first sub-four minute mile.  

His fame might have been fleeting, with John Landy breaking his record only a few weeks later, but he would soon show his strength.  His seeming failure in not medalling in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, when a nation's hopes were on his shoulders, was followed by three  highly significant races, the first sub-four minute mile, the European Championship 1500, and the Miracle Mile against  Landy in the Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.  Clearly Roger Bannister  demonstrated his tenacity and courage behind that pleasant persona that he always conveyed.

In my own history, I recall vividly in 1954 when it was announced on the Today Show that the first four minute mile had been run.  I knew nothing about track and field, but it seemed that something of importance had indeed occurred.  Then about a year later a documentary film of that race at Iffley Road, Oxford, was shown at our school.  (See Below) The fact that the race was filmed from start to finish at a seemingly insignificant meeting says that certain people knew well what was about to happen.  I can remember too the close up of Bannister when he took off passing Chattaway, and his image filled the screen in close up for the last three hundred yards.  The speed seemed impossible, and I couldn't conceive of how someone could sustain such a physical effort for so long.  Although I still had dreams of becoming a basketball player, new information was filed in my brain, and when I failed at basketball, I still had uncharted paths to explore.   Though a four minute mile was never in my repetoire, I have Sir Roger Bannister to thank for setting me off in a new direction.  

Thank you , Sir Roger

George Brose

The First Four Minute Mile  Clik Here

I expected this.  Another link to the past is gone.  One that provides me with many memories from watching him run in London in 1952 to meeting him ( and Landy) in Victoria at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.  He probably had an influence on every person involved in track from that seminal day in 1954 until today.  Regards.  Geoff

thanks, George, a pleasant memory.  funny that of the 3 Bannister was the only one who did not get an olympic medal.  Dick Trace

Great job, George.  I remember it the same way.  Something significant, something seemingly impossible, something that crossed a magical barrier happened that day  but I was in no position to appreciate the full impact.  Roy

   I had the honor of speaking with him in 1976 at the T&F News hospitality room near the stadium.  He was very British but walked with a limp the result of a traffic accident.  He certainly took the time with an insignificant track fan just as one might expect of him.     Bill


Well penned tribute to Sir Roger Bannister.  I remember when he beat Landy in Vancouver, and both ran under 4 minutes.
The Seattle Times had a photo taken at or near the finish line and I recall Landy looked over his left shoulder as Bannister passed him on the right.
Hope life is treating you well this winter.  I can’t wait for Spring and Summer and warmer weather.


Jim Allen

Thursday, March 1, 2018

V 8 N. 18 Orville Atkins, Canadian Running Legend R.I.P.

Orville Atkins  (1937-2018)
Orville Atkins on left with Wilbur Williams and John Bork
David Bailey, Canada's first sub-four minute miler sent us a note today that his friend, Orville Atkins had passed away.   Would I please put some mention in our blog.  So here goes.

Orville Atkins was raised in the north of Ontario, not far from the taiga and tundra in a town called Timmons.  Not the best place to become a running legend and folk hero.  He eventually came south to study in Toronto and became  part of the pre running boom in the early 1960s as a member of the East York Track Club with fellow legends to be, Bruce Kidd, Bill Crothers, David Bailey and Coach Fred Foot being the most notable.  Orville was for awhile, Canada's best marathoner finishing high at Boston and winning the first Chicago marathon as well as the oldest race on the continent, the Round the Bay in Hamilton, Ontario.

I never met Orville, nor did I ever talk by phone, but we did correspond and trade stories on numerous occasions after this blog got underway.  I cannot remember how we first came in contact.  Orville wrote frequently on the Runners Lounge discussion group on Lets Run and also on a thread for Track and Field News.

In 1964 he and several friends moved to Los Angeles to train with the LA Track Club  and from there went on to watch the Tokyo Olympics.   I learned about this when a few years ago the chief statistician for the IAAF contacted us to see if we would provide him with the heat and lane assignments of all the runners in the 200 meters prelims.  I had no idea where that might be found, but I forwarded his request to Orville.  In no time, Orville came back with the information.  He had his program from the meet, and he had written down all that information as it occurred.  He also mentioned that as he was in the stands it looked like a heavy rain was about to fall and he recommended to the somewhat older lady sitting next to him that perhaps she would be wise to return to the hotel before the rain cut loose.   She replied that she could not.  She was waiting to see the finals of the 5000 meters as her son was running in that race.  She was Bob Schul's mother.

Orville once sent me copies of all of East York TC's workouts.  My computer crashed with that  information, and I was never able to retrieve it.  But in looking over several places on the internet today I began finding clues and traces of his writings and some of those workouts.  Below are a few links if you are willing to explore. 
Orville in the lead pack at Boston 1962

Here are some of the other tracks that Orville has left behind, and I hope that you all find some joy looking through them. 

Keep Running the Good Race, Orville,

George Brose

Orville Atkins views of the sport  This piece by Orville appeared in the blog Run Westchester by Joe Garland.

A few of Orville's commentaries on Lets Run

What Orville's friends are now saying about him on Lets Run 

Runner    This piece by the Canadian Film Board features the East York Track Club and specifically Bruce Kidd.  Orville can be seen only briefly at 5:04 min. in the film about third place on the curb in dark shorts.  The quality and clarity for the age are exceptional, and it can bring back the mystique of running in a group at practice.  The 2 mile race at the end is the least important and the commentary is off the rails not mentioning the lead runner for the first mile, but again you can almost feel the heat and the dry cinders in your shoes and see a race almost sixty years ago in North America surrounded on all sides by spectators intently interested.  Not a smart phone in site.
This is where Orville appears briefly in the film 'Runner'  dark shorts on curb

An old clipping of one of Orville's many wins

John Bork mentioned Orville today on FB
My great friend & marathoner, Orville Atkins , passed away on Sunday 2/25/18 . I was able to be with him here in Camarillo just an hour before his passing. Orville was one time Canadian Marathon Champion with East York Track Club & 5th place in the 1962 Boston Marathon. Winner of the very first Windy City  Marathon. (We've been corrected, in that this was not the first Chicago Marthon.  That was in 1977, won by Dan Cloeter in 2hr 17min. 52 sec.) Orville completed over 40 Marathons. I had the pleasure of coaching Orville to his best times in 1966-1968 after we both left the LA Track Club. In recent years Orville & I had many enjoyable lunches together at Coogies Resturant in Santa Monica!

This morning, David Bailey sent this remembrance.
Hi George,
It is the middle of the night and I cannot sleep thinking about Orville.
So, I got up and wrote something for your blog.
I tried to add it to the comments section but am not certain it will get posted.
So, I thought that I would also send it to you to be certain that it would be.
Thanks so much for the great piece that you did on Orville with such short notice.
All the best,

I have known Orville since the summer of 1961 at my first workout with the East York Track Club.  Back then I was a somewhat overweight 16-year-old trying to fit in.  He was kind and encouraging.  I was sad when he decided to move to Los Angeles to train under Mikeal Igloi a few years later.  Yet, we stayed in touch.  I remember how genuinely pleased and excited he was for me when I ran my first sub-4 mile.   Years later beginning in the mid-1980s, we would get together when he would be in my home town of London, Ontario to visit his sister.  We would pick up as if our running days were yesterday.  My son Scott, who was in high school at the time, commented on our comradery and expressed how he hoped to find this kind of friendship in his life.  If there is one thing that I remember about Orville, it would be his infectious laugh.  It would usually be the result of stories about himself.  These included how he would be training so hard that he would have to go to the washroom at work to take a nap sitting on the toilet.  Another one was the time that Igloi told Orville that he was the only person that he had ever seen with no running talent.  That may be true but he made up for it with heart and extraordinary work habits.  How else do you end up finishing 5th in the Boston Marathon. Thank you for being in my life.  You are well remembered.

David Bailey

Dear John and George:

I was really sorry to hear about Orville's passing.

Although I did not know him on a personal basis, we had corresponded by email and I remember seeing him win that first Chicago Marathon.  I always found him to be a friendly and knowledgeable gentleman.

Good men are hard to find.  It is extra sad when we lose one.

Take care,

Tom Coyne

   You can tell from the comments about Orville Atkins that he was truly a good and decent person.  Also a superior runner even if Igloi said he had no talent.  I suspect he had talent in his unseen muscles and capillaries.     Bill

Friday, February 23, 2018

V8 N. 14 August 1967


      In keeping with our chronological format we need to report on an obscure meet in Southern California before addressing the US team's whirlwind tour of Europe. The Southern Pacific Association of the Amateur Athletic Union decathlon, held on Aug. 11-12 in Culver City, has produced the country's newest young multi-event star.                  
Anaheim HS

    UCLA pole vaulter Rick Sloan decides to take a shot at the decathlon and hits the bullseye with 7869 points to rank #5 in the world, #2 in the US and #5 on the all time US list. His 16-5 vault ties the best ever in a decathlon. He also high jumps 6-9½. As good as these marks are, it is his poorest event that is the most encouraging, a javelin throw of only 115-9, the result of an elbow injury. He has thrown 175 in practice. On today's scoring table that would represent a difference of 250 points. We'll keep an eye on Rick.

Rick Sloan was runner-up in the 1969 AAU decathlon. He competed for UCLA and the Southern Cal Striders. Sloan was the first UCLA athlete to clear 7-0 in the high jump and was also an All-American in the pole vault. He captained the Bruin track team as a senior and was the fourth American to surpass 8,000 points in the decathlon. He was ranked second in the United States in 1968 and 1969 in the decathlon, and ranked 10th in the world in 1969.
After college Sloan became a track coach, starting at the California Institute of Technology and Pasadena City College in 1972. He later coached at Mt. San Antonio Junior College (Mt. SAC) before moving to Washington State University in 1973 as an assistant coach. He was made associate head coach at WSU in 1982 and head coach of the men's team in 1994. In 1995, Sloan was named head coach of the men's and women's teams for the Cougars, holding those positions for almost 20 years, before retiring in 2014.  
Personal Bests: 100  10.7 (1967); 400  48.6 (1967); 110H 15.2 (1967); HJ  2.14 (7-0½) (1968); LJ 6.93 (22-9) (1967); PV 5.08 (16-8) (1967); DT  47.34 (155-4) (1967); JT  63.50 (208-4) (1969); Dec  7951 (1969).
Sports Reference


    On the day that Sloan is finishing his first decathlon, the US vs. Great Britain meet is taking place in London's famed White City Stadium. The crowd of 35,000, the largest to attend a track meet in England since 1958, witnesses the US administer the worst defeat ever suffered by a British national team, 130-84.* The severity is better emphasized by the Americans winning 19 of 21 events.

US v Great Britain 1967 and Emsley Carr Mile  Clik Here

    The feature event is the Emsley Carr Invitational Mile matching Jim Ryun and Kip Keino. This pairing produced a world record last month in Los Angeles. This time however, a slow early pace dooms any hope of a repeat. Recent evidence would indicate that Keino has no chance of out-kicking Ryun in a tactical race, yet the Kenyan appears to think otherwise, allowing the first lap to be run in 60.7. The second lap passes in 62.3 (2:03.0) with Ryun taking the lead. The pace picks up to 59.2 and three laps go by in 3:02.2. Entering the final lap Ryun leads. Britian's John Whetton is second with Keino a couple yards back. Keino moves up on Ryun's elbow on the backstretch but that is only the signal for the Kansan to take off, essentially ending the race. His 53.8 final lap produces a ten yard victory in 3:56.0. Keino is second in 3:57.4.

    Keino demonstrates naivete in his post race comments. “I had no plan. I didn't want to go to the front and was hoping to come through very fast, but I was a bit too far behind at the start of the last lap.” Don't feel bad, Kip, there is no plan that will beat Ryun.

Keino obviously went back to the drawing board and came up with a different plan at the altitude influenced Olympic Games the following year.  ed.

    The long jump matches world-record holder and Olympic champion Ralph Boston against Olympic champion Lynn Davies and the man who beat them both three days ago, Bob Beamon. The wind produces erratic results. Beamon has trouble getting his step and has only one legal jump, a 26-0¼. Davies opens with 26-2 which Boston immediately tops by half an inch. There things stand until the fifth round in which Boston adds an inch.  (see video above)

    The crowd exhorts Davies as the Welshman prepares for his final jump. Showing the resolve that earned Olympic gold, Davies pops a 26-7¼ to end his day in first place. Unfortunately for him and the majority of the crowd, Boston has one jump remaining. It is not wasted. Ralph hits the board perfectly and lands with a measurement of 26-10¾. Not that it matters this day, but now the Olympic champions' rivalry stands Boston 7, Davies 3. We look forward to their next get together.

    The 800 is a much anticipated race. Wade Bell has been dominant this year but he is up against European 880 record holder John Boulter. The pace dawdles early, resulting in a 55.5 400. Bell's m.o. this season has been a long kick home started midpoint on the backstretch. Today is no different. Once the Oregon Duck shifts gears it is all over. Boulter has no chance. Bell wins by half a second in 1:49.6.

    Steeplechaser Pat Traynor has developed an affinity for international competition. His competition this day is Olympic silver medalist Maurice Herriott. No knee knocking for Pat. He moves courageously on the penultimate lap to open a 50 yard gap and win easily in a PR of 8:38.2.
Maurice Herriott
Pat Traynor

Herriott and Basil Heatley

Herriott , a motor cycle fitter who had to fit in his three training sessions a day while working a 45-hour week was technically superb in his clearance of hurdles and the water jump. Consistency personified, he came very close to his UK record in 1966  and 1967. One record that has remained intact, and may for eternity, is his collection of eight AAA steeplechase titles between 1959 and 1967. He retired following the 1968 Olympics and has for many years lived on the beautiful Isle of Man.

What?  Herriott was assembling motorcycles and in his spare time worked out three times a day to be world class in the steeplechase?  Definitely not the playing fields of Eton.
Van Nelson continues to impress. His 57.2 last go round gives him a six second 10.000 victory over England's Mike Freary in a collegiate record 28:48.2. He is now #2 on the all time US list, trailing only Billy Mills. Tom Laris also PRs with 28:59.8 in third.
  Last month in Los Angeles Hans Joachim Walde handled Bill Toomey easily in the decathlon. Today Lee Evans felt a muscle twinge and is opting out of the 4 x 4. Who wants to volunteer? We can picture an “Oooh, oooh, pick me, pick me” moment as Toomey raises his hand and jumps up and down. His 46.7 lead off leg gives indication that Bill is ready for Hans when they meet in Dusseldorf four days hence. Stay tuned.
Toomey with Kurt Bendlin?

* The opening paragraph of this T&FNews report, written by Brit Mel Watman contains the following sentence. “A superb US squad rolled up 130 points against the hosts' 84, a whopping 55 point margin.” 130 - 84 = 55? Hmmm. Once again our research department is on the job. After a week of intensive study, they've nailed it. It's a British thing. If the following apply, loo = bathroom, bonnet = hood, lift = elevator, lorry = truck, solicitor = lawyer, windscreen = windshield, chips = french fries, telly = TV, then certainly 55 = 46. The director of research earned a generous bonus for his department's work.

We are not going to get into debating the merits of a British 'public' school education vs. an American public school education.  One must remember that Roy was for many years a middle school teacher and stickler for punctuality, precision, and the importance of the three R's.  His uncanny knowledge of track stats is to be admired and provides an insight into his passion for this blog. ed.


    Pat Traynor and Tom Laris ran impressive, but short lived, PRs against Great Britain only five days ago. No one expects another breakthrough in Dusseldorf.

    Not only does Traynor win and drop his PR again, he takes George Young's national record in the doing. Traynor is unpressed in winning the steeplechase in 8:32.8.
Tom Laris

    A lot is asked of Laris. His third place PR earlier in the week, gives no indication of today's 10K performance. As he toes the starting line, he has not won a major race all year. Twenty-eight minutes, thirty-three and four tenths seconds later this has changed. His remarkable 26.4 second improvement is too much for Gerry Lindgren who has to settle for clipping 8 seconds off Van Nelson's five day old collegiate record with a 28.40.2 effort. Laris and Lindgren are now #3 and #7 on this season's world list.

Dartmouth College  Tom Laris ’62 was IC4A and Heptagonal champion in track and cross country. In 1967 he was second in the Boston marathon, ranked ninth in the world in the 10,000 meters with the fourth fastest time. He was an Olympian in the 10,000 meters in the 1968 games. He majored in history and lives in Los Altos Hills, Calif. He is currently an independent licensed security broker and trader.

    Bill Toomey does indeed gain revenge from West German rival Hans Joachim Walde, winning the decathlon with 7939 points.
Ryun Leading Tummler

    Highly regarded Bodo Tummler is no match for Jim Ryun. The Kansas star leaves the pack behind at 800 and coasts to an unpressed 3:38.2 1500 win over Tummler 3:42.3, Harold Norpoth 3:42.5 and Jim Grelle 3:42.8.

    Vince Matthews' 400 win over Lee Evans can no longer be classified as an upset. Both run 45.3, Matthews' third in a row over Evans.

    Yes, there were upsets along the way. Russ Rogers ends teammate Ron Whitney's 11 meet win streak in the 400 hurdles, edging the national champ 50.5 to 50.6. Wade Bell has been unbeatable this season, but today when he shifts gears on the backstretch, instead of overdrive he finds neutral and finishes fourth in 1:48.8 well behind Franz-Josef Kemper's 1:46.2.
Kemper at another meet running 1:44.9
    New world record holder Earl McCullough has step troubles and “abandons the chase at the seventh barrier”. Willie Davenport wins in 13.6.


    The bright lights in the background are those of Viareggio, Italy. Our lads are winding up the European tour with a two day double duel with Italy and Spain.

    There are ups and downs. John Carlos experiences both, winning the 100 in a personal best of 10.2 then finishing last in the 200 in 22.3. The latter is an “oh, shit” moment for big John. He thinks Livio Berruti will be called back for a false start. He isn't. Belatedly Carlos takes off after the field but can only get fourth. Jerry Bright wins in 20.7.

    Conrad Nightengale PRs with a 8:40.0 steeplechase win but Pat Traynor has gone to the well once too often. After consecutive PRs, he drags in last in 9:10.8.

    The top field event mark belongs to Dick Railsback who vaults 17-0¾, only a quarter inch shy of his third place ranking on the world list.

    Randy Matson is firmly ensconced in the “down” category. He throws only 65-5¾ and is topped by three inches by teammate Neil Steinhauer. Determined to end the trip on a positive note, the next day he competes in the discus but his 186-1 falls two feet short of that of Italy's Silvano Simeon. Considering that he started the year at 213-9, Randy isn't likely to be in a jovial mood on the plane trip home.

Joining Pat and Randy in the down in the dumps club are Charlie Craig who can only triple jump 48-4¾ for last and Wade Bell who produces a disappointing 1:50.4 for fourth in the 800.
Ron Whitney (L)

    Two streaks end in the 400 hurdles. Ron Whitney puts the misery of his one meet losing streak behind him, defeating European champ Roberto Frinolli 49.6 to 50.7, thus terminating the Italian's three year winning streak.

    Jim Ryun sticks his toe in the 5000 meter water with mixed results. Tracy Smith beats him 13:41.0 to 13:44.8. The sting of losing his first race of the year is lessened by the fact that he is now #15 on the world list. Only seven Americans have run faster. Not bad for an initial effort.

    Oh, yeah, our boys win both meets, Italy 130-90 and Spain 136-76. How big those margins are in British score keeping we're not sure.
Gary Gubner

    The following gems have been gleaned from the last couple pages of this issue....Gary Gubner, now retired from shot putting to concentrate on weight lifting, has just set the American lifting record of 444 pounds. The detail left out by Dick Drake is the event.…...When he isn't busy being the world record holder in six events, Ron Clarke is a party animal. He works out three times a day and has an exercycle with an odometer and speedometer at home for those days he needs just a touch more. You know the feeling. If you are invited to a party at Ron's home, come well trained. Ron's idea of fun is breaking out the bike to see which guests ride the fastest. A couple more scotch & sodas, Ron, I'll have a go........There is no doubt Ralph Boston is a great long jumper but he isn't exactly on the JV squad in the other jumps where his bests are 13-9, 6-8½ and 52-1½ which, combined with his 27-4¾ LJ, make him the world's best all around jumper. Throw in a 9.6 100 and 13.7 hurdles marks and he could pretty much win a dual meet by himself.....Hum along with John Denver's “Thank God I'm a Country Boy” as you read the following comment by New Zealand discus thrower Les Mills.
Les Mills
“Gary Carlsen has country-boy strength". Country-boy strength is possessed by athletes like Jay Silvester and Randy Matson who are strong without lifting weights. Gary is liable to throw 220 feet next year........Russ Hodge provides an example of the dedication needed to compete at the world class level. On July 8 he underwent surgery to repair a ripped tendon below his right patella. Despite wearing a full length leg cast, he is swimming by early August. He plans to change his take off leg in the long jump and high jump from right to left and expects to compete next year.......Ron Clarke and his new best friend, Jim Ryun, have agreed to meet at a distance between their specialties. They will race at two miles in next year's Kansas Relays.....Speaking of Ron, he is the poster boy for genetic advantage. Older brother Jack gave indication that there might be some athletic talent in the Clarke family when, without training, he won the Victorian junior 880 in 2:00.1 in 1948. Oh, he was 14. Third in that race was 18 year old John Landy.

The next year Jack won the Victorian junior triple jump championship then never competed in track again. This is not to say he hung 'em up. He just found Australian rules football more to his liking. He enjoyed long playing and coaching careers and in 1996 was voted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.........If Bill Toomey invites you to join him for breakfast or dinner, you might want to ask what's on the menu. It seems that Bill's every breakfast and many dinners are smoothies composed of liver tablets mixed up with eggs beaten up with skim milk, brewers yeast, bananas, salad oil and ice cream. Next time in Starbucks, ask for a Toomey.

V 8 N. 21 October, 1967

OCTOBER 1967     The Pre-Olympic meet in Mexico City allowed those who participated to get a feel for competition at altitude. Combin...