Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 70 November, 1959

NOVEMBER 1959


Al Lawrence


Crawford 'Forddy' Kennedy


The cover has photos of Forddy Kennedy leading the field en route to leading Michigan State to the Big Ten championship and Al Lawrence of Houston crossing the finish line in the NCAA meet. Lawrence also wins the AAU meet three days later.
The NCAA meet is held in East Lansing, a good thing because Michigan State puts on a show for the home folks, scoring 44 points to win easily over Houston with 120. In six previous races Lawrence has tied with teammate John Macy. This time he puts 150 yards between them. Macy edges Kennedy for second. Houston also picks up a sixth in the team scoring as Pat Clohessy finishes 8th. Unfortunately for the Cougars, their next scorers are 52 and 59. The Spartans bunch their runners within 50 seconds in the 3-4-9-12-16 positions. Iowa (134), Notre Dame (141) and Western Michigan (148) take the next three spots. Apparently word of a national cross country meet has not reached the South or West, as, aside from Houston and Air Force, the other scoring teams are from the Midwest or East.
Three days later the AAU meet is held in Louisville. This time the Cougars do better. Buoyed by the addition of Barrie Almond and Jerry Smart, they crush a less than stellar field, scoring 30 points to outdistance the NYAC (64), Idaho University TC (68) and University of Chicago TC (74). The three other scoring teams are the High Point TC, Kentuckiana Cinder Club and Berea College. Once again Macy takes second, this time only five seconds behind Lawrence, but 23 seconds ahead of third place Billy Mills.
`The Big Eight runs only three miles, but it is enough for Miles Eisenman of Okie State to establish his dominance over Billy Mills and Gail Hodgson. Cliff Cushman, the number seven ranked intermediate hurdler in the world, just to fill the time until track season is Kansas’ number two man, finishing 8th as the Jayhawks win their 13th consecutive league title. Michigan State of course wins the Big Ten.
The US Report, a compilation of the top 50 or so times in each event, fills five pages. On the first page is a photo of LSU’s Billy Cannon who has the 11th best 100 time (9.5), the sixth best 220 (20.6 straightaway) and the 33rd best shot put (54-4). He might develop into something. Oddly, though next month’s world issue will include the 400 IH and the HSJ, they are not included in this national list.
The Meet the Coach column features Bill Easton of Kansas who has had a pretty successful run in Lawrence. He ran the quarter at Indiana. His first coaching job was at Hammond, Indiana. He then coached at Drake where his cross country teams won three NCAA titles in the 40’s. Kansas called in 1947 and it has been all sunshine and bright lights ever since. His Jayhawks have won 15 indoor and outdoor Big Eight track championships and the aforementioned 13 consecutive league cross country titles. His 1953 XC team won the NCAA meet as did this year’s track team.
Other tidbits gleaned from various columns include the news that Ira Murchison now weighs 135 pounds. This is significant because he was operated on this summer for complications arising from amoebic dysentery. His weight had dropped to 84 pounds. He is running again and hopes to compete for a spot on next year’s Olympic team……Colorado half miler Mike Peake and North Carolina miler Jim Beatty are now training with the newly formed Santa Clara Valley Youth Village in California…….What are the odds of Bakersfield Junior College having next year’s Olympic 100 meter champion? Pretty good, apparently as there is a notation that Armin Hary has relocated from Germany to the southern region of the Central Valley.
Puma has a quarter page ad. So does the Adidas interloper in Lansing, Michigan. Not to worry, Clifford Severn has them both beat. His ad covers 3/8 of the back page.
Dyslexia rules the day once again. Above the Severn ad is a photo of Gene Venzke edging Glenn Cunningham in a 4:13.4 mile in Princeton, NJ in 1936. It is the third that I can remember the magazine has reversed. The curb is on the right and letters on the shirts are backwards. I wonder whether Cordner yells at Nelson or vice versa.

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