To: "Goerge Brose"
Relay meets? You want relay meets? We gottem. Step right up. Penn, Drake, Mt. SAC, Texas, Kansas, Ohio, Marine Corps, Easter, Florida, Southwestern, take your pick.
March 26 finds us in Gainesville for the Florida Relays where the Styron twins take the 100, the highs and help out on 440 and mile relay wins for NE Louisiana. Florida's Henry Wadsworth becomes a member of the 15 foot club by a quarter inch and wins the HJ at 6-4¾ for good measure. Bill Alley makes his seasonal debut, winning the javelin by nearly 40 feet with a 243-7 effort.
It's April 2 and we are in Austin for the Texas Relays. If you remember, last month Bill Nieder had set the world record in the shot at 63-10 only to be passed the following week by Dallas Long's 64-6 and Dave Davis' 63-10½. Big Bill is not dismissed so easily. In a coaching clinic the previous day Nieder opines that he thought he could throw 65'. Now it is time to prove it. On his first attempt he enters the ring “and everything becomes quiet. He then explodes with a 65-7 put. He nearly fouls as the power of the put almost carries him too far forward. He teeters on his right leg in the front of the ring, leaning low to prevent a foul. He then stands up, looks at where the shot landed and jumps into the air with joy.” Obviously Bill never got a bike for Christmas or experienced a wedding ceremony for he says, “This is the happiest day of my life.”
Bill Alley adds eleven feet to last week's effort, winning by 35 feet with a throw of 254-9½. Bobby Morrow takes the 100, but can do no better than third in the 200 behind Colorado's Ted Woods and Jimmy Weaver whom he had bested earlier. Kansas comes up tough in the sprint medley with a team of Cliff Cushman, Paul Williams, Charlie Tidwell and Bob Tague clocking 3:19.8.
The Marine Corps Relays in Quantico, Virginia is held April 16. Hayes Jones throws down a 13.6 in the highs, but not much more detail is known. We are told a complete summary will appear next month.
April 22-23 are cold, wind swept days in Walnut, California, but the Mt SAC Relays have something to offer. The big news on the track is that Lew Stieglitz lowers the US national record in the 10,000 to 30:19.2, breaking Joe Tyler's four year old mark by 12 seconds. Occidental's Bill Peck drops the collegiate record to 30:38.1 in third.
While the wind effected action on the track, it proved no hindrance in the throwing events. In fact it might have been an aid in the discus. Twenty year old Jim Wade of USC improves 13 feet, winning with a collegiate record of 190-6½. Something less would have been insufficient as the big boys are on his heels. Rink Babka and Jay Silvester throw 188-10 and 188-8½. As a measure of the quality of the day's competition, Bob Humphreys' throws187-4½ for fourth. That would be fourth both in this meet and the world this year.
Olympic champ Harold Connolly slings the hammer 225-0½, only 3½ inches short of his world record, winning by 26 feet.
Whether it is the weather or Nieder's amazing throw of three weeks ago, the shot putters have to take a back seat to the rest of the throwers. Dave Davis goes 62-8 to leave Parry O'Brien (61-7¼) and Dallas Long (61-2¾) in the dust.
The wind is blowing as well in Lawrence, Kansas on April 23, hindering good marks. J.D. Martin wins the PV in unusual circumstances. Not only does he not clear 15', he doesn't clear 14' (sort of). He goes over that height by a good measure three times only to have the wind blow the bar off. The officials meet and decide that he had cleared the height and that the wind was the culprit. That resolved, he goes on to win at 14-11½.
To measure how far Bill Nieder has come, his 63-10¼ is a disappointment and yet is noted as “betters recognized world record”. Second place is ten feet behind.
Probably an indicator of the inclemency of the weather is the fact that that same Kansas sprint medley team that ran a fine 3:19.8 three weeks ago wins today in 3:25.0.
The Easter Relays in Santa Barbara are highlighted by the efforts of Dutch UCSB broad jumper Hank Visser. Visser leaps 26-2 to beat Olympic champion Greg Bell who manages 25-5¾ in his seasonal debut to overshadow the match up of shot putters Nieder and Davis. No records this time, but the pecking order holds as Nieder wins 63-1¼ to 62-2¾, marks that would have been headliners last year, but are just ho-hum this season.
Apparently the Mt. SAC discus competition was held Friday because here we are 120 miles north and Rink Babka and Jay Silvester are back at it. The marks are good and the places are the same with Babka winning 189-10¾ to 187-6.
As if there weren't enough relay meets to go around this day, Columbus hosts the Ohio Relays. Hayes Jones runs a wind aided 13.6 after hitting hurdles 2, 3 and 7. Glenn Davis runs his first 440H in ten months, edging Willie Atterberry by a tenth in 51.8. Glenn has his work cut out for him if he is to defend Olympic title for a week ago in the South African Championships Gert Porgieter ran 49.3 at yards to break his own WR .
Although not a relay meet, the Stanford-Oregon dual meet held this day in Eugene deserves some mention. Ernie Cunliffe and Dyrol Burleson tangle in the mile. As would be expected, Cunliffe does the heavy lifting. After a slow first lap of 62.0, Ernie C picks up the pace and leads through splits of 2:02. and 3:00.8 with Burleson sitting in. On the final curve the Oregon Duck sweeps by the courageous pacemaker to erase Don Bowden's American record by a tenth in 3:58.6. The Stanford senior has to settle for a PR of 4:00.4 and Burleson's thanks. Oddly, Burleson gets only a share of the school record as Aussie Jim Bailey has been there, done that.
Now it is April 30 and we are at the Drake Relays. All eyes are on the shot put ring as Bill Nieder and Parry O'Brien are tangling for the first time this season. Oh, and the ubiquitous Dave Davis is here as well. The pecking order is not seriously disturbed. Nieder isn't close to his performance in Austin, but he has more than enough to hold off O'Brien 63-11½ to 63-1¾. Davis is a distant third at 61-9. Glenn Davis is getting better. He outruns Eddie Southern in the open quarter 47.4 to 47.9. Ralph Boston takes the broad jump at 24-9¼. The most exciting race of the day is the sprint medley with Kansas' Bob Tague outkicking Illinois' George Kerr as the Jayhawks edge the Illini 3:22.1 to 3:22.3. We are promised full results in the following issue.
The Penn Relays are held the same day. John Thomas and Ray Norton cover themselves with glory. Thomas, already the indoor WR holder at 7-2½, takes the outdoor record away from Russian Yuriy Styepanov with a leap of 7-1½. Norton, now with the SCVYV, establishes himself as the man to beat in Rome, leaving Dave Sime, Bobby Morrow and Bill Woodhouse in his wake in a 10.5 100, then equaling the 200 WR around a curve in 20.6 to break the tape three yards ahead of Sime. Ed Collymore and Morrow are third and fourth. Again, if you want the full summary, you have to wait until the next issue.
The west coast wasn't sitting idle on the last day of April. Stanford, Occidental and USC tangle in a double dual meet in Los Angeles. Stanford's Ernie Cunliffe is having the month of his life. Forty minutes after easing through a 4:12.3 mile, he clocks a sizzling 1:47.8 880. This would be the fastest time in the world this year were it not for the fact that he ran 1:47.3 in a meet with Fresno State four weeks earlier, a mark that is not reported, only listed in the US Report of top times.
Remember the 57-4 shot putter from 1950, Otis Chandler? He just got a pretty good job, that of publisher of the Los Angeles Times. Just shows what grit, determination and hard work can do when your family owns the paper.