Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 14 May, 1963


MAY 1963
It is spring and we have relay meets, specifically Kansas, Drake, Penn, Mt. SAC, Quantico, West Coast and the Coliseum. Pour a cup of coffee, get comfy in the recliner and let us take you back to those golden days of yesteryear.
April 19-20 find us in Lawrence, Kansas, basking in 75 degree weather at the Kansas Relays. There are exciting races, but no great marks. Colorado sophomore, Bill Miller earns his scholarship this weekend. In addition to running heats in the 440 and mile relays and the high hurdles, he wins the 400 meter hurdles in 52.6, places second to Rex Wilson of Texas in the highs, 14.1 for both, anchors the 440 relay to a third place finish, brings the 880 relay from third to first on the anchor leg and blisters a 45.9 anchor to win the mile relay in 3:10.1.
John Camien
John Camien, who outkicked Dyrol Burleson in the Texas Relays, is outkicked himself in the Glenn Cunningham Mile as Missouri's Robin Lingle powers past in the home straight to win by three tenths in 4:04.8.
Now it is the last weekend in April, the traditional home of the three major relay meets in the US, Drake, Penn and Mt. SAC.
The wet weather in Des Moines hurts the Saturday portion of the Drake Relays, but the competition is tight. Texas Southern dominates the college division, winning four relays, three of them with faster times than the winners of the university division. Englishmen, now Southern Illinois students, Brian Turner and Bill Cornell, shine. Turner takes the two mile in 8:51.7 while Cornell blazes a 1:47.1 anchor in the sprint medley as the Salukis record an outstanding 3:18.7.
Robin Lingle tangles with Dyrol Burleson in the mile. John Camien outkicked Burleson at Texas and Lingle outkicked Camien last week in Kansas, so it makes sense that Lingle outkicks Burleson today, right? Nope, this isn't the math equation in which A is greater than B and B is greater than C, therefore A is greater than C. Burly debunks that by opening up on the back straight and it is over. The ex-Oregon star puts Lingle away by 30 yards in 4:05.4. No splits are given. But this isn't the fastest mile of the day. Harry McCalla runs a 4:04.8 anchor to make up 40 yards on So. Illinois and bring Stanford home first in the 4 mile relay.
Coverage of this meet would not be complete without mention of the efforts of one of our favorites here at OUTV, Jerry Dyes, who wins the javelin at 238-9, places fifth in long jump at 23-8 and leads off the Abilene Christian teams which win the 880 relay and take second in the 440 relay.
Brian Sternberg


And now to Philadelphia and the Penn Relays where the big news is Brian Sternberg's 16-5 world record pole vault. After missing at 15-0 and 15-6, the University of Washington “sophenom” (T&FN's word). clears 16-1 and 16-5 on his first attempts. His second attempt at 16-7 is oh, so close, making this height a definite possibility in the near future.
After seven years of placing second in the mile relay, Morgan State finally wins in 3:12.4 much to the delight of coach Eddie Hurt who says, “At the end of every leg we were in front and I couldn't believe it. I could hardly bear to watch Nick Lee come down the homestretch, I was so excited.” The top individual time of the day belongs to Maryland's Chris Stuaffer who runs the 400 intermediates in 51.2. The best relay split belongs to Oregon State's Norm Hoffman who brings the Beavers' sprint medley team from far back to second with a 1:48.2 effort. Double relay winners are Michigan State (440 and 880) and Fordham (2M and 4M).
If you got excited about Drake and Penn, you are going to get all wiggly about what happens the same weekend in Walnut, CA in the Mt SAC Relays. Penn and Drake are prestigious universities. Mt. SAC is a junior college. The Penn Relays began in 1895 and is the oldest track meet in the country. Drake got its start in 1910. Mt. SAC is a neophyte, just finding its way in its fifth year of life. Yet the disrespectful newcomer has placed its esteemed forefathers out of focus in the rear view mirror if the quality of competition is to be the judge.
You want world records? How about three on the same day? The first day of competition is rained out. The second and third days see one of the great meets in track and field history. Two time Olympic champion Al Oerter extends his discus world record by half a foot to 205-5½ in the greatest discus display in history. Five of his six throws are over 200 feet. But Big Al can't rest on his laurels. Jay Silvester is second at 197-4, but that is not the full story. 
Jay Silvester
He has a foul at 205 and a warm up throw at 215. Yes, the discus will be fun to watch the rest of this season.
Just as Oerter's record is not unexpected, neither is Arizona State's mile relay mark. What is to be surprised about? They have already set this record twice this season. Mike Barrick opens with a 48.0. Henry Carr once again is the fast leg at 45.1. The big difference is that Ron Freeman lowers his best to 45.6. Anchor Ulis Williams goes out too fast and pays the price in the homestretch, but his 45.8 is enough to drop the record to 3:04.5.
Now to the jaw dropping performance that left spectators stunned, specifically C.K. Yang's dominating, unbelievable, off the chart, (fill in your own superlative here) dismantling of Rafer Johnson's decathlon world record. On the morning of Sunday, April 28 the WR is 8683 points. By that evening, after a second day like no other, it is 9121.
Indeed, at the end of the first day C.K trails Rafer's first five event total by 207 points (4750 to 4543). The first three events, 100, broad jump and shot put, give no indication of what is to happen. Yang runs an expected 10.7, the followed with slightly below normal marks of 23-6¼ and 43-4½. He balanced this by slightly exceeding expectations in the high jump (6-3 ½) and 400 (47.7). Still when he goes to bed that night he is down 207 points.
The next day the sun shines brightly and the angels sing. C.K. opens with a sizzling, yet not surprising, 14.0 in the hurdles. Then comes his other weak event, along with the shot put, the discus, where he throws only 134-6, losing 375 points vis a vis Rafer's 170-6.
The pole vault is next and this is where it all comes together. Yang has become a very good vaulter as evidenced by his indoor WR of 16-3 two months ago. This time he clears 15-10½ for 1515 points, a stupefying 785 points more than Rafer's 13-0¼ had given him. A fine javelin throw of 235-5 and a 5:02.4 1500 are enough to produce the record. In truth the record may increase. As Yang's vault is ¾ of an inch higher than the decathlon point table goes, more points may be added upon review.
There are two ways to look at this. Yang's performance can be viewed as one of the great achievements in track and field history. He crushes the great Rafer Johnson's world record by 438 points. Numbers don't lie. There is no room for argument.
On the other hand, you can view this record as the result of the fiberglass pole. Rafer Johnson vaulted 13-0¼ with a metal pole. What would he have done with a fiberglass pole or how high would Yang have vaulted had he been restricted to a metal pole? (He did 14-1¼ the day Johnson did 13-0.) Take the pole vault points out of the equation and Johnson wins 7953 to 7606.
Your reporter has peeked at the January 1964 issue. Track and Field News has taken the mathematical position. C.K. Yang's photo graces the cover as the world athlete of the year based on this performance.
April 30 finds us in Monroe, Louisiana on the campus of NE Louisiana State
for a midweek dual meet. Remember the 16-5 WR vault by Brian Sternberg three days ago? Today it becomes the former world record as John Pennel flies 16-6¾. Sternberg had said he didn't think his record would last very long, but one would think he had hoped for at least a week.
It is May 4 and we are in Quantico, Virginia for the Quantico Relays where sectionalism is rewarded. Jim Dunaway writes that “the East” saw not only its first four minute mile, but its fastest mile relay. Indeed Cary Weisiger runs 3:59.2, but details such as splits or the names and places of other competitors are missing. Coach Eddie Hurt of Morgan State has reason to be pleased. After winning at Penn State last week in 3:12.4, his foursome clocks 3:08.8 today. Undoubtedly his joy is tempered somewhat by the fact that his lads are beaten by Maryland State as Charley Mays' 45.8 anchor catches Nick Ellis. Mays also takes the broad jump at 25-4.
Adolph Plummer
Georgetown wins a competitive 2MR on the strength of Eddie Duchini's 1:49.1. The Hoyas clock 7:29.4 to edge Villanova by a tenth and Fordham by three tenths. And a ghost from the past emerges in the hurdles as comebacking Elias Gilbert edges John Bethea, 13.9 for both.
A week later the West Coast Relays are hampered by an unusually cool Fresno night, but Mahoney Samuels has a bang up night. Well, the actual bang up came just a few minutes before the competition. The car in which he was riding was in an accident that sent the three other occupants to the hospital and Mahoney to the top of the triple jump runway with a stiff neck. Undetered, the Jamaican, now representing the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village, pops a wind aided 54-5 for the outstanding mark of the night. Oddly, this is the only wind aided jump of the competition.
Given the quality of the competition, with a few notible exceptions, the meet produces disappointing marks. Frank Covelli sets the meet record in the javelin at 263-9½ and Jay Silvester does the same in the discus with his 194-11½ effort. Arizona State takes a shot at the WR in the 880 relay, but poor passing leaves them short at 1:22.9 even with Henry Carr's 19.8 split. The most exciting race of the evening is the 2MR where Oregon State edges Occidental 7:23.4 to 7:24.0.
Six days later, May 17, the Coliseum Relays provide the excitement that the was missing in Fresno. A crowd of 32,000 watches eight meet records set. Bob Hayes dominates the 100, winning by three tenths in 9.3, then beats Henry Carr in the 220, 20.8 for both. Villanova's latest Irish import, Noel Carroll, powers past Kevin Hogan and Jim Dupree in the straight to take the 880 in an impressive 1:47.5. Hogan and Dupree run 1:48.0 and 1:48.3.
New Zeland's Olympic gold medalists, Peter Snell and Murray Halberg, have mixed results. Snell allows Tom O'Hara to lead the parade through a 3:06.5 1320 before dropping the hammer for a 53.1 last lap and a 4:00.3 win over Dyrol Burleson who makes the mistake of allowing Snell to kick first. Cordner Nelson says Burleson's 4:00.8 doesn't reflect how close he finished to Snell. Nelson's estimate is four feet. O'Hara is third at 4:02.0.
Tom O'Hara
Halberg doesn't meet with the same success in the 5000 where Jim Beatty cranks out a 56.1 final go around for a 13:57.4 victory. Halberg is second at 13:59.2, Ron Larrieu third at 14:00.0. USC's Julio Marin runs 14:02.4 for a collegiate record in fourth.
Ron Morris, John Rose and Gerald Pratt all vault 16-0½ to finish in that order. Pratt can take comfort in knowing his mark is the best ever third place finish. World record holder John Pennel can do no better than fifth at 15-0. Ralph Boston broad jumps a meet record 26-3½. His four 26 foot jumps are the only ones in the Coliseum Relays history. Jay Silvester's 197-9 throw takes the discus gold by over two feet from Rink Babka.
Ah, but the relays are what this meet is about. Texas Southern takes the 440 relay in 40.7 when ASU's Henry Carr can't gain on TSU's Lester Milburn on the anchor leg. Arizona State does not go home empty handed as the Wilcats handle TSU easily in the mile relay, 3:05.2 to 3:07.7. Once again Carr's 45.4 second leg is the fastest of the day. The Lobos of New Mexico are heard from in the 880 relay. They run 1:24.4 as Adolph Plummer comes from behind to pass TSU and win by three tenths.
The two mile relay is a classic dual between Occidental and San Jose State with Oxy's Ron Whitney holding off Ben Tucker on the final carry to win 7:21.6 to 7:22.2. Surprisingly, the fastest split of the race belongs to fifth place Long Beach State's second leg, Darryl Taylor, who cranks out an impressive 1:48.6.
According to Cordner Nelson, the best race of the night is the frosh 2MR in which UCLA's anchor, Bob Day, runs 1:49.0 but comes up inches short as San Jose State and the Bruins both cross the line in 7:30.6.
The Pan American Games are contested from April 27 to May 4 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Often this is a lackluster, ho hum sort of affair and 1963 is no different. Even with Joe Faust retired at the last minute (though he competed and won at Mt SAC the day the Pan Am Games opened), the US goes 1-2 in every field event except the triple jump where we are 1-4. Ralph Boston fills in for Faust with a second place 6-8 3/8 behind Gene Johnson's 6-11 3/8.
Jim Grelle turns the tables on Jim Beatty in the 1500, running 3:43.5 to win by a tenth. No splits or race description is given. Oddly, the US won neither sprint race. Ira Murchison was second in the 100. Ollan Cassell took second in the 200, a race in which the first three were separated by one onehundreth.
J.D. Martin would win the decathlon at
these Pan Am Games

Cordner Nelson's Track Talk column profiles 16 high school kids who may bear watching, three in particular. Randy Matson is described as “the greatest shot-discus doubler of all time. His 66-10½ shot put is the second best ever (behind Dallas Long) and his 192-3 discus throw is number three on the all time list.
Randy Matson in later years as a
Texas A&M aggie
Ryun in his early high school career
 Cordner avows that “when he becomes serious about these events, he'll be quite good”. Then there is Tommy Smith of Lemoore, CA who is showing some potential in the sprints. He has marks of 9.6, 21.1 and 47.4. Oh, and he has broad jumped 24-6½. CN opines prophetically, “He has a poor start, making his future in the 220 or 440”. Then there is this skinny kid in Wichita who is only a sophomore, but has the fastest time in the mile this season, 4:17.5, Jim Ryun. Elsewhere in this issue we find Ryun has lowered that time to 4:16.2, a new sophomore class record.
In Fran Errota's Prep Panorama column we learn of one of the best races ever at the league level. This would be Southern California's Foothill League 880 where Larry Arnett of Pasadena High wins in a nation leading 1:53.4. Times for the next four places are 1:54.1, 1:54.6, 1:54.6 and 1:54.7. This race produces five of the top eleven times in the country and all the runners are from different schools.
We will close with a comments from the Quotable Quotes column. Brian Sternberg: “I didn't really break the record. Don Bragg still holds it with the metal pole.”
Don Bragg: “Sternberg wrote me a letter when he was in high school. The kid had heard I was against fiberglass and begged me to keep up the campaign. But I see he has changed his mind.”
Sternberg

New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard: “We have lots of boys with more natural talent than Snell and Halberg and so do you. To be a really great runner you have to have speed to begin with. Then you build in the endurance, the ability to carry speed over a long distance. Snell can only run the 220 on the curve in 22.2. When we started him on long distance running he couldn't do much. On his first 22 mile run it took him three hours and 15 minutes and he was so fatigued he lay on the bed and cried like a baby for half an hour. Later he was able to run it in 2:05.”
Because we haven't mentioned it lately and therefore have had a mounting number of inquiries, we feel obligated to inform you that ad for Adidas at Clifford Severn's North Hollywood store still adorns a large portion of the last page. Records may come and go, but Clifford Severn is forever.


Lynn Saunders Abiliene Christian and
Adolph Plummer take off on their relay legs









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