Sunday, August 4, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 46 February, 1964

FEBRUARY 1964
Take a seat on the flying carpet and we will transport you back to February 1964 and the world of Bob Hayes, Gerry Lindgren, Ron Clarke and Tom O'Hara.
Running through this issue of TFN chronologically, we begin our journey on January 30 with the 57th Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden where Bill Crothers runs 880 yards in what is reported as an American record of 1:50.0. As Crothers is Canadian, we must assume that this term means the fastest 880 run by anyone on American soil. Ireland's gift to Villanova, Noel Carroll, is clocked at 1:50.4.
The crowd of 16,004 is treated to three meet records. John Thomas jumps 7-2¼ to better the mark of Valeriy Brumel. Bruce Kidd holds of the big kick of Bob Schul, running his last half in 2:02 and the final quarter in 58.9, to win the three mile in 13:32.4 with Schul at 13:33.8. Well back in sixth is Billy Mills of the Quantico Marines at 13:53.4.
With the mile field through the ¾ mile in 3:05.6, John Camien throws down a 57.0 finish only to earn a distant view of Tom O'Hara's backside as the redheaded Loyola student finishes in 54.9 for a 4:00.6 Millrose record.
With a plethora of records, one non-record race stands out. Yale's Wendell Mottley takes a shot at the WR at 600 yards. The Yale captain doesn't lack for courage as he goes through the quarter in 48.3. Does he have enough gas in the tank for one more 160 yard lap? Not only is the gauge on E, the tires fo flat, the radiator overheats and the head gasket blows. The bear on his back is of the Polar variety. Mothers cover their children's eyes to keep them from witnessing the horror of a last lap in 26 seconds. Mottley's last 100 yards consume 17.5 seconds as the field goes by. His 1:14.3 puts him fourth behind Jay Luck's 1:11.2. There will be better days for Wendell. In fact one is only two days off.
Gary Gubner demonstrates his dominance over anyone not named Dallas Long. He shows no respect for the age of Perry O'Brien or the youth of Randy Matson. Gubner's 62-6½ leaves O'Brien 2½ feet behind and Matson over five feet back.
Now it is two days later, February 1, and we are in the Boston Garden for the 75th Boston AA meet. This is one of those aforementioned better days for Wendell Mottley. He splits 22.3 for the 220 on the 160 yard track and holds off Charley Mays of the Grand Street Boys Club to run 48.0 and break Roy Cochran's 1942 world record of 48.2. Mays is right there at 48.3. Not to worry about Charley. He is not one to brood over missed opportunities. He wins the broad jump in a meet record 24-4¾.
Note: Broad jump is not an antiquated term. We learned last year that the event had been renamed the long jump. This transition must take place in the outdoor season as every indoor meet reported in this issue has a broad jump competition.
The 13,535 spectators are disappointed that snow has shut down the airport and therefore Bob Hayes and Bill Crothers aren't here, but their disappointment is mitigated by the world record performance of those plucky youngsters on the Villanova two mile relay team. NCAA cross country champ Vic Zwolak opens with a 1:55.1 leg but then things speed up. Al Adams covers his 5½ laps in 1:51.8 and hands off to Tom Sullivan who cranks out a 1:50.8. Now it is up to Noel Carroll. Noel is taking no prisoners. He runs 52.2 for the quarter en route to a 1:48.7 split and a 7:26.4 WR, breaking the old record of.....well, which one do you want? Last year Georgetown set the 8 lap to the mile record of 7:29.0. The 1962 Kansas team had the dirt track record of 7:29.2 and the 11 lap to the mile record of 7:30.8. Take your pick, Villanova beat them all.
Now it is February 7 and we are still on the East Coast. The Philadelphia Inquirer Games may be competitive but there will be no fast times because of the “sharp-turned 12 lap track”. (For those of you without a calculator at the ready, that is 146 2/3 yards to the lap, not your basic dodge-ball ball circle, but close.) An example of the difficulty is provided by Charley Mays, who last week ran 48.3 on a 160 yard track. Tonight he wins the quarter in a meet record of 49.7.
The next night on the other side of the county things pick up in the LA Times meet. There is no snow at LA International, so Bob Hayes and Bill Crothers are in attendance.
Actually Crothers is the focal point of the meet. He states that he can beat Peter Snell for the Olympic gold, because “I am faster than he is”. If tonight's performance is any indication, he may be. If you are assuming that this indicates that Crothers extends his 16 race winning streak at 1000 yards and the press unanimously vote him Athlete of the Meet, you would be half right.
Running against a strong field with 370 yards to go, Crothers makes his move on the curve. He catches the heel of an unmentioned opponent and down he goes. By the time he is up again Dick Drake estimates that he has lost 45 yards to the field. You are starting from a dead stop 45 yards behind the field with only two laps left. What do you do? If you are Bill Crothers, you take off after them. Drake writes, “Perhaps the final 340 yards of an indoor 1000 have never been run so fast”. Incredibly he passes four competitors with a lap to go. Only Jim Dupree is ahead. The crowd goes wild as Crothers eats up Dupree's lead. Into the straight they come. Both lean at the tape and Dupree gets the nod by an inch as they are both timed in 2:11.9. The crowd acknowledges the magnificent effort it has just seen. The standing ovation lasts two minutes. Off is performance tonight the great Canadian is ready for Peter Snell. Bring him on.
Snell isn't here, but there are two representatives from down under, Aussies Ron Clarke, the world record holder at 10,000, and Tony Sneazwell, the high jumper with the third best ever mark. Both compete well, but winning is not in the cards tonight. Clarke leads the two mile until the mile and a half mark when Bob Schul makes his move. Clarke make a game effort, but two miles is not his forte and Schul is not to be denied. He holds Clarke off by four tenths in 8:42.2. Sneazwell jumps 7-0¾ but can't match John Thomas who goes an inch higher.
We mentioned that Bob Hayes was in the house and indeed he covers 60 yards in 6.0 to equal the world record for the third time in four weeks. He is not the only Hayes to win tonight. Hayes Jones holds off Dee Andrews of Long Beach State to take the 60 hurdles in 7.2 for his 52nd consecutive indoor win.
Tom O'Hara wins the mile in only 4:07.0, but his destruction of Jim Grelle on the last lap gives indication that something awfully good is in the future. Grelle can't match O'Hara's kick and settles for second in 4:08.4.
Ralph Boston trails Wellsley Clayton until the fifth round of the broad jump where he soars 25-7½ for a three inch victory.
As close as the broad jump is, the match up in the shot between Gary Gubner and Dallas Long is closer. Gubner throws 62-4¼ only to see Long put one out a quarter inch further.
February 13 finds us back at Madison Square Garden for the New York Athletic Club Games.
 Jim Beatty is injured and won't run tonight, but, as the world record holder in the indoor mile, he fires the pistol that starts the race. Three minutes fifty-six and six tenths later he is no longer the world record holder. Tom O'Hara follows through splits of 59.0 and 2:01.3 before starting his drive 500 yards out. He scoots by leader John Camien, passes the 1320 in 3:01.6 and the race for the record is on. Fifty-five seconds later he hits the tape in 3:56.6, clipping 2.3 seconds off Beatty's record.
Bill Crothers adds O'Hara to his list of guys (two in number) who might beat Snell. “I used to think that O'Hara was the one man who might give Snell a good race at Tokyo. Now I think that O'Hara will outkick him.”
Crothers himself has his hands full in the 880. After a relaxed opening quarter of 56.1, Missouri's Robin Lingle supplies all the competition Crothers can handle and leads into the final straight before Crothers catches him with ten yards to go, winning 1:50.8 to 1:50.9. Noel Carroll finishes faster than everyone but can only muster third at 1:51.0.
You know you are really good when you keep running world records and no one pays much attention. Such is the case for Bob Hayes who equals the WR 6.0 at 60 yards for the fourth time this season.
The two best high jumpers in the world not named Valeryi Brummel, John Thomas and Tony Sneazwell, go head to head and the winner is.......Lew Hoyt of USC who PR's with a 7-1 clearance to beat the big boys by two inches.
Five days ago Bob Schul upset Ron Clarke at 2 miles in Los Angeles. With Bruce Kidd added to the mix you don't want to be going out for popcorn during the 2 mile tonight. Surely Clarke will take it out fast to nullify the kick of the others. Nope, the mile goes by in 4:28. The field of six stays together through a mile and a half when the big boys ramp it up. Clarke, Kidd and Schul are together at the gun when Schul makes his move. Kidd hangs on down the backstretch, but Clarke lets ground open up. Just as they hit the final turn Kidd moves by. There is a bump but no foul is called as Kidd holds off Schul 8:42.6 to 8:42.8 with Clarke third in 8:43.8. Kidd's last lap is 57.0.
Gary Gubner puts the shot 63-2½ to put that Matson kid from Texas A&M in his place by four feet.
Two evenings hence, February 15, Jumbo Elliot is pretty sure his two mile relay team can break that world record they set two weeks ago. One reason for his confidence is that they will be running on an 8 lap to the mile track in Louisville's Mason-Dixon Games. This issue is never in doubt. Orr opens up with a 1:53.9 (1.2 seconds faster than Vic Zwolak ran in Boston). Adams (1:52.6), Sullivan (1:49.5) and Carroll (1:48,8) follow and the record drops 1.5 seconds to 7:24.9.
Bob Schul is here but Kidd and Clarke have other duties to attend to, so after a dawdling 4:28 opening mile, the Miami of Ohio star cranks out a 4:19 finish to win the 2 mile by ten seconds over Pat Traynor in 8:47.3.
Charley Mays nearly pulls off one of the strangest doubles in recent history. He tangles with Ray Saddler and Earl Young in the 500. Bumping and shoving ensue, but Charley holds on for a 56.2 victory with Young edging Saddler for second, both at 56.3. No time to chat, Charley is off for the broad jump runway where he does battle with Ralph Boston. Charley sees Boston's 25-3 and spots him his own 25-3¾. There is a reason that Ralph is the Olympic champion and he shows it in the fifth round, when he goes 25-10 to keep Charley from the 500-BJ double.


Oh, and Bob Hayes equals his own WR at 70 yards with a 6.9 clocking.
On the other side of the country there is another meet this evening. The Golden Gate Invitational, held in San Francisco's Cow Palace, draws a capacity crown of 13,277. That high school kid, Gerry Lindgren, captured the city's heart seven weeks ago when he ran 9:00 for two miles. A month ago in LA he ran 8:46.0. Tonight he is back in the city by the bay to tangle with the great Ron Clarke. You bet it's a sellout. Grab your coat and hat. We're going.
The meet lacks the star power of others previously reported but no one came to see the 440, triple jump or 60. The crowd is here to see the two mile and I am sure the distance runners among us agree that is the way it should be.
If you are a 117 pound high school kid racing one of the greatest runners the world has seen, what is your strategy? Well, you go out hard and take it to him. Lindgren leads through a 61.7 quarter and a 2:06.4 half. The pace settles a bit and the mile comes up in 4:19.7. After the race Clarke comments that he wanted to share the pace setting but Lindgren wouldn't let him. When the mile and a half mark is reached, Lindgren is still in the lead at 6:30.7. Finally the 26 year old Aussie makes his move with three laps left. Once he has gone by there is no doubt as to the outcome. Even as Clarke powers away, the crowd is with Lindgren. The 3000 meter mark is passed in record time for both, Clarke 8:05.0 for the world best, Lindgren 8:06.3 for the American mark. Not often is the second place time more significant that the winning time, but this time it is. Clarke's 8:36.9 has been done before. Lindgren's 8:40 hasn't, not by a high school kid, not by a 17 year old.
To the delight of the crowd the two jog a lap with their arms around each other. Clarke's admiration is obvious. “He's colossal. The kid is the best I have ever seen.” Lindgren is quoted as saying, “I was hoping I could run 8:46 again. Now I don't know what I can do.”
The Golden Gate meet has emotion of a different sort as well. A sense of reality settles in with the appearance of Brian Sternberg in his wheelchair. He, his family and his girlfriend have been flown from Seattle for a ceremony initiating the Brian Sternberg Award. This award is to be given annually to “the athlete who most typifies the spirit and ideals of American track and field as exemplified by Brian Sternberg.” The crowd stands as he is wheeled around the track by his buddy, Ron Morris, and his idol, Dutch Warmerdam. Brian says his only regret this evening is that his good friend, John Pennel, had to withdraw from the meet with a heel injury. “I sure wanted to see John. He is a great guy.”
What if we staged an indoor track meet on a Tuesday night, just four days before the nationals, would anyone come? That had to be the concern of the promoters of the Long Beach Games, but sure enough they hold the meet. When the Golden Gate Invitational ended, the track was disassembled, loaded on trucks and set up in Long Beach.
The size of the crowd isn't mentioned, but a good many big names are there to compete. Two of the biggest names are the focus of attention for different reasons. Dallas Long leaves Perry O'Brien two and a half feet behind with a throw of 64-8 in the shot, the best in the world this year. This is not unexpected news.
What is unexpected is Bob Hayes loss in the 60 to Darell Newman of Fresno State. Wait a minute, the invincible Bob Hayes lost? Yes, but there is an explanation. Newman gets a rolling start that is apparent to everyone save the starter and recall starter. Hayes eases off his blocks thinking that the race will be recalled. No shot is fired and the Florida A&M star has an “oh-oh” moment. Realizing that the race is on, he takes off after Newman. In fairness it must be mentioned that Newman is not flat out as he listens for the recall. Hayes gains, but Newman is a world class sprinter. Give him an advantage an it is all over. Bert Nelson estimates that Hayes gains four feet in the final 30 yards, but it isn't enough. Newman wins by inches at both clock 6.0. There is talk of running the race again but it doesn't happen.  More about Darell Newman  (from L.A. Times, 1997)

But flash back to the mid-1960s and Newman is the "bald bullet" of Fresno State. This is a man who briefly shared the world record for 100 yards with Bob Hayes. Newman ran the 100 in 9.2 seconds (hand timed) and ran a world-record 5.9 seconds for 60 yards indoors.
Blessed with an extremely fast start--and already bald as a collegian, hence the nickname--he was ranked third in the world at 100 meters in 1965.
That was a golden age for track and field, when dual meets between nations drew huge crowds and worldwide attention.
Newman's apex of fame came in a United States versus Soviet Union meet in Kiev. Newman won the 100 meters in 10.03; he says it was the first competitive 100 to be electronically timed and the first event televised live from one continent to another.
Newman was named the male athlete of the meet and was swarmed by autograph seekers. "All of a sudden I was super famous in Russia," Newman said. "I was even assigned two KGB agents as bodyguards."
But upon returning home and graduating from Fresno State, Newman had to give up running and get a job. Although he had never played football, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1966. After a couple days in camp he decided to return to California to teach and coach.
His first job at Smedley (now Carr) Intermediate in Santa Ana was the start of 27 years as a track coach, including 11 at Santa Ana High. Fifteen years ago he became the Saints' girls' cross-country coach and in 1992 he took over the entire program, although he now mostly deals with administrative duties while Roger and Imelda Nava handle the day-to-day coaching.
Although it might seem incongruous, a sprinter coaching distance runners, Newman says he enjoys the simplicity of the sport. Still, his background makes him a prime target for ribbing from Athletic Director Frank Alvarado, a former cross-country runner.
"I often tease Darel that he never ran anything over 200 meters in his life," Alvarado said. "He just laughs and says that's because he was smart."


Back to February 1964

The best distance race is the 1000 yards where Canadian Sig Ohlemann, competing for the Emerald Empire Athletic Association, takes the measure of John Bork 2:10.1 to 2:10.3. Long Beach State ace Darryl Taylor is third at 2;10.9.
Now the aforementioned four days have gone by and we are back at the Garden for the 76th AAU National Indoor Championship, a meet Jim Dunaway reports is “marred by confusion, inept announcing, sloppy administration and erratic officiating”. Other than that, how did you like the meet, Jim?
Still, there are some very good marks. Ron Clarke benefits from running three miles rather than two. Try as he may to take the lead and set a fast early pace, he has trouble getting to the front because of that damned Lindgren kid who goes through the mile in 4:22. Clarke finally takes over at the mile and a half (6:40) and, with the exception of Pete McArdle forcing the pace at two miles, leads the rest of the way to win easily in a WR 13:18.4. McArdle is second at 13:32.6 with Lindgren setting a high school record of 13:37.8 in third.
Some of those good Aussie runners of the time.
Front Al Lawrence,  John Macy (Poland) Barrie Almond
Back  Pat Clohessy, coach Johnny Morris, and George Ranken (nat. ?)
U. of Houston's Cross Country champions
For a country with no indoor track, the Aussies have a fondness for the indoor three mile. The 13:26.4 record Clarke breaks was first set by countryman Al Lawrence and later tied by fellow Aussie Albie Thomas. Good to keep it in the family so to speak.
How do you define confidence? How about this? You are a Nebraska freshman. You were a dominating high school sprinter last year in Seattle but his is the national championship and you have made the finals in the 60 and will be running against Bob Hayes. Your name is Charley Greene and you have just told Hayes that he will have to equal his world record of 5.9 to beat you. You are right. You, Mel Pender and Hayes are shoulder to shoulder at 40 yards. Indeed the Florida A&M deity pulls away for a hand timed 5.9 clocking. His Bulova phototimer time is 5.99, the first sub six clocking, but if you are young Charlie Greene, the future looks promising. You just ran 6.05.
And look who has just risen from the dead. That's Ernie Cunliffe toeing the starting line in the 1000. But wait, it can't be. The first quarter just went off in 62 seconds. That's not the Ernie we remember, not the guy who goes out hard and lets the chips fall where they may. No, this is the older, wiser Ernie who chooses the moment to strike. And strike he does. Three hundred and fifty yards remain when the veteran separates the man from the boys. His burst supplies a half second victory in 2:14.8. Could it be that the former Stanford star is back?
Speaking of veterans, yes, that is Perry O'Brien leading the shot through five rounds with his seasonal best of 62-10. But that is also Gary Gubner throwing 63-2½ on his final attempt to take his third consecutive US indoor title.
Another Olympic champion tastes defeat as Ralph Boston's 25-8¼ broad jump is topped by Charley Mays' 26-1½. Without Lew Hoyt here to upset the natural order of things, John Thomas jumps 7-1 to relegate Tony Sneazwell and his 7-0 to second. You think nothing outlasts the Energizer bunny? How about Hayes Jones who wins his 54th consecutive indoor hurdle race, in this case the 60 yard variety in 7.0.
Tidbits from Dick Drake's and Bert Nelson's columns follow. Ron Clarke trains twice a day, plays squash at lunch and often goes out for a brief run with his wife just before bed. When he finds time to play, he is an avid golfer. When his running days are over he would like to play golf daily. (Why is it there are no golfers who say when they are done playing, they would like to take up distance running?).......Clarke says that a couple days after his 10K record he felt depressed. He said John Landy told him he went through the same experience after setting his mile record......The world record holder used to be a chubby? Apparently so. Clarke says that when he was in the army he gained 50 pounds in 3½ months, the result of starchy food and no running.....Talk about your that and fifty cents will get me a cup of coffee award, the AAU has seen fit to award Brian Sternberg a lifetime membership......After three years at Occidental, Jim Bush will succeed Ducky Drake as head coach at UCLA. Ducky will stay on as head trainer......Herb Elliot and Merv Lincoln are still competing with each other. They are TV sports commentators on rival Melbourne stations......Says Bob Hayes who has been drafted as a receiver by the Dallas Cowboys, “I hope they give me a chance. I would like to prove a sprinter can succeed in pro football”. We'll see how that turns out.












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