This all came about last Fall when I received an email from Jeff Allen inquiring about his father Jim Allen who ran for Washington State and the US team on the European tour in 1963. We had made a brief mention of Jim in an earlier blog posting about the '63 tour. Jim had been third in the NCAA that year but got second at the AAU meet. On those teams you had to be one of the two top runners in your event to be on the team, with the exception of the relays. And one other exception as Jim noted, "By the way. Burleson, O’Hara and Weisinger were the milers that were selected for the team in ‘63. Don’t know why three were selected in that one event and only two in the rest."
|Jim Allen and son Jeff on the slopes in Whitefish, MT|
Jim ran neck and neck all that 1963 season with Rex Cawley of the University of Southern California. The picture from the German newspaper below shows him leading Cawley in the straight until he was edged with both of them timed in 50.1. That ranked him No. 2 in the world in 1963. In 1964 he tore his hamstring going over the first hurdle NCAA first round and could not recover in time for the Olympic Trials. That was the last time he ever ran competitively. These days he's a skier and occasionally hits his age (73) on the golf course.
A fun story he shared concerned his trip to the AAU nationals in St Louis. He and Ben Tucker of San Jose State traveled by bus together to St. Louis from the NCAA meet in Albequerque. After he made the US team and was selected to go to Europe for the Russian, Poland, German, and Great Britain dual meets, he got on a bus headed toward his home in Seattle. I said 'toward' Seattle, because he and the Greyhound parted company. At Salt Lake City couldn't stand being on the bus any longer, so he got off and took a taxi to the airport and wrote a check, with insufficient funds for a plane ticket to Seattle. He beat the bus by twelve hours and when he got to Seattle, he raced to the bank where his mother worked asking her to cover the balance due on the check, which she did before it bounced. Yes commerce was a bit different in those days.
We chose to honor Jim with this short memoire of his career, and he has chosen to honor us with some of the pictures that he took in Moscow and the European trip. These pictures have never been seen out in the public before this writing, so consider yourself privileged to get to see them now. There are 3 future Olympic gold medalists in the photos: Henry Carr, Rex Cawley, and Bob Hayes, and a silver medalists Paul Drayton and Blaine Lindgren.
Below are programs from the four international dual meets and some programs from the Scandinavian trip
|Moscow, 1963, Bob Hayes after winning 100 meters. Have the other runners come in yet?|
|Morgan Groth 800 meters in Moscow|
|At the hotel, Frank Covelli, Rex Cawley, Henry Carr, Lester Milburn|
|Payton Jordan, US team coach. When Jim Allen got hurt, he pulled Willie Atterbury in from Norway at the last minute to get important points in the dual meet.|
|Henry Carr, Arizona State and Ray Saddler, Texas Southern at the practice field in Moscow|
|High Jumpers Gene Johnson and Paul Stuber|
|Frank Covelli and Paul Stuber in foreground, Steve Pauley in background at Moscow stadium a|
few days before the meet.
|Jim Allen just after getting his 50.1 PR in Hannover, Germany|
|Jim Allen, Ferdinand Haas , Rex Cawley, and Helmut Janz after 400IH race in Hannover where Allen and Cawley|
were both timed in 50.1, but Cawley got the win.
|Jim Allen in the Stadium in Moscow|
|Larry Stuart , left, javelin with Russian interpreter and Blaine Lindgren, hurdler|
|The lads in Whistler, BC|
|The Stadium at Moscow|
Imagine, twenty years before in 1943, the Germans were approaching the gates of Moscow.