Ed Burke profile Click Here He threw for many years as a Master.
The race is simple. Mills leads, Lindgren hangs on and everyone else gets lapped. Through the miles they go: , ( ), ( ). Occasionally Lindgren tries to lead but Mills is on a mission and quickly takes over again. His primary goal is the record, not the win. He has to take the chance of a fast pace taking its toll. The track is a hard all weather substance and Mill's feet are blistering.
The official gaffes mentioned so far are only the warm ups for the big one in the steeplechase. Apparently the official calling out lap times is using a watch with a 30 second face because the times he gives are 30 seconds off. This is but a bump in the road compared to the error that follows. As the leader, George Young, nears the finish line with a lap to go, the official holding the lap cards holds up “2”. Then, after Young is 20 yards past, the gun signaling the start of the last lap is fired. Young, already confused by the nonsensical lap times, suffers a 'what the hell?' moment. What lap am I on? He crosses the finish line in 8:50.6 but keeps going. The rest of the field, seeing the best steeplechaser in the country continuing to run, follows along. No one, officials, spectators nor the announcer, knows what is happening. Fred Best, who places third in 8:52.4, says, ”That final lap was the most grueling thing I have had to do in track”. For those keeping track, Young runs 66.4 on his last lap to establish a world record of 9:59.0 for the newly established approximately 3400 meter steeplechase.
To explain the mile race this evening we have to go back nearly two weeks to when, in Vancouver, Peter Snell is on the first stop of his retirement tour. The crowd is expecting big things. They get them, but not from the three time Olympic champion. Snell has been sick with gastritis, an inflammation of the intestinal tract. The crowd doesn't know this so it is shocked when Snell finishes last in 4:15.4. Forgetting this 'aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?' feeling, the 13,891 spectators are treated to an American record. Jim Grelle goes through the 1320 in 3:00.2 and lights up the last lap to finish in 3:55.4, breaking Jim Beatty's US standard by a tenth. After the race Grelle says, “I honestly believe that I could have run if the east turn hadn't been so soggy. It was like running through a mud flat”. Less upbeat is Snell who says, “It will take a long time for me to get over the shame of running last. Believe me, I was doing my best.”
See the race start to finish Click here
It would be unreasonable to expect another race this evening to provide the excitement and historic significance of the mile and six mile. But in the words of Cordner Nelson, the three mile qualifies. He says, “This was one of the three or four best distance races ever run in this country.”
Ron Larrieu leads a pack of five though the mile in 4:23.0. He is followed closely by 5000 Olympic champion Bob Schul, lanky Neville Scott of New Zealand, four minute miler Bill Dotson and unheralded Lloyd Burson of Western New Mexico. On the next lap Burson has to let go. Dotson drops off the pace a lap later. Larrieu continues to force the tempo. Two miles is reached in 8:50.6. The next two laps slow to 68 and 69. With a half mile left Scott takes over and runs 64.8.
In this situation a year ago Schul's devastating kick would give him the advantage but he has been fighting injuries and is admittedly not in top shape. No one, not even Schul himself, knows what he has left. Larrieu isn't waiting to find out. A long drive is his best shot. Around Scott he goes. Down the backstretch he is pulling away. At the start of the curve he has a four yard lead and appears to be on his way to victory. It is time for Schul to find out what kind of kick he has, definitely a “feets don't fail me now” moment. He tries to go by Scott on the inside, a move which requires some shoving, but he is successful. With Larrieu in his sights, he goes to the afterburners. The Olympic champ still has the lethal kick. He moves easily past the courageous Larrieu and wins in 13:10.4, taking Larrieu's American record in the process. Scott also nips Larrieu, taking second in 13:10.8, a personal best by 5.6 seconds. Larrieu equals his former AR in third in 13:11.4.
|Larrieu, Schul, and Bolotnikov later in the summer|
Only Ron Clarke, Michel Jazy and Murray Halberg have run faster than trio who are now 4-5-6 on the all time list. Even though Larrieu equals his previous best, he falls from fourth to sixth on the list. Schul says, “I am pleased with my time, but not surprised. I am beginning to get in shape.”
George Anderson edges Darel Newman in the 100, 9.3 to 9.4, as both make the US team. Recently unretired Adolph Plummer demonstrates his old man strength to young Jim Hines, coming from a yard down at the top of the straight to win the 220, 20.6 to 20.7
On Friday Ralph Boston and Darrell Horn go 1-2 in the long jump, 26-3 ½ and 25-5 ½, to make the team against the Russians. Horn is back the next day and appears on his way to victory in the triple jump when Art Walker puts it together on his fifth jump, bounding 53-1 to win by nearly two feet. Horn holds on for second and has the distinction of being the only member of the US team to qualify for the Russian dual in two events.
Click here for some silent video of Walker and his "all over the runway" technique along with some other more stylish jumpers.
With no Al Oerter in the discus competition, Czech world record holder, Ludvik Danek dukes it out with the rapidly improving Jay Silvester, throwing 205-7 to win by three feet. Dave Weill is third at 191-0 but, as the second American, he is on the team.
Tomeo leads through the quarter with Hose and Groth close. Groth pulls alongside on the backstretch. On the curve Tomeo falls back. Now Groth is in control. Farrell is ready to make his move. He pulls up on Groth's shoulder, ready to unleash his trademark kick. Groth turns and looks Farrell in the eye then demonstrates that he has one more gear left, pulling away for a clear win in 1:47.7. Farrell can't answer and indeed runs out of gas ten yards from the tape where his friend, Germann edges by to take second and a place on the team in 1:48.0. Though Germann had finished fourth in the NCAA meet in 1:49.2, his best two weeks ago had been 1:51.2. Germann is torn. He is delighted with his performance, but he is disappointed that his buddy hasn't made the team.
|Tom Farrell back then|
|Tom Farrell toay working with St. Johns runners. Note the runner with cell phone|
paying close attention.
High jump veterans Otis Burrell and Ed Carruthers take the two spots on the American team with 7-0 clearances. Bill McClellon also clears seven feet but is third on misses. He can't be too disappointed. This is his first 7-0 jump and he is 17 years old. Time is on his side.
Willie Davenport and Blaine Lindgren hurdle 13.6 and 13.7 each adding another US uniform to his collection. Olympic champ Rex Cawley holds off rapidly improving Jeff Vanderstock in the intermediates 50.3 to 50.7. Both will be on the plane to Russia.
John Pennel joins Hal Connolly and Adoph Plummer in a successful return from retirement. After seven months of “doing nothing”, he dominates the pole vault with a clearance of 17-0 in just the seventh time he as vaulted since returning to the event.
John McGrath wins the shot put at 63-0. Dave Maggard is second at 62-3 but it is unlikely he will be on the US team. That spot will go to Randy Matson who only has to prove he is healthy to make the team. There is no reason given for his absence, but since he also missed the NCAA meet, we are guessing he has been injured.