You may think not much goes on in Trail, BC 10 Km north of the US border. Well, they do produce their fair share of NHL hockey players as mentioned on Wikipedia. There's no mention of track and field in that source, but here's a story about their track and field legends.
We often find these stories when we are not looking for them. This one fits that classification. In the preceding posting on this blog I was searching for a picture of Paul Pearson, a near four minute miler from Canada in the mid 1970s. I typed in 'Paul Pearson Canada Track and Field' on google and found no photographic reference to Paul, but I did see the photo below and was intrigued by it, especially the guy in the sweater and bow tie. Plus the guy in the middle was holding what looked like a pair of track shoes. I thought , "Is this Bill Nye, the Science Guy's father?" So I clicked on the photo and up popped the answer.
|The Haley Brothers Pat, Joe and Paul of Trail, British Columbia|
No relation to Bill Nye, but two of the guys Pat and Joe Haley have a pretty decent track history. Previously the only thing I knew about Trail, BC was it being the home of the Trail Smoke Eaters hockey team that won the world hockey championship in 1961 when that championship was still played by amateurs. In an old Chad Mitchell Trio album one of the singers Mike Kobluk mentioned that he was from Trail, home of the Smoke Eaters. That was my only neurological connection to Trail. So let me tell you about the Haley boys.
First let's mention Joe who is seen holding the track spikes in the picture. These were probably the spikes that legend says were home made when lack of funding made those kinds of thriftiness part of one's daily routine. In 1934, Joe competed for Canada in the Empire games pulling in a silver in the high jump. In 1936 he was the first Canadian Olympian to represent Trail, BC in the Olympic Games where he was in a ten way tie for 12th place at 1.85m. He also competed in the '37 Empire Games (6th place) and once held the Canadian high jump record.
Grey haired Pat on the left was a first class sprinter although the 1940 Olympic games of Tokyo that were cancelled due to WWII would have been his chance for international fame. He was a 9.5 100 yard sprinter running at Washington State. Undefeated for two straight years in the Pacific Northwest. Then in 1937 , with Pat, running for Canada's 4x110 yard relay at the Empire games he became a gold medal winner, and his Canadian team set a World Record in gaining that victory.
We found nothing about the third Haley brother Paul on the right except we surmised he was the Beau Brummel of the family with a tremendous sweater collection and not shy about wearing them in public.
As we'll see, a number of Trail, BC track boys drifted south to Pullman to compete for the Cougars.
Next on the Trail honor roll is Tony Tenisci
|Theresa Lenardon (Center)|
Gerry Morro at one time held the Canadian pole vaulting record. Competed for Oregon. He was a member of the Canadian Olympic teams in 1964 and 1972. In 1965 Gerry placed third in the NCAA pole vault with a jump of 15' 8 1/2".
We're obviously saving the best for last. Garry Hill's history with Trail is best said by the boys at the Trail Hall of Honor. Here is their write up.
"Like all good Trail kids, Garry Hill had dreams of being a big sports star, but this 1965 graduate of J.L. Crowe (HS) never got any farther than being the BC juvenile boys record holder in the triple jump and earning a track and field scholarship to Washington State University.
In 1969 when it came time for him to graduate with a degree in Bacteriology and Public Health, he had a choice between running a sewage plant and moving to California and going to work for Track and Field News, 'the bible of the sport'. The choice was easy.
Garry started in the postion of Statistician and became one of the youngest members ever in the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, creating several innovations in the sports's record keeping which have been adopted worldwide.
In the 35+ years at the magazine, Garry moved through the ranks, eventually becoming editor and co-owner of the pubication for the last 18 years. In conjunction with his work at the magazine, Garry has become one of the world's preeminent track and field public address announcers, working regularly for the IAAF, headquartered in Monaco.
Garry announced both the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games in Atlanta and Athens, and also manned the microphone at World Championship competitions in seven different nations between 1991 and 2004. Next year as a run-up to the 2008 Olympics, he will be announcing the World Junior Championships in Beijing. This obviously could be updated. ed. Not to worry, he got the 2012 Olympic games as well..
Outside the realm of statistics, some of Garry's editorial work can be found at
From the Editor TF&N
Since this blog was founded on the basis of summarizing old Track and Field News issues, we'd like to thank Garry for not suing us and shutting us down. And once again I think you can see how often the stories just seem to write themselves.
So here's to the town of Trail, BC and their contributions to the sport of Track and Field.
For more information on the town of Trail:
Trail Home of Champions
Trail BC Wikipedia
Jim Allen interview
Garry Hill sent these additional bits of information about Trail, BC.
Phil Scott adds: Gerry Moro was also a great Decathlete and was Sam Adams UCSB assistant for many years. He now owns a Winery in Northern California. I talked him not long ago.