April 16, 2017
One of the truly fun aspects of writing this blog comes when we find, stumble on, or get handed to us some rare, seldom seen photos or revelations of behind the scenes shennanigans and other things recalled by those who lived them. Last week a gentleman in Framingham, MA, Ned Price contacted us and said he had some photos from the good old days of the University of Chicago Track Club of which he was a member during his time there as an undergrad. Ned now resides at the seven mile mark of the Boston Marathon and will be out there tomorrow to watch that event.
One might be reminded that this famous track at Stagg Field where many NCAA championships were contested in the 1920s and 30s had a more nefarious history. Under the main grandstand was the site of the Manhattan Project where the world's first nuclear reaction was carried out in the early 1940s during the development of the first atomic weapon. Today the stands are gone, and a statue is there to commemorate that event.
On a lighter note Ned related a story of how Ted Haydon, the coach of UCTC, was pranked by his athletes during a meet inside the Fieldhouse. Ted was set up ready to start a one mile event not knowing one of the club members had climbed up into the steel rafters of the building on a catwalk immediately overhead. When Ted fired the gun to start the race, all the runners stood still, and at the same time the prankster overhead dropped a chicken carcass onto the track at Ted's feet. The idea was that Ted had brought down the chicken with his starting pistol. The chicken was probably served up at Harold's Chicken restaurant down the street after the meet.
These remarkable photos center around the UCTC taken by Ned and/or friends. The first shows Ned outside the University of Chicago Fieldhouse with UCTC weightman Jim Brown followed by a shot from an indoor race in the fieldhouse. Then comes a good picture of Gar Williams and Phil Coleman two UCTC members of the day Williams was a well known road racer and Coleman represented the US several times as a steepler and also could run a pretty good mile. Thereafter we have a series of photos from 1962 at the time the University of Chicago hosted the USA Poland dual meet. We can't identify the individuals in the group of Polish runners, but under the picture are mentioned their probable names based on who represented Poland in distance races in that meet.
This was the first international meet I ever witnessed. I had relatives in Lombard, IL and drove up from Dayton to stay with them and see the meet.
We hope that Ned can find some more pictures to send our way, and if he does we will pass them on to you.
|Jim Brown, UCTC Weight Man with Ned Price, our photographer and storyteller.|
Behind them the fieldhouse where many an indoor practice and
meet was held.
|Bill Reyes (fart left) and Arne Richards #122 two stalwarts of|
Midwest road racing in the 1950s and early 60s.
|Gar Williams and Phil Coleman|
|Poles from another angle, on the Midway on UC campus.|
Probable names are Edward Szklarcryk (3:46 1500), Lech Boguszewicx (14:11 5000)
Jerzy Bruszkowski (1:50 800), Edward Motyl (9:06 Steeple). We have no idea
which one is which.
|Roger Sayers practices handing off to Paul Drayton coming onto the backstretch.|
Sayers ran for the University of Nebraska at Omaha and was the brother of Gayle Sayers, University
of Kansas and Chicago Bears football legend.
|UCTC Coach Ted Haydon in a lighter moment|
|Keith Forman, U. of Oregon practicing at water jump.|
Forman would finish 3rd in the Steeple.
|Pat Traynor covering a waterjump although he would run the 800 in the dual meet.|
|Max Truex and Jim Beatty doing run throughs several days before the|
US Poland dual. Truex was second in the 5000 in 14:08 and Beatty won the
1500 in 3:41.6.
|Paul Drayton and probably Ray Saddler (Texas Southern U.) on the ground.|
Drayton ran the 4x100 relay and was second in the 200 to Marion Foik (POL).
Saddler ran on the 4x400.
Gar Williams was a National AAU marathon champion sometime in the 1960s. Phil Coleman, after his great running career, I believe was head track and field coach at the University of Illinois.
As I remember, Peter McArdle, a trans-planted Irishman, won the 5,000 in the USA vs Poland meet. Does that fit with your memories? McArdle was pre-maturely bald and he looked to be 20-30 years older than his actual age. As I recall he had a fine career running for the NYAC, was on the 1963 Pan Am Games team and the 1964 Olympic Team. He retired from the sport and took up running again later in life only to die of a heart attack while out training one day in Van Cortlandt Park.
Really enjoy all the UCTC poop......Keep em' coming. Arne Richards was a friend and kept in touch/paid visits to me and Dick Trace. Struggling through the last few miles at Boston in 1966, I looked around to see a thin figure in a WKTC singlet on my tail. It was Arne and he beat me.
Here is how we reported this meet five years ago.