Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

V12 N. 86 Sir Murray Halberg R.I.P.


                                                     Sir Murray Halberg  (1933-2022)    

                                                   Source:  National Library of New Zealand

One of my earliest running heroes, Sir Murray Halberg has passed away at age 89 on November 30, 2022.

Murray ran with a severely injured shoulder earned on  a rugby pitch, and it affected his style noticeably.  He kept his left arm tucked in as he ran.  Nevertheless he was able to become New Zealand's first sub four minute miler.  He ran in the legendary Bannister Landy duel in Vancouver in 1954 though he was not a major factor in that race, but six years later he was on top of the world 

                                              The Finish at Rome   (from Stuff.co.nz)

I still remember first reading of his incredibly courageous race, the 5000 meters in the Rome Olympics of 1960.  He was among the pre-race favorites but not a guarantee shoo in for the gold medal.  On the day of the race the weather was very hot, in the 90's F, so it would be a really tough race held not in the evening but in the blazing heat of the day.  Pace was good, but not a world record pace, but with three laps to go, Murray threw in a blazer 57 second 400 meters and broke the field.  He was able to hold on to the gap he had opened with the seldom seen move and crossed the finish line not in triumphant joy but near mortal pain.  

Rome 5000 meters  Link      Looking at that finish now it is clear he was able to hold his form right through to the end.  The legs never weakened.  

A year or two later I shared a meal with Mike Lindsay, Scottish shot put champion and 5th in the 1960 Olympics.  He told me he had met Murray in the athletes' village before the race and asked him if he thought he could win next day.  Murray's answer was,  "I don't know about winning, I just plan to set the world record."  Though he did not set the WR, he did not lack in confidence.  

Halberg was one of Arthur Lydiard's protegees and 30 minutes after his teammate Peter Snell had won the 800 meters at Rome, Murray stepped on the stage and won his 5000.  It was termed the golden hour of New Zealand track and field.  

In his later years he was instrumental in running a foundation for helping disabled people to participate in sport in his country.  More about that and his life and exploits can be seen in the article below from Radio New Zealand.  

Murray Halberg RNZ Report

                                                      Peter Snell's WR in the Mile in Wanganui, NZ

 Alex Shaw, Albie Thomas , Peter Snell, Bruce Tulloh, Murray Halberg, Ernie Cunliffe, Barry Cossar

(From Ernie Cunliffe)

So I am the last survivor of the Snell World Record in the mile set in Wanganui.    Six  of the seven runners have died, and I think I am still alive and kicking.

Halberg was a marvelous runner.   I saw his Olympic Gold race in Rome.  In early 1961 he came through Stanford for a workout and prep for a 2 mile race a few days later during the US indoor season. The famous photographer Joe Rosenthal (Iwo Jima Flag raising photo) came to the meet and took pictures of Halberg's race.  Halberg set an American All Comers record in the two miles that day.   I ran my first 1000 yards race to see what it felt like, but Joe didn't take a picture of me although it was a best mark in the seldom run distance, but it did count as an American record.

In 1992 when the reunion of the WR and the dedication of an official 400 meter track was held Murray and his wife invited me to dinner but our group was leaving and I couldn't go, which was a disappointment of course as he had been knighted well before then and was SIR Murray by title.   The WR track was 4 and a half laps to the mile, so the official 400 meter track was quite an improvement from the original, and it had been a grass surface.

Sad to hear of his death, as he was one of the all time great ones.

Halberg was one of my hero’s!
I got to meet him in person in New Zealand in Jan. Of 1962!
RIp, Murray!
John Bork

He also set the WRs in 1961 at both 2 and 3 miles with times of 8:30.0 and 13:10.0.   Richard Mach

Dear George:

I don't know if you are a golfer or not, but Murray Halberg was not the only athlete with a withered left arm to achieve prominence in sport in 1954.  That same year professional golfer Ed Furgol won the United States Open.  Furgol had a childhood accident that damaged his left arm.  Based on the photos of Halberg, Furgol's arm was in worse shape.  Whatever the incentive, he developed a unique golf swing and had a fairly long, successful career as a professional golfer.

Take care,

Tom Coyne

Thank you very much for sending that along. Sir Murray Halberg was a hero for many of us. 
Jerry McFadden

Sunday, December 4, 2022

V12 N. 85 Tony Waldrop UNC, Former World Indoor Mile Record Holder R.I.P

 I just heard from several friends that Tony Waldrop, the great US miler from U. of North Carolina in the 1970's and former president of South Alabama University passed away on December 3, 2022.

From Richard Mach;
On the wall of Tony Waldrop’s North Carolina dorm room was a quote from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brother’s Karamozov

“And even if we are occupied with important things, even if we attain honor or fall into misfortune—still let us remember how good it was once here, when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us...better perhaps than we are."   

Tony Waldrop chose to live in a future of his own making about how to live in this world.  Like Bannister, at the top of his fame, he left the track, hung up his spikes and went on to other pursuits without looking back. Both men made strides in other endeavors that contributed to both scientific understanding and the betterment of mankind.   

I was in the audience @ Cole Fieldhouse @ the University of Maryland where Waldrop blasted a stunning sub 4 mile and left everyone struggling in his wake.  By the half, all the cognoscenti in the stands knew this was going to be a mile never to be forgotten. And it was.  An athlete by himself at the very pinnacle of his talent, realizing to the fullest his gifts.  He brought the house down.  I can still hear the cheering and clapping that brought him to the tape.   A tour d’ force.  

Here is the obituary that appeared in Polksports.com  a NC website

Polk County native Tony Waldrop, legendary runner and educator, dies at 70

Drs. Tony and Julee Waldrop

  Dr. Tony Waldrop, who established himself as as a track star at Polk Central High School and the University of North Carolina before a distinguished career in education, died Saturday at the age of 70.

Dr. Waldrop passed away after a lengthy illness, according to a statement released by the University of South Alabama, where Dr. Waldrop served as president from 2014-2021. He retired in 2021 and moved to Chapel Hill with his wife, Dr. Julee Waldrop, who serves as assistant dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at UNC.

Born Dec. 29, 1951 in Columbus, Dr. Waldrop first gained fame in 1968 while a sophomore at Polk Central, winning the state 1A/2A championship in the mile with a time of 4:22. State rules at the time prohibited a runner from competing in both the 880-yard run and mile in the same state meet, so Waldrop returned in 1969 and won the 880-yard run in a time of 1:53.9, a record that remains today.

He completed his career in 1970 with a state championship in the mile.

Dr. Waldrop earned a Morehead Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina, and there he gained national and international recognition. He won six Atlantic Coast Conference championships, was a six-time All-American, broke four minutes in the mile on 11 occasions, won NCAA titles in the indoor 1000-yard run and mile and set the indoor world record for the mile in 1974. He held the NCAA record for the indoor mile for more than 30 years.

He received selection as the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1974, beating out North Carolina State basketball star David Thompson.

Dr. Waldrop set a record in the mile at the prestigious Penn Relays and became the first man to break the four-minute mark in the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games. His Wanamaker time of 3:55.0 stood as the record in the event until 2013. He won a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games in the 1500-meter run. He decided to retire early in 1976.

“It was a really easy decision to decide to hang up the shoes and get on with the rest of my life,” Waldrop told LetsRun.com in a 2005 interview.

“I never regretted the decision (to retire during the Olympic year), maybe there were one or two seconds (of momentarily regret) when I watched the 1500m at the Olympics… I accomplished a lot more in track than I ever imagined I would. There were a lot more things I wanted to do with my life and I think it would be the same today.”

Dr. Waldrop has been named to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted earlier this year into the North Carolina High School Track & Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

After earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at UNC, Dr. Waldrop began his educational career as a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was later promoted to vice chancellor for research at Illinois. He returned to UNC in 2001 as vice chancellor for research and graduate studies.

In 2010, Dr. Waldrop was named provost and executive vice president at the University of Central Florida. He served there until 2014, when he became just the third president in University of South Alabama history.

“He was a pivotal leader who worked tirelessly to improve our graduation rates, elevate our research profile and raise our academic standards,” said current South Alabama President Jo Bonner in announcing Dr. Waldrop’s passing. “He insisted on sharing credit for the many accomplishments made during his administration with our incredible faculty and staff.

“Even so, some of the many highlights of his presidency include expansion of USA Health, construction of Hancock Whitney Stadium on our campus, the development of the School of Marine and Environmental Sciences and the launching of an Honors College and the Pathway USA program for transfer students.

“Under Dr. Waldrop’s leadership, the University completed its Upward & Onward comprehensive fundraising campaign that raised more than $160 million. He also helped guide our University through the challenging and uncertain times of a global pandemic.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family at a later date, according to Bonner.

Dr. Waldrop is survived by his wife and two sons, Cabe and Dallas



I never met Tony or saw him in person, but according to his pictures, I was his doppelganger.  And it is appropriate that he had the quote from The Brothers Karamozov on his dorm wall, since that is my favorite novel.  I was sorry to hear his passing especially after a long illness. May he rest in peace.


Don Betowski

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

V 12 N. 84 A Track and Field Quiz

 Two days ago I received the foto below from Thomas Coyne one of our regular contributors asking if anyone could identify the runner(s) in the picture.  Thomas' only clue was that the track was in Kalamazoo, MI on the Western Michigan campus. and the following message from the sender, a Mr. Tom Vance.

"We just picked up the 2023 calendar from Portage Printing, and thought you’d enjoy seeing this photo.
The caption says, “Western’s track for many years was inside Waldo Stadium. In the background is the Oakland Gym, and West Hall at the top of the hill. Men’s track and field along with cross country dominated during the 1950s and 1960s, led by Coach George Dales.”

Here's the pic.  Before looking for the answer below, can you activate the necessary neurons and rejuvenate the synapses to come up with an ID?  And:  What do the pith helmets tell you?   How many other giveaways are in the photo?

And the answer is,  thanks to Dr. John Telford.

scroll down

scroll some more

George, it was the Michigan AAU championships in Kalamazoo in 1957--not 1960.  The winner was MSU's Willie Atterberry out of old Detroit Eastern High School with a 47.3 at 440 yards--I beat him later in the year.  Earlier, Willie had won the Ohio Relays 600-yard dash in Columbus in an incredible world-record 1:08.5.  I won the 600 there the next year in a pedestrian 1:11.3 over Roger (Buddy) Gum of Kentucky.  The 3rd-place runner in that photo in the 1957 Mich. AAU is my WSU teammate Ralph Carter out of Detroit Northern High School, a former Marine Corps quarter-mile champion who later became a professor at Rutgers.   Willie Atterberry could also run the half-mile in 1:48, the quarter in 46.9, and the 440 hurdles under 51--all on archaic dirt-and-cinder tracks of the day.

I won the Mich. AAU at WMU in 1958 with a 48.3 and finished a step behind 32-year-old Wayne State alum Pete Petross in the 220 in a failed attempt for a double.  I was 22 years old at the time.  Pete--who anchored our Detroit Track Club world-indoor-record 880 relay team in Yost Fieldhouse at Ann Arbor, and who later became  the principal of Detroit Mumford High School--could run the 100 in 9.6 and the 220 in 20.9.  He was a five-time Mich. AAU sprint champion.  

I won the Mich. AAU 440  again in 1959 with a 47.3 over John Bork, but I finished 2nd to John in 1960--which I think was the year he won the NCAA half-mile for WMU.    

Also in 1959, I ran a 45.9 440 from scratch in a handicap 440 that I won at the Scottish Games in Williamsville, New York.  That was faster time than my sub-47-second clockings when I finished 2nd to NAIA champion Bob McMurray of Morgan State in the 1957 NCAA 440 final in Austin, Texas and 2nd to Reggie Pearman of the New York Pioneer Club in the 1957 NAAU final in Dayton--a race in which the staggers were mis-measured.  1956 Olympic 400-meter champion Charley Jenkins of Villanova was 2nd in both of those races, and McMurray, Atterberry, and future Olympic 400 champion Mike Larrabee of the Southern California Striders were also in that NAAU 440 final.  

In 1960, I lost a match race to Rex Cawley of Southern California, 46.8 to 47.0 when I stumbled on a stone near the finish.  - John T.

When you ask John a question, you get an answer.   John's answer drew some more questions out of me and we had the following exchange.

Thanks for all those details, John.  I'll forward them to the guys who sent them 
to me.  Bork will enjoy that. 
 I remember as a high schooler watching Willie Atterbury run in the Big 10 indoor 
meet about 1960.  In 63 he got called up at the last minute to fill in for 
an injured 400IH Jim Allen  in the Russian duel in Moscow.  
They flew him in from Finnland I think.  Got there just in time.  
He may have won the race. 

From our blog post  Link:  Jan. 12, 2016    "Jim had a slight hamstring problem in 
Moscow and didn't run the meet.  Payton Jordan found Willie Atterbury 
running in Scandinavia and got him on a plane without a visa and into the 
meet at the last minute making a clean sweep in the 400IH which was 
needed to edge the Russians in that meet."

George Brose irathermediate@gmail.com

Nov 29, 2022, 9:16 PM (17 hours ago)
to John
I didn't see the National AAU,  I was still in grade school, but do think I saw you run 
in the state AAU one year in Dayton.  
Those two national AAU meets  1953 NS 1957 could have put Dayton on the map, 
but the organizers screwed up a bunch of things including mismeasuring
those staggers

George, that second time I raced in Dayton was in the Ohio AAU in 1961 when I 
won the 440 in comparatively slow time and brought a relay team of 1961 Detroit 
high school 440 finalists with me which included Dennis Holland--who later 
long-jumped 26'3" for WMU--to run with me on the winning mile relay there against 
adult runners.  My 48.3 carry on the second leg put the kids in the lead we never 
lost.  I wasn't training much then, because I was taking doctoral courses at night 
and teacing English at Southeastern High School and and volunteer-coaching the 
Southeastern track team during the day.  

An incidental comment on the late Willie Atterberry: In 1961, I was the Best Man in 
his first wedding.  - JT

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

V 12 N. 83 Ted Wheeler US Olympian and Iowa Hawkeye R.I.P.


                                                             Ted Wheeler 1931-2022

I just heard of Ted Wheeler's passing from Garry Corbitt.  Here is his obituary

Theodore Stanley “Ted” Richardson Wheeler, 91, of Iowa City, Iowa passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 17, 2022 after 91 fulfilling years.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on January 30, 1931 to William Archie and Grace Marion (Richardson) Wheeler, Theodore excelled in athletics at a young age. He was raised in LaFayette, Georgia before moving to Illinois, where he was a track and cross-country star at Evanston Township High School. Upon graduating in 1950, Ted continued his running career at the University of Iowa, where he was an All-American and All-Big Ten runner. As a student-athlete, Ted competed for the Hawkeyes and the University of Chicago Track Club. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Iowa in 1957.

Ted’s athletic prowess led him to the world stage as he became the first black American to run the 1,500 meters in the history of the Olympics at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia. Sharing knowledge and working with others was always a passion for Ted; his transition to coaching was a logical choice. He served as the University of Iowa head track coach from 1978 to 1997, and cross-county coach from 1979 to 1987. Aside from running techniques and strategy, Ted taught his athletes useful lessons that would serve them well long after respective track careers ended.

                                               Ted Beats Laszlo Tabori in the mile  at Drake Relays1957  4:06.9

Ted, a true Hawkeye legend as an athlete and coach, earned induction into the Black American Hall of Fame, The University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Drake Relays Hall of Fame. Ted was also an active member of the I-Club, an organization dedicated to supporting student-athletes, and spent many years sponsoring scholarships for African American students at Iowa.

Although athletics were always a major part of Ted’s life, family was just as important. As a loving father to three children, Ted enjoyed nothing more than being a parent. He was also a loving brother, father, and grandfather. Ted was blessed to spend 20 glorious years with his best friend and significant other, Lena Hoffmeier.

Visitation will be Friday, December 2, 2022 at 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City. A celebration of Ted’s life with a sharing of memories will be held Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service with visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery. Anyone is welcome to pay their respects.

Ted’s family will be hosting a celebration of life this summer with details to come.

His family would like to thank Iowa City Hospice and Legacy Gardens for their live and care given to Ted.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Ted may be made payable to: Ted Wheeler Scholarship Fund and can be sent to The family of Ted Wheeler, 605 Kirkwood Avenue, Iowa City 52240

Here is link to  Ted's Olympedia statistics    1500 Meters Melbourne Olympics

When you get into this site, clik on 1500 meters for individual times.

Thanks for sharing!
I remember him well
Ted wheeler RIP

John Bork

Dear George:

I read this report of Ted Wheeler's passing with sadness.

He was, truly, a gifted runner and an admirable human being.

I remember him from UCTC days and, you may recall, I had mentioned him in a piece I sent you years ago, Miles Past.

Take care,

Tom Coyne

I ran against him once on Stagg Field.            Charlie "Deacon" Jones passed away a couple of years ago.  Both Hawkeyes.
Ned Price

Ted was the head coach at Iowa when I was at Indiana.  He was soft spoken and a perfect gentleman.  His son has been representing him on the Zoom panels hosted by Gary Corbitt.   Bill Schnier

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

V 12 N. 82 A Cross Country Quiz for the Ages and the Aged

 November 16, 2022

Hello Folks, 

This is the big week of NCAA nationals DI in Stillwater, OK, predicted 48 F and sunny on Saturday,   D II  in Tampa, FL,  and DII in East Lansing, MI going back to the original site.  Weather prediction this Saturday in East Lansing is 16 F and snooowww!  

Here is a link to the NCAA meet held in 1946, the year a small college runner won the race,  That man was Quentin Brelsford of Ohio Wesleyan University.  I have film of the finish of the race and am organizing a contest to guess who the guy with race bib 142 might be.  He appears at 2:58 of the film.    I had this on the blog a number of years ago, so some of you guys who took good notes might remember.  I found this film in the Kansas University library archives.  

Here is the link      NCAA Cross Country 1946

 While watching do note how they collected the runners and took names in the non existent finish chute.  Gets a bit dodgy mid-race.   I'll add the answer to this post tomorrow.  It's a marketing ploy to get more hits on the site.  


 This was very interesting.  I had just turned two and was unaware of almost everything outside our home.  I don't know any of the runners but still had a few thoughts:

1.  The MSU stadium was pretty small at that time but probably in the same location.
2.  Finishing on the track was not unusual in those days because it was flat and well defined.
3.  They had no chutes but eventually had three "chutes."
4.  My best guess is that they were asking for information once they crossed the finish line.
5.  Men in top coats and hats were assigned to each runner as he crossed the line, sometimes getting in the way of others.  Were they helpful or harmful?
6.  There was not much space for the runners to finish.
7.  At the start or even midrace they looked as good as the runners today.
8.  Miami was 4th in the team scoring, but today most people would assume that is Miami (FL) but was almost surely Miami (OH), the older and larger and better at cross country of the two Miamis.
9.  They could have used a second or third camera.
10.  But at least it was filmed.  Very nice job, MSU. Bill Schnier

Looks suspiciously like Detroit’s Mob up there ‘recruiting’ @ the ‘chute’ brazenly OUT in their trademark Fedoras.  A young fledgling Jimmy Hoffa may have been glimpsed.   142 is almost certainly otherwise a quarter miler trying not to faint after a robust set of 4 x 5:40 miles back-to-back.  
              Can’t say more.  Richard Mach

Hey, Richard, the top coat and fedora were de rigeur in those days.  You weren't a man if you didn't pssess both.  Just like a toque and knees cut out of your pants today from all the groveling.  George

You'll note the race was not on the Forest Akers Golf Course as subsequent races were.
Some top running names in that first four.  Tom Coyne

And the answer is.........  Bill Weaver who finished 59th in the race would later take to the stage and screen as Dennis Weaver.  He faked that stiff leg for years as Chester Goode in "Gunsmoke:  the went on to play "McCloud" and also was the lead in Steven Spielberg's first full length film that he directed  "Duel".

Other runners of note in this race were   1. Quentin Brelsford, Ohio Wesleyan U,  2.  Curtis Stone, Penn State,  19. Horace Ashenfelter, Penn State,   If you recognize others in the results below who later became influential in the sport or in life, please let me know.

idn’t recognize bill(dennis) weaver. i identified 142 as the drama queen with receding hairline, so wasn’t too far off. quite a stretch for a decathlete running 4mi xc though. Bruce Kritzler

Here is the link to our first mention of this:       Dennis Weaver

Sunday, November 13, 2022

V12 N. 81 Cross Country Nationals When Small Colleges Could Test Their Mettle Against the Big Boys

November 12, 2022 

Preface:   If you are wondering about my use of the word 'mettle'  in the title of this piece, here is the Google Dictionary definition:

 a person's ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.

"the team showed their true mettle in the second half"   

I have no one to blame for this posting except myself and Walt Murphy.  Every day I receive his newsletter  This Day in X Country-Track and Field with info about our sport that happened on that day going back to the 19th century.  Well today (November 12) there was a link to a site that talked about when DIII runners could qualify to run in the big show (DI cross country nationals).  Some years they didn't even have to qualify, they just went if they could find a budget.  Those small schools traditionally ran their nationals on a Saturday and the big division had theirs two days later on Monday.  With a travel day on Sunday, an ambitious runner and his or her coach could hop in the station wagon and drive from the DIII site and have another go next day. Often it was just a hop from Wheaton, IL to East Lansing, MI.  And some of these small college runners did very well.  Before there were big and large school divisions the small schools joined in at East Lansing.  In fact, Quentin Brelsford of Ohio Wesleyan University won the race in 1946. In those days it was rare to see a school from west of the Mississippi or south of the Ohio rivers competing at the NCAA nationals.

Kirk Reynolds at Pomona-Pitzer College  has developed a nice website with DIII history including results from 1973 to 1990 for DIII runners who went to the big show (Div I)

This link will give you a page with some of that history about how DIII individual runners (not teams)  made the trek between the two races and how they placed.  https://www.sagehens.com/sports/wxc/HistoriansReport/Div-III-at-Div-I-meet.htm

I recall going to Madison, WI in 1978 to see the Div I race and being very impressed by Dan Henderson, a runner from Wheaton College, placing very well in that race and  going head to head with Alberto Salazar, Thom Hunt, Rudy Chapa, Michael Musyoki and even Henry Rono who had an off day.  The other thing I recall about that weekend ride to Madison, Wisconsin was hearing the breaking news about the Jonestown, Guyana massacre.

comment from Dave Elger and video of 1978 race. 

Dave Elger

1:53 AM (10 hours ago)
to me

I was at that race in Madison with my trusty Super 8 video camera.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVo7pyujkGQ&t=62s

Note:  Henderson is the tall runner with an orange hat (toque)  on his head

What Kirk Reynolds' website does not show are the results from 1958 to 73 when there were no DI DII and DIII divisions but only 'College' and 'University' divisions.  Fortunately I was able to dig out those years from T&FN archives.  As wiseacres might say, "It takes a certain mentality to go through old stats."  I'm normally not one of those guys, but today I have reason.  Living up here on Vancouver Island, there's not much else to do in the winter.  Actually that's not true. There is wood to chop and salmon to catch.   The reason I did this is I got to know a fellow up here who won the college division race for the University of North Dakota in 1967 and two days later finished  second in the University division at Laramie, WY not far behind Gerry Lindgren. His name was Arjan Gelling, a Dutch immigrant to Canada who came down south to go to college.  Arjan passed away about five years ago, but I was able to meet him several times and develop a bond and wrote a piece about him for this blog.

Here is the link to that piece:  https://onceuponatimeinthevest.blogspot.com/2015/06/v-5-no-55-arjan-gelling-dutch-canadian.html

 Here then are those results of small school runners and how they did in their College Division race and then the University Division from 1958-1973.  If you continue reading from this point you may have a lifetime subscription to this blog and also check in to the nearest TSA (Track Stats Anonymous) meeting room.   You can talk your way through this with other track nuts.  Also I've highlighted a few names that I recall went on to bigger and better things in the track and cross country world.  You may recognize some of my omissions.    


College Div Place        University Div Place     Name                             School

           3rd                               3rd                  Ed Vander Heuvel     Central Michigan

           DNR                            4th                   Tom Rodda  Kans. State Teachers Col.

                                                                        (later called Emporia St in 1974)

           DNR                            11th                 David Peele                     Beloit

            DNR                            18th               Duane Holman  Kans. St. Teachers Col

            DNR                           41                    Frank Finnerty               Alfred

           4th                               45th                  Warren Hall                    Wabash

Dave Peele, 1958 Beloit, was a prof at UM, Ann Arbor. He and I rode with Jack Knoll to Boston Marathon in 71 or 72.  Bruce Kritzler


            5th                              27th                  Warren Hall                     Wabash

             DNR                          23rd                   Larry Sweet                     Alfred

             DNR                          37th                    Frank Finnerty                Alfred

             DNR                           41st                    Tom Ryan                      Lemoyne


              DNR                           12th                     Larry Sweet                   Alfred

              DNR                            52nd                   Ron Reinhart                Wabash

               DNR                           75th                    Joseph Di Camillo         Alfred

Of note in 1960.   It doesn't look as if Alfred College was even aware of the College Division race as they don't appear to go to it.   Also one of the University Division runners caught my attention.  Finishing 78th this year from the US Military Academy admittedly a University Division school was Ron Zinn who would represent the US in 1964 as a race walker and later die as an officer in Viet Nam.  


                4th                            24th                       Les Hegedus                   Central State (OH)

                6th                            66th                       Tim Burns                       Buffalo State

                 DNR                        17th                       Dennis Moore                 Abeline Christian

                 DNR                        33rd                       John Lawler                    Abeline Christian

                27th                          99th                       Wm Keller                       Oberlin

                 41st                         108th                      Wm Flynn                        Buffalo St.


                 1st                             7th                         Les Hegedus                    Central St. (OH)

                 8th                            87th                         Wm Moore                      Central St. (OH)

                  DNR                       114th                        Fred Kurz                        Chicago

See our post on Les Hegedus      Les Hegedus


                  1st                               2nd                        John Camien    Kansas St Teachers Col

                  6th                              75th                        Wm Moore                     Central St (OH)

                  12th                           104th                        Loren Wilkinson             Wheaton

                   13th                            65th                         Wm Wise                        Thiel


                    2nd                            46th                         Wm Moore                        Central St (OH)

                    6th                              8th                          Robert Lally                      SUNY Cortland

                    9th                              91st                         Dave Shuler                    West Liberty State

                    13th                           101st                        Ernest Wilson                   North Dakota

                     17th                           110st                        Robert Fitts                      SUNY Cortland


                      1st                             14th                          Gene Takle                         Luther

                      3rd                             25th                         David Heffern                    South Dakota

                       4th                            26th                           Donald Knox                      Kentucky St.

                       8th                            35th                            Edw. Watt                          N.E. Louisiana

                       12th                          85th                           Ronald Werling                  N.E. Missouri St.

                        13th                        116th                            Kevin Keogh                      Western Illinois


                         1st                           9th                               Bob Fitts                            SUNY Cortland

                         2nd                          6th                               Ambrose Burfoot           Wesleyan

                         11th                         51st                              Ronald Werling                 N.E. Missouri

                          12th                        75th                              Peter Hildebrand                Chicago


                           1st                           2nd                              Arjan Gelling                  North Dakota

                            DNR                      6th                               Ambrose Burfoot            Wesleyan

                            7th                         72nd                            John Kerr                            Ball State

                            15th                        32nd                            Bruce Sundet                      Luther


                             DNR                       4th                               Grant Colhour     Eastern Kentucky

                              DNR                      14th                             Ken Silvius         Eastern Kentucky

                             3rd                          35th                             Troy Roberts                   Western Illinois

                            5th                           81st                              Arjan Gelling                   North Dakota'


                             1st                           41st                              Ron Stonitsch               C.W. Post

                             2nd                          49th                             John Cragg                 St. Johns (MN)

                             4th                           160th                           Martin McIntire          Eastern Illinois

                             5th                             32nd                          Jerome Dirken             St. Cloud St.

                              7th                           114th                          Alan Taylor                  Illinois State


                              1st                             16th                          Mark Covert                 Cal St. Fullerton

                               2nd                           21st                           John Cragg                    St. Johns (MN)

                               9th                             55th                          Wm Ryan                   Cal Poly Pomona


                                1st                             3rd                           Mike Slack                 North Dakota

                                 3rd                           40th                          Mark Covert           Cal St Fullerton

                                 4th                            22nd                         Daniel Moynihan         Tufts

                                 5th                            17th                           John Casso              Cal St Fullerton

                                  7th                            77th                          Randy Lussenden      North Dakota

                                   8th                            86th                        Steve Podgajay         Lockhaven

                                    9th                           131st                        Chris Hoffman        Cal St Fullerton


                                    DNR                        30th                         Jeff Lough                Cal St LA

                                   1st                             40th                         Mike Slack               North Dakota

                                   2nd                            85th                         Daniel Moynihan        Tufts

                                    4th                            34th                        Garry Bentley            South Dakota

                                    12th                          97th                         Tom Fleming    Wm. Patterson


                                     2nd                          112th                       Glenn Behnke             North Central

                                     4th                           114th                       Francis Verdoliva     SUNY Oswego

                                     5th                           105th                       Fernando Suarez      SUNY Oswego

After 1973  the DI  DII and DIII divisions were created, there were fewer openings for the smaller schools to attend the DI meet.  That continued until 1990.   I'm sure I've made some mistakes in this as schools moved up from College to University divisions during this period.  Southern Illinois, Central Michigan, Ball State, Abilene Christian for example.  So if you find errors or feel someone was left out, please let me know.  I normally don't do things like this, but it was a slow news day.  Hopefully in the near future I will be able to do something about the DIII women going to the big show. 

 In writing this piece and culling names from the records late into the night, I could not help but think of all the incredible people who have gone to the line in all the cross country meets everywhere.  They are the "people with few options" as my friend Bill Schnier has said.  They couldn't play football or basketball.  They had to work or do paper routes in the early hours or ran two miles each way to school and back.  Cross Country was their only option.  Most were for some reason well above average in the classroom and must have contributed well to mankind as adults.  Bless 'em all.   

.      George Brose


The first addition to this piece comes from Geoff Pietsch who sent some of the results from the 1956 NCAA meet.  This was according to the Pomona Pitzer site, before the NCAA used the terms College and University Divisions, which was the scope of my article, but I'll put tput this in anyway.

      Some additions for your small college guys at NCAAs.  My college, Union (Schenectady) had a couple of excellent guys when I was there. As you can see, below, In 1956 (my sophomore year) John Parillo (former NY State H.S. champ, from Schenectady) placed 24th. 
     Two years later, Tom Hoffman of Union soundly beat Frank Finnerty of Alfred (who is on your list multiple times) twice during the season but then got sick in November for IC4As. If not, he might well have been second that year and in contention for top 10 at NCAAs. What is especially remarkable about Parillo and Hoffman is that they ran so well on probably 25 miles a week training. Our coach - and also Union's A.D. -was a former Big 10 discus champ. Nice guy but... In my 2 ½ seasons of XC we only ran longer than five miles twice. TWICE in 2 ½ seasons. 
       Hoffman and I took an intro Human Biology course together. After lunch. One day the prof had us check our resting pulse rates. Mine was 52. Tom's was 36. Who knows what he might have done.

P.S. I copied this to Walt. I found this fascinating website for New England and vicinity small college results here. If you go to it. Click on a college. Nothing seems to happen but if you go back and scroll down to the college, each year appears.) 

26 November 1956, NCAA @East Lansing MI, 4 miles

27F, 3" of snow on the ground

 1 Walter McNew        Texas    19:55.7

 2 James Beatty        UNC    20:09

 3 Henry Kennedy    MI St    20:10

24 John Parillo        Union    20:54.1

25 Lewis Stieglitz    Conn    20:54.2

31 Frank Finnerty    Alfred    21:07

           This came in from Dave Elger in South Korea

Great stuff.  I ran with Glenn Behnke's (1973)  brother Donn. at Stevens Point who has won 11 or 12 state titles 
(Chris Arnand Suzy Favor Hamilton grad).  Another Point runner Arne Schroeder won DIII and came back to get 
11th in DI in 1986.   
Dear George:

As a bit of trivia for your article.

1964 was the last year the Cross Country Championship was run at the four mile distance.  The race was run at East Lansing, MI.

1965 was the first year the NCAA ran at the six mile distance.  The race was run at Lawrence, KS.

The championship was won, both years, by Western Michigan University under Coach George Dales.

Take care,

Tom Coyne


V12 N. 86 Sir Murray Halberg R.I.P.

                                                       Sir Murray Halberg  (1933-2022)                                                      ...