Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 36 April , 1957

It will be slim pickings for 1957 as the only copies of T&FN I have are April, August and November. That said, let’s get to it.
APRIL, 1957
It is relay month. The first is the Texas Relays on April 5 & 6. Bobby Morrow is voted the meet’s outstanding athlete, but that is an award that could have gone to Eddie Southern or Bill Tildwell. The most outstanding performance is that of the Texas 880 relay team of Wilson, Gainey, Southern and Whilden that lowers the world record by 1.3 seconds with a 1:22.7, leaving Abilene Christian and Bobby Morrow 15 yards down on the last exchange. Morrow mails it in to finish 25 yards back. His day would be the next one. This was only the first of three battles between these teams. Lining up against the Longhorns for the 440 relay, ACC reverses its fortunes with the same squad of Griggs, Woodhouse, Segrest and Morrow running 40.2 to Texas’ 40.6. The mile relay isn’t as close as Texas with Eddie Southern anchoring in 46.5 overcoming a three yard deficit to beat ACC 3:12.8 to 3:14.3. Ever wonder what Bobby Morrow could run for a 400? The answer is 46.7 which was his split on the third leg. Southern won the highs in 14.1w and anchored the shuttle hurdles which ran 59.0. Morrow didn’t confine his efforts to relays. He rode an 8 mph wind to a convincing 9.3 victory over Orlando Hazley’s 9.6. But what of Billy Tidwell? He “turned in probably the two best half miles ever run by one man in one day”. Taking the baton in 8th place, 50 yards down on the anchor leg of the sprint medley, he brings Emporia State in third with a 1:47.2 split. Fifty minutes later in the college division race, he anchors Emporia State to victory with a 1:49.6.
Two weeks later it is the Kansas Relays. Bill Nieder throws 62’2”, a mark bettered only by the great O’Brien who is second today at 59’1”. Abilene Christian is not in attendance, but the lack of competition doesn’t deter Texas who runs a 39.9 world record and goes 1:24.2 without the injured Southern. Kansas dominates the two and four mile relays, but is surprised by Texas in the distance medley. The Jayhawks return the upset by winning a tight mile relay in 3:12.6 over Colorado. 3:12.6, North Texas, 3:12.7 and the Southern-less Longhorns, 3:12.8. The soon to be juggernaut Oklahoma Sooners take the sprint medley in 3:25.2 with a team of Prichett, Frazier, Wilhite and Parr (no splits given). Oh, it looks like the multitalented Cliff Cushman might have found an event. He wins the 440 intermediates in 51.9. We’ll see if he develops into anything. In the open mile, the great Gail Hodgson from South Africa, a freshman at Oklahoma and thereby ineligible to run on the relays, beats Nebraska’s Canadian freshman Joe Mullins in 4:11.0. Oh, and Wilt Chamberlain takes second in the high jump at 6’6”. Like that Russell guy, he went on to do something else.
And yes, Bob Gutowski likes that fiberglass pole very much, thank you. At Stanford on April 27 he vaults 15-8 ¼ to better Dutch Warmerdam’s 15 year old record by ½ an inch. He didn’t miss until the bar was set at 16’. Making his mark more noteworthy is the fact that during the earlier heights he was alternating with the broad jump and had a best of 24’3”. Gutowski’s best mark in high school was 12’3”.
On that same day there were a couple other meets of note. The Penn Relays are highlighted by Olympic champions. Greg Bell jumps 26’1 ½” and wins the 100 in 9.7. Lee Calhoun hurdles 13.7 to beat Elias Gilbert and Willie May. Oddly, only the winning time is recorded in the running events, though marks down to 4th place are listed in the field events. Villanova runs two Olympic champions, Charlie Jenkins and Ron Delany in the distance medley to win, but in a slow 10:10.7. The same two team up on the mile relay to beat Texas in 3:12.7 (Jenkins 46.7). The Longhorns couldn’t be too disappointed as the team of Wilson, Gainey, Southern and Whilden wins the 440 and 880 relays with 41.1 and 1:25.4.
In Des Moines on that same day the Drake Relays are highlighted by a college record of 58.4 by the Missouri shuttle relay team. This time it is Abilene Christian’s turn to run without Texas. They seem up to the task with 40.5 and 1:24.2 meet records. Morrow runs a legal 9.4. Willie Stevens of Tennessee A&I hurdles the second fastest time in the world this year, 13.8. Kansas wins the four mile relay, the sprint medley and the distance medley (9:51.7), but is edged by Georgetown in the two mile relay 7:32.0 to 7:33.0. Bill Tidwell is the standout in the college division anchoring Emporia State to wins in the mile relay and sprint medley with 47.0 and 1:48.5 efforts.
The European Report page has a photo of “young British weight comer, Mike Lindsay” who would later become a force at the University of Oklahoma.
Running through the high school marks armed with the knowledge of who rose to prominence later, we come across Jim Cerveny of Mission Bay High in San Diego who leads the country in the 880 at 1:55.9, Dallas Long of North High in Phoenix, the #2 shot putter at 61’5” and Paul Stuber of Bellflower High ranked 13th in the HJ at 6’3 ¾ “. Aside from Stuber, who would become an internationalist in the dual meet with the USSR at age 16, three other Bellflower kids were on the list with their names underlined in pencil. Yes, this issue belonged to Dave Kamanski, the Bellflower coach.
In Dick Banks’ high school column there is mention of last year’s javelin leader @ 193’4”, Gene Orowitz. Seems the young man is “doing quite well in TV, regularly appearing on GE Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse, etc.”. The young man has taken the stage name of Michael Landon. Wonder how that will work out.
On the Frosh and JC Marks lists Willie Atterberry of Michigan State and Cliff Cushman of Kansas stand out. Atterberry is 6th in the 440 with a 48.9 indoor mark. He has run 1:54.9 indoors to rank third behind Cushman’s 1:54.6. Cushman is 11th in the mile at 4:21.1 indoors. The best event for both, the 440 intermediates is not listed. Gail Hodgson of Oklahoma is the mile leader at the aforementioned 4:11.0. He is 8th in the 880 with an indoor mark of 1:55.4. Jack Yerman and Jerry Siebert of the California frosh are listed. Yerman at 48.9 and Siebert with a non-winning 1:54.9. Both will improve a bunch.
A 26 year old teacher, John Kelley wins the Boston Marathon by nearly five minutes in 2:20:05. Finns, Koreans, Japanese and a Canadian take the next 7 places. The second American runs 2:39:45.
1957 was a far simpler time. Dual meets mattered. A team’s second or third performer in an event was important because he could provide the margin of victory. D.H. Pott’s column informs us of the relative dual meet strength of California teams. Occidental beat UCLA “in a stunning upset” 74 ½ to 56 ½ just a week after almost knocking off USC, coming up short by a 70 ½ to 65 ½ margin. USC dumped Stanford 72-59. UCLA did the Trojans one better, beating “the Tribe” 84 ½ to 46 ½. Then you had the Southern California Striders beating Oxy 74 2/3 to 61 1/3 and losing to UCLA 83 ¼ to 47 ¾. “ Still everyone agrees the big one is the USC- UCLA dual at the Coliseum on May 4.” As I said, dual meets mattered.
Just so there is something concrete to hang onto in the whirlwind of life, let me remind you that, yes, Clifford Severn is still selling Adidas from his North Hollywood store, including the “World Record” model – the “Melbourne”, the world’s lightest and finest shoe.
Incidentally, we will never know how that SC-UCLA meet came out as the next issue in my possession is August.

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