Monday, August 29, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 3 July 1954

Now it is July, 1954 and T&FN still costs just a quarter.
The NCAA (Ann Arbor) and the AAU (St. Louis) meets are front page stories along with WRs by O’Brien, 60-10, and Landy, 3:58.0.
NCAA: USC wins, more than doubling runner up Illinois’ point total. “Bob Gary, Washington State’s stocky Negro with a thatch of auburn hair” in high point man with 14. Bill Dellinger wins the mile and Mike Larabee places 5th in the 440, a full ten years before earning Olympic medals. The 880 is notable for the emergence of Arnie Sowell (1st), Tom Courtney (2nd) and Lon Spurrier (5th). “Tom Jones, the giant Negro from Miami of Ohio” wins the shot. Roosevelt Greer, who apparently didn’t become a negro until his NFL days, places fifth.
Nothing of earthshaking significance in the AAU meet, except the timing. Most, but not all, times in the sprints are to the hundredth of a second. Winners are timed to a tenth; placers to a hundredth. Art Bragg runs 21.1 to win the 200 over Charles Thomas who ran 21.10. Go figure. More on timing later. “Jay” Mashburn is third at 46.98.
O’Brien has four throws over 60 at the Coliseum Relays. They come within five minutes of each other as O’Brien is allowed to throw consecutively. I’m guessing the other throwers went out for coffee and doughnuts.
Santee goes through 1320 at 3:00, but once again comes up short @ 4:00.7 in his last race before entering the Marines. Once again it was too cold. And, yes, he was wearing a long sleeved shirt under his jersey.
He should have been in Turku, Finland ten days later because it was a balmy 77 when John Landy takes the WR down to 3:58.0 (58.5–1:57.9–2:56.0). En route he lowers Santee’s 1500 record to 3:41.8.
Other tidbits include Ernie Shelton of SC, the leading jumper in the world at 6-10, taking a shot at 7-0 in five straight meets………Five weeks after his record Bannister, “absorbed in his medical studies”, runs a 4:29.0 and 1:59.1. ……….Zatopek breaks his 10K record with 5K splits of 14:27.6 and 14:26.6………Monte Upshaw of Piedmont HS (Bay Area) breaks Jesse Owens HS record of 24-11+ with a jump of 25-4+. It is the second best mark in the country………There is a photo of seven hurdlers in the NCAA meet. They are all white. ……….O’Brien has an exhibition where he throws 58-3, but then tosses the 12 lb shot 69-5 and the 8 pounder 80-1. To put that in perspective, today the HS records are 63-11 with the 16 and 81-3½ with the 12.
I’ll put this dog to rest with this one. Dean Smith of Texas gets a flyer in the Coliseum 100 and isn’t called back. Apparently his coach, Clyde Littlefield, taught him to “guess the gun”. Cordner Nelson’s column questions at length the sportsmanship of such coaching.

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