Monday, August 29, 2011

Vol.1 No. 2 March, 1954

The MARCH ’54 issue obviously was late as it contained meet results from April 10.
It was a much more track friendly world in those days. Kansas and Wes Santee beat Cal in a dual meet in front of 13,000 fans at Berkeley. SC and Occidental had a dual meet at Oxy in which there were “card stunts by the students”.
Santee continued to be the center of attention for the Nelson brothers. His marks at Berkeley were 4:05.5, 1:51.5 and 48.0r.
On that same day across the bay the great Bill Russell high jumped 6-7½.
T&FN printed pretty much every result it could including Cal Tech 74, Pasadena Nazarene 43, Chapman 33, Cal Tech Frosh 17. Mercifully, no individual marks were listed.
Two pages were devoted to technique articles on the intermediates and the hammer.
A kid from San Benito, Texas by the name of Morrow, led the country in the HS 100 at 9.6 and was second in the 220 at 21.2. Bill Swisshelm of Santa Ana High in So Cal was right with him, #2 at 9.7, #1 20.8 (straightaway) and #1 in the 180 lows at 19.1. Great HS athlete. Not sure what happened to him in college. Oh, yeah, there was an R. Johnson of Kingsburg HS in CA who also ran 19.1 and 14.4 to tie for both leads. Understand he went on to become pretty good.
High school track was so dominated by California kids that if TFN didn’t list a kid’s state, it was understood he was from California.
Reading this issue was a stroll down memory lane for me. The top HS miler was Ty Hadley of Bellflower High at 4:28.4. Ty was my coach at Long Beach State. Wonderful guy I really admired. A dozen years later when I was the coach at BHS, he was still revered at the school.
Don Molloy of Long Beach City College was the leading Frosh/JC 220 LHer at 23.9. Six years later he was my XC coach at LBCC. Great guy everyone on the team loved. First coach I had that really cared about his kids. I’d run through fire for him right now.
Though he wasn’t my coach, I knew Bob Seaman pretty well in the late 60’s – early 70’s as he was the So. Pacific AAU women’s distance running chairman when I coached the Meteors. I met him one morning to jog the course I had laid out for the SPAAU meet. Bob had a pronounced pot belly. On the other hand, I was in pretty good shape from running with the girls. We just trotted 8 minute miles, but the difference in talent was obvious. I plodded, but his feet barely touched the ground.
Back to March of ’54. Bob was the top Frosh/JC half miler at 1:57.7 and #4 in the mile at 4:25.4 while running for the UCLA frosh. He was about to get better real quick.

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