Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 37 August, 1957

Issues for May, June and July are not in my possession, so it is.................................................

AUGUST, 1957

Five new world records are mentioned on the front page. Josh Culbreath breaks the WR in the 440 hurdles with 50.5, but the significance of this is lessened by the fact that Glenn Davis's 400 mark of 49.5 is a much superior mark. Russian Yuriy Stepanov bettered Charlie Dumas' HJ record with a jump of 7-1 1/8.
The middle distance runners are the ones who have all the fun. At 7 Pm on the night of July 11 in Turku, Finland, three Finnish runners, Salsola, Vuorisalo and Salonen – all with the first name of Olavi – stand on the starting line for the Finland – Sweden 1500 meters, each with the thought of breaking Rozsavolgyi's WR of 3:40.6. Sweden's Dan Waern is the primary opponent. Waern takes the field through splits of 56.8, 1:57.8 and 2:58.4 with the three Olavis in tow. The Swede holds the lead into the final straight. But then the Olavis put the Finn in finish. Salsola leads the parade, but Salonen closes the fastest, only to come up a couple inches short, as both are clocked in 3:40.2. Vuorisalo also betters the WR with 3:40.3. All that is left for Waern is a Swedish record of 3:40.8.
The celebration in Finland is short lived. On the next afternoon in Stara' Boleslav-Houstka, a small town near Prague, Czechoslovakia, Stanislav Jungwirth is about to shock the track world, or at least that part of the world that is Finland. Running on a 364 meter track with a pace setter for the first 900 meters, he splits 54.9 and 1:54.2. At 1000 he is 2:24.0 before reaching 1200 in 2:53.4, a full five seconds ahead of the previous day's pace. The pace slows as he goes down the homestretch “in his awkward looking, workmanlike form” to finish in 3:38.1 and become the world record holder by a fat two seconds.
But wait, there is more. Seven days later the new 1500 record holder steps onto the track at White City Stadium in London to take on Olympic champion Ron Delany and European mile record holder (3:58.4) Derek Ibbotson in an attempt to break John Landy's 3:58.0 mile record. A pace setter. leads through 55.3 and 1:55.8 and it appears a WR will be run. The question is by whom. Jungwirth has the lead down the backstretch, but his 59.2 third lap of a week ago is not to be repeated. Indeed it is only 63.9 and though he still leads, his ¾ time is only 3:00.0. Big finisher Ibbotson is right there as is the biggest finisher, Delany. On the backstretch Ibbotson moves by and it is apparent that Jungwirth is not going to be the winner. Delany kicks it into gear and goes by the Czech, but still trails Ibbotson around the curve. Ibbotson goes to the afterburners, covering the last 109.2 meters (from the 1500) in 15.4 to Delany's 16.4 and Jungwirth's 17.0 to record a new world record of 3:57.2. Delany is a well beaten 3:58.8 with Jungwirth at 3:59.1.
And now, lets take a run through the European Report. Armin Hary, who will be heard from at Rome in 1960 is one of ten guys who have run 10.4. German teammate Manfred Germar leads at 10.2. He is also top dog in the 200 at 20.8. Olympic champ Tom Courtney took on WR holder Roger Moens in Ozlo. Although Courtney ran 1:46.2, Moens is the European and world leader on the basis of turning back Courtney with a 1:46.0. Martin Lauer of Germany, he of the two 14.7s in last year's Olympics, has improved to 13.7. The great Janusz Sidlo dominates the javelin at 271-11.
The US Report shows one B.Morrow as top dog in the sprints. Milt Campbell has hurdled 13.4 to lead Lee Calhoun's 13.5. Elias Gilbert has also run 13.4, but is ranked behind Calhoun on the basis of losing the AAU to him. Don Bowden has run his AR 3:58.7, but is ranked behind Delany, Tabori and Seaman. (foreigners living in the US count) Gutowski dominates the PV with his WR. Bob Richards trails by half a foot. Don Bragg at 15-1 ¾ is ranked third. Note: This issue is the first issue (I have) where Bragg is referred to as Tarzan. It won't be the last. Gregg Bell leads the country by over a foot with a broad jump of 26-7. The 10th best mark is 24-4 by one B. Gutowski. Perry O'Brien once again is ranked first, no, not in the shot. He is only a well beaten fourth behind Bill Nieder's 61-6 ½ with a 59-7. But...he is numero uno in the discus at 183-3. Ranked second is Al Oerter at 185-4 with wins at the AAU and NCAA. I can see no notation that they have met. I don't 'splain 'em, I just report 'em. Oh, after all the pontification about how the US has to include Olympic events in our meets, there is no ranking for the HSJ, steeplechase or the 400IH. (The 220 lows is there though.)
On page 12 a reader, Howard Shick of Peoria, IL to be exact, writes to decry the fact that most states do not sanction the javelin. Turn back to page 11 and we find that Stan Cox, “was stabbed in the heart by a flying javelin while officiating a meet in London”. Not to worry, he's going to be okay. Those plucky Brits.
It was a different time. “John West, 9.5 LSU sprinter, says he is transferring to Kansas because LSU's rule against interracial competition would prevent him from running in big time track meets.”
More from the different time department: Matthews of Australia has just set the WR in the women's 440 at 57.0.
Cifford Severn shares ad space on the last page with Hollywood's Algiers Motor Hotel, Dick Held Distance Rated Javelins and Archie's Little Black Book.
Remember the two man ten mile relay and the high school two mile team postal competition? Well, they are coming up in the next issue which will be November.

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