Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 54 February, 1959

Like January, there isn’t much meet in this issue either. This is not to say epic performances were not achieved. On the front page is a photo of an exuberant Don Bragg emerging from the sawdust at the Philadelphia Inquirer Games with a new PV world record of 15-9 ½, breaking Dutch Warmerdam’s 16 year old indoor mark and leaving outdoor WR holder Bob Gutowski behind at 15-4. “Bragg’s muscular chest hit the triangular crossbar, flipping it over, and Bragg crouches in the sawdust while he watched the bar quiver. Then with 10,650 spectators cheering, he dances wildly with joy.”
The National AAU meet in New York produces four indoor WRs. Ron Delany motors past Hungarian star Istvan Rozsavolgyi on the last lap for a 4:02.5 win, running his indoor mile record to 29-0. Bill Dellinger breaks Greg Rice’s 17 year old record in the three mile by nearly nine seconds, running 13:36.9. Parry O’Brien ups his SP record to 62-1¾. Seventeen year old John Thomas provides what is intrinsically the best mark of the meet when he jumps 7-1¼ , the best jump ever indoors or out.
The seldom run 300 gets a working over. On Feb. 7 Purdue freshman Dave Mills clocks 30.8 for a University of Illinois fieldhouse record in a race he had not intended to run. George Kerr had taken the first heat of the 440 in 48.6. Running in the second heat, Mills doesn’t get a gun for the final lap and didn’t go to the afterburners until it was too late, resulting in a 48.8 clocking. (Dave, it is 2¾ laps. This isn’t higher math.) Upset, Mills asks to be included in the 300 field 20 minutes later. On the same day not far away in East Lansing Olympic champ Glenn Davis runs 30.5 only to see the backside of Pittsburgh’s Mel Barnwell who clocks 30.0 to break the American record set by Herb McKinley 12 years earlier.
Kansas and Oklahoma hook up twice. On Feb. 2 in a dual meet in Lawrence, Kansas edges the Sooners 70-52. Dee Givens and Gail Hodgson of OU are double winners, with Givens winning the 60 and the 60 lows while Hodgson takes the 880 and the mile. The Sooners weight duo of Mike Lindsay and Dan Erwin go 1-2 in the shot at 57-10 and 56-4. The Jayhawks, still looking for Cliff Cushman’s best event, run him in the 1000 where he rewards them with a victory. The two powerhouses clash again in the Big Eight meet Feb. 28. This time the Jayhawks dominate 70-30. Givens pulls a hamstring in the 60 and is done. Hodgson wins the mile, but is a well beaten fifth in the 880. Lindsay and Erwin dominate the shot with 58-4 and 56-0½. Cushman seems to have found a home in the 1000 where he runs 2:11.6 to crush the field by over two seconds.
There is mention of the inaugural Mount San Antonio Relays to be held April 24-25. Wonder if that will catch on?
To close on an up note, let’s go to Compton College where the USC freshmen are taking on the hometown boys. Eighteen year old Dallas Long is looking to break Parry O’Brien’s shot put WR of 63-2 in his very first collegiate meet. Rumor has it that he has thrown 65 in practice. An interested spectator is one P. O’Brien. Indeed the kid does it, dropping one out at 63-4. Well, he has sort of done it. The slope is too great, so no record is allowed. The record holder’s fire has been ignited. He comes out of the stands, goes into the locker room, changes into his “briefs” and warms up. “When ready, the 27 year old Southern California alumnus steps into the ring, musters all his skill, strength and pride – of which he has considerable – and explodes. The result – 63-6.” Youth is not served this day, but there will be others and we will be there to see how this plays out. Until that time…….

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