Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 38 November, 1957

November, 1957
The first page has three cross country stories. The NCAA meet is held in East Lansing. Max Truex runs to a convincing 23 second win over John Macy and Jerry Smartt of Houston. Buddy Edelen and Crawford Kennedy are 4th and 5th. Notre Dame takes the team title with 121 points to just edge defending champion Michigan State, 127, Houston, 131, and Syracuse, 140. No team west of Colorado competes.
This is a reversal of the ICAAAA meet in Van Cortland Park the previous week in which MSU beats Notre Dame 86-102 with “Fordy” Kennedy winning by 16 seconds over Ron Delany who doesn’t compete in the NCAA meet.
The following week John Macy gets a win at the AAU championship in Chicago, defeating Doug Kyle of the Hamilton Olympic Club by 20 seconds. Teammate Jerry Smartt is a close third.
Buddy Edelen take the Big Ten with Michigan State the team champs.
The Big Eight meet in Ames, Iowa is a coming out party for Tom Skutka of Kansas who wins the first XC race of his college career, surprisingly beating teammate Jerry McNeal, who had beaten him all season, 14:58 to 15:14. Cliff Cushman takes 16th at 15:41. On a day when “the course was hilly and wet and a 20 mph wind blew 28 degree shivers through the runners”, Kansas dominates with 26 to beat Colorado, 52, and Iowa State, 84.
Idaho (Idaho?), with a team imported from England, wins the first Pacific Coast Conference XC Championship in Los Angeles “before an enthusiastic crowd of 300, the largest to witness a meet in this area”, besting Oregon 25-31 in a meet run oddly five days after the NCAA. Truex wins by 33 seconds over Frank Wyatt of Idaho with Jim Grelle another nine seconds back. Even more odd was the fact that only four runners were scored. Moving “odd” into the realm of strange, Idaho recruited its team by advertising for runners in the British publication, Athletics Weekly, thus earning a $1000 fine from commissioner Vic Schmidt for illegal recruiting. Yes, that would be the same Vic Schmidt who presents coach Joe Glander the championship trophy. Dick Bank writes that the Vandals could have won the NCAA but didn’t attend for lack of funds. In fact the only reason the team made it to Los Angeles is that the citizens of Moscow passed the hat to raise the money for the trip. Picture contribution jars by the cash register at local diners: “Send our boys to LA”. (Or more accurately, send those kids who talk with a funny accent to LA.)
Two pages of a variety of other XC results provide the first sitting of Bob Schul. The Miami student wins the 47th annual 6 mile Elks Club run in a record 27:33. This is an era when his school is just “Miami”, not “Miami of Ohio”. He finishes second in the All Ohio meet, 27 seconds behind John Gutknecht of Ohio Wesleyan, but leads his team to a lopsided victory.
Gail Hodgson, limited by his freshman status at Oklahoma, must be content to win the Oklahoma State AAU meet in Stillwater and the Big Eight Freshman Postal 2 Mile by 1.4 seconds over Billy Mills with a 9:17.6 effort. The wonderfully named Joe American Horse of Nebraska takes fifth at 9:50.
Jumping back to track, the much maligned AAU meet in Dayton takes another punch to the jaw. It seems the staggers were mismarked in the 220 and the 440 with each succeeding lane moving outward gaining an advantage. Lane nine in the 220 ran 19.01 feet short and in the 440 it was 38.03. Talk about your big “Oops!”. Apparently the places will stand with an explanation, but logically the times will not hold up.
The high school list is in. Preston Griffin of Centennial, Compton is pretty, pretty good. He leads with a 9.5 100 and has a wind aided 20.3 220. Oh, and he took a shot at the BJ coming within 2” of the leader with a 24-6 ¾. Also-rans in the sprints are Villanovans and world record holders to be Frank Budd and Paul Drayton. The 880 is dominated by Tom Carroll of Fordham Prep at 1:50.6. Jim Cerveny of Mission Bay in San Diego is second at 1:52.7. Billy Mills is the fourth fastest miler at 4:22.8. Archie San Romani is tied for 19th at 4:26.5. NCAA champion to be Jerry Tarr runs 14.4 to tie for the 14th best mark. If any athlete dominated his event it was Jim Brewer in the pole vault who jumps 15-0 1/8. Next best is 13-11. 1964 Olympic shot put champ Dallas Long is the fourth ranked putter at 61-5. 1968 Olympian Dave Maggard is 19th at 58-6 1/2. The most amazing relay mark is Manual Arts (LA) 2:54.6 mile relay time. Oh, wait a minute. That was the 8 man mile relay.
Remember high school two mile team race postal competitions? In 1957 Morningside of Inglewood (CA) dominated with a 50:25.5 clocking with times between 9:49 and 10:15.
And there was also the first annual two man ten mile relay sponsored by T&F News. That would be two guys alternating quarters for 40 laps. Nine of the ten teams were from California. University of the Pacific runners Charles Curtis (67.5 average) and Jack Marden (66.8) comprised the winning team.
Let’s end with heresy, the mention of a woman. Stella Walsh broke the American record in the pentathlon. She put the shot 32-8, high jumped 4-2, ran the 200 in 25.3, hurdled (80 m?) 13.2 and broad jumped 18-5. Pretty good considering she was 46 and had been the Olympic 100 meter champ for Poland in 1932

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