Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 67 Who Said We Wouldn't Mention Women's Running?

As mentioned earlier , when I find things about early women's running and track and field articles I will put them in this blog. This comes from a discussion of a documentary titled 'Run Like a Girl'. GB

History of Women's Distance Running
The year is 1896. Melpomene, a young Greek woman, asks that she be allowed to participate in the Olympic marathon. Her request is denied. So she runs the course, unofficially, in 4:30.

Eighty-eight years after Melpomene's resolute challenge, women's Olympic marathon is run for the first time. Joan Benoit, a spirited runner from New England, finishes the race with a winning time of 2:24:52.

The near century that separates these two remarkable athletes is marked with repeated endeavors by women to enter the sphere of long distance racing. The story of their success is no less incredible than accounts of other historic journeys toward equality. Nor has it ended.

1896-1928: Women on their Own
Denied entry into the Modern Olympic Games, women begin holding the Women's Olympics, games sponsored by the Federation Sportive Feminine Internationale (FSFI), the governing body for women in track and field around the world. In 1922, the first Olympiad for women is held in Paris, where Mademoiselle Breard wins the 1000 meters in a world-record 3 minutes, 12 seconds.

By 1928, after petitioning time and again, women are granted an experimental program of five track and field events that are to be included in the 1928 Olympic Games. All five events are completed during the Games, but because of the exhausted condition of some of the women at the end of the 800 meter final, the event is dropped until 1960.

1928-1960: Survival - but no progress
Pikes Peak in Colorado poses an irresistible, perhaps symbolic challenge to three women during this period. In 1936, two women enter the 13-mile footrace up the rugged incline. In 1959, Arlene Pieper runs the grueling 26-mile up-and-down course in 9:16.

Until the formation of the Road Runner's Club of America in 1957, women find few opportunities to run long distances competitively. But even three years later, the longest distance women are allowed to run in the 1960 Rome Olympics is the 800 meters.

1961-1972: Years of Protest
Because women aren't welcome in many races, they resort to covert action, entering races without invitation or encouragement. Merry Lepper and Lyn Carman, for example, enter the 1963 Western Hemisphere Marathon in culver City, California. Lepper finishes the race, unofficially of course, in 3:37:07.

Roberta Gibb, in the 1966 Boston Marathon, tries a different tack: after being denied entry, she hides in the bushes and jumps into the race. her time is 3:21:40, and she is the unofficial women's winner. She runs and wins unofficially in both 1967 and 1968. In 1967, though, she has company.

Running under the name K. Switzer, Katherine Switzer finishes the '67 race in 4:20 and is suspended from the AAU for competing in the race. The media, however, choose to focus on the fact that official Jock Semple attempts to throw Switzer out of the race. Sixteen days after that race, young Maureen Wilton, a thirteen-year-old Canadian, runs a World Best for the marathon of 3:15:22.8.

It is not until 1970 that the RRCA holds the first championship marathon for women. Bostonian Sara mae Berman, a pioneer in women's running, wins the race with a remarkable time of 3:07:10. Berman also wins the Boston Marathon, unofficially, in 1969, 1970, and 1971.

In a single year (1971), the Women's World Best for the marathon is lowered four times, twice by Beth Bonner, who is the first woman to run the distance in under three hours (NYC Marathon -2:55:22; Nina Kuscsik finishes second with 2:56:04). At year's end, a World Best of 2:49:40 is set by Cheryl Bridges in the Western Hemisphere Marathon.

1971 is a year of unusual progress for women distance runners. The Boston marathon is officially open to women; eight women finish the race, Kuscsik wins. Women are allowed to run in the New York City marathon, but the event, says Pat Rico of the AAU Women's Track and Field Committe, must be separate from the men's race. She suggest, too, that the women start 10 minutes before or after the men begin. women competitors protest by sitting down for the first ten minutes until the start of the men's race, starting when the gun sounds for themen. Nina Kuscsik wins, but her official time reflects a ten-minute penalty.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 66 A Non Track Story about Ernie Cunliffe

I first made contact with Ernie Cunliffe perhaps 15 years ago when his sister, Barbara, told me that he was planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with his son. I'd known Barbara a number of years here in Ohio, but never knew she had a famous runner for a little brother. Ernie and I began corresponding about the logistics of climbing Kilimanjaro. I had been stationed at the foot of the mountain while serving in the Peace Corps in 1966-67 and was quite familiar with the many routes and outfitters. I recall Ernie preparing meticulously by climbing quite a number of 12,000 to 14,000 foot peaks in the Rockies. He later went on to successfully complete the treck to 19,800 feet on the highest mountain in Africa. We've been in touch off and on over the years. He had been one of my idols as a high school miler in the late 1950's early 60's. This article came up when I googled his name and Stanford University together.

Up Toward Mountains Higher
Sometimes you find friends in the unlikeliest of places.

STANFORD SUMMIT: The University's eponymous peak reaches 13,963 feet.

THE SUMMIT RESEMBLED the apex of every other mountain in California's Sierra Nevada: it was a big pile of boulders.

I looked around the topmost. “I don't see a summit register,” I shouted down to my climbing partners, all of whom were making their way up the last few steep feet. Eighteen-year-old Nate Witschi was the first to join me. His dad, Rudy, followed, with Mark Sexton close behind and Ernie Cunliffe just steps in arrears. “There has to be a register,” Mark said, scanning the ridge around us. “This appears to be the high point. This has to be Mount Stanford.” Nate pointed south, several hundred yards away in the direction from which we'd traversed. “That peak there looks higher,” he said, “maybe by just a little bit.” Five sets of eyes settled on the neighboring rock pile. It certainly appeared to be the equal of our lofty perch. A cairn built on its highest boulder gave it a facade of significance as well as supplemental elevation that led us all to the same devastating conclusion. “Oh, no,” Ernie groaned. “Please don't tell me that we climbed the wrong mountain.”

THE BLACK KAWEAH is a killer mountain, and its first known victim was a Stanford student. A stern sentinel on the north end of a crumbling range that may predate the Sierra Nevada, the Black Kaweah rises to 13,765 feet. Its dark mesomorphic shale sets it in stark contrast to the rest of the tawny Kaweah peaks. Sixteen rugged miles from the nearest trailhead, it has been climbed fewer than 100 times. Norman Clyde, the range's most prolific first ascentionist, referred to the Black Kaweah as “one of the most difficult and dangerous peaks of the High Sierra.” He was a member of a 1927 expedition to the Kaweah range during which an impetuous Stanford undergrad named Garth Winslow fell to his death while making a clandestine solo attempt on the Black.

ROCKY ROAD: The chockstone between Gregory's Monument and Mount Stanford.

In 2004, Mark Sexton, '78, and I scaled the southwest couloir of the mountain and spent an hour on top perusing the summit register. The bound volume, placed in 1924 by a Sierra Club party, read like a compendium of the great Sierra mountaineers. Lacking a writing instrument on his 1932 climb, Walter “Pete” Starr Jr., '25, JD '26, had signed the ledger in his own blood. Composer Ingolf Dahl had penned an impromptu fanfare in the key of E flat on the occasion of his ascent in 1958.

We were most intrigued with an entry made that same year by what was surely one of the largest parties ever to visit the summit. It contained the names of six campers from Montecito Sequoia Boys Camp, along with the autographs of their leaders, William Ernest Cunliffe and John Gordon Kelly. Both Cunliffe and Kelly had appended “Stanford '60” to their names, and someone named Warren G. Wonka apparently had climbed with them.

I was awestruck. Who in his right mind would lead a group of kids up this shale-strewn death chute? There was one easy way to find out.

SURE ENOUGH, both William Cunliffe and John Kelly were listed in the Stanford Alumni Directory. Since Cunliffe's entry contained an e-mail address, I wrote a quick message introducing myself and included a photo of the register entry they'd made 46 years earlier. The next day I received a reply. William Cunliffe, '60, MA '61, went by his middle name, Ernie. He and Kelly had been counselors at Montecito Sequoia Boys Camp in Kings Canyon National Park during the summer of 1958, and had taken their young charges up the long west ridge of the Black Kaweah on a five-day hiking trip. He was now a retired college administrator and track and cross country coach living in Colorado with his wife, Lois, '60, MA '61. John Kelly had gone on to become a western painter of repute; the two still exchanged cards at Christmas. Warren G. Wonka was, of course, the cipher that was to the Stanford campus what Kilroy was to the Allied theaters of World War II.

During the next few months, I learned the story of an outstanding athlete. Ernie Cunliffe established a number of distance-running records at Stanford. His school record in the 800 meters, set in 1960, wasn't bested until 2000. He once held the world record in both the indoor and outdoor 1,000-yard run. His outdoor record still stands, as Ernie humbly notes, “because no one runs yards anymore.” He ran the 800 meters in the 1960 Olympics and was a manager on the 1980 team that fell victim to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. At the time I contacted him, he was finishing up his fourth lap of Colorado's 55 peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation.

“What else is there to climb for a guy who has done the Colorado 14er Circuit four times?” I queried Ernie via e-mail during the summer of 2005. “I've always wanted to climb Mount Stanford, for obvious reasons,” came the reply. At the time, Ernie was almost 69 years old and rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee. His mountain-climbing days were waning. Mount Stanford seemed like a great opportunity to go out in style.

MOUNT STANFORD IS A KILLER MOUNTAIN in a different sense of the term. It is even more remote than the Black Kaweah, sequestered 18 switchback-infested miles from any pavement. Guidebook author R.J. Secor describes this 13,963-foot colossus as “the shyest major peak in the Sierra,” and entices would-be suitors with his opinion that “it makes up for its lack of prominence through the quality of its climbing.”

The mountain was first climbed by Bolton Coit Brown in 1896. A professor of fine arts at Stanford, Brown spent his summers in the Sierra wilderness, sketching the high country landscape and pushing the limits of alpinism. His 1896 ascent of Mount Clarence King, six miles northwest of Mount Stanford, is considered the most difficult rock climb of the 19th century. Brown's wife, Lucy Fletcher Brown, and young daughter, Eleanor, accompanied him on his summer journeys, the child “traveling almost exclusively by burro” and “living on malted milk, chocolate and fresh trout,” as Brown recorded in his diaries. For a couple of weeks, Brown and his wife had been on a quest to “capture a desirable mountain and name it after Stanford University.” After all, on July 12, alpine rival “Little Joe” LeConte had climbed and named 13,632-foot University Peak for the Berkeley-based school he helped found.

Blue Marble Maps
On the afternoon of August 1, Brown spotted the mountain of his desire near Gregory's Monument, a peak named for its initial conqueror, Warren Gregory, who had climbed it two years before and built a large cairn on its summit. While Lucy waited near that cairn, Brown made what Secor describes as “a delicate class 3 move over a chockstone” and traversed a quarter-mile of narrow ledges to the top of the highest point on the ridge, which he named in honor of 5-year-old Leland Stanford Junior University. He built a cairn and placed Sierra Club register No. 14 beneath it. Three years later, he brought the University's first president, David Starr Jordan, back to the summit with him. “I have never witnessed a more magnificent mountain panorama,” Jordan exulted.

I, ALONG WITH MY BROTHER Bret, '82, and a changing cast of wilderness wanderers, have made a yearly weeklong journey into the Sierra Nevada for nearly a decade. For our 2006 trip, Mount Stanford became our objective, and Ernie Cunliffe became our guest of honor. Our other companions included my son, Jeff, '08, whose presence would potentially allow Cardinal climbers representing a 50-year span of graduating classes to summit Stanford's eponymous peak.

Ernie's still-tender knee wouldn't allow him to hike the steep 15 miles from the trailhead at Cedar Grove to our base camp at East Lake, so I contracted with a local packer to provide us horses to ride and mules to porter our gear. We shared visions of ourselves leaping nimbly from our steeds at the end of Day 1, ready for the assault on the summit the next morning. We all packed Stanford T-shirts for what would surely be a triumphant summit photo. Ernie even constructed a custom summit register casing from PVC pipe for our exclusive use. We mounted our horses on August 21, brimming with the kind of confidence Mother Nature delights in destroying.

The horse trip quickly exposed our naïveté. The list of injuries that novice cowboys can suffer in just six hours is, as they say on the trail, “another story for another campfire,” but suffice it to say that we were, to a man, painfully afflicted. Despite liberal use of ibuprofen, our summit attempt the next day was even less successful. After narrowly escaping a treacherous, scree-filled avalanche alley known as Harrison Pass eight hours after leaving camp, we retreated, even though we were just over a thousand feet below the summit of Mount Stanford. That night, as we attempted to resuscitate our pride around a crackling fire, a disconsolate Ernie Cunliffe tossed the pages of our unused summit register into the flames. “Sorry, guys,” he said, his voice wobbly. “This is my last trip to the Sierras. I'm not going to be able to climb our mountain. You'll have to do it without me.”

IT TOOK ALL OF TWO WEEKS for Ernie to snap out of his funk. Just after Labor Day, I received an e-mail from him. He'd been looking at a map, and it appeared to him that an approach from the eastern side of the mountain might be easier than the west side link-up we'd attempted. Maybe, he mused, he could ride a horse in from Onion Valley on the east side of the range; we could come in from the west and meet him at Vidette Meadow; and we could all go over Forester Pass, camp near Lake South America, and have a summit day that began with our target peak actually in sight. In August 2007, our cast of climbers slightly changed, we would attempt Mount Stanford: The Rematch.

The horse ride from 2006 had left psychic if not physical scars. For 2007 we would allow mules to pack in the gear, but we would travel on foot. The first day was a test of that decision, a 15-mile hump that featured an elevation gain of 6,500 feet. We found Ernie waiting at the Vidette Meadow campsite. He had been knocked down by a temperamental pack mule en route, and had mended the resulting large abrasions on both of his forearms with duct tape, which gave him the appearance of a wilderness gladiator. The incident also had strained his left hamstring. He was in good spirits, though, appearing hale and ready for the climb. The next day, while Ernie rode a horse with the pack train to conserve strength, the rest of us hiked 16 miles over Forester Pass, which, at 13,200 feet, is the high point on the Pacific Crest Trail between the Canadian and Mexican borders.

Summit day began at 5:20, as we brewed coffee, tea and oatmeal by headlamp. By 8:45 we stood atop Harrison Pass, which had been a mercifully gentle climb from the south. Above us towered the twin summits of Mount Stanford and Gregory's Monument. Nate Witschi led the way up the 1,000-foot ascent to the summit of Gregory's Monument. Rudy and I followed at 50-year-old pace, while Mark escorted Ernie to the top at 70-year-old pace. By the time they arrived, Nate, Rudy and I had scoped out the chockstone move, which necessitated a pucker-inducing downclimb—or an eight-foot jump—to an airy perch atop a 12-foot-tall, 3-foot-wide boulder. I anchored a rope that would allow us to protect the move somewhat, and all of us surmounted the obstacle with ease.

The ledges that led north from the chockstone varied in width from three feet to less than a foot. Coaching each other on where to place hands and feet, our group traversed several hundred yards north to a point that seemed to be just below the summit of Mount Stanford.

A vertical boulder scramble of perhaps 200 feet was all that lay between us and a goal three years in the making. Ernie had aggravated his hamstring on the traverse and was limping a bit. “I hope this is the right face,” he said between deep gulps of oxygen-poor air. “I have just enough in my gas tank to get up there and back across the ledges to Gregory's.”

PEAK PERFORMERS: Clockwise from bottom center, Cunliffe, Sexton, Rudy Witschi, Nate Witschi and Hillman.

“I'll go and see if there's a register,” I offered.

THE FACT THAT there wasn't a register box among the summit rocks was vexing, but the doubt it cast on our position was a greater blow. “We've failed again,” Ernie moaned. “I can't believe we've come all the way up here twice and failed both times.” The rest of us stared mutely at the peak to the south. Its careful stack of summit rocks resembled a miniature Hoover Tower. It had to be Mount Stanford.

Mark spoke first.

“Hey,” he said. “Why can't this be Mount Stanford North? Let's all sign Ernie's register and leave it here for the people who climb this mountain like we have. It appears to be almost the same height as that one.”

Ernie's brow relaxed. He dug in his pack and produced the register in its PVC casing. Everyone signed the register, and we stowed it under a small cairn of rocks we built on the highest boulder. Then we intertwined a string of Tibetan prayer flags in the cairn, took a group summit photo, and headed back down the face.

We were especially vigilant on our return trip across the ledges to scout potential detours leading to the peak we had seen from the summit we'd just visited. But there were none. We were mystified.

Rudy and Nate followed Ernie up over the chockstone. Ernie looked north along the ridge and shook his head. “There it is, right there! How could we have missed it?” he said. He leaned down to where I was grabbing the rope. “Mark, Scot, you guys have to go back and bag that peak,” he implored. “You have to do it for me.”

I looked at my watch. It was after 4 p.m., which felt pretty late for another trip across the ledges. Then I made the mistake of looking at Mark, who had a big grin on his face. “I've just been waiting for someone besides me to think that's a great idea,” he said.

Mark and I headed off as Rudy, Nate and Ernie retreated to camp. We'd gone about 50 yards north when Mark, leading, pointed out a steep, narrow chute that returned to the ridge. “Do you think that would go?” he asked.

“I don't know,” I said, both hoping we didn't have to attempt it and knowing we would. “You can give it a try.” It was quiet for a couple of minutes, then I heard him shout, “Come on up! I'm on the ridge!”

I found him 30 yards beyond the chute, sitting on a stack of rocks at the far end of a razor-edged ridge that he had obviously crossed. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Then I crouched down and scuttled across the aerie without looking down. From there, a clear scramble led vertically up the ridge. We were close.

I was catching my breath at a point near the intersection of rock and sky when I heard Mark, still in the lead, laugh out loud.

“What's so funny?” I yelled.

“You have to come up here and see for yourself.”

I pulled myself up and over a couple of boulders and joined Mark on top.

“Check it out,” he said, flashing the day's biggest smile. “Some idiots left a register up here made out of PVC pipe, along with some Tibetan prayer flags.”

Mark and I signed our homemade register for the second time that day, then mugged for our tripod-mounted cameras, creating photographic proof for Ernie of his earlier success. It was obvious now that the cairn-crested mountain to the south was Gregory's Monument, which wasn't taller at all. We never did discover why Mount Stanford, one of the range's premier peaks, hadn't harbored a summit register—but we felt good about the fact that, thanks to Ernie Cunliffe, it now did.


Vol. 1 No. 65 September , 1959 , The Real Story

Roy hit the nail on the head as it was too long a summer in Europe, AF summer camp, and alot of missed training prior to the Pan Am Games.
( Apparently the Buffalo Firemens 660 was a week before the Pan Am Games. Please sort of edit my summary. Too bad as I can always run 1 race when out of shape so it would have been nice to have the lst race at the Pan
Ams instead of Buffalo.)

To make matters worse, there were 3 rounds in the 800, something I didn't need considering my lack of condition.
For those that are really interested in the details: lst round I was 2nd to George Kerr 1:52.9 to 1:53.8. Jerome Walters won his
heat in 1:53.9 while Tom Murphy won the last heat in 1:52.5

Semis: Murphy won the lst semi in 1:50.9. Walters the 2nd in 1:51.1 while I slipped in at 4th and last qualifying in 1:52.1. I have
no idea what the final was like, but Roy has covered the pedestrian pace. Mel Spence was 4th in 1:50.0 & my 5th was 1:51.5. 6th
was Stan Worsfeld of Canada and Sig Ohlemann was 7th with no time given. The big surprise was that Walters dropped out at the
600 mark and I never learned what happened. I was so encouraged at dropping my time each round that I secretly wished that there
might have been an extra couple of rounds that might have gotten me into shape for a 1:49 or better, but not to be of course

What did happen was the Buffalo Firemans handicap 660 race with a cast of thousands it seemed. Jack Yerman and I started from
scratch with so many strung out ahead of us it was almost hilarious. I had run some sub 1:16s in practice at Stanford with a
running start of course!! This race I sort of followed Yerman and actually felt like passing him a couple of times but figured I had
no business challenging a 46/47 400 guy so just held position and finished 2nd by a couple of tenths.

Now for something I have never shared publically for some 52 years. Most of you know that I was a 800/miler type guy but did you
know that I won and set a new Pan Am Record in the 400 hurdles?? You can look it up. In the 1960 US Olympic Book on page 403
you will find my name, William E Cunliffe as winner of the 400 meter hurdles in 51.2, a new Pan Am Record. Obviously I must have
had a great running start. Here's what happened. The person that set up the type and results listed Josh Culbreath alphabetically
just above my name. His only result was listed as 2nd for the 1600 meter relay, but instead of dropping down a line for Josh's hurdles, they
credited me with his hurdle result. Below me is Cliff Cushman listed as 5th in the 800 and then it gets sort of funny: Dave Davis
got 3rd in the 400 hurdles, Ira Davis 3rd in the shot put, and finally Bill Dellinger shows his versatility by getting 7th in the hop step
and jump, but wins the 5,000 meters. Even Track and Field News got it right but leave it to the US Olympic Committee book editor
to give me one of my greatest "wins" ever.

To wind up with another hurdle story. In 9th grade I went out for track and was practicing the hurdles, probably lows since I was sort of
short. On about the 3rd or 4th hurdle, while I was in mid air, a friend of mine's cocker spaniel dashed in front of the landing spot and I
actually spiked his right hind leg as I crashed down to the track. I quit track for 2 years and began my career in an intramural 440 race my
jr year in high school, spring of 1954. No I didn't win and in fact started my high school varsity career just as I finished it the following year
by falling down just prior to the finish line. No hurdles but my next race was the 880.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 64 September, 1959

September, 1959
The front page is devoted the Pan American Games held in Chicago from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2. The headline reads, “U.S. Sweeps Pan Am”. Ray Norton cements his position as the favorite for next year’s Olympics with 10.3 and 20.6 marks, the second being submitted for a world record run on a curve. Whereas the US dominates the meet, there is an unexpected chink in our armor, specifically the event we traditionally dominate, the 400 meters. George Kerr (46.1), Basil Ince (46.4) and Mal Spence (46.6) run 1-2-3 for the West Indies. This does not bode well for our lads in the 1600 meter relay. In what was probably a moral victory, we come in half a second behind the West Indies’ 3:05.3.
Good marks are the exception. Hayes Jones edges Lee Calhoun, both 13.6. Al Oerter dominates the discus with a throw of 190-8 to win by 12 feet. Parry O’Brien completely dusts Dallas Long in the shot, winning with a throw of 62-5½, with his worst throw better than Long’s best, 60-8¾. Dave Davis can only manage 55-9½ but is never in danger of losing third as Latin America and Canada don’t bring much to the shot put table. Fourth is 50-8. Irv Roberson who had bested 26 feet for the first time a week earlier, does so again and hands Olympic champ Greg Bell a lopsided defeat, 26-1¾ w to 24-11¾.
Ernie Cunliffe, as is his wont, leads the field in the early going of the 800, but his splits of 27.1 and 54.5 are unCunliffelike. The field takes advantage of his fatigue from a long season and his Air Force duty and by the 600 mark, he is fifth, where he finishes. Tom Murphy takes control and has five yards on George Kerr as they enter the straight. Kerr finds an extra gear and gains all the way to the tape, but comes up inches short as the two run 1:49.4. Tony Seth of British Guinea and Michigan takes third in 1:50.0. There is no fourth place finisher listed, though by process of elimination, it had to be Mel Spence. Cunliffe runs 1:51.1.
Dyrol Burleson (3:49.1) leads a US 1500 sweep with Jim Grelle and Ed Moran in close attendance. Bill Dellinger edges 10,000 winner Osvaldo Suarez of Argentina by a tenth to take a slow 5000 in 14:28.4.
The hammer throw has an odd ending. World record holder and Olympic champion Hal Connolly throws 195-11½ to edge teammates Al Hall at 195-10¾ and Bob Backus at 195-6½. Close enough for you? Wait, it gets closer. After the medals were presented “to the clowning trio”, the marks are remeasured. Connolly’s throw landed over the crown of the field and a centimeter is subtracted for measuring over that small height. Now he and Hall have the exact same distance and Hall is the winner by virtue of a best second throw.
On page five there is a headline, “Yerman Runs 1:17”. In the Buffalo Firemens meet Aug. 23, Jack Yerman and Ernie Cunliffe tangle in a “handicap race” over 660 yards, the East Coast version of Cal vs. Stanford. No details are given, but they both break Mal Whitfield’s 1:17.3 American best for the distance with 1:17.0 and 1:17.2.
In Bert Nelson’s “of People and Things” column, the editor addresses the problem of being all things to all people. “Mrs. Grace Butcher, U.S. women’s champion at 800 meters, writes, ‘Where are your women’s results of the Russian meet? Oh honestly, I could just sit down and cry. There are few of us girls in this country who are trying to do the impossible job of putting the U.S. on the map in women’s athletics, and when the biggest meet of the year comes along you don’t even indicate we were there.’” (My note: “girls”?.....“sit down and cry”? This is obviously before “I am Woman, Hear me Roar”.) But then we come to another letter concerning this matter. “Henry Chase, a long time subscriber from Scottsville, N.Y., writes, ‘Now that they’ve started to make track and field meeting coeducational, my interest is dead. Send me your magazine until my subscription expires, then cancel me out. The baseball people may be pretty bad. But they’ve got too much sense to put on a women’s game during their world championship.’” Bert gives these diverse points of view full analysis and decides in Henry’s favor. “Personally, I can’t get very excited about girlish athletics. Maybe it’s the old fashioned streak in me. Or maybe it’s that I am so wrapped up in what the better known, more talented men are doing that there just isn’t emotional room for the ladies. Whatever the reasons, I seem to feel about the same as 99% of the track fans I know.” Bottom line, there will be no women’s coverage in Track and Field News.
Sweden’s Dan Waern’s photo graces the front page. Unfortunately it is reversed. His #7 is backwards and he is running the wrong way on the track. In spite of this, he is having a great season. In 45 days he has raced 23 times between 800 and 3000 meters and won 22, including Swedish records at 800, 880 and 3000 and two WRs at 1000 meters, 2:18.0 and 2:17.8. His only loss came when he was edged by Poland’s Stefan Lewandowski in a photo finish 1500 in 3:41.1.
This issue seems to include more ads than previous issues. There are ads for Puma, Gill hurdles, Allsport Training Weights, Bob Richard’s book- “Heart of a Champion” and Aluminum Athletic Equipment (hurdles, blocks, crossbars, standards, poles and batons). But most significantly, Cliff Severn’s monopoly on Adidas in the U.S. has taken a hit. On page 8 there is a quarter page ad alerting you to the fact that you can now buy Adidas, “The World’s Best Fitting Shoe” from Van Dervoort’s of Lansing Michigan. Somehow this just seems wrong.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 63 Mr. Cunliffe's Recollections of August, 1959

Once again, Ernie Cunliffe was gracious enough to give us a follow up to the August 1959 accounts from T&FN. It's great to have the (insider, from the horse's mouth, as I recall, personal point of view) to go with Roy's reporting. It reminds me a bit of Dustin Hoffman's character in Little Big Man, recalling the battle of the Little Big Horn (Greazy Grass) many years later. The little personal bits like getting cinders in his eyes during a race bring back many memories. I remember visiting my aunt and uncle in Chicago prior to the Pan Am Games that were to be held at Soldier Field and going to the stadium to see where they would be. Picked up some pre games brochures that the city was using to promote the Games. I was probably just finished with my second year of hs track. What follows is from Ernie. GB

A week following the AAU in Boulder, I was enroute to Europe with 5 other Track and Field guys, PV Mel Schwartz, Hurdles Willie May,
400 Chuck Carlson, Sprints Bill Woodhouse, & Discus Rink Babka. 3 of the 6 would make the 1960 Olympic team, Willie, Rink, and myself.
With a best 880 time of 1:49.2 I was eager to improve with some highly competitive races but little did I know that my lst race in Menden
would be my best mark, lst place in 1:49. 6 for 800 meters running virtually solo the entire race with little competition.

My competition showed up in Frankfurt with Moens and Schmidt the big names with many others with times similar to mine. I was in a
great position at 650 meters when I abruptly almost came to a halt. A chunk of the cinder track was kicked up and hit me in the face
right in the eye where my contact lens was dislodged. In pain, I dropped back, finished 6th with a 1:49.7, but later was able to retrieve
the lens that had gone off center into the corner of my eye. Didn't know what hurt the most, the 6th place or the eye, as I was surely on
pace for a good PR.

Helsinki Olympic stadium was the next competition. There was no 800 and they had entered me in the 1500 but I decided to work on
my speed and entered the 400 instead. I remember very little about that race as it was my lst time to run in lanes the whole way but
I did get a PR of 49.4. But of course this was my lst ever flat 400. I was normally the 2nd leg on the mile relay and quickly learned that
even though I had split a 47.7 relay leg, I became a 420 yd man, taking the baton way up front in the relay lane and handing off way back
in the relay lane. 49.4 flat vs 47.7 relay leg? I obviously needed a running start as I never learned how to come out of the blocks fast enough.
I had always been told that you add a minute to your 400 time to get your 800 potential time but it didn't work for me.

The next meet was in northern Sweden in Bollnas on a grass track, again a lst for me but not my last as I ran on grass in New Zealand at
Wanganui in the Snell Mile in 1962, but again this will come later after Roy gets into T & F News issues of 1962. I ran the 800 at Bollnas
with little competition. I was so far ahead at the 600 that Babka told me to slow down, but I would have none of that as I had only
won 1 race, finished 6th in Frankfurt, and 5th in Helsinki, so I wanted another lst, which I got with a modest time of about 1:50+.

Stockholm was our next meet and Moens was present and attempted to be friendly in a pre race strategy talk. Roger was still the World
Record Holder and really had no fear that I would challenge him, but I still remembered my upset of Don Bowden and hoped for the best.
Just before the start, Roger said, carry the pace and when I go by you follow me to the finish. So much for his thoughts of any upset.
But the race developed as he had planned it out. He kicked by me with 150 to go and I tried to make use of my Helsinki 400 speed work
and began my kick, slowly losing ground to him down the straight. He won of course and I was a fairly good 2nd in 1:50.0

As the tour ended I was disappointed and knew that I had to improve alot to challenge the runners I met in Europe that summer of 1959.
I flew home barely in time to prepare for Air Force ROTC summer camp and then try to maintain conditioning for the Pan American Games
in Chicago where I was the 3rd USA entry in the 800 along with Murphy and Walters. I have referred previously to Cliff Cushman and how
our lives kept crossing paths. On one of the AF ROTC trips in Nevada to Section 51, I first actually met Cliff as I had only seen him run in
meets and never talked to him. On this day he was decked out in a pith helmet and knee socks and shorts. We compared notes as to
how we were trying to train for the Pan Am Games as he was in the 400 meter hurdles. Eventually I was excused from part of the 4
week ROTC summer camp and headed for Chicago to test my conditioning or lack thereof for 3 rounds of the 800. But that will be up to
Roy in his next summation of T & F News and the saga of Cliff Severn and his shoes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 62 August 1959

The USSR-USA meet, held at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field, should be the story of great competition and great results. Instead it is marked by a lack of planning and poor officiating. Dick Bank, in his column, Bank Notes, writes, “…this meeting turned out to be two days of utter confusion, disorganization and incompetence”. How could an event billed as the highlight of the season go so wrong? Let us count the ways.
No wind gauge is present. The one which had been ordered from Lakehurst Naval Air Station does not arrive. The AAU has to “borrow” a wind gauge? There should have been two anyway as the sprints are run on one side of the stadium and the jumps on the other. World record holder Parry O’Brien and the other shot putters are relegated to a corner of Franklin Field where they are out of sight of most of the fans. The lines for the shot are nearly a yard off. The hop-step-jump is held up until the end of the women’s shot put competition because…..are you ready?.....there is only one measuring tape longer than 50 feet. The female long jumpers then have to wait for the HSJ competition to end because the officials for that event are also the officials for their competition.
Bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet. The time frame on this is not mentioned, but the announcer who had been selected is unable to perform. A local disc jockey with no track background is given the job with disastrous results. There is no announcement of any hammer or shot put throw. Greg Bell’s 26-7 jump, one inch off the world record, is not announced (even if he had broken the record, without a wind gauge it would not have counted), high jumper Errol Williams is identified as Charlie Dumas, an error that is passed on to the TV audience. Lap times in the 5000 and 10,000 are meaningless because they are given from the finish line, not the start. (Yes, this would matter in the 10K on a 440 track.) Even the official program, which Bank says is excellent, has a glaring error. The photo of the great Russian decathlete, Vasily Kuznyetzov, is indeed a French decathlete of the early 50’s.
How could all this go wrong in one meet you may ask? No, you don’t understand. There is more. Sit very quietly with your hands folded on top of your desk and I will tell you about the 10,000.
The temperature was 85 degrees with the humidity at 58% when the four runners toed the line. The Russians are Aleksey Desyatchikov and Hubert Pyarnakivi (hereafter referred to as Desy and Pyar). Our guys are Max Truex and Bob Soth. Scoring is on a 5-3-2-1 basis and the Russians are predicted to go 8-3. That will not happen. They run together through miles of 4:36 and 9:21 where Soth takes the lead and Truex begins to drop off the pace. Soth continues to lead, but the pace has dropped to five minutes as the 3M mark is reached in 14:24. On the next lap Dezy takes over with Pyar and Soth in close attendance. Truex trails by 24 seconds. Dezy picks up the pace, passing 4M in 19:17, opening up a margin of 8 seconds on Pyar and 10 on Soth. On the backstretch of the 17th lap Soth passes Pyar to the delight of the crowd. At the end of 18 laps Dezy laps Truex. Soth passes his teammate at the start of the 19th lap. Pyar is falling back, running 80 second laps, but still putting distance between himself and Truex who is cranking out 90s. Dezy is 24:04 at 5M with Soth 20 seconds behind. Pyar trails Soth by 69 seconds. Truex is 2:06 behind him. Ugly? Hey, we are just getting started.
On the next lap “Soth started the weird and shocking high-stepping backward lean of a runner who is in serious trouble.” On the 22nd lap Dezy passes his teammate and Truex, running a 1:40 lap, passes the staggering Soth who is running 2:06. Still little Max is still nearly a lap down to his teammate. Regarding Soth, George Grenier writes, “It is so characteristic of impending complete physical collapse that it indicates that officials are unaware of what happens to athletes. It verges on the sadistic when you consider Soth ran three and a half laps in his debilitated state and no one moved to help.” It would seem US coaches and medical staff should also share this responsibility.
At six miles the timers move from the starting line to the finish to record Dezy’s winning time. When the Russian hits the finish line, the gun is fired for the last lap. Dezy obediently goes another lap. His time for 10,000 is 30:29.9. With one more lap, it is 31:40.6. Truex, who has just completed 6M with a 90 second lap, hones in on the second Russian and comes to life with a 50 second 376 yard finish, passing the seriously depleted Pyar who takes 1:54 for the same distance. Truex finishes in 32:49 with Pyar third in 33:13 or at least that’s the way it looks from the stands. When Truex finishes, Horace Ashenfelter, smelling the reek of the officials’ incompetence, advises him to go one more lap just to be safe. That he did so speaks worlds for Max’s tolerant nature. To sum up: Dezy and Truex run an extra lap. Pyar runs the correct distance. Soth does not finish.
The officials (when we cast the movie, I’m thinking The Three Stooges.) count the 26 lap times for Dezy and Truex, making the finishing order Dezy, Pyar and Truex. The American coaches protest, but it is American officials who have made the mistake and it stands. There is no film to use as reference? Hey, if we have only one tape over 50 feet, you aren’t going to get a film of the race.
Soth and Truex are taken to the hospital where they are given 3500 cc of glucose-saline solution. Pyar is offered hospital treatment, but the Russian doctors decline. “Soth’s heartbeat after the collapse is 172. His first words on regaining consciousness are: ‘Did I finish the race?’ He has no recollection of falling to the ground or the shouted words of advice to walk.” 10,000 meter score: Russia 8, US 2.
The rest of the meet does not live up to hopes. The US goes 1-2 in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 110H, 400H and SP in addition to winning both relays to come out on the long end of a 127-108 score. The Russians swept the 5,000, 10,000 (sort of), steeplechase and the 20,000 walk. Al Cantello won the javelin, Greg Bell the broad jump, Don Bragg the pole vault and Al Oerter the discus. World record holder Kuznyetsov ran up 8350 points to win the decathlon by 750 points over Dave Edstrom. Given the expectations, it wasn’t that much of a meet.
With the earlier reference to the women’s long jump, we are pretty sure there was a women’s meet (which of course we lost), but you won’t learn about it by reading Track and Field News.
Two weeks later, Aug. 1, the inaugural Albuquerque Invitational is held. Parry O’Brien makes it memorable by adding two inches to his WR with a toss of 63-4. Don Bragg has a near miss at the PV WR at 15-9¾, after winning at 15-5. Other top marks come from hometown boy, Dick Howard with hurdle wins of 23.2 and 51.2 and Al Cantello who throws 261.
The front page has two good sized photos of Germany’s Martin Lauer who has surprised with a high hurdle WR of 13.2 and tied the world best in the lows around a turn at 22.5. In both photos he is beating the US’s Willie May. No details are given. It looks as if next year’s Olympic hurdles should be interesting.
Two groups of Americans have competed in Europe. The first group, cleverly labeled Group 1, lead by Bud Winter and Ducky Drake, competes in Helsinki and Goteborg in late June and early July. Athletes included Charles Butts, Al Cantello, Les Carney, Dick Cochran, Deloss Dodds, Bob Gardner, Bob Gutowski, Dick Howard, Ed Moran, Bob Poynter, Lew Stieglitz and Jerome Walters. Group II, coached by Ding Dussault of Tufts, gets the extended tour lasting three weeks from June 27 to July 16, competing in Germany and Switzerland. That group included Rink Babka, Chuck Carlson, Ernie Cunliffe, Mel Schwarz, Willie May and Bill Woodhouse. Carlson ran 45.9 to tie for the fastest 400 time of the year with Mike Larabee and Otis Davis. Woodhouse “diligently disposed of his European rivals”, beating Manfred Germar twice in 10.4 and 10.3 and adding a “half curve” 200 mark of 20.8. But what of Ernie Cunliffe you may be asking. Ernie C. opened strongly with a 1:49.6, but then found that Europeans are pretty tough at 800 and had to be content with non winning marks of 1:49.7, 1:50.0 and 1:50.1.
Yes, of course Clifford Severn and Adidas have the traditional last page ad, but there is a new player on page 13 where Puma has a quarter page ad extolling their new “nylon ball support” which “puts the pressure where it is needed (as shown in the illustration) for faster starting, surer pick-up.” Indeed the illustration which shows how the Puma shoes keep one going in a straight line and other shoes have you running catawampus all over the place, makes you wonder how an athlete can stay in his lane without Pumas. The only drawback here is that were you to order a pair of these fine looking shoes, you would have to mail your order to Nurnberg, Germany.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 61 Ernie Cunliffe Recalls Drake 1959

George, at one time you asked about a personal look at the Distance Medley at Drake in 1959. Stanford had a fair group of
middle distance runners, mainly 880 guys and no real milers. I had not run a mile my sophomore year and had an early
time trial in my junior year (1959) of about a 4:12. But I had run a 2:56 1320 in practice on several occasions.

At Drake, we considered Oklahoma the team to beat, especially since Gail Hodgson would anchor and he was way better than
anything we had, having run somewhere around 4:05. So Coach Payton Jordan asked me to anchor and with lead off legs of
around 1:54 for the 880, 47+ for the 440 and a 3:05 for the 1320, I was given the baton with a lead. Figuring I could not
run and sprint with Hodgson, who had run a 1:49+ sprint medley leg earlier in another meet, I took off fairly fast (No surprise
there for anyone knowing my running style) I was about 58: 1:56 and then slowed down to a 60/61 or so 3rd lap and apparently
ran Hodgson out as I did my next to last 220 fairly well and then staggered home with the 4:10 cited in Roy's summary. I
actually did not know until reading Roy's summary that Michigan State was 2nd and Oklahoma 3rd as I always thought that
Oklahoma took 2nd. I did not run another mile until the next year.

A final couple of bits about Drake Relays 1959 which was celebrating their Golden Anniversary. I met Wes Santee which was quite
an honor. Meant alot more the next year when I just bettered his best mile mark by a tenth in the Burleson mile when Stanford met
Oregon at Hayward Field, but that is another story to cover when Roy comes up with the late Spring 1960 T & F News summaries.

Finally Stanford had been entered in the 2 mile relay and word got around that we were going to scratch after winning the
distance medley. We heard that the Kansas team gave a big cheer about that as they would have competed against our team
with myself and the 880 and 1320 guys doubling back. Don't recall their time or if they even won but fresh I think we would have
beaten them as we had 4 guys who could run 1:51.5 or better. Might have been interesting in that this could have been my one
and only race against Cliff Cushman had we both anchored the 2 mile relay. Cliff and I interacted alot in the next few years but
again we will have to wait for Roy's 60, 61 and later T & F News issues. Also a story about the 3 stripe man, Cliff Severn at an
indoor meet in LA .

Thankfully I never ran against Dixon Farmer but am glad to see his name now as I am sure he has some great stories about Oxy &
the following years of his brilliant career. Dixon was actually at the Stanford vs Oxy meet in 1960 but I believe Freshmen were not
eligible to compete on varsity teams by NCAA rules. He and I kept crossing paths over the years and I last saw him at the WAC 1984
Championship in San Diego when the Air Force Academy competed there against all the WAC schools, including Dixon's SD State
Team. Cliff Cushman would have had to been on his toes to compete with Dixon, not only in the hurdles, but Dixon not only Coached
the team, he did the announcing of the meet and probably also like Cliff was apparently seen sweeping out the stadium at the end of the
meet (See Roy's comments way above if this confuses you) but was not seen washing any cars.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 61 July , 1959

July, 1959
This issue is primarily devoted to the two big meets of the US season, the NCAA on June 12-13 in Lincoln, Nebraska and the AAU the following week in Boulder, Colorado.
The NCAA meet is no contest. The well balanced Kansas Jayhawks are convincing winners, leaving second place San Jose State behind 73-48. The race of the day is the 220 low hurdles matching Eastern Michigan’s Hayes Jones, the winner of the highs in a meet record 13.6, with the Kansas duo of Charlie Tidwell, who has taken the 100 in a wind aided 9.3, and Ernie Shelby, the broad jump champ at 25-5, in what Cordner Nelson calls “one of the greatest footraces of all time”. The Kansas lads draw lanes 2 and 3. Jones, who has run the lows around a curve only once before, is in 5. Jones opens a slight early lead, but around the curve Tidwell catches him and they enter the straight together. Jones opens a yard, but Tidwell comes back. They go over the 10th hurdle together. Jones says, “I tightened over the last hurdle and he caught me. I thought he had me”. He didn’t. Jones wins in 22.5, the fastest ever run, but not a record because of a 5.3 mph aiding wind. Tidwell is given 22.6. Shelby, not in the mix for first, adds important points for the Jayhawks with a third place 23.3. Between the two of them Tidwell and Shelby score 34 points.
San Jose State sees first place hopes dashed when Ray Norton false starts out of the 100. Though he rebounds to lead a 1-2 sweep with Bobby Poynter in the 220 at 20.9, the damage has been done. Poynter scores 16 with his 9.5w, 21.0 second places. The 440 has “probably the strongest field in the meet – and the meet’s history”. Eddie Southern (Texas), Jack Yerman (Cal), Deloss Dodds (Kansas State) and Otis Davis (Oregon) win the heats. Mal Spence (Arizona State) and Davis take the semis. Colorado’s Chuck Carlson is the recipient of a gift pass to the finals when Yerman is disqualified for running outside his lane. Walt Johnson of North Carolina College, Pitt’s Mel Barnwell and Canadian Olympic veteran Terry Tobacco of Washington comprise the rest of the field. The final is all Otis Davis, who destroys the field, to a point. That point would be at about 300 yards where the foolishness of an all out sprint becomes apparent to the Oregon rookie. The bear hops on his back for a torturous 140 yard ride as they watch the field go by. Bill Bowerman later comments, “Davis broke the NCAA record for the first 300 yards of a 440”. The race now belongs to the more judicious: Southern, Tobacco and Carlson. Southern wins in 46.4. Carlson catches Tobacco for second as they run 46.5 and 46.6. Spence takes fourth at 46.8. Johnson, 47.2, and Dodds, 47.3, nip Davis at the tape. Barnwell apparently loses interest and walks across in 61.2. No explanation is given.
Meet records are set by Dick Howard of New Mexico whose 50.6 gives him a huge margin over Cliff Cushman’s 51.3. Boston University’s John Lawler, the ex-Dublin police officer, wins the hammer by 22 feet with his record 207-5. Little known Paul Whiteley of Kansas State Teachers (now Emporia State) “pattered impressively” through a 13.59.1 three mile for an 8 second win and the fourth meet record.
Heats are run in the mile for the first time. Oklahoma’s Gail Hodgson, Oregon’s Jim Grelle and St. John’s Pete Close are winners. In the final, Ron Gregory of Notre Dame takes the field through 59.5 and 2:02.2 splits. The pace falters to 3:07 at the start of the last lap where Hodgson takes over followed closely by Penn State’s Ed Moran, Close, Grelle, Vanderbilt’s “little” Fred Abington, Penn State’s Dick Englebrink, Kansas State’s Tom Rodda and Washington’s Jack Larson. Around the penultimate curve this group is bunched within three yards. Grelle, the second place finisher to Ron Delany the previous two years, is boxed in and unable to move early on the backstretch. Finally, just before the final curve, he gets out and takes the lead. He quickly ends the race on the curve, entering the straight with a full head of steam and a seven yard lead. Close gets by Hodgson and, just before the tape, so does Englebrink. Grelle’s 56.6 finish gives him a 4:03.9, just four tenths off Delany’s meet record. Close is 4:05.1. Englebrink and Hodgson are 4:06.0 and 4:06.1.
The 880 heats are won by Joe Mullins of Nebraska, George Kerr of Illinois, Tony Seth of Michigan and Stanford’s Ernie Cunliffe. The semis are brutal. In the first, Mullins leads a pack separated by a tenth of a second. Mullins runs 1:53.3. Chick King of Penn State is 1:53.4 but doesn’t qualify in fifth. Kerr wins the second semi easily in 1:51.4, followed by Cunliffe half a second later. Cal’s Jerry Seibert runs 1:52.2, but is eliminated by inches. In the final, Kerr leads around the curve, but Cunliffe, who likes to lead, takes over on the backstretch and opens up four yards which become six at the gun, reached in 51.7, followed by Kerr, Lew Merriman of Wichita, Mullins, Mel Spence of A-State and Seth. On the backstretch Kerr strikes and it is suddenly over. He has ten yards around the curve and is increases the margin on the homestretch to finish in 1:47.8. Seth catches Cunliffe in the straight as they take second and third in 1:49.5 and 1:50.0. The surprising Merriman hangs on for fourth in 1:50.4.
Wait a minute, there are four meet records and Bill Alley doesn’t have one of them? The American record holder in the javelin has set a meet record in every meet this year. This streak comes to a halt as an elbow injury, which has not allowed him to throw in practice for a month, combines with a hellacious head wind to limit him to 240-5, good enough for a narrow victory over Buster Quist of New Mexico. Alley really takes one for the team by competing this day. He is in great pain and can’t straighten his arm at the end of the throw. Next week’s AAU is out of the question. He will have surgery in two days.
Carl Shine of Penn State shines in the shot with a 57-11 victory. Oklahoma’s duo of Dan Erwin and Mike Lindsay place second and fourth at 56-11 and 56-3 for 14 of the 31 points that comprise the Sooners’ fourth place finish. Lindsay adds another 6 with a third place finish in the discus. Oklahoma State’s Jim Graham tops the pole vault field with a 15-2 leap. Oklahoma’s J.D. Martin and Purdue’s Jim Johnson tie for second at 14-10. As mentioned, Ernie Shelby takes the broad jump. Behind him are two Olympic champions in the making. Tennessee A&I’s Ralph Boston is third at 24-8½ and Bill Toomey of Colorado is ninth at 24-0¾. They will see better days.
A week later and here we are in Boulder, elevation 5430 feet. The AAU national championship has always been important in determining national teams, but up until now there has never been an international dual meet with the emotional clout of this one. The top two finishers will represent the US in the dual meet with the Soviet Union to be held next month in Philadelphia. 1958 saw the first US-USSR meet in Moscow. This will be the first on US soil. The cold war is in full flower. Missiles are pointed each direction and nuclear destruction is knocking at the door. School children are practicing the drop and cover maneuver: get under your desk, bury your face in the crook of your arm and cover the back of your neck with your other hand. Yes, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming and who will be on the team to compete against them? Let’s find out.
After prelims on Friday, the finals on Saturday are contested in the rain. The weather and the altitude keep marks depressed, but they do not lessen the competition. Ray Norton is voted the outstanding performer on the basis of his sprint victories, 10.5 and 20.8. Eddie Southern is the only defending champion to retain his crown, running 46.1 to hold off Dave Mills’ 46.4. Jack Yerman’s 46.6 puts him on the relay team. Tom Murphy peaks at the right time, easily taking the 800 in 1:47.9 over Jerome Walters’ 1:48.5. Ernie Cunliffe shows remarkable consistency, running 1:50.0 and placing third, his exact time and place in last week’s NCAA. In the 1500 Dyrol Burleson establishes himself as the man, running a meet record 3:47.5 to defeat NCAA champ and fellow Oregonian, Jim Grelle who clocks 3:48.4.
The distance marks suffer from the altitude, but the armed services come through in fine style. Bill Dellinger of the Air Force and the Navy’s Lew Stieglitz go 1-2 in the 5000 in 14:47.6 and 14:48.5 to hold off Max Truex. But little Max is not to be denied in the 10,000, touring 25 laps in 31:22.4 to easily hold off Aussie Al Lawrence. Bob Soth picks up the second qualifying spot in 32:12.6, setting up what will be the most dramatic moment of the year in next month’s meet.
In the highs, Olympic champ Lee Calhoun gets a great start and holds off Hayes Jones, 14.0 for both. Elias Gilbert just misses at 14.1 and vents his frustration, “I’m tired of all this running”. Charlie Tidwell, defeated by Jones last week in the lows, rallies for an American (and unofficial world) record of 22.6 to beat Jones by a tenth.
The 400 IH provides drama. Dick Howard draws the pole with Olympic champion Glenn Davis and Josh Culbreath in 2 and 3. The experienced Davis misses his step badly and is well back after four hurdles. He has not tasted defeat in this event since 1956. Now it is staring him in the face. He rights himself and begins to push, gaining on everyone, but Howard has a three yard lead coming into the straight. Howard goes too high over the last hurdle and Davis is within a yard with 20 to go, but can get no closer. Howard takes his first national championship in 50.7 with Davis 50.9. Culbreath is well back in third at 51.7, just ahead of Cliff Cushman’s 51.9. Detroit area high school boy Rex Cawley finishes sixth and last at 53.7, but there is more to this story. This is his third final and fourth race of the day. The previous day he had run 51.3. Today he has already placed fifth in the highs (14.5) and third in the lows (23.0). The young man may just have a future in the sport.
The field events provide two more meet records. Parry O’Brien won his 7th national title with a throw of 62-2¼. Indeed five of his throws are better than the field can produce. Dick Davis makes the US team at 60-4¾. Al Oerter who has returned to New York after graduating from Kansas arrives with the story of 21 practice throws over 200 feet. He throws 184 in the trials and then improves to 186-5 to easily beat O’Brien whose 180-9½ gives him his second spot on the team against Russia by an inch and a half over Dick Cochran. But wait, Rink Babka throws 187. The mark is not counted because of a foot foul. Babka is certain he did not foul as the steel circle is fully a half inch above the concrete and he would have felt it. Other throwers support his claim. Babka leaves the stadium feeling robbed, a belief that is confirmed when he returns to the dormitory and finds his money gone.
Cliff Severn once again defines ubiquity. Of course his ad adorns the back page. His is joined by three other ads. Don Potts is selling his “All Time World List”, an “invaluable reference work”, for just a buck fifty. That’s box 7213, San Diego. The Pan American Games Tour will go from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2. For details write to TFN, box 296, Los Altos, Calif. No cost is mentioned, so that must be a detail. And finally we have Wheat Germ Oil (for athletes and non-athletes) offered through the previous address. You can write for a pamphlet or just pony up $9 for a quart or $16.50 for 1000 capsules. Next issue, the Russians are coming and we are ready for them.
Lincoln, Nebraska and the AAU the following week in Boulder, Colorado.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 60 Long live the Past

We've all been enjoying reading Roy Mason's reviews of old T&FN issues, and he in turn has enjoyed reading your comments. I try to post those comments on the blog as well. If there are things you want to add, just write to me at irathermediate@gmail.com   . I'll copy and paste them as they come in. I think when reading these entries they might well serve as a platform from which any of you may wish to add your comments and memories of certain events. A recent addition to our list of readers is Dixon Farmer who many of you will remember as 1963 NCAA 440 hurdles champion, a US team member, coach at Michigan and Washington, and an AD at Occidental. Welcome aboard.

Jerry McFadden whose picture appears with Bob Schul and myself ran at U. of Missouri, graduating in 1963. Jerry and I competed against each other in a triangular meet in Norman, OK and then in the Big 8 Meet where he placed second in the mile with a PR 4:05. He went on to serve in the Peace Corps in Morocco and coached a number of up and coming runners in that country. He also wrote a series of articles in a new running journal Runner's World back in the early 70's. After my graduation from Oklahoma, I too went into the Peace Corps and served in Tanzania. Jerry and I both met and married French women whom we met overseas. So we have a number of common threads in our backgrounds.

Several of Jerry's Moroccan athletes emigrated to Canada where I was living in the mid 70's, and I met them in coaching circles in Montreal. They always asked me if I knew Jerry McFadden, and I could only say , that I had run against him a long time ago. About two years ago, one of them, Jose Sant, now a national coach in Canada, repeated his request for me to find Jerry. That happened this Spring, and Jerry and I began a correspondence that led to our getting together last week in Dayton, OH. I invited Bob Schul to come over and meet Jerry as well and we shared a lot of stories about the good old days. An interesting and little known bit of track trivia is that Bob also was in the Peace Corps. How many Olympians ever served in the Peace Corps? He was in Maylasia as their national coach in 1973. He and Jerry compared notes on running the Hash House in Maylasia. George

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 59 June, 1959

JUNE 1959
You want big meets? We got ‘em. Let’s go to Modesto and the California Relays. The photo on the cover shows Ralph Alspaugh of Texas leaning at the tape to edge San Jose State’s Ray Norton and Bill Woodhouse of Abilene Christian on the anchor leg of the 440 relay and establish a new WR of 39.6. Bobby Poynter opens a yard lead for San Jose on the first leg, but that is swiftly negated by Eddie Southern’s second leg for Texas and bad passing by San Jose to produce a four yard deficit for Norton who gets back all but about a foot of it. Norton and his Spartan teammates reverse the finish on the Longhorns in the 880 relay, as Norton splits 19.8 to make up three yards on Southern to win by a tenth in 1:23.3. Oregon sophomore Roscoe Cook surprises the field in the 100, getting a great start and holding on for a foot victory over fast closing Ray Norton to tie the WR of 9.3. Bobby Morrow loses ground and finishes fifth in 9.5 behind Sid Garton and Bobby Poynter, both 9.4. Morrow returns to take the 220 over a lackluster field in 20.5. Hayes Jones runs “the fastest hurdle double in history, 13.6 and 22.5”. Alvis Andrews and Strider teammate Herm Stokes put on a show in the HSJ. Andrews PRs “over 51’”, only to have Stokes take the lead with a 51-6½ effort. Andrews then puts Bill Sharpe’s national record of 52-1 and Adehmar da Silva’s all comers’ record of 52-4 behind him with a leap of 52-5¼. Joel Wiley of LA State joins the very exclusive 26 foot broad jump club with a 26-2½ effort. Parry O’Brien takes a Dallas Long-free shot put at 61-5 as Charlie Butts joins the 60 foot club by two inches to place second. Former basketball player, Otis Davis, now in his second year of competition, records the fastest time in the world with a 46.2 440. Colorado’s Mike Peake (1:50.2) and Dyrol Burleson (4:06.7) take the 880 and the mile. But what of the two mile relay you may ask. Yes, once again an Ernie Cunliffe anchored Stanford team rolls to victory in a slow, for them, 7:30.0, beating second place USC by more than 18 seconds. Prospects look thin for the California mile relay team when Eddie Southern takes the baton three yards up on Jack Yerman, but Yerman isn’t buying into defeat. He dogs Southern until the final straight where he works past to win by two yards with a 45.7 split as Cal runs 3:09.6.
A week later much of the same cast of players meet in the Compton Invitational. A crowd of 7500 is in attendance, but only 200 witness a world record. Al Cantello, “the 5-7½, 163 pound yellow-clad Marine lieutenant, his arms and chest swelling with ten pounds of muscle put on since last August, sprinted down the runway at 5:48 p.m., twisted sideways with nimble footwork, whipped his arm forward with all his strength, and followed through with a full length dive onto his hands and chest. His javelin, a metal Held, rattled mysteriously as it arched incredibly high and glided down. The point struck the turf at 282-3½, a full foot beyond the world record.” Glenn Davis and Eddie Southern tangle in the 440. Southern is on the pole with Davis in lane two. Down the backstretch Southern opens up two yards on Davis, but Davis pours it on around the curve to lead Southern by half a yard. But wait; there are others in the race. The two old rivals trail three others as they enter the straight. Dave Mills, the leader, falls to last place. Mal Spence of ASU and North Carolina Central’s Walter Johnson also find the straight uphill and fall back to 6th and 7th. Southern scores his first victory over Davis 46.4 to 46.5. Much of the joy in this is lost because Chuck Carlson of Colorado goes by both to finish in 46.3. But even his efforts are trumped. Mike Larabee owns the stretch, going by everyone to win in the year’s best time of 46.1. Dave Scurlock ekes out a victory over Ernie Cunliffe in the 880, 1:49.8 to 1:50.2, as a photo on page 6 testifies. Nineteen fifty-nine was a simpler time when athletes doubled. Dickie Howard takes the lows and intermediates in 22.6 and 51.4. High school boy Dixon Farmer runs 23.1 and 52.9. Both return to sweep out the stadium and put away equipment at the end of the meet. Parry O’Brien takes the shot (62-7) over Bill Nieder (62-4), Dallas Long (61-1) and the still improving Charlie Butts (60-7¼). (Editor’s note: No, Perry O’Brien has not changed the spelling of his first name. I am such an idiot that, although it is clearly spelled p-A-r-r-y in everything I have read, I have consistently misspelled it. This goes a long way towards explaining that 2.0 college gpa.) Jerome Walters takes a 4:06.2 mile, but the real story is the match up of history’s two fastest high schoolers, Archie San Romani and Dale Story. Story had set the national record of 4:11.0 in the California state meet the previous week. The week before that San Romani had run 4:10.0 for second in the Missouri Valley AAU meet, a mark not considered a HS record because it was run in an open meet. The two concentrate on each other, going through the 1320 in 3:11.3 with Story on San Romani’s shoulder the entire way. On the backstretch San Romani opens up, leaving Story and closing on USC’s Bob Shankland. He doesn’t catch him, but his 57.7 gives him third place and a high school best of 4:08.9. Story runs 59.9 to finish fifth in 4:11.2. San Romani has signed a letter of intent to Kansas. Story says he will go to a JC for a year then attend Oregon State where he will study fish and game management.
The next day sees the Meet of Champions held in Houston. The headline reads “Oklahomans Do Well”. The Sooners stamp themselves as contenders in next week’s NCAA meet. Dan Erwin, usually the #2 of Oklahoma’s 1-2 punch in the shot, surprises teammate Mike Lindsay and probably himself with a collegiate leading 58-4. Lindsay acquits himself well with 57-4 and a discus win of 162-4. Potential big points here. J.D. Martin vaults 14-9 to tie with intrastate rivals Jim Graham and Aubrey Dooley. Gail Hodgson runs 4:03.4, the second fastest college mile of the year. Bob Ringo takes the 880 in 1:50.9. Dee Givens is recovered from his injuries enough to place third in both sprints (no time given) behind Bill Woodhouse and Ollan Cassell. The Sooners look like they have a real shot.
As good as Oklahoma is, Kansas is probably better. The Jayhawks dominate the Central Collegiates with a 98 to 36 margin over second place Notre Dame. The NCAA meet may come down to how many races Charlie Tidwell runs. Here he wins the sprints and the lows: 9.6, 21.0 and 23.3. Billy Mills cruises the 3M in 14:18.9 and Cliff Cushman takes the intermediates in 51.5. Bill Alley, the javelin winner here at 266-6, can probably throw left handed and win next week. Oh, yes, Ernie Shelby who is not listed in these results, is the broad jump favorite.
On the high school level, the best high hurdle competition has been in Oregon where Steve Pawley establishes a HS record of 13.8 in defeating Mel Renfro who runs 13.9 for a junior class record. Farmington, Michigan’s Warren Cawley (known to friends as Rex) has also run 13.9. He seems ready for college competition if his performance at the U of Chicago Invitational is any measure: 14.8, 23.5 and 53.9 in the same day. Andrews HS (Texas) runs the fastest HS mile relay, 3:16.4, to better the existing mark of 3:17.5, but it won’t count because it was in an open race. Apparently they can do better as the slow leg was 50.1 and they had a 49.2 guy sitting on the sidelines.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 58 How to Find old NCAA track Results

I just discovered this site for old archival track results:

Type in this address below and change the year to any year you want. The old hand typed, mimeographed results for that year will come up with every heat listed. On the 1959 meet entries it listed Cliff Cushman as entered in the Triple Jump. No mention if he also did scoring and timing. That's for Roy.


I suppose if you change the year in both places, those years will come up. I have not been able to locate cross country results, but it's probably on the ncaa website somewhere. Happy hunting. Lots of good track trivia to be found. Some incredible placings by lesser known teams in various years. Don't look for indoor track until 1965. That was the first year they started having indoor championships at Cobo Hall in Detroit.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 57 May, 1959

MAY 1959

The large photo on the front page of Track and Field News (Don't look for that photo in this blog) attests to the quality of Oklahoma pole vaulting. Standing on the left of the height indicator that points to 15’5” are Oklahoma State’s Jim Graham and Aubrey Dooley. On the right is Oklahoma’s J.D. Martin. The caption: “These three vaulters have taken part in some fantastic completion recently. On May 16, in the Big Eight meet, Jim Graham won at 15’ 3¼” from teammate Aubrey Dooley, 15’ 0¼, and Oklahoma sophomore J.D. Martin, 14’ 10¼”. It was the greatest collegiate vaulting in history. Just three days later they met in a dual affair at Norman, Oklahoma. Graham and Dooley went 15’ 5” and Martin had to settle for third even though he soared 15’ 3¾”.

The West Coast Relays in Fresno on May 9 are followed by the Coliseum Relays the next week and, yes, the Big Ten, Big Eight and Pacific Coast Conference meets are all reported.

Ray Norton is the star of the day at Fresno. In the prelims he runs a wind-aided 9.3. In the final Bobby Morrow takes a slight lead early on, but Norton “gained it back and won by something like two inches”. The photo on page five seems to define “something like two inches” as a foot. Bobby Poynter is third another foot back. Norton and Morrow are 9.4. Poynter is 9.5. The officials had a rough day. The photo clearly shows Vic Hall taking fourth by a clear foot over Orlando Hazley, who gets the officials nod for fourth. Apparently a photo causes them to reverse this decision. Another snafu is caused by the relay official who makes Norton wait in lane four for the final pass in the 440 relay. This is awkward as the rest of the San Jose State team is running in lane two. Somehow the exchange is made, but Occidental benefits with a 40.8 win. But wait, we aren’t through. Max Truex doesn’t get the gun on the gun lap of the 5000. Not to worry, the officials give him one on the next lap. There is no next lap. Truex stops. “I know when I have run 5000 meters.” Unfortunately though Truex stops, the official watches don’t. He is given an estimated 14:17.

In the shot, Bill Nieder finally puts that pesky freshman, Dallas Long, in his place. Well, almost. Nieder leads at 62-3 until the last round where Long tosses a 62-5¼ winner. The two will be back at it next week. Of note is the absence of one P. O’Brien. Charlie Dumas clears 7-0 and has a close miss at 7-1½. Brazilian Olympic champ Adhemar da Silva gives American triple jumpers a lesson, winning by 2½ feet at 52-4.

New Mexico’s Dickie Howard runs 50.8 in a one turn 400IH race that is essentially a time trial: 54.6 is second. Stanford’s two mile relay team thumps USC by over three seconds as Ernie Cunliffe follows legs by Lassen, 1:52.8, Chesarek, 1:50.9, and Lundh, 1:52.4, with a strong 1:49.3 to total 7:25.4. Next week will be tougher. A very good Penn State foursome will be at the Coliseum.

Speaking of the Coliseum, here we are. It is next week already. The competition is good, but the times are not fast, the result of a grass track. The great Glenn Davis carries the day with two victories. He opens with what is advertised as a 440 dual with Purdue freshman, Dave Mills. The bear jumps on Mills back at the start of the home stretch, but here comes Mike Larabee. Davis has enough in the tank to hold him off, 46.5 to 46.6. Mal Spence of ASU is third, 46.8, and Jack Yerman of Cal is fourth at 47.2. Mills finishes, sadder but wiser, fifth in 47.4. The intermediates are even closer. Coming into the straight Josh Culbreath has a foot on the Olympic champion with Willie Atterberry in close attendance. As Davis moves past Culbreath by inches, Atterberry takes a header on the ninth hurdle. Davis edges Culbreath with both running 52.1. The grass may have made the times slower, but Atterberry has to be grateful for it as he is up and running again, finishing third in 55.8. Was Bobby Morrow’s loss to Ray Norton last week an aberration or a preview of things to come? Tonight the Olympic champion holds Norton off, 9.6 for both. The mile provides some excitement. With the field bunched at the 1320 (3:09.2), Houston’s Aussie, Barrie Almond takes the lead on the backstretch, only to have Penn State’s Ed Moran move past just before the curve. But then Jerome Walters takes over at the head of the stretch only to have Bill Dellinger prove that he who kicks last, kicks best. Dellinger wins by four yards in 4:07.5. Walters, 4:08.2, and Moran, 4:09.5, are bridesmaids. Dellinger is back in the 2 mile. But after 5½ laps of running with Max Truex, he drops out holding his side. Truex wins in 8:49.5. The 880 is the night’s most exciting race. George Kerr follows Tom Murphy through a 54.2 split before opening up five yards on the backstretch. Murphy isn’t done. He is on Kerr’s heels as they navigate the final curve. Kerr moves away again, only to have Murphy make a final drive at the tape. They cross the line shoulder to shoulder in 1:49.4 with Kerr the winner by six inches. Hal Connolly proves once again that he is the man in the hammer, throwing 217-9 to beat the field by 30 feet. Perseverance pays off for Bill Nieder as he finally beats Dallas Long, 62-6 to 60-11. Some of the joy in this accomplishment is diminished as Long has had the flu all week and is throwing in his sweats. And yes, Perry O’Brien is in the house, but not in the shot. He throws 175 in the discus to lose to Rink Babka by four feet, but beat Rafer Johnson by the same margin.

Relays, you want relays? We got ‘em. Texas, powered by Eddie Southern, takes the 440 and 880 in classic battles with San Jose State, edging the Spartans, 40.8 to 40.9 and 1:24.7 to 1:24.9. ACC is third in both. The Longhorns are looking to make it three for three in the mile relay, but come up short to Villanova. The Wildcats get Ed Collymore off to a 5 yard lead over Southern who blazes a 45.4 but misses catching Collymore’s 45.8. Villanova 3:10.4, Texas 3:10.7. And now to the much awaited matchup of Penn State and Stanford in the 2 mile relay. For whatever reason the Nittany Lions don’t run Moran and it costs them. A 58 second first lap kills any chance of a record. By the mile mark the Indians have a 12 yard lead. But here comes Dick Engelbrink! Running the fastest split of the day, he passes Don Chesarek, a quartermiler toughing it out for the team. But in the homestretch Chesarek battles back and turns the tables on Engelbrink to give Ernie Cunliffe a two yard lead. Cunliffe looks to put this away with his usual go for broke first lap only to see Chuck King pass him on the backstretch. Ernie C. follows for a lap before returning the favor and opening up a comfortable margin at the tape. Stanford (Dick Lassen, 1:55.2, Bertil Lundh, 1:51.0, John Chesarek, 1:50.9, Cunliffe, 1:50.1) 7:27.3; Penn State ( Davies, 1:55.8, Schwab, 1:51.8, Englebrink, 1:50.0, King, 1:50.7) 7:28.3. There is a photo of teammates Lundh and Lassen supporting Cunliffe as he recovers from his effort.

And now to the conference meets. On May 16 in Norman, Oklahoma the Sooners host the Big Eight meet and a jim dandy one it is too. Kansas scores 125 to win as expected. Oklahoma State surprises in second with 90, edging the home team with 74. Charley Tidwell edges Orlando Hazley by inches in a 9.4 100, anchors the winning 440 relay and then ties his collegiate record in the 220 lows around a turn in 22.9. Hazley is also having a pretty good day. He rebounds from his 100 loss to take the 220 in a meet record 20.9. Additionally he anchors the Cowboys’ second place 440 relay team before zipping the mile relay anchor in 46.5 to close out a six inch win over Kansas State and Deloss Doss who anchors the Wildcats in 46.1. Both teams clock 3:10.5. The superb vaulting of Graham, Dooley and Martin has already been covered. The 880 provides some fireworks as Nebraska’s Joe Mullins outlasts early leader Mike Peake of Colorado to win 1:49.0 to 1:49.5. The mile is a one man show. The Sooners’ Gail Hodgson goes out like a man possessed, 59.0 – 1:58.7 – 2:59.1, and puts in a penultimate 220 in 30 before pulling the plow home to a 4:06.2 clocking, good enough to break Wes Santee’s meet record. Miles Eisenman outlasts Billy Mills in the 2M, 9:04.8 to 9:06.0. Oklahoma’s Mike Lindsay and Mike Erwin place 1-2 in the shot, 57-7 and 56-10. Once again there is a Bill Toomey sighting. He places third at 22-11 in the BJ. As an aside, he is on the national list at 24-8. He is not listed in the results of any other event. What there isn’t is any mention of the ubiquitous Cliff Cushman.

The Big Ten meet is held in Ann Arbor on May 23. Illinois outdoes the hometown boys 65-45 with no other team over 19. Times are depressed by a soggy track. Willie May doubles in the hurdles, 14.3 and 22.8. George Kerr’s 1:50.1 880 establishes a new meet record. Only the winning times are listed. Field events have the placing marks. The first three broad jumpers are within 2½ inches, but you aint seen nothing yet. Wait until you read about the PCC broad jump.

Speaking of the Pacific Coast Conference, here we are in Seattle on the same day. USC takes the title with 54 points. UCLA is second with 37. This is an especially poignant meeting as it is the last one the PCC will have as it is disbanding “because the powers that be couldn’t control cheating in recruiting and other abuses in football” (something involving Reggie Bush’s grandfather). Cal’s Willie White sets the only meet record with a 23.0 in the lows, but three records are tied by Oregon athletes. Roscoe Cook sprints 9.5 and 21.0 and basketballer turned quartermiler Otis Davis blazes 46.4, besting Cal’s world class Jack Yerman who clocks 47.0. Charlie Dumas is a double winner 14.2 and 6-8¾. Now to the previously mentioned broad jump. UCLA’s Jimmy Johnson (later 49ers Hall of Fame CB) ties for first with Darryl Horn of Oregon State. John Kelley of Stanford and Luther Hayes of SC tie for third. Here’s the kicker: they are within 3/4 of an inch of each other, 24- 9¾ to 24-9! Oddly, heats are run in the 880. I can find nothing that would indicate heats in any other event. Cal’s Jerry Siebert (1:52.0) and Stanford’s Ernie Cunliffe (1:51.5) are the winners and match up in the day’s best race. “As usual, Cunliffe bolted into a big lead, this time barely hanging on for a tenth of a second over Siebert”, in 1:49.2.

We close with a couple footnotes. On May 16 in San Diego Hal Connolly breaks his own record in the hammer with a throw of 226-1 and then asks the officials to measure the ring. It is slightly egg shaped with the long dimension being too long, ergo no record. In “Late News” mention of an exhibition shot put competition in a meet in San Jose on May 23. Bill Nieder crushes the WR with a put of 64-6½. No further information is given….USC has won 85 consecutive dual meets and Herb Elliot was married on May 2…..Three things you can count on in life: death, taxes and Cliff Severn having his Adidas ad on the back page.

V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...