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.

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