Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 68 October, 1959

1959 Rambler Cross Country

Sorry guys, I had to throw in this picture of a 1959 Rambler just to put things in perspective. Mitt Romney's father George was CEO of American Motors in 1959 and later a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. As you may also remember, everybody ran together in those days, the NCAA small schools and big schools were not separated. In 1948, Quentin Brelsford of Ohio Wesleyan University was individual champ. I also recall that in 78 the top finishers in division 2 and 3 could run in the Div. 1 championships on one day's rest (correct me if I'm wrong on the rest period). A runner from Wheaton College Dan Henderson placed 10th that day against Salazar, Chapa, Hunt, and others. In the 1959 race Warren Hall of Wabash College, the leader in the photo ended up 27th. Also of note were two runners from Alfred College in upstate New York finishing 23 and 37th. Billy Mills who can be seen in the middle of the picture finished 6th in 1959.

With the US season over and cross country just getting underway, this issue is devoted to the conclusion of the European season. The front page has a photo of Germany’s Carl Kaufmann who has just set the European 400 meter record of 45.8 and thus become a major contender for next year’s Olympics.

News traveled slowly in 1959. The European report carried marks made by Oct. 20, but results from other parts of the world were made in August. One page is devoted to the World Report. Nineteen year old Kunaki Watanabe becomes the Japanese and Asian record holder in the 800 and 1500 with clockings of 1:50.9 and 3:52.1. China has a world class HSJer in Tien Chao-chung who sets the national record of 51-11. The British West Indies Championship held in Georgetown, British Guiana furnishes us with more familiar names. George Kerr doubled in 1:53.6 over Tony Seth and 46.8 over the Spence twins. Non-winning times have yet to arrive. Kenya dominated the inter-territorial Championships, scoring 109 points to beat Uganda’s 60 and Tanganyika’s 5. We are still years from East African distance domination. The winning six mile time is 30:52. In the Kenyan Championships a 9:30.5 steeplechase and 1:52.3 800 are reported.
Remember Dick Bank’s criticism of the organization of the USSR-USA meet? Meet director Ken Dorherty has replied with both barrels blazing. Unfortunately, he is shooting blanks, as he fails to address some of Bank’s points. His main argument seems to be that, hey, putting on a meet of this sort is really hard. On the following page Cordner Nelson, in his column, Track Talk, takes him to task: No altimeter for the jumps, only one tape over 50’, miscounting of laps in the 10K, poor announcing, the list goes on.
Brother Bert Nelson’s column has a quote by Hal Higdon regarding Martin Lauer’s questionable 13.2 in the highs. Hal feels the IAAF should have a rule regulating the time between “set” and the gun. It seems that “Fertig” and “Bang!” are joined at the hip in European meets and that the starter for that race is notorious for pulling the trigger before the last syllable has left his mouth.
T&FNews appears to becoming a paying operation if the amount of space devoted to advertising in this issue is a measure. Cliff Severn’s Adidas ad is dwarfed by the adjacent Gill ad for the “Vaultmaster” – the red pole with the snap action that places your vaulter nearer the blue sky. (Honest. I’m not bright enough to make up stuff like this.) This is countered by Pacific Laminates “Skypole” – when inches count….use Skypole’s “power-thrust”. Dick Held has javelins for sale. Another ad touts the wisdom of giving T&FN as Christmas gifts. A weighted training jacket can be obtained from The Don Canham Co. for only $9.95. There are photos of young men, whom I assume to be students at the University of Michigan, who are running, high jumping, vaulting and broad jumping. The thing weighs ten pounds with all four weights, but you can buy additional weights to slip in the pockets. Great concept that never caught on department: You can purchase a clipboard attachment that hold the clipboard on your arm so that you have use of both hands. Even now that seems like a hell of an idea.

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