Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vol. 1 No. 82 May, 1960

MAY 1960
The front page headline heralds George Kerr’s big day at the Big Ten championship in East Lansing. The NCAA 880 champion clocks the quickest 440 time in the US, 46.1, to run away from Willie Atterberry’s 46.9, and Dave Mills’ 47.2. Forty minutes later he dominates the 880 with an easy 1:51.6. He isn’t done yet. His 46.9 split in a driving rain brings the baton home first in the mile relay and Illinois rides his performance to an upset victory over indoor champion Michigan, 61.5 to 45. When you consider that he ran heats in both races, the great Jamaican earned his scholarship this day.
Speaking of reversals of the indoor meets, Kansas makes up for its loss to Oklahoma in February, crushing the Big Eight with 150 points in wet, chilly conditions in Ames, Iowa. Okie State, 73, and Oklahoma, 68, take second and third. Though the weather affected marks, two meet records are set. J.D. Martin vaults 15-4 to top Aubrey Dooley’s 15-0½. K-State’s Rex Stucker sets the other with a blazing 22.5 220LH time, breaking the mark of 23.0 he set in the prelims. He is also the high hurdle winner at 14.2. Charlie Tidwell of Kansas, the conference record holder in the lows on the curve at 22.7, is concentrating on the sprints this Olympic year. He wins both on this day and runs on first and second place relay teams to top scorers at 24½. Colorado’s Teddy Woods edges Cliff Cushman by a tenth in 47.7. Nebraska’s Joe Mullins turns the tables on Kansas’ indoor 880 champ, Bob Tague, also by a tenth in 1:52.7.
The West Coast Relays sees the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village take on Stanford with the prospect of a world record in the distance medley. Besse (no first name given) of Stanford opens up three yards in the quarter with a 47.5. Former Colorado runner, Mike Peake, gets it back and then some in the 880 with a 1:51.5 to Rich Klier’s 1:52.2. The 1320 is a wash with Jim Beatty and Norm Lloyd both running 2:56.0. Now it is crunch time with Lazlo Tabori and Ernie Cunliffe on the anchor.
“Cunliffe grabbed the lead on the pass and ran 56.3, 61.3 (1:57.6) and 63.2 (3:00.8). Tabori’s legs ‘twinkled’” (I am not making this up. That is the word.) “along behind Cunliffe’s heels, and when everyone expected him to fade, he flashed past on the backstretch and sped to a 58.2 last lap to finish in 3:59.5.” The 9:34.9 clocking is the fastest ever run. Even though Cunliffe “jogged in”, the Indians’ 9.40.5 also bettered the record of the So. Cal Striders (which was never mentioned).
The Coliseum Relays are run on a soft, unstable grass track which, combined with notable absences, diminish results. The big excitement is a Herb Elliot sighting. The Aussie mile record holder isn’t in top shape yet, but he manages a 55.9 last go around to record a 3:45.4 1500 and leave Lazlo Tabori a second back. In the 400 Jack Yerman is overtaken at the tape by Mike Larabee as both run 46.7. The situation is reversed in the mile relay where Yerman comes from behind to edge Earl Young and Abilene Christian with a 46.1 leg, giving Cal a 3:10.9 victory. Stanford, anchored by Ernie Cunliffe’s 1:49.0, takes the 2 mile relay in 7:29.6 holding off Occidental by five yards.
It may be easy to get The Three Tenors together, but The Four Putters? Not so much. The anticipated match up of the Dallas Long, Bill Nieder, Parry O’Brien and Dave Davis in the shot does not come about. O’Brien is ill and Nieder is injured. Davis has “quit school and disappeared”. Long says, “My shoulder never hurt once. I guess it is healed”. He wins at 63-5¼. Jay Silvester passes up the discus and throws 60-0¼ to become the newest member of the 60 foot club.
An all-comers meet in San Jose produces two American distance records. Max Truex lowers his own 5000 mark by .6 to 14:03.6. Later, make that very much later – nearly midnight - Bud Edelen, running in front of 100 spectators, becomes the first American to break 30 minutes for the 10,000, clocking 29:58.9.
Vern Wolfe at North Phoenix High produced national record holders in the pole vault (Jim Brewer), the shot put (Dallas Long) and the discus (Karl Johnstone) in successive years. The college accomplishments of the first two are well recorded, but it was felt that Johnstone was too small to make the adjustment to the college discus. Not to worry. Johnstone, a freshman at Arizona, recently obliterated the freshman record of 171-6 with a throw of 179-0½. The previous record holder was some guy named Oerter. Incidentally, Wolfe is now the freshman coach at San Jose State.
Clifford Severn still holds down his traditional 3/8 of the back page spot selling his Adidas, but the competition is coming on. Half of page 7 is devoted to an Adidas ad with retailers in New York and Lansing, Michigan. Adidas and Germany have competition from right here in the good old US of A. Spot-Bilt’s new Contour-Fit provides “the first true fit in a track shoe (with all-kangaroo uppers)” and it is “recommended by Bill Bowerman, University of Oregon Track Coach.”

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