Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 12 Some Readers' Comments

About Lee Calhoun

The final of the 110 meter hurdle in Rome:
as you will see in the clips of that final from Rome, Calhoun had the
best start, as you can read, but you can't read, that his lead leg
went hard into the first hurdle and he was lucky, that he didn't lost
momentum more than he did in that moment. Lauer also had a bad passage
of his first hurdle, he hit the hurdle with his trailing leg and never
overcome that and hit several hurdles in that race!Calhoun ran a much
better final four years before in Melbourne.It's amazing that Track &
Field News never mentioned, that Calhounnearly lost the race in Rome at
the first hurdle!


Editor's note: Leif Bugge lives in Denmark and attended the Olympic Games in Rome. He has done some major research on Bobby Morrow, Harrison Dillard, and Dick Attlesley to name a few. We will be featuring some of his work after we've completed the Rome Olympics.

From Ernie Cunliffe
Max, Cliff and I easily got into the track again. Just as I was going in, Ducky Drake yelled at me. Rafer had been warming up for the hurdles and since Ducky couldn't get out on the track he wanted me to tell Rafer " that he was sitting on top of the hurdles". This seemed like an impossible thing to do and to this day after coaching track for nearly 15 years I am still not sure what Ducky meant, but I went as close to Rafer as I could and passed on the message. I do not know if he heard me because in his race that counted, he had a poor effort & I sort of figured out that the phrase meant he was slow on top and needed to drive his lead leg down faster. What did I know I was just a middle distance runner.

Late in the competition after the javelin, the 3 of us gathered around Rafer and asked him if we could do anything for him. He said he would really like some soup, so of course since Cliff and I were done and Max had a 10,000 in a couple of days, we nominated Max to hustle over to
the cafeteria and get some soup. It was slightly more than a 400 distance or even an 800 distance so Max being a 10K guy it was an obvious choice. Cliff and I again gave Rafer a quick rub down and avoided discussing the final decathlon event as Rafer of course knew what he had to
do and we figured we wouldn't bother him with our strategy and advice. What a thrill it was to see him hang in there right behind CK Yang and win the gold with Yang the silver. It must have been a proud moment for Ducky since he coached both athletes and I never asked him what he meant when he yelled at me to tell Rafer.

Ernie's Thoughts on Max Truex and Cliff Cushman

As mentioned previously Max Truex and Cliff Cushman were my roommates in Rome.
Max was stricken with Parkinsons Disease and ultimately died in March 1991 at age 55. Many speculated that he was exposed to motorcycle fumes while running the Sao Paulo Brazil Midnight Run. After a medical retirement from LA County as an attorney, he moved to Colorado and we saw each other on several occasions. In an effort to improve his medical condition, Max and his Dr flew to China where he received 3 stem cell transplants since this was not available in the US. Initially he showed some improvement but eventually he failed more up until his death in Massachusetts. We had become close friends at Oxnard AFB for 3 years and of course knew each other when he ran at SC and I ran at Stanford.

Cliff also was in the Air Force when Max and I were. He came to Eugene Oregon and spoke to my AFROTC class in spring of 1966. As an F 105 pilot he was enroute to Viet Nam. Cliff told my class that there was a 5% chance of getting shot down while on a mission.

He missed the favorable 95% and was shot down 60 miles northeast of Hanoi on Sept 25th 1966 which happened to be my son's 4th birthday and my daughter's 1st birthday (yep same day as I always try to keep things simple) He was 28 years old.

Fred Wilt, 1948 and 1952 10,000 Olympian, was coaching at Purdue at this time and I contacted him about Cliff. We became involved with trying to find out info about Cliff as he was initially listed as MIA (Missing in Action) We contacted various Olympic Committees around the world and I even asked Dick Gregory, who came to the University of Oregon to speak, if he might inquire at the N. Vietnamese Embassy when he was in France. I figured Dick "owed me" something as I always beat his younger brother Ron who ran the 880 at Notre Dame.

I also had a Sociology Professor as a neighbor who had run track at University of Michigan. He inquired at the N. Vietnamese Embassy in Cuba when he was on an educational visit there. For a few years we held out hope for some info, but nothing developed.

Some of you might be familiar with Kathy Loper who runs the Kathy Loper Events Track Tours which travel around the world to marathons, half marathons, and shorter races, in such places as Angkor Wat Cambodia, Mt Kilimanjaro, Great Wall of China , Victoria Falls, Solar Eclipse in Australia, Galapagos Islands & of course several races in her home town of San Diego. WHEW, but disclosure, no fee was given me for mentioning Kathy and her travel company!. Kathy is Cliffs cousin. I used to coach her in Texas in the early 70s and she got down to a 2:57:30 marathon. I see her each summer when she comes to Colorado. She last told me in July that nothing new was known. No body was every recovered so DNA is of no use at the moment.

Cliff's wife Carolyn finally requested that the Air Force change his status from MIA to KIA (killed in action) in November of 1975. She later remarried and lives in Fargo, North Dakota and I believe she and her husband have two children and Carolyn and Cliff's son Colin who I believe is around 47 years old now.

So the 3 from Rome have dwindled to just myself (will be 75 Labor Day weekend) and I honestly have to say that two better guys never lived and I treasured our friendships.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 11 Day 6 Rome Olympics



In the morning fifteen jumpers make the 16 meter (51-10) mark necessary to qualify for the afternoon finals. The only American is Ira Davis. World record holder Jozef Schmidt of Poland settles the gold medal issue on his first jump, breaking the sand at 55-0 3/4. In the second round Davis betters his US record with a leap of 53-10 to move into second. The third round sees Schmidt improve to 55-1 3/4. Vladimir Goryayev of the USSR takes over second place on the fourth round. The leaders don’t improve in the fifth round, but on his last jump of the day, Vitold Kreyer of the Soviet Union steals the bronze medal from Davis by an inch with a 53-11 effort. Defending champion Adhemar Ferreira da Silva, a ghost of his former self, can manage on 49-5 1/4 in finishing 14th.
The first round of throwers has finished and the second series is warming up when defending champion Al Oerter sets the stadium abuzz. Throwing easily, he bests the world record with a throw of 196-6 1/2. As it is a warm up, it doesn’t count, but the message has been sent. The others better bring their “A” game, because Big Al is ready. He then throws a legal 191-8 to become the only one today to break 180 feet. The other Americans, Rink Babka and Dick Cochran, make sure they qualify for tomorrow’s finals with conservative tosses of 178-8 and 176-5.
Carl Kaufmann has drawn the inside, lane two. Going out, we have Americans Earl Young and Otis Davis, South African Mal Spence, Milkha Singh of India and Manfred Kinder of Germany. Yesterday Kaufmann and Davis were the semifinal winners with Davis establishing the Olympic record of 45.5. The battle for gold appears to be between them.
Spence makes sure no one is loafing. He hits the 200 meter mark in 21.2. Singh, Davis and Kaufmann are clocked in a more judicious 21.8. Young and Kinder trail. Things get interesting in the next 100 meters. Davis and Young make their moves in the middle of the curve and Davis takes a commanding lead into the straight, clocking 32.6 at 300. Young and Spence are second and third with Kaufmann fourth at 33.3 and Singh fifth at 33.4. Have the Americans moved too soon? Well, yes and no. Young fades and finishes last, being nipped at the tape by Kinder. Davis is strong in the straightaway, but Kaufmann is even stronger. He gains all the way to the tape. Had the race been 405 meters, the German might have been the winner. The photo shows Davis looking to his left at Kaufmann who is making a valiant lean. Davis is the winner by the slimmest of margins, .02 of a second.

The track world is stunned by the time, 44.9 for both, breaking Lou Jones’ altitude aided 45.2 in Mexico City, a full half a second faster than anyone has run near sea level. Spence holds off Singh for the bronze, 45.5 to 45.6 with Kinder and Young at 45.9. Davis says, “I started my kick a long ways from home, farther than I ever have. And it’s a good thing I did. That Kaufmann was really coming fast at the end.” The chances are good that they will see each other again. Both are scheduled to anchor their 4x4 teams two days hence.
There are two questions as the nine runners toe the starting line: Is this the Herb Elliott of 1958? And if so, who will get the silver medal? He hasn’t raced seriously in two years, yet looked awfully good in dominating his qualifying semifinal three days ago. He says he has been running faster workouts than ever. We are about to find out.
Americans Jim Grelle and Dyrol Burleson are in the field but are long shots for a medal.
Though Elliott has drawn the inside lane, he has no interest in taking the lead. He falls in behind Michel Bernard of France, Dan Waern of Sweden and Romania’s Zoltan Vamos on the first turn. By the 400, reached in 58.2, he has slipped back another place behind Norway’s Arne Hamarsland and is shoulder to shoulder with Frenchman Michel Jazy. He is content to remain in the middle of the pack for another lap. The 800 is reached in 1:57.8. A fast final time is assured.
This is where Elliott decides to see what he and everyone else has in the tank. He throws down a 13.4 100. Surprisingly, no gap opens.
Elliot Taking Command

The next three 100s go off in 14.2, 14.6 and 14.0 for a 56.2 third 400 and now the field loosens considerably. Istvan Rozsavolgyi of Hungary is bravely hanging on three meters back with Jazy two meters behind him and Vamos another three back. Now it is not a question of who will win, but by how much. The gap widens throughout the final 300 (Elliott’s 100 splits: 13.6, 13.6 and 14.2). The 22 year old Australian hits the tape in 3:35.6, breaking his WR of two years ago. Jazy finishes strongly for the silver, yet is 20 meters behind in 3:38.4. Rozsavolgyi’s 3:39.2 earns the bronze. The next three finishers, Waern, 3:40.0, Vamos, 3:40.8, and Burleson, 3:40.9, all better Ron Delany’s Olympic record of 3:41.4. Bernard just misses at 3:41.5. Grelle edges Hamarsland for eighth, 3:45.0 for both.
“Asked later if the pace suited him, Elliott swigged Italian beer and answered, ‘I won the race. I’d say everything suited me. Cerrutty wanted a faster pace but if it had been any faster I could hardly have finished.’” His last 400 was 55.6. His final 800 was 1:52.8.

A great series of photos of Herb Elliot were taken by Leonard Mccombe for Life Magazine.
This was an invitational mile with Ron Delaney and Laszlo Tabori. Can anyone name the two rabbits? I can almost guarantee no one reading this has ever seen this pictures unless you are an internet junkie, track nut.
You can get to the site through the address below. There are perhaps 30 photos from a meet in California (Compton? Bakersfield?) California readers help me with this.

Yesterday’s competition ended well after 10:30. Now it is 9 AM and the decathletes are rubbing sleep from their eyes. It is clear that the battle for the gold is between UCLA training partners Rafer Johnson and CK Yang. Johnson holds a 55 point lead as the sun rises. Barring a major calamity, the rest of the field is battling for the bronze medal. Over 500 points behind Yang, Germany’s Klaus Grogorenz, Finland’s Seppo Suutari and Russia’s Vasiliy Kuznyetsov are positioned within 78 points.

Conditions are less than perfect. Competitors have less than five hours sleep and there is a headwind (not mentioned). There will be no PRs today. Indeed, the performances are dismal. Johnson, whose best is 13.8, hits the second hurdle hard and struggles to a 15.3 in the first heat. The door has been opened for Yang, a 13.9 hurdler. An insurmountable lead is possible. Yet the Formosan had the same five hours of sleep and is running into a similar headwind. He gives it his best, producing the day’s quickest run, 14.6, not as good as he wanted, but sufficient to take a 128 point advantage.

The importance of jumping on Rafer when he was down in the hurdles is clear in the discus. Johnson, a much larger, more powerful man, is far superior in the discus. He can’t reach his normal 170 range, but his 159-1 third throw is enough to regain the lead. This is not a good event for Yang and today he doesn’t throw as well as usual. His 130-8 leaves him 146 points back
There is a strong chance that the lead may change again after this event. Yang’s PR is more than a foot better than Johnson’s. The vaulting begins at 2:30. Johnson has a come through effort, soaring 13-5 1/2, his lifetime best. Yang clears 14-1 1/4 to come within 24 points of the lead. Now he has a decision to make. Does he have the energy to continue moving up in increments or should he go for broke? He decides on the latter. The bar is set at 14-9. The next event is the javelin where both are good, but Johnson a little better. The final event is the 1500 where Yang is the superior runner. Clear 14-9 and if the final events go as expected, Yang will win. Three attempts and no clearance later he still trails by 24 points.
The Seefab javelin being used in the games has produced shorter throws. Neither competitor can expect to match his personal best. Johnson has thrown over 250 feet. Yang has bettered 233. Johnson throws 228-10 1/2 on his first effort, a mark Yang will have difficulty matching. On his second attempt he gets off a throw of 223-9 1/2. Neither improves on successive throws and Yang’s miss at 14-9 is magnified. The margin is now 67 points.

The crowd is silent at 9:20 as the two line up for the last heat of the 1500. The gold and the silver are about to be decided. Yang must beat Johnson by ten seconds. As Yang’s best is 4:36.9 and Johnson’s 4:54.2, this seems possible. Two days of competition have come down to “I have to break away” and “I have to stick close”.
Splits are not given. Fritz Vogelsang of Switzerland breaks away from the pack, but the rest of the field is together. Johnson stays with Yang until the last lap. Kuznyetsov opens up and Yang tries to follow. The effort is there, but not the energy. He can’t get away from Johnson. As they come down the final straight, it is obvious that Johnson has won. Yang finishes ahead, but the margin is only 4:48.5 to 4:49.7. Yang has gained only nine points. Johnson is the gold medalist.
Final scores for the top six: Johnson 8392, Yang 8334, Kuznyetsov 7809, Yuriy Kutyenkyo (USSR) 7567, Evert Kamerbeek (Netherlands) 7236 and Franco Sar (Italy) 7195.

Johnson is mobbed by well wishers in the locker room while Yang, who beat Johnson in seven of the ten events, sits on a bench and cries. He finally manages to go over to Johnson and say, “Nice going, Rafe”.
Johnson says, “Victory obliterates fatigue. Phil Mulkey helped me with good words in the most difficult moments. I never want to go through that again – never. This is my last one and you can print that.”
“There was nothing I could do”, says Yang. “Rafer was the better man. Near the end I had little or nothing left.” He also says that had decided to give up the decathlon after Rome but now he has changed his mind. “I am going to train all next year and I think if I train very hard I can run up over 9000 points in the next AAU meet. I should have done better in the pole vault. I keep thinking that if I had only done better in the pole vault, I might have ht gold medal right now.”

As the stadium lights are dimming, we look forward to tomorrow when there will be finals in the javelin, pole vault and the discus and prelims in both relays. See you then.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 10 Day 5 Rome Olympics



1960 Olympics – Day Five – September 5
After a day off, the competition continues today with a light schedule, just the semis in the 400, semis and finals in the hurdles and the first day of the decathlon.


Two heats qualify three for this afternoon’s final. These races go pretty much according to script. Willie May is looking oh so good. He runs away from Hayes Jones and Keith Gardner of the British West Indies and Nebraska to win easily 13.7 to 14.1 and 14.2. All eyes are on the second semi as it matches the world record holders, Martin Lauer of Germany and defending Olympic champion Lee Calhoun of the United States. The anticipation is unwarranted. Calhoun dusts Lauer 13.7 to 14.0. The only surprise is that Russian Anatoliy Mikhailov, who ran 13.9 Friday, starts collecting knocked over hurdles and doesn’t finish. Taking his place in the final will be teammate Valentin Chistiakov who runs 14.3. This afternoon these six qualifiers will set their blocks and have a go for all the marbles.
There are two races qualifying three for the final tomorrow. Otis Davis is looking good, very good. He floats the first half, turns on the heat in the middle of the curve, passes early leader Robbie Brightwell of England at the top of the straight and finishes strongly in an Olympic record of 45.5. India’s Milkha Singh catches Brightwell in the middle of the straight and takes second in 45.9. The Englishman gives it his all, but Germany’s Manfred Kinder nips him at the tape, 46.0 to 46.1. Kinder will run tomorrow. Brightwell will watch.
Qualifiers in the second race do so with some margin. Germany’s Karl Kaufmann has looks like a solid contender for gold through the first two rounds. Today’s race only cements that notion. He and Mal Spence of South Africa are out fast and hit the straight together. Kaufmann wins in 45.7 with Spence a tenth back. Earl Young of the US runs 46.1 to make it to the final by half a second over Nigeria’s Abdu Amu.
Just a note for you keeping score at home, there are two Mal Spences, this one from South Africa and the one from the British West Indies who was eliminated Saturday. What are the odds of two world class athletes with the same name being in the same event? To further confuse the issue, the BWI Mal is the identical twin of Mel. They go to school at Arizona State. sorry , I couldn't find a picture of South Africa Mal

The luck of the draw places May and Calhoun next to each other in the first two lanes. Lauer is to Calhoun’s right. Then come Gardner and Christiakov and finally, banished to the outside away from the main competition, Jones. One very good hurdler is going home without a medal.
The Olympic champion relies on his start and today it doesn’t let him down. At the first hurdle he has two feet on May. From that point May plays catch up, gradually whittling the margin down to a foot at the last barrier. May has better speed than Calhoun and now it is a sprint for the finish. May catches Calhoun in the last stride and they lean for the tape. There is a photo on page 14. May’s lean is textbook.

If you were teaching the lean, you would point to May’s finish and say, “Do that”. It is an A+ lean. Unfortunately for Willie, the defending champ is the one man with a better dip. It is so low that his head hits the tape. Of course it is the torso that determines the outcome and it is impossible for a winner to be determined without looking at the photo. The two great hurdlers wait, their places in history to be determined by what the judges decide. Five minutes pass before a judge walks up to Calhoun and says, “It’s you.” Lee Calhoun has his second Olympic gold medal. The time for both, 13.8, doesn’t matter.
Lee Calhoun comin' at ya

The fight for third is just as tight. Lauer bangs the second, fourth and fifth hurdle, but manages to catch Jones at the tape, 14.0 for both. Another photo must be examined before Jones is declared the bronze medalist. A share of the world record means nothing to the German now. He will go home without a medal.
Editor's Note* Lauer won't go home unrewarded, see 4x100 later) Of note, Lauer's career ended here due to an injury that included an abscess in his foot during the games. He went on to become a recording artist in the German country and western market selling over 9 million albums. See youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npgarKBVqGY He could have titled one of his songs, Ain't No Cowboys on the Berlin Wall. But he didn't

Lauer Today
The Last Rose on the Prairie

This if for you Track Trivia Buffs

Gardner and Christiakov are well back in 14.4 and 14.6. The relatively slow times are not caused by an oppositional wind. The anemometer reads .002 meters a second.
With the shot put and the intermediates in the book, this is the third US medal sweep of the Rome Olympics.

Johnson and Yang at UCLA with Coach Ducky Drake
The Taiwanese and Yang ran for "Formosa" at Rome, but the team stated it was under protest.

Vasily Kuznetsov USSR

“The world’s best athlete” will be determined today and tomorrow. It will be a contest among former world record holder, Vasiliy Kuznyetsov of the Soviet Union and the men who broke his record, training partners C.K. Yang of Formosa and the current record holder, America’s Rafer Johnson. This will be the medal club. Outsiders need not apply.
100 Meters: With the big three running in separate heats, Yang takes an early lead, running 10.7 for 948 points. Johnson’s 10.9 earns him 948. Kuznetsov gains 870 for his 11.1
Broad Jump: Yang adds to his lead with a 24-5 3/4 effort. With his first two jumps of 23-7 and 22-10, Johnson stays close at 24-1 1/4. For all practical purposes Kuznetsov eliminates himself from gold medal consideration by managing only 22-10. Yang 1984, Johnson 1854, Grogorenz (Germany) 1754, Kamerbeek (Netherlands) 1656, Kuznetsov 1643.

Shot Put: This is where Johnson has hoped to take the lead and indeed he does. The Melbourne silver medalist puts 51-10 3/4 while Yang can do only 43-8 3/4. This changes a 130 point deficit to a 143 point lead for the American. Kuznetsov moves to fourth with a 47-5, but now trails by 370 points. Johnson 2830, Yang 2687, Suutari (Finland) 2509, Kuznetsov 2460.
High Jump: The 100 meters started at 9:00. It is now 4:30. At 5:45, with the bar still only at 5-6, the heavens open up and a cloudburst drenches the stadium until 7:05. The high jump area is flooded but quickly drains. Whatever fleeting hopes of a world record that may have existed are crushed. As this is one of Yang’s best events, he had hoped to regain the lead, but he can only do 6-2 3/4. Johnson’s 6-0 3/4 lessens the damage and keeps him ahead by 75 points. Kuznetsov can only marshal 5-8 3/4 and even the bronze medal may be out of reach as he is fifth and now trails third placer Suutari by 144 points.
400 Meters: The rain has delayed this event to the degree that when the competitors might have been enjoying a glass of wine with their pasta, they are now lining up to run once around the track. Heats are being run as soon as the competitors have finished with the high jump. The track has drained well enough for Grogorenz to run 48.0. It is now a cold and damp 10:30 when Johnson and teammate Phil Mulkey have finished the high jump. Hal Bateman writes, “They decided they need a rubdown before running, so 800 man Ernie Cunliffe and hurdler Cliff Cushman gave them one.” Makes one wonder whether there are trainers available. Johnson is out early, but Yang catches him on the curve and holds a five meter advantage into the straight. Johnson makes up all but two of that and they finish in 48.1 and 48.3 At the end of the day the point totals read Johnson 4647, Yang 4592, Gregorenz 4077, Suutari 4031 and Kuznetsov 3999. Enjoy your evening, fellas. See you at 9 AM tomorrow.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 9 Day 4 Rome Olympics

1960 Olympics – Day Four – Sept. 3

On the docket today are three finals, the hammer throw, steeplechase and semis and final of the 200. We also have the first round of the 1500 and the first and second rounds of the 400 and high hurdles.


Our sprinters have always been the gold standard in this event, but after a poor showing in the 100, there has to be serious concern. The first race gives further cause for worry. France’s Abdou Seye wins in 20.8 over Poland’s Marian Foik (21.0) and Les Carney (21.1). The US’s chances in the second semi appear better. Stone Johnson and Ray Norton share the world record of 20.5. After the race there is one more member of the world record club. Italy’s Livio Berruti delights his countrymen by leaving the Americans in his wake with his own 20.5. Johnson (20.7) and Norton (20.8) must be having serious doubts at this point.

Marian Foik


Three heats with three qualifying for the final on Tuesday, Sept 6. Herb Elliott has not competed heavily the last couple years, but the first race shows he is more than ready. His 3:41.4 is only two tenths off Ron Delany’s Olympic record. Hungary’s Istvan Rozsavolgyi (3:42.0) and Dyrol Burleson (3:42.2) will run again in three days. Michel Bernard, last seen yesterday in the 5000 final, seems no worse for wear as he takes the second heat in 3:42.2. Jim Grelle (3:43.5) and Norway’s Arne Hamarsland (3:45.0) qualify as well. Sweden’s Dan Waern demonstrates medal potential with a 53.8 last lap in winning the third heat in 3:43.9 over Michel Jazy of France (3:44.9) and Zoltan Vamos of Rumania (3:44.9).


The malady that is troubling our sprinters does not extend to our 400 guys. The morning round has nine heats with three qualifying. Jack Yerman is up first in heat six. He coasts to a 47.2 win. In the next race Earl Young matches the 47.6 of Mal Spence of the British West Indies, qualifying easily in second. The last race of the morning sees Otis Davis winning by five meters in 46.8.

The afternoon round has four races with three qualifying. After Germany’s Karl Kaufmann takes the first race in 46.5, each succeeding race is faster. Yerman, Young and Davis all win with 46.4, 46.1 and 45.9 clockings. Tomorrow will be an off day. The semifinals will be Monday and the finals Tuesday.


Any way you slice it, this is a competition among Germany’s Martin Lauer and the three Americans, Lee Calhoun, Hayes Jones and Willie May. Today provides no reason to think otherwise. The morning sees six heats with four qualifying. The four big guns win easily. Other winners are Keith Gardner of the British West Indies and Russia’s Anatoliy Mikhailov. No one breaks 14.0

Times are a bit faster in the afternoon where four races qualify three for Monday’s semifinals. The big four each win with May’s 13.8 being the fastest time.
Calhoun and May at Olympic Trials, Stanford

Hayes Jones, again, wait til Tokyo , Dudes.

Hayes Jones today.

Martin Lauer eventual gold in 4x100 1960


The prelims were held yesterday. Those throwing 60 meters qualified for today’s final. This has long promised to be a good event for the US. Hal Connolly is the world record holder and defending champion. Al Hall finished fourth at Melbourne. Unfortunately, neither throws well enough to make the cut at the end of three rounds. Connolly throws on 208-7 1/2 for eighth and Hall can only manage 196-0 1/2 for 14th. Roberto Quercetani writes, “Hall said afterwards both he and Connolly just did not have the strength for some reason”.

Hal at Melbourne. What a difference 4 years makes.

Harold and Olga

Harold Today
The gold is settled early when the USSR’s Vasiliy Rudenkov pops a 220-1 1/2, four feet ahead of Hungary’s Gyula Zsivotsky who takes the silver with a 215-10 effort. Third goes to yet another European, Tadeusz Rut of Poland, at 215-4.

Tadeuz Rut, Poland Bronze a Tab Hunter stand in?

Indeed the first seven finishers are European. The only solace the US can take from this competition is the come through performance of Ireland’s John Lawlor, a former student at Boston University. His 213-1 gives him fourth place.


Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak of Poland had a decision to make. Heats and finals in the 5000 and steeplechase overlap making this double too risky. Should he choose to run the 5000, he would be a strong gold medal contender. On the other hand, he is the world record holder and a prohibitive favorite in the steeple. He decides to run the latter.

The field of nine includes three Russians and two Germans. The only US entry is Deacon Jones. As they toe the line the temperature is 86 degrees, a factor that must be taken into consideration.

Gaston Roelants wait til Tokyo, mes amis!

Charles Deacon Jones

It is obvious that the Russians have a plan to take the sting out of Krzys’ kick. Alexey Konov has been chosen as the sacrificial lamb. He takes the field through the first kilometer in 2:45.0 (8:15 pace). Obviously this can’t last. It doesn’t. Teammate Nikolay Sokolov, the man who finished only two seconds behind Krzys in his WR race, takes over the heavy lifting in the second kilo, but the pace has slowed to three minutes and the 2000 is reached in 5:45.8. When Sololov takes the lead, Krzys moves to third behind Belgium’s Gaston Roelants, just ahead of Russian Semyon Rzhishchin. It is just a question of time until Krzys makes his move. By the last lap the heat has taken its toll and the field has strung out considerably behind the leaders. On the backstretch the world record holder goes to the gear the others lack and, boom, it is over just like that. Sokolov is the only one to respond but it is apparent that he is running for the silver medal. Krzys hits the tape in 8:34.2, an amazing time considering the heat, only three seconds off his WR. Soklov, consistent with the two second rule, runs 8:36.4. Rzhishchin takes the bronze at 8:42.2, ahead of Roelants (8:47.6). Charlie Jones, fifth and still in contention at the 2000, fades in the heat and finishes seventh in 9:18.2.
Krzyszkowiak Gold Medal


The crowd has been waiting for this race. The stands are alive with expectation. An Italian has a chance to win gold. The last time an Italian won gold on the track was 1920 when Ugo Frigerio won the 3000 meter and 10,000 meter walks. Forty years is a long wait.

The lane one won’t be used. Foik is inside in two. Going out, it is Seye, Johnson, Berruti, Norton and Carney. Both Berruti and Johnson jump on the first try, but neither is charged with a false start. Finally, after what seems like an agonizingly long time, they are off. Berruti is a great turn runner and he proves it by leading Norton into the stretch. This is the best part of Norton’s race yet he has nothing left and falls back to finish last. Carney, third off the turn, gains a little on the Italian, but the issue is never in doubt. Berruti runs 20.5 to tie the world record for the second time today. Carney’s strong finish earns the silver at 20.6, a tick ahead of the Frenchman, Seye. Foik garners fourth in 20.8, the same time as Johnson. Norton’s 20.9 would be laudable most days, but not this one. Berruti is the first non English speaker to win the modern Olympic 200. Likely he is also the first 200 winner to wear sunglasses during the race. It would be safe to say that Livio does not have to pay for dinner or drinks this evening or maybe ever again. Rome is in a celebratory mood Saturday night. The Italians have their champion.



to the victors, the spoils

Tomorrow is an off day. Monday will see the semis in the 400, semis and final in the high hurdles and the start of the much anticipated decathlon.

Editor's note: Stone Johnson RIP I'm sure many of you remember that in 1963 Stone Johnson lost his life in an NFL preseason contest for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Raiders. The injury was August 30, 1963 and he died ten days later of a broken neck and paralysis on September 8. The game was in Wichita, Kansas. Although Stone never officially played in an NFL game his number 33 was retired by Lamar Hunt the team owner.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 8 Reader comments on Day 3 and a rare picture

Reader Responses to Day 3
"I mentioned that I could not find a picture of Dick Howard, bronze medallist in the 400 Hurdles. Pete Brown immediately sent in this great copy of Howard and Glenn Davis after the race. I'm struck by the similarities in their body structures. I did find one picture on a photo site of Howard, Davis and Cliff Cushman on the podium, but could not download it. Ernie Cunliffe has added some more of his great insights to the Olympics. There is repeated reference to a number of Americans having some form of runny tummy during the Games. In the book Rome 1960, there is an explanation. Apparently many of the US athletes were requesting that ice be served with their drinks in the Olympic Village. This custom of ice in soft drinks is very American, not a European custom. The Italian cooks in the Village responded by bringing in blocks of ice to the kitchen, placing them directly on the floor and chipping off pieces for the Yanks. More than likely a lot of the ice that went into the drinks, came off the floor in the process, thus contributing to the rash of illnesses." George Brose

"Howard signed this photo to me after the OG. It was obviously taken right after the final. Howard was totally exhausted and in his defense, I’ll point out it is not an easy race to run from lane 1." Pete Brown

And a second photo from Pete Brown showing all three American finishers, Davis, Cushman and Howard

Notes from Ernie Cunliffe

(George. The picture that asks semi finals ? is not the semi. It is heat 4 of the 2nd round. Why? Because there are 7 runners in the race and the semis only had 6 in each. Moens won in 1:48.5; Snell 1:48.6; Jorg Balke 1:48.8 qualified; 4th was Rodolf Klabon 1:50.2; 5th Tom Farrell (GB) 1:50.7; 6th Ergas Leps 1:52.0 and the tall dark hair runner from Turkey was last in 1:52.5, Ekrem Kocak)

3rd Day. My birthday buddy Matuschewski never got going and my 1959 European buddy Moens had the race won, looked the wrong way to his right and then desperately tried to figure out who was passing him on the inside. I warmed down on the practice track with Roger and we talked briefly because he was so disappointed and knew it was his last chance for gold.

Security at the Games was virtually non existant. I merely wore my USA sweats and got in the stadium and watched the 5,000 and marveled at the bold move by Halberg who was thoroughly spent after the race after his brave move when he surged. The 800 final was probably the lst big final I had seen from the stands and watching Waegli run my race tactics demonstrated that the kickers will usually win every time as he faded to 5th, but with an excellent time of 1:48.1 We would tangle in a race after the Games but at 1500 meters rather than 800.

My roommates were Max Truex and Cliff Cushman. Cliff had his medal, I was a failure, and Max had the 10.000 coming up. Since I was done, I borrowed Max's USA sweats and his 5' 5" were a little short for my fiancee Lois to wear since she was just under 5' 8". No problems. I
went outside the Olympic Village, handed her Max's sweats and she put them on and we both walked into the Village. We ate at the cafeteria which no doubt was the cause of Cliff and my tourista and perhaps Siebert's too, but Lois escaped any illness from the food.

I did have the fortune of seeing Cassius Clay fight in one of the early boxing rounds which he won handily. His speed both with the gloves and his footwork were magnificent as he cruised through to the gold in the light heavyweight category. After he won, he was seen a little worse for wear in the O Village after alot of celebrating, but I missed that.

Outside the O Village I had a chance to see the opera Aida in the outdoor Baths of Caracalla complete with an elephant in the Grand March. This elephant was by far the biggest thing I had ever seen in an opera until of course later when I saw Luciano Pavarotti on stage.

I'll wind up my Olympic thoughts once Roy gets to the 10,000 and Rafer's decathlon where Max, Cliff and I easily got out on the track and took up residence in the pole vault pit.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 7 1960 Rome Day 3 September 2

There are four finals today: the 400H, 800, 5000 and the broad jump. In addition there are the first two rounds of the 200 meters.


In the first round there are 12 heats with the first two and the three fastest thirds qualifying. No one of consequence is eliminated. Les Carney wins the second heat in 21.1, Stone Johnson takes the third in 21.7 and Ray Norton is the winner of the sixth heat in 21.2.

The second round has four heats with the top three moving on. Stone Johnson wins the first in 20.9. Abdou Seye of France takes the measure of Ray Norton in an eased up 20.8 to Norton's 21.0. Carney wins the third heat in 20.9 and Italian Livio Berruti looks good winning the last races in 20.8. Tomorrow will see the semifinals and the final.


With the exception of the shot put, the 400 hurdles is the United States' best event. Yesterday Glenn Davis won his heat and Cliff Cushman and Dick Howard went 1-2 in theirs. Howard is in lane one for the final. He is feeling less than confident. Lane two belongs to Germany's Helmut Janz, a 50.6 performer this year. Switzerland's Bruno Galliker is in three. His 51.0 in the first round is a lifetime best. Lane four belongs to Jussi Rintamaki of Finland who produced his 51.1 PR yesterday behind Davis. Cliff Cushman is in five. Though he won his heat yesterday, he has been sick all week. On the outside in lane six is the defending champion and Olympic record holder, Glenn Davis.

The Americans run unevenly. Davis is out fast, leading over the first hurdle, but overstriding and missing his step on the second and losing the lead to Howard who is out too fast. Cushman seems under control, striding 13 steps for seven hurdles. Howard leads down the backstretch and around the curve. But Davis has regained his stride by the sixth hurdle and here he comes. Janz is running extremely well in second as the field makes the run for home. Davis reels him in on the ninth hurdle and catches a fatigued Howard on the tenth to claim the victory. Cushman says “I felt stronger in the stretch than ever”, and he shows it on the run in. Three yards down to Janz at the top of the straight, he catches the German with 30 meters to go and passes Howard with 10 left. Janz makes a valiant effort to catch Howard, but comes up short. The medals go to Davis 49.3, Cushman 49.6, and Howard 49.7. Though not medaling, Janz has become the first European to break 50 with his 49.9. Rintamaki's 50.8 is his PR and Galliker's 51.0 is equal to the best he has run. Davis opines, “This is a greater thrill than winning at Melbourne. The best thing was my time.” Indeed, it is an Olympic record. (editor's note, I have been unable to find or purloin a good photo of this race with all three Americans)

New Zealand's Finest Olympic Moment


There is no clear favorite as the field toes the starting line. Murray Halberg of New Zealand, Kazimierz Zimny of Poland, Australians Dave Power and Albie Thomas, Hans Grodotzki and Friedrich Jahke of Germany, and Sando Iharos of Hungary have to be considered the first group. A long shot is the first African distance runner of note, Kenya's surprising Maiyoro Nyandika.

With Zimny in the lead most of the way, the field stays bunched for the first seven laps with Grodotzki and Halberg bringing up the rear. Grodotzki moves up to second at this point, bringing Halberg with him. With four laps to go, Power picks up the pace. He doesn't open any ground, but now the field is lengthening out. Half a lap later Halberg makes a move that startles then excites the crowd. A gap has opened....3 meters....5 meters and by the time the tenth lap is three quarters gone the New Zealander has 12 meters on the field. Grodotzki sees the gold slipping away and responds, but is not willing to gamble at the pace Halberg is flying. Halberg has run his tenth lap in 61.1 and now has 20 meters on the German who has another 12 on the field. Surely Halberg has moved too soon. No one can hold this pace for another 1000 meters. Indeed this is true. Halberg grinds out a 64.1 on the 11th lap, but it is enough to hold his advantage. Six hundred to go now and the lead is beginning to evaporate. At the bell he still holds 15 meters, but the gap is closing. With 200 left, Halberg is struggling, but so is Grodotzki. Now the threat is Zimny and Janke. Once they were 40 meters back. Now they are coming on strong. Halberg has 10 meters at the top of the homestretch. The field is coming, but so is the finish tape. Halberg wins by 8 meters in 13:43.4, an Olympic record. Grodotzki holds on for second, barely, over a hard charging Zimny 13:44.6 to 13:44.8. Janke is fourth two more seconds back. Power outsprints Nyandika for fifth, 13:51.8 to 13:52.8, the latter an African record.

Halberg's move which stole the race was based on his fear of the finishing kick of Grodotzki, Thomas and Iharos, all sub four minute milers or the metric equivalent. Kiwi courage wins the day.

Sir Murray Today


The field will run the first turn in lanes before breaking for the pole. Inside out it is Manfred Matuschewski of Germany, world record holder Roger Moens of Belgium, Switzerland's Christian Waegli, George Kerr of the West Indies – a co-favorite along with Moens, Paul Schmidt of Germany and the surprising Peter Snell of New Zealand.

Waegli, described by Bert Nelson as “the Ernie Cunliffe of Europe”, takes the field out hard, splitting 25.4 and 51.9, followed closely by Schmidt, Kerr, Moens and Snell. Matuschewski is out of it from early on. On the backstretch Moens tries to move past Snell, but the youngster holds him off. The 600 is reached in 1:19.1 with the field tightly bunched. Waegli leads into the homestretch, but he is about to get a good look at the rest of the field. Moens shoots into the lead, but doesn't appear all out. He looks around three times and sees he has Kerr and the others beaten. At least that was his apparent summation of the situation. Snell, who was boxed on the curve, has waited “for that gap that always opens”. Now he charges up on the inside. Moens sees him but it is too late. Though he was leading with 25 meters to go, Moens can't hold off Snell's challenge. The 21 year old New Zealander is the surprise winner in 1:46.3, two tenths ahead of Moens. Kerr takes the silver in 1:47.1. Schmidt, Waegli and Matuschewski run 1:47.6, 1:48.1 and 1:52.0. Moens says, “Don't tell me that a silver medal is something. Today it is as if I had finished last”. Bert Nelson writes that Moens was.......“Snell-shocked”.
Heat 4 Round 2 Why? Because there are 7 runners in the race
and the semis only had 6 in each. Moens won in 1:48.5; Snell 1:48.6; Jorg Balke 1:48.8 qualified; 4th was Rodolf Klabon 1:50.2; 5th Tom Farrell (GB)
1:50.7; 6th Ergas Leps 1:52.0 and the tall dark hair runner from Turkey was last in 1:52.5, Ekrem Kocak)

Snell's pre-Olympic best was 1:49.2, although he had beaten Herb Elliott in March in 1:51.3 with a sub 51 final lap. He is here to gain experience for the Tokyo 1500 in four years. Snell and Halberg win Olympic gold on the same day. They are dancing in the streets in New Zealand.

Below is youtube link to film of the 800 finish



If you make the V for victory sign by raising your forefinger and middle finger, your fingernails will be 4 5/8 inches apart. That is the distance that separates the gold medal winner from fourth place in the most dramatic of this Olympics' field events.

The morning's trials find inconsistent youngster Anthony Watson jumping 24-0¼ and coming up 4 inches short of qualifying. Fourteen qualify for the afternoon finals.

World record holder Ralph Boston jumps second in the finals. He takes the lead at 25-7¾, but then is surpassed by Russia's Igor Ter-Ovanesyan who sails 25-11. The next jumper is Dr. Manfred Steinbach of Germany who has a windy 26-8½ to his credit this year. He makes a 25-7½ opening statement. Bo Roberson fouls. No one else reaches 25 feet in the first round.

Things begin to take shape in the second round. Boston and Steinbach foul and Ter-Ovanesyan doesn't improve, but Roberson throws out a challenge, 26-4 1/8, nearly a foot better than his previous best this year. The time has come for the competition to either fish or cut bait.

Boston, fully realizing that a world record doesn't mean squat if you can perform under pressure, readies himself. He sprints down the runway and hits the board perfectly. The gasp from the crowd tells the story. The young American has responded with an Olympic record 26-7 5/8, erasing the last record of Jesse Owens. Roberson does not improve and Ter-Ovanesyan and Steinbach foul. With three rounds in the books, the field is pared to the top six including Melbourne Olympic bronze medalist, Jorma Valkama of Finland and Christian Collardot of France, both with marks of 25-2. In 18 jumps the event will be over.

The fourth round passes with Steinbach and Ter-Ovanesyan fouling and the Americans not reaching 26 feet. The fifth round gives no indication of what is about to happen. Boston and Steinbach foul while Ter-Ovanesyan at 25-2 and Roberson at 25-0 look finished.

At this point Boston leads at 26-7 5/8, followed by Roberson, 26-4 1/8, Ter-Ovanesyan, 25-11, and Steinbach, 25-7½. The final round is about to be one for the ages.

Boston is up first. He leaps 26-1 3/8 and now must wait. He can no longer determine his fate. Now it is the last shot for the man who will be his long time rival, Ter-Ovanseyan. He comes through with his lifetime best, a stunning 26-4 ½ to claim the silver medal. It is now up to Steinbach. With the German fans clapping wildly, he sprints down the runway, hits the board and lands in the pit 26-3 away, a lifetime best, but just an inch and a half from a medal. Now all that stands between Boston and gold is his teammate Roberson.

The Cornell grad collects himself and down the runway he comes. Boom! Just like the two previous jumpers, he hits his lifetime best. Just how good it is remains to be seen. The crowd holds its collective breath as the measurement is made. Boston's mark is a metric 8.12. Now Roberson's jump is posted..........8.11. Another centimeter and he would have won on the basis of a better second jump. Instead he has a silver.

This is the first competition in which four men have bettered 26 feet, indeed, all four did it in the climatic final round. It is also the first meet in which four have jumped 8 meters. The final results are Boston 8.12, Roberson 8.ll, Ter-Ovanesyan 8:04 and Steinbach 8.00. Do that V thing with your fingers one more time. Four lifetimes of training and competition have come down to that margin. It is the difference between, “Yes, I was in the Olympics” and “Want to see my gold medal?”

Ralph Boston and Jesse Owens at Rome

Tomorrow we will see the opening rounds of the 400, 1500 and the high hurdles, semis and finals in the 200 and the steeplechase and the hammer finals.

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...