Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 68 Smelly Feet #2 Some 1950's/60's Shoes

 Phil Scott, one of our regular readers has a great shoe collection, only a few of which are pictured below.

                                       This pair of Adidas about 1956 belonged to Curtis Stone
                                       American 10,000 meter runner.  Note the repair on the sole.

                                         A pair of early Sauconys

                                               Spotbilts about 1960
                                                       Sole of Spotbilt

                                          Adidas Intervals that probably saved the careers
                                          of a lot of runners with that elevated heel.
                                                    Early 1950's Adidas
Note the four permanent spikes on the Adidas

Vol. 2 No. 67 Willie May R.I.P.

Remembering Willie May

Another great hurdler passed away earlier this year, and we only became aware recently.  Willie May former Indiana University athlete and noted track coach and athletic director in the Evanston Township Schools, in the Chicago suburbs,  died on March 28 of this year.   Mr. May won many Big Ten events and was a silver medalist behind Lee Calhoun in the 110 HH at Rome in 1960.   Below is the obitiuary announcement from the Chicago Tribune.

George has posted a blog about the death of Willie May.  As I believe I have mentioned to some, maybe all, of you, Willie was my roommate on the European tour in 1959 and we also both were on the 63 Pan Am Games in Brazil.
Ernie Cunliffe

   Thanks for including the article about Willie May.  He and I roomed together for one week in 1979 when we were both speakers at an Olympic Development clinic in Rhode Island.  He was a true gentleman and a wonderful roommate.  He showed me the movie of the 1960 Olympic finals, still convinced he beat Lee Calhoun.  I thought he did too after watching the movie.  He was a true advocate of young people via the sport of track and field and later as a principal.  He was one fine human being.                    Bill

(Bill Schnier has been the Men's track coach at the University of Cincinnati for 37 years.   He coached David Payne the silver medalist in the 110HH at Beijing. )

Willie L. May, 1936-2012

Evanston track coach 'was nobility' on campus

April 04, 2012|By Jonathan Bullington, Chicago Tribune reporter

US Olympic Trials 1960
Lee Calhoun and Willie May

Willie L. May brought home a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles from the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome before beginning a long, successful run as a track and field coach at Evanston Township High School.
Mr. May, 75, died of complications from amyloidosis, a rare blood disease, on Wednesday, March 28, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., which is affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, said his daughter Karen May. He was a resident of Chicago's South Side.
Mr. May was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but his family moved north and settled in south suburban Robbins when he was a boy. Mr. May attended Blue Island High School, now Eisenhower, where he found his niche with the track and field team.
In the 1955 Illinois high school track and field championships, Mr. May won both hurdle events and ran a leg in his team's winning 880-yard relay, leading Blue Island to the team crown.
He went on to Indiana University, where he won seven Big Ten championships in the hurdles from 1957 to 1959. His talent led to a spot on the U.S. team in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where Mr. May finished a close second in the 110-meter high hurdles to winner Lee Calhoun. The two men were part of a U.S. medalist sweep in the event.
Three years later, he captured another silver medal at the Pan American Games.
With his competition days behind him, Mr. May followed his former high school teammate, Ron Helberg, to Evanston Township High School, working as Helberg's assistant coach on the track and field team. The two men led the school track team to four state championships in the early 1970s.
Mr. May became head track coach in 1975, and helped guide the team to 26 conference championships — including 24 straight from 1976 to 1999 — and a state championship in 1979.
In 1983, Mr. May added the title of athletic director to his list of duties, a post he would hold for 16 years. He also served as a physical education teacher, retiring from both positions in 2000. Though he retired as head track coach in 2006, Mr. May continued to be part of the high school's track team as an assistant coach up until his death.
"He liked working with kids and helping them develop their talents and achieve success, in academics as well," his daughter said.
In an email to the Evanston high school community, athletic director Chris Livatino captured the esteem in which Mr. May was held at the school, writing, "In a word, he was nobility."
"While all of the trophies and medals distinguish Coach May in the history books, what will always define Coach May for me was the grace, humility and strength with which he carried himself and his teams at Evanston Township High School," Livatino wrote.
Mr. May is also survived by his wife of 47 years, Norma; another daughter, Kristian Stewart; and two grandsons.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 66 Former US Olympian Pat Porter Reported Dead in Plane Crash

Several news releases yesterday indicated that Pat Porter, former US cross country great and two time Olympian died in a plane crash in Sedona, AZ.     This has indeed been a tragic week in the loss of Jack Davis, US Olympic silver medalist in 1952 and 1956, as well as a recent death of US hurdler Willie May (Rome 1960 110 HH silver medallist).  Below is a story from LetsRun.com on Pat Porter.   ed.  

Eight-Time US Cross-Country Champion Pat Porter Dies In Plane Crash

Porter Dies Tragically At Age 53
By LetsRun.com
July 26, 2012

Pat Porter, who won a record 8 straight US cross-country championships and also went to two Olympics in the 10,000, died on Thursday in a plane crash in Arizona. Pat was 53 years old.
Porter was only a 4:29 miler in high school, but after transferring to Adams State he flourished under the guidance of Joe Vigil. Porter was at his best in cross-country, where he won the US title from 1982 to 1989. During that time frame, he finished in the top 10 in the world at least four times with a high finish of fourth in 1984. Porter, who had a 10,000 personal best of 27:46.80, was also a two-time 10,000 Olympian (1984 and 1988).
Don't know much about Porter? We highly recommend Kenny Moore's feature on Porter which appeared in Sports Illustrated in 1986: Running On A Rocky Mountain High? Colorado's Pat Porter, U.S. cross-country champ since 1982, is an athlete truly in his element.
If one reads that piece, they'll quickly understand that Porter was the ultimate blue-collar runner. Moore's piece gave details of Porter's training regimen, which included 120-mile weeks at the 7,540 feet of altitude found in Alamosa, CO, and a bruising 10-day cycle of workouts which were very taxing according to Moore:
    Every day calls for considerable labor, from six one-mile runs (for which Porter recently averaged 4:19) to two hours through the sage to 16 400-meter intervals (Porter averaged 59.0 with a minute's rest between) to 10 miles at a five-minute-mile pace. Easy days are 12 miles, which Porter runs at a 5:40 pace.
It also was often very cold in Alamosa, but that didn't stop Porter, who said the following about the cold:
        "If it's 40 below, it's too cold for the wind to blow. You throw on a layer of polypropylene, some sweats and a windbreaker, and go on out."
The altitude didn't stop Porter from running fast in practice (even if the 'mile' in Alamosa was actually a bit short):
    "Did a 4:01 mile up here (in Alamosa), once I saw God, too, right at the end. Everything got foggy, and there were bright sparkles."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 65 Jack Davis Passes R.I.P.

Bitter irony that another great athlete has passed away.  Jack Davis, runner up to Harrison Dillard (Helsinki 1952)  and Lee Calhoun (Melbourne 1956) has passed away the same day that his picture was placed on the blog in the article previous to this posting.

Olympian and USC Alum Jack Davis Dies

Jack Davis was part of the group that worked hard to get the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.

By , Jim Laslavic and R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Jul 26, 2012  |  Updated 11:34 AM PDT
Olympian, USC Alum Jack Davis Dies
American athletes show their medals after a sweeping victory in the 110-meter hurdles in the finals of Olympic competition in Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 28, 1956. From left are: Joel Shankle who finished third; the winner, Lee Calhoun and Jack Davis who came in second.
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Funeral services for two-time Olympic silver medalist Jack Davis, who died Friday, will be held Thursday.
The champion hurdler who barely missed out on gold medals at the 1952 Games in Helsinki and the 1956 Games in Melbourne was 81. Both races ended in photo finishes.
The graduate of USC and Hoover High School in Glendale died at a San Diego hospital from complications of a fall, his family told the Los Angeles Times.
At Hoover, Davis was a champion hurdler and long jumper. Well liked by his peers, he was elected the school's student body president.
Continuing his track and field career at USC, Davis took home three championships in the 120-yard hurdles and one in the 220-yard hurdles. 
While Davis was there, from 1951 to 1953, the Trojans won three NCAA titles.
Helsinki with Harrison Dillard and Art Barnard
He graduated from USC with a degree in education and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
After finishing his decorated athletic career, Davis became a successful real estate developer.
                                                 Jack Running against Rafer Johnson
                                                     Dillard and Davis at Helsinki
Davis was part of the group that worked hard to get the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, the first facility devoted to the development and performance of future Olympians and Paralympians.
His family has requested that donations be made for athletic scholarships in his memory for future USC athletes.

CVol. 2 No. 64 Harrison Dillard. Who Could Ever Forget?

This article appeared in the Cleveland Seniors Magazine.  It was forwarded to us by John Bork.  What a wonderful human being, Mr. Dillard.   ed.
Helsinki 1952
Jack Davis 14.00, Harrison Dillard 13.91
Art Barnard 14.40 
Harrison Dillard
Only person to ever win Olympic Gold
in both hurdles and sprints

William Harrison Dillard was born at 32nd and Orange Avenue, approximately where the Post Office is today on July 8, 1923. He was born at home, a practice not uncommon in those days.
He stayed there until he was about five years old when they went to East 63rd Street where he continued to live through high school. He graduated from East Tech in 1941.
He had an older brother and sister and a younger brother. Both brothers are deceased, but his sister is still alive and "God willing she will be 97 in September."

Harrison Dillard wearing one of his 4 Olympic gold medals - and an East Tech shirt (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard wearing one of his 4 Olympic gold medals
- and an East Tech shirt

Harrison was very successful in Track and Field during High School. His coach was Ivan Green, a well known and prominent coach in the area. Green was responsible for numerous championships and titles; both local and state. Green also taught History and Driver's Education and, in fact, taught Harrison to drive.

Green was from Texas originally, a point that Harrison feels is important to the story since the athletes he was coaching were predominantly African American or "Negro as we were called then."
"I remember how he stood up for us when we would go to various track meets around the state. In particular I remember going down to Columbus, I think it was 1939 my first year on East Tech High's track team and we had problems getting a hotel room. How indignant he got when we were told that we couldn't stay in a hotel. In fact he raised so much hell that eventually we did get in. I remember it so vividly. How a Texan stood up for these black High School kids in 1939."
Harrison remembers this as a time when the issue of race was prevalent. In Columbus when the team went to a movie they had to sit in the balcony, they weren't allowed on the first level or loges or anything. "But we survived."

Harrison Dillard holding one of his Olympic torches (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard with one of his Olympic torches

Harrison got a scholarship to Baldwin Wallace University. He had planned on going to Ohio State University. Jesse Owens, a fellow East Tech Alum attended Ohio State.

Owens had just recently competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. "Of course he was our hero. So it would only seem natural that I would go to Ohio State as well. We went to the same school and competed in the same event he did. He was my idol."
But Eddie Finnegan, Coach at BW, tried to convince Harrison to go to BW but Harrison told him he had decide to go to Ohio State. A week before he was to leave for OSU a little bit of homesickness hit him and he decided Ohio State was just too far away. So he contacted Baldwin Wallace and they were more than happy to welcome him.

Harrison Dillard running the hurdles at Baldwin Wallace - photo courtesy of Baldwin Wallace

Harrison Dillard running the hurdles at Baldwin Wallace

Harrison was a city and state champion in track and field while at East Tech. So when he got to BW, Finnegan told him it had always been a dream of his to be able to coach a national champion - something he thought was impossible until Harrison arrived. "The team had never even won an Ohio Conference championship in track. So in 1943 early in my sophomore year we finally got around to winning the Ohio Conference Track and Field Championship� First time the school had ever won it."

This being 1943 - it was the height of World War II. Harrison was in the enlisted reserve, which enabled him to stay in school a bit longer, but in May, 1943 he was called to active duty by the Army. "Eventually I wound up in the 92nd Infantry Division and we were sent to Italy in September, 1944". He served a total of 32 months in the military: 16 months were overseas and about 8 of those were in active combat.
When the war ended in May, 1945 the military wanted to both occupy the time of, and entertain the troops that were still stationed overseas. So they formed numerous athletic teams including basketball, football, baseball and of course, track. Harrison signed up for the track team.
He remembers a non-com officer tacking up the notice letting the soldiers know they could sign up for the various teams. The officer's name was Roscoe Lee Browne, a name that meant nothing special then. However, Roscoe Lee Browne later became an award-winning actor appearing in everything from The Cowboys with John Wayne to Shakespearean roles to All in the Family with Carol O'Connor to narrating the movie Babe.

Harrison Dillard with a Track and Field award (photos by Debbie Hanson)

He was also a track athlete running 800 meters or half-mile. He was on Harrison's track team in Italy. They were stationed in a little town in Southern Italy, Veraggio, which was something of a resort town. They were stationed with the 5th Army, of which the 92nd was part.
They ran track all over Italy and were eventually notified that at the end of the summer there would be the first GI Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. Harrison was undefeated in Italy. He flew to Frankfurt for the games, his very first flight, before this he had been on ships or on busses.
They went on a plane that had previously flown paratroopers so the sides were open and the seats were just benches. It was a first flight for many of the athletes. As they flew over the Alps, somewhere between Italy and Germany, the plane ran into a thunderstorm and was tossed around like a kite. Needless to say, they were thrilled to finally reach solid ground.
His team was made up of the best athletes from The Mediterranean Theater and they were to compete against the European Theater. In addition to the Americans there was one "big Italian discus thrower, I think he was a world record holder, and there were several Algerians and Moroccans".

Olympic Gold Medal Champion Harrison Dillard with one of his many awards (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Four-time Olympic Gold Medal Champion Harrison Dillard with one of his many awards
In the stands to watch the games was a General we all know: General George S. Patton. "Of course he was a legend among the troops. And he was there all spit and polish. He wore the helmet liner, not the full helmet and that had been shellacked and it was shiny and he was wearing riding pants and boots and he had the two bone-handled pistols. It was quite a show."

Harrison won four events at the GI Olympics: high hurdles, low hurdles, 200 meters, and a relay. Stars and Stripes, the military paper was there to cover the event. They asked General Patton what he thought about the PFC from the Mediterranean Theater. Patton answered "He's the best G** D**** athlete I've ever seen."

Harrison Dillard running the hurdles - photo courtesy of USATF

Harrison Dillard wins again!

Harrison returned to Italy after the competition and the men were permitted to attend school while they waited to be shipped home. So he enrolled in The University of Florence for a short period. He was also tasked with guarding German prisoners during this time. These were prisoners who had surrendered prior to the end of WWII. Harrison says one reason we were able to beat them was because they (the Germans) ran out of everything from food to munitions.
On May 8, 1945 the Germans physically surrendered and "the odd thing to us was � they got in parade formation and actually when they came in to surrender to our generals they marched in...that's how proud they were"
Harrison returned to America (Virginia) on an aircraft carrier - a trip that took only 7 days compared to the 30 days it took to get to Italy. On the way over they had traveled by Liberty ships, the little transport ships that were used for transport and to carry cargo. "Trying to avoid the German submarines and mines that had been planted on the Atlantic Ocean, the trip was a zig-zag thing that's why it took thirty days, coupled with the fact that the ship was so small and didn't travel very rapidly."
Soon after he was discharged (January 1946) and came back home to Cleveland. He immediately went back to Baldwin Wallace to continue his education. There he was highly successful and won numerous titles including National Collegiate Championships in 1946-47. He won the NCAA and AAU 120-yard and 220-yard hurdles in both 1946 and 1947 and he tied world records in both events with a 22.3 in the 220 in 1946 and a 13.6 in the 120
He traveled all over the country representing BW. He earned a degree in Economics when he graduated in January, 1949.
All of his championships and races were leading up to the Olympic games, which had not been held since 1936 in Berlin Germany when "our idol, Jesse Owens, threw that racial superiority, that Arian superiority right back in Hitler's face when he won four gold medals. That was the thing that inspired a great number of us to go on and try to become Olympic Athletes."
In the United States you must go through trials to compete for your position, whereas in other countries you are chosen to participate. In 1948 Harrison wanted to compete in three events; a 4 x 100 relay, the 100 meter dash and the High Hurdles, the event in which he held a world championship. He finished third in the 100 meters, qualifying him to be on the Olympic team.
The next day he competed in the event "which I am supposed to be the best in the world, something happened and I didn't qualify... I failed in the hurdles." Harrison says that the story always was that he tried for the 100 meters after he failed, but, as he says "it makes a better story that way, but the actual fact was that I qualified the night before."

Harrison Dillard award (photos by Debbie Hanson)

He went to London for the first revival of the Olympic Games. England had been hard-hit by the war so they were really not back to normal, but had done enough to qualify to be a host of the games. Much of the food for the team was flown in on a daily basis because it was not readily available in London. Olympic Village had been a Royal Air force Encampment during the war. Competition went well for Harrison in London - he was in two events and won the gold medal in both.
He was not the favorite American sprinter, having finished third in the qualifiers. There was a capacity crowd of around 75,000 people but Harrison was very calm. His roommates, Barney Ewell and Mel Patton, were nervous and apprehensive, but not Harrison.
The field of six had three Americans, two British and one Panamanian. He knew he had to start off quickly and then maintain that lead and that's what happened. At the half way mark he was ahead by almost five feet. By the time they got to the tape both Harrison and Barney Ewell felt it break against their chest.
This was the first time a photo electrical timing system was used in the Olympic Games. The picture showed clearly that Harrison won the race by well over a foot.
The nickname "Bones" was given to him when he was a child. He was so thin and frail at 7 or 8 years old that the kids nicknamed him "Boney-Babe", which was shortened in high school to just Bones. "Even if I don't recognize a person, I know they know me from way back when they call me 'Bones'."
Harrison tries to explain the feeling of hearing the National Anthem sung. "When you get on that victory stand� I thought my idol Jesse Owens had stood here just a dozen years before. So as I stand there, and face the huge scoreboard with all the athletes' names and the country they represent and the results are there and the three flag poles�. And they play your country's national anthem. Thoughts of Jesse Owens flashed through my mind� He was there, in the stands. He congratulated me after of course."

Harrison Dillard with Olympic Torch (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard with Olympic Torch

When they play that anthem and you're standing there and it's being played because of something you did it is a feeling that you can't describe. I remember in subsequent years watching the Olympic Games on television and [the athletes] some with tears streaming down their face, some look like they're in shock. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up as I stood there the first time. I was lucky I got to get back up there again and hear it again."

Four years later, Harrison went to Helsinki Finland for his second Olympics. This was the first time the Russians were going to take part in the Olympics. The Russians did not stay in the same Olympic Village as the rest of the thousands of competitors. All of the Iron Curtain countries stayed in a separate facility.
"But we did train on a common ground, work out grounds. Their officials were all there and we made a joke of it. All of them had full length coats things like that. We thought they were part of their police, which they may well have been� As far as the competition was concerned they were very friendly with no animosity of any kind, quick to congratulate you - very gracious in victory or defeat."
In that race in Helsinki, the Americans finished 1-2-3, with Harrison taking the gold. "I was smaller, lighter and quicker and I knew I had to just hang on. I knew they'd be coming for sure." He was once again chosen to run on a 4 x 100 relay, which they won "handily" giving Harrison his fourth Olympic Gold Medal.

Harrison Dillard's 4 Olympic Gold Medals (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard's 4 Olympic Gold Medals

In 1955, Harrison won the Sullivan Award. The Sullivan Award is given to the best all around athlete in the country. This was a tremendous honor for Harrison, but the Olympics still rank as his proudest achievement. "The Olympics were the best in the world - the Sullivan was the best in the country."

Harrison continued to compete indoors. In 1956 he was able to get to the finals, but not qualify for, the Olympics and that was the last race he ever ran in competition.

Harrison Dillard Track and Field Hall of Fame Award (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard Track and Field Hall of Fame Award

He did run hurdles against Jesse Owens once in an exhibition race. It was an old High School track meet called Salem Relays. They ran 120 meters of low hurdles, which was not a standard race. "He beat me, but it was close. He didn't run away and leave me. I was just a high school kid - I don't know how hard he was trying but I had the pleasure of running against him."

Harrison ran into Jesse at another track meet in Columbus, where Jesse gave him a pair of brand new track shoes. Legend has it that it was Harrison's first pair of athletic shoes "That's just not true, but the story still goes around."
If everyone was in their prime, Harrison would like to compete against athletes such as Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt. "I question that I could beat a Usain Bolt. The extent to which these guys train now� I really question if I could beat them...On second thought maybe if Jesse and I trained we'd be able to take them."
Bill Veeck from the Cleveland Indians called Harrison and asked him to come to Municipal Stadium to see him. Veeck asked him to work for the Indians in Public Relations. However, Harrison had promised the State Department that he would go on a tour to Central America, South America and the West Indies.
The tour lasted 93 days. He went to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Uruguay and many other places. Jamaica was a day-off trip, and that is where he met his wife. Herb McKenley, a great Jamaican runner for Jamaica introduced Harrison to his wife, Joy in 1952.

Harrison Dillard and wife Joy (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard and wife Joy

Joy came to this country in 1955 and they were married in 1956. They have one daughter, Terri. Bill Veeck told him he could go to work for the Indians when he returned, and he did. He worked for the Indians for over 10 years.

Harrison hosted a radio talk show on WABQ as a sportscaster and eventually programmer. He also did weekends at WERE where he worked with Bill Gordon and Bill Randle, among others. He spent some time on television also, when channel 5 first came on the air. He fondly remembers Dorothy Fuldheim and remembers Mel Harder and Bob Feller being on the show with him. He also worked on the shows at the same time as Fred Griffith and Paige Palmer.

Harrison Dillard and wife Joy (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Harrison Dillard and wife Joy

Harrison is the only person to ever win gold medals in both hurdles and sprints. "Now no one would even try it - everything is too specialized." It is this amazing feat that he wants to, and will, be remembered for.

Some people would say that Track and Field is the perfect sport - it is simply man against man with no tools or equipment and yet it does not have the coverage and the following of team sports like football, basketball and baseball. Harrison believes that this is because there is very little question about the outcome of a meet. "Talent will win out"

Harrison Dillard with another award (photos by Debbie Hanson)

He says that if you are the best, you will win unless something like a leg cramp occurs, and "you can't count on that". He says Americans want to root for a team or a person even if they are the underdog and "knowing or being able to predict the outcome is not as exciting to Americans as maybe it should be. Like soccer, Track and Field is bigger in Europe than in the United States."

Watch a short video message (below) from Harrison Dillard

We throw around the word "hero" today, and some say it is often misused. Athletes who win a lot of games, but have no character are really not heroes - they are merely good athletes. But every now and then a man like Harrison Dillard comes along and you really have to consider using "hero" to describe him.
He ran at a time when he was forced to sit in the Negro seats at a theater. He got his degree in Economics from Baldwin Wallace. He served in the Mediterranean Theater with the U.S. Army during World War II. He has been married for 57 years and raised a daughter he is proud of. He won four gold medals for his country and stood proudly on the dais as the national anthem was played. He is a man of character, discipline and commitment.

Olympic Champion Harrison Dillard (photos by Debbie Hanson)

Hero? The choice of words to describe him is up to you. Any parent would be thrilled to have their child look up to an emulate Harrison Dillard - and isn't that what being a hero is all about?

Listen to a brief message from Harrison Dillard to the people of Cleveland.

Profiled by Debbie Hanson (July 2009)

Update: See photos of Harrison Dillard at the naming of Jesse Owens Way in downtown Cleveland.

Dr. Eugene Sanders and Harrison Dillard

Dr. Eugene Sanders and Harrison Dillard

Gloria Owens, Harrison Dillard and East Tech athletes with Jesse Owens sign

Gloria Owens, Harrison Dillard and East Tech athletes

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 63 June , 1962

JUNE 1962
Remember the mile results from the Coliseum Relays in the May issue which had no race description? Well, we have it now.
The date is May 18. Peter Snell had expected to tangle with Jim Beatty in this one, but Beatty is injured and not in the field. A late entry by Dyrol Burleson provides the necessary competition.
Pace setter Doug Carroll takes the field through laps of 59.0 and 2:01.8 before dropping out and presenting Cary Weisiger with the lead. He tows the rest through the 1320 in 3:02.3 with Snell next and Burleson on his shoulder. Around the curve the positions don't change. Surely the burst will happen at the start of the backstretch. Amazingly it does not. Weisiger continues to set the pace on the straight until the start of the final curve. Then Snell and Burleson explode. This is what the crowd of 40,007 has been waiting for. Burleson runs the final 220 in 26.0 only to be left in the dust by Snell's amazing 24.5 to set an American all comers record of 3:56.1. Burleson takes second ahead of fellow Oregonian Jim Grelle, 3:57.9 to 3:58.9. Bob Seaman, 4:00.6, Weisiger, 4:01.5 and Milt Dahl, 4:02.3 complete the field. (Film of this race may be seen on YouTube. Type in Peter Snell and select “Two Mile Races in California”. This will be the first.)
The following week in the California Relays at Modesto the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village destroys the American record and world best in the sprint medley (apparently this is not a world record sanctioned race) by chopping off 2.3 seconds from the record Illinois set in 1959. More impressively, they do it without a quality performance from quartermiler Jack Yerman who had previously won the 880. Yerman's 47.2 brought the SCVYV in well behind the 46.3 of Ray Saddler of Texas Southern and the 46.4 of Oregon State's Bob Hoffman. Keith Thomassen and Bob Poynter right the ship with 220 legs of 20.8 and 20.6 and now the baton and the opportunity for a record are in the capable hands of Jerry Siebert. Siebert says he hasn't done much work and isn't in shape yet, but you would never know it from his performance. He splits 51.5 en route to 1:46.9 and the new record of 3:15.5. Oregon State takes second and the collegiate record with a 3:17.7 clocking. One assumes Norm Hoffman anchored, but there is no mention.
The fun just keeps coming week after week. Now it is June 2 and we are at the Compton Invitational where Olympic champion Murray Halberg of New Zealand, the world record holder at 2 and 3 miles, says he will attempt to break Vladimir Kuts' world record of 13:35.0, a reasonable expectation as his PR is 13:35.2. Max Truex and 18 year old Canadian Bruce Kidd, last year's winner in 13:56.4, are the main competition.
Schul, Lindgren, Kidd

(Bruce Kidd , former Canadian parliamentarian and now professor at U. of Toronto.  See his comments on the current Penn State football scandal at the bottom of this posting)
The aptly named Kidd is a crowd favorite off his performance last year. His coach, Fred Foot, concedes nothing to the Olympic champ. Even if Halberg succeeds in running his planned 8:45 for two miles, Kidd is instructed to stay with him.
There is no mention of a pace setter. After passing the mile in 4:20.8, Halberg slows to 8:52.2 at two miles. And, yes, that is the precocious teenager on his shoulder. Twice in the next two laps Halberg offers the pace-setting chores to Kidd and twice he is refused. Two and a half miles are reached in 11:06.8. Then with a bit more than two laps left, Kidd moves. Halberg stays with him briefly, but it is over for the Kiwi great. By the end of the 11th lap Kidd has a 45 yard lead. Halberg is no longer running to win, but to hold off Truex who is coming on hard. At the bell the American goes by and sets his sites on Kidd, but isn't able to gain. Kidd runs his final lap in 62.4 to finish in an eye-opening 13:43.8. Truex takes Jim Beatty's AR with his 13:49.7. Oddly, Halberg's time is not mentioned.
Six days later, June 8 to be exact, Jim Beatty reacts to his loss of his American record at 5000 with an attempt at Murray Halberg's 8:30.0 world record at two miles. His attempt is a surprise as this is his first race since being injured and the meet is the somewhat pedestrian Southern Pacific AAU Championship in Los Angeles (although the track is not mentioned). Apparently Beatty had been prepared to run in the aforementioned Compton 5000, but a muscle pull in his back had ended that hope. Ducky Drake, the UCLA coach and trainer, worked his magic and put Beatty back in commission.
Beatty is not alone. This is a team effort by Mihaly Igloi's LATC. Jim Grelle leads the third and fourth laps, hitting the mile in 4:15.4. Bob Schul then takes one for the team, leading through six laps, reached in 6:25.8, and effectively running himself out to finish in 8:57.3. Now the former North Carolina runner is on his own. Seven laps are reached in 7:30.2. The necessary sub 60 final lap happens, just barely. Beatty clocks 59.6 to take Halberg's record by the thinnest of margins, 8:29.8. Grelle hangs on to finish is 8:36.0 in his first two mile.
A quick run down of other events during the month follows. Bob Hayes loses twice at the hands of Roger Sayers of Omaha in the 100 and Homer Jones of Texas Southern in the 200 in the NAIA meet in Sioux Falls.....
Regarded by many as the fastest man in the history of Omaha athletics, Roger Sayers finished his career in track and field as one of the most decorated amateur athlete of his generation, and in his spare time, became a legend on the Omaha University gridiron, setting multiple records and leading them to their last college bowl appearance in 1962.  Noted as a tremendous multi-sport star during his career at Omaha Central High School, Sayers won the Boys State 100 yard dash and the 220 yard dash Gold Medals in 1958, leading his team to a state championship, along with being named All-City and All-State as a back in football.
Receiving a scholarship to participate in both sports at Omaha University, Sayers exploded onto the national scene by winning 28 consecutive races during his freshman year, and also providing an exciting presence every time he touched the ball during the football season.  In 1962, Roger Sayers may have enjoyed the best season of any Omaha University athlete ever, capturing the NAIA 100 yard dash title, beating future Olympic gold medalist Bob Hayes twice during that year, and leading the Indians to a Central Intercollegiate Conference title in football the 1962 All Sports Bowl, where he scored a touchdown.   Sayers was named the 1962 Nebraska State College Athlete of the Year, and during his time off from the University, ran for the 1962 United States Track and Field team.  Upon returning to Omaha University, he again won the 100 yard dash in1963 and led the Indians football team to another CIC conference crown.  Sayers still holds the University of Nebraska-Omaha records for the 100 yard dash and the 220 yard dash, as well as seven football marks.  Sayers has been inducted into three track and field hall of fames, the UNO Hall of Fame for both football and track, the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame and was named the 48th greatest athlete in the history of Nebraska by Sports Illustrated in 2000.  After his playing career, he served as the president of the Omaha North Branch YMCA, as president of the Urban League and was a 10 year campaign coordinator for the United Negro College Fund.   
.Ulis Williams is the leader at 440 with 45.9.....Two more Americans have joined the four minute mile club. Keith Forman runs 3:58.3 to beat Cary Weisiger's 3:59.3. Bob Seaman creeps closer to membership with his 4:00.4......Ralph Boston has regained the lead in the broad jump at 26-0, five and a half inches ahead of Darrell Horn and Anthony Watson, but his work is cut out for him. Igor Ter-Ovanesyan of the Soviet Union has relieved him of his WR with a jump of 27-3........Ter-Ovanesyan is not the only pesky Rusky.                                                                                                      

                                                               Anthony Watson Today and Yesterday

Vladimir Trusenyev who finished 15th in the 1960 Olympic competition, has lifted Al Oerter's recent WR in the discus with a throw of 202-2½........Glenn Winningham has taken over the US lead in the javelin at 265-2......Oregon, not content with the world record at four miles, adds the collegiate record at two miles to its laurels at the California Relays. Archie San Romani leads off in 1:49.4. He is followed by Ted Abrams, 1:52.2, Sig Ohlemann, 1:49.9, and Dyrol Burleson, 1:48.7 for a total of 7:20.2 to better the record of 7:20.6 set by USC the previous week at the Coliseum.......If you like consistency, you have to love the Arizona State mile relay team. On successive weekends at the Coliseum, Modesto and Compton they win in 3:06.1, 3:06.4 and 3:05.7, but their individual splits are more impressive. For those three meets Mike Barrick leads off in 47.7, 47.8, 47.7. Henry Carr runs 45.5, 45.7, 45.7. Ron Freeman produces 46.5, 46.7, 46.6. Ulis Williams anchors in 46.3, 46.3, 45.7. Hard to be more consistent than that.

Dennis Carr Lowell HS

Morgan Groth
Tom Sullivan
Bruce Bess
A year ago junior Bruce Bess and sophomore Dennis Carr were teammates and running buddies at La Habra HS in Southern California. This year Carr has transferred to Lowell HS in the same school district. Both milers reach the state meet in Modesto. There are no heats. Instead the competition is in sections. Bess, the defending champion, is running in the first section with the eight other district champions and Carr is in the second for the other qualifiers. Bess runs off the leader for 3½ laps before pulling away for a 4:13.4 win. Before his breathing has returned to normal, the second race is underway. Carr, whose best is 4:18.8, risks disaster by taking it out hard from the start, running 62.6, 2:05.5 and 3:09.7. Then, just when he should logically start pulling the plow, he cranks off a 59.0 lap finishing in 4:08.7 to become the state champ and the national record holder, breaking Morgan Groth's 4:10.0. The fact that Tom Sullivan ran 4:03.5 indoors last year doesn't lessen the achievement......To finish with an additional high school note, the fourth fastest half miler at 1:53.1 is Jon Peck of Harvard HS in North Hollywood. Yes, that would be the son of Gregory Peck.

"I realize that the following comments by Bruce Kidd are off the subject of Track and Field, however they reflect the thoughts of a former great distance runner.  Many of our readers have expressed interest in what has become of these men and women of the past." ed.

Professor Bruce Kidd discusses the Penn State scandal
Penn State University has been in an uproar since it was revealed that an assistant football coach had allegedly been caught abusing young boys and no action had been taken. Writer Anjum Nayyar talked with Professor Bruce Kidd of physical education and health about sports culture in the U.S. and Canada and about the need for ethics in sport.
Q. Can you talk a bit about the culture of American football and what makes it so strong?
A. We have absolutely no equivalent to it anymore in Canadian society or in any other sporting nations of the world. It’s something we marvel at and wonder at in a society that is similar to ours in many ways, but is also strange in many ways. The differences in the athletic budgets of the Penn and Ohio State universities in that category and universities in Canada or any other part in the world are amazing. It’s always been a wonder.
Some Canadian university alumni would say there was a similar culture in Canada in the 20s, 30s and 40s, and I think that that was true.  By the mid- to late-50s it had begun to wane in major universities in Canada. It continued to accelerate in the United States and 50 years later, it’s a striking Canada – U.S. difference.  But there are some qualifications: it’s principally in the rural areas or small towns [that U.S. football culture thrives]. Columbia, Yale or Harvard football are more like U of T or the University of Western Ontario football. They have the devoted followings but I don’t believe they have tailgate parties and 100,000 people. It’s only a vestige in those universities as well.
I understand from some of our presidents and provosts that when they go to Association of American Universities meetings in the U.S., their colleagues take them aside and tell them, “You’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with football.” Although it brings visibility and dollars, it brings a ton of headaches because of issues like this where you have a really strong research university reduced in symbolic ways to a sports team and a coach.
At U of T some sociologists would argue that one of the reasons for the demise of the football culture at U of T and others is the demographic transformation of the student body from a white, Protestant one to a multi-cultural one. Others have argued it’s a consequence of the tremendous television-fueled growth of the sport-media complex, which promotes professional sport at the expense of intercollegiate sport, and the growth of the urban entertainment industries generally, which means that there are many engaging cultural alternatives to watching Varsity sport.
Q.  There’s been some commentary in the news that the first rule of a locker room is that whatever you see there stays there. You don’t tell anyone. What are your thought on this?
A.  From my own experience in athlet ics and my own colleagues who have studied football, I would agree that that has been the culture. It starts with a sense of solidarity. These are your teammates and you have tremendous bonds with them. Your first responsibility is your loyalty to them and the privacy of those close intimate relationships.
But there has to be some limits on the cone of silence it creates, especially in situations like this. There’s been a real effort in many parts North American sport, to combat overt aggressive sexism, racism, and homophobia.  Although there’s been a mixed, uneven commitment or follow-up on this, there have been heart-warming examples to address that. The good news was that in this case, although he didn't intervene to stop the alleged rape, this young assistant came forward. That’s evidence that this generation taking responsibility for calling colleagues on outrageous behaviour. I think the way the university acted is another example that there’s no longer a code of silence around the dressing room.
Q. We’ve heard of several cases about drugs, abuse etc. being covered up; is sport more vulnerable than other fields of endeavour?
A. I’m not sure it’s more vulnerable.  Because of the spotlight and because of the conferring of representational status upon athletes and coaches, the emotional stakes become much higher. Sport professes to live a code of ethics. The burden is much greater. It’s in the spotlight; it claims to represent communities and claims to operate under a code of fair play and respect for others. I think a lot of sports people accept those obligations and try to walk that talk.
Q. Why are sports personalities so revered in general? Where does that come from?
A. It is a great question and a lot of people have tried to answer this. It has roots in the ancient Olympic Games of classical Greece when athletes were were widely considered symbolic representatives of their city-states, and if victorious, awarded life pensions. In the medieval period you had some disputes settled not by armies, by but by champions in one-on-one combat. In our own time, it is has been accentuated by the fact that the promoters of sport very early on made a marketing effort to link the athletes and teams to the city or region they came from.
A colleague once said to me, as an infant you’re carried around, lifted, provided food by these amazing creatures: your parents. They’re your first champions and you learn to admire physically gifted, strong, caring people who do these physical feats.
Q. What are responsibilities of coaches?  Is there a code of ethics? Should we have one?
A. There has been a code of ethics developed by coaches and institutions in Canada, at least in the Olympic and educational sports, as we have had to face cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and other challenges. We all now have police checks for employees and our faculty now will not hire anyone now without a police check. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 62 May 1962 Throwers Excel but Greta Garbo Steals the Show

MAY 1962
Generally, as we age, adding pounds is not a good idea. Al Oerter is the exception to the rule. As the 19 year old Olympic champion in 1956 he weighed 228. As the 23 year old Olympic champion in 1960 he weighed 235. Now, as a 25 year old he weighs 250. He is older, bigger and better.
                                                                          Al Oerter
                                                                Al Oerter at Rome

                                                                    Dallas Long

                                                                   Fortune Gordien

On the afternoon of April 28 he tangles with world record holder Jay Silvester in the Mt. SAC Relays. Silvester throws 195-7, good enough to win nearly any time, anywhere, but not today as the Olympic champ slings one 198-6, the second best throw ever.
Three weeks later on the evening of May 18, Big Al is giving it a go again in the Coliseum Relays. Silvester and past world record holder Rink Babka are the prime competition. After a fling of 186-9 in the first round, Oerter gives warning of what is about to happen. His throw of 198-7 is a personal best, just inches from Silvester's record. Finally on his fourth effort history is made. He becomes the first to surpass the 200 foot barrier. It is measured at 200-5½. The throw is witnessed by three former record holders, Sylvester, who instantly gained that status, Babka and Fortune Gordien who is the official. Babka's 193-9 edges Silvester for second by 5 inches but no one notices.
Now to less weighty matters, in particular Dallas Long. The SC star finished last season at 274. Today as he steps into the shot put ring at the Coliseum he is a trim 246. This is the long awaited match with Gary Gubner.
Gary Gubner

 In the second round, with retired record holder Bill Nieder standing nearby, Long puts together the second record breaker of the night, a 65-10½ throw which better's Nieder's record by half an inch. He finishes with throws of 63-11½, 64-10, 65-0 and 64-6. Gubner is never close, but has no reason to be disheartened. In the last round, he drops one 64-11, good enough to win nearly any other place, any other day, but not here and not today. Rest assured they will meet again.
Paul Drayton
                                                  Frank Budd
The throwers aren't the only guys setting records. On May 12 in a dual meet with the Quantico Marines Frank Budd of Villanova ties Dave Sime's 20.0 WR in the 200 (straight). Teammate Paul Drayton is second at 20.1. Budd, the 100 yard WR holder at 9.2, wins that race at 9.3 to tie Sime's 1958 performance in Sanger, CA for the best sprint double, 9.3 and 20.0.
              John Uelses and Dave Tork
                                                                                      Dave Tork
How about a jump world record? Hey, we got that too. On April 28 at the Mt. SAC Relays Marine lieutenant Dave Tork vaults 16-2 to steal the record from fellow Marine John Uelses.

(U. of Oregon Library)
Okay, WRs in the throwing events, sprints and jumps, but what about the distances? Just a minute, let me look. Yep, we have one of those also. It is the noon May 12 and we are in Fresno for the West Coast Relays. The Oregon Ducks are taking a crack at the 16:23.8 WR held by Peter Snell's New Zealand national team. Archie San Romani leads off. His opening go round of 60.2 is followed by a 64.0. This is cause for concern as San Romani is a great talent, but he has been erratic. Not to worry. The sophomore rights the ship and cranks out final laps of 58.1 each for a 4:03.5. Canadian Vic Reeves is up next, but after a 58.5 opening, he too suffers from the second lap slows, clocking 64.6. Like San Romani, Reeves rallies to run 62.2 and 60.1 to finish at 4:05.4. With Keith Forman up and Dyrol Burleson waiting in the wings, the record is not in doubt. Now it is only a question of by how much. Forman is a model of consistency, lapping 60.7, 61.5, 60.7 and 59.4 for 4:02.3. Burleson is the American record holder at 3:57.6. As long as he is not struck down by lightning, there will be a new record. Burley demonstrates his resolve, running 56.4 for the first quarter. The pace slows to 61.1 and 62.0 before he kicks home in 58.2 for a 3:57.7 and a new world record of 16:08.9. Keith Forman is not content to bask in the afternoon's glory. He returns eight hours later to win the open mile in a PR of 4:00.7.
This issue of TFN, like the last, reports by the event rather than the meet, so we shall do the same. We have covered the highlights in the 100 and 220. The 440 leaders remain Adolph Plummer and Ulis Williams at 46.0. Only four tenths of a second separate the top five in the 880: Burleson 1:48.2, Jerry Siebert 1:48.4, John Bork 1:48.5 with Jack Yerman and Ray Van Asten both at 1:48.6. At Mt. SAC in a race not described, Jim Grelle becomes the fourth American to break four minutes with a 3:59.9 win. Burleson's 8:42.5 still leads the two mile.

                                                                   Buddy Edlen
The single outstanding American achievement in the distances comes from London. Minnesota graduate, Buddy Edelen, now teaching in England, becomes the first American to win an English distance run title since 1887 when he fights off challenges in the last mile to win the British AAA 10 mile track championship in 48:31.8, smashing Johnny Kelley's American record set in 1959 by 2:20 and moving to fourth on the all time list.

In case you're trying to remember more about Buddy Edlen, the following bio is taken from the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame

Buddy Edelen

Sioux Falls (1955 Washington High grad). Minnesota. Edelen's success as a marathon runner inspired a generation of runners, including Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers. Edelen taught in England from 1960-65 and while there entered cross country and marathon races around the world. He set a world record in the marathon (2 hours, 14 minutes, 28 seconds) on June 15, 1963. The 1964 Olympic marathon trial in Yonkers, N.Y., was run in such heat and humidity that seven out of every 10 entrants dropped out; the 5-10, 135 pound Edelen won by almost 20 minutes. Within a week he was having sciatic difficulties. Edelen was sixth in the marathon (2:18:12.4) in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, and his competitive career ended not long after that. At Minnesota he was Big Ten cross country champ as a junior and won the two-mile in track. As a senior at Washington High in the 1954-55 school year, Edelen set records in every cross country and mile race he ran and set state mile record of 4:28.8. Born in Harrodsburg, Ky., and reared in the Twin Cities area. Only lived in Sioux Falls one year.

Ok , so I got a bit carried away with Jerry Tarr pictures ed.
Jerry Tarr and Fran Washington lead the highs at 13.7. Don Styron has run 13.8 but leads the 220LH at 22.5, fitting since he holds the WR at 21.9. Dee Andrews of Long Beach State and Jay Luck of Yale have clocked 22.6 and 22.7. Oddly, while the highs and lows are run and recorded at yards, the intermediates are recorded in meters with three tenths subtracted for 440 races. Rex Cawley, Bruce McCullough and Russ Rogers are the leaders at 51.5. John Thomas, shown placing third in a dual meet 100 (9.9), has yet to get it going in the high jump. His 6-10 is 2¼ inches behind leader Joe Faust.
The junior college ranks have produced two national leaders. Larry Stuart of Santa Ana JC tops the javelin list at 256-2 and Mahoney Samuels of Foothill JC and the West Indies has triple jumped 51-10¾ to set the junior college and freshman records and lead the nation by nearly a foot. Evolutionary note here: This is the first time the hop-step-jump has been referred to as the triple jump by TFN. You might want to make note of this as it may come up as game show question. What was the triple jump first called, Alex?
 Uelses Going Over

In an effort to preserve historical integrity, your diligent reporter presents information in the format used by the magazine. That means that we have “Late News” from meets run on May 18 and 19 in Los Angeles, Eugene and Lawrence.
Aside from the shot and discus records already reported, we have other results but no descriptions from the Coliseum Relays. Professor Peter Snell gives a lesson in miling to those upstart Americans. His 3:56.1 leaves Dyrol Burleson 15 yards in arrears at 3:57.9. The pace is beneficial for the rest of the field as Jim Grelle 3:58.9, Bob Seaman 4:00.6 and Cary Weisiger 4:01.5 all PR. Rex Cawley lowers his national leading time to 50.5 in the intermediates. The much anticipated match between 100 yard record holders Frank Budd and Robert (not Bob yet) Hayes over 100 meters is won by Hayes in 10.2. Budd's 10.3 is matched by third place finisher Henry Carr. John Uelses beats the man who took his record in the pole vault, Dave Tork, with a jump of 16-0¼, but Tork's 16-2 record still stands.
They are not called the Coliseum Relays for nothing. Each of the four relays is outstanding. Florida A&M and Texas Southern trade wins in the 440 and 880 relays. TSU takes the short relay at 40.3 with A&M two tenths back. The Florida kids rally to win the two lapper 1:23.4 to 1:23.7. One assumes that this Hayes kid ran in both races, but there is no narrative to confirm that.
Arizona State beat USC in the mile relay at Mt.SAC 3:07.5 to 3:08.0. These teams are back at it in the Coliseum. The result is the same, but the times are faster: 3:06.1 to 3:07.3 with Texas Southern third at 3:07.8. You want splits? Sorry about that. Texas Southern has a hell of a program. Here they are again in the two mile relay. Their 7:22.1 betters the 7:24.2 of national leader Missouri. What it doesn't better is the winning 7:20.6 of USC. The Trojans' previous best had been 7:28.1. Occidental also betters the national lead with a 7:22.8. Splits? We don hafta give you no stinking splits. Maybe more detail will come to light in the next issue.
In Lawrence, the Sooners of Oklahoma dominate the Big Eight meet with 101 points. Anthony Watson has a day to write home about. He broad jumps (no long jumping yet – this evolutionary process takes time) 25-8 and sprints 9.4 and 20.1 (20.0 in a heat). These marks are wind-aided, but nonetheless it is a pretty, pretty, pretty good day for the young man.

The big news from the Far West Championships is the national collegiate record in the high hurdles by Jerry Tarr who lowers his best from 13.7 to 13.3. To fill his afternoon he tours the intermediates in 52.0, perhaps a harbinger of things to come.
And yes, Clifford Severn Sporting Good and Adidas still lay claim to the back page. Assume this is the case in future issues until you are informed otherwise.

Hollywood Goes to the Track  1926

Who said that track and field was all work and no play?    I found this series of publicity photos of +Greta Garbo and the USC Trojans.  She allegedly was sent there by her publicist  against her wishes and posed for a few shots with Dean Cromwell and some of the lads.  This episode in her career  probably was the part of her life experience that led to her famous line, " I want to be alone".  Most likely  the lads in the middle photo had to take cold showers afterward.
"Honey If you don't roll that silk stocking down, you'll never be a Trojan"

"I'll kill that damned publicist"
Let's see Javelin or Self Defense Training? 

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...