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. 

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