Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 92 The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming

July 21-21, 1962  The Russians Are Here

Okay, class, here is the question for the day. Not counting Olympic competition, what is the largest attendance for a single track meet in the United States? If you said the USSR – USA dual meet in Palo Alto July 21 and 22, 1962, go to the head of the class. Saturday's competition at Stanford Stadium drew 72,000 spectators and the following day 81,000 filled the stands, a total of 153,000 for the two days.
Was it a great meet filled with dramatic duals? No, actually nearly every event lacked excitement from a team standpoint. The US went 1-2 in nine events. The Soviets swept five. The two relays were never in doubt.
This is not to say that there were no great marks. There were. Seventeen stadium records, twelve meet records, three Russian records, two American records and two world records were set. It is just that there wasn't much competition between the two countries. The Russians won what they were supposed to win, so did the Americans.

This meet was of major cold war importance for the propaganda that could be made in the  "Our Way Is Better Than Your Way" mentality that existed between the Americans and the Soviets, the East Bloc vs. the West.  Throughout the world we were competing on many fronts from the amount of money donated for aid projects or military hardware.  We were lining up for a hot war in Viet Nam and ready to contest the legitimacy of governments in Central America, South America, Africa , and Asia.  For this reason the USSR USA track and field meet produced a tremendous audience in North America both at the stadium and on television.  It was the beginning of the hey day of men's track and field   and the beginning of  a build up of  track and field for American women. ed.

At this point the cry of what about the broad jump dual between world record holder Igor Ter-Ovanesyan and Olympic champion Ralph Boston may be welling up in your throat. Okay, you got me there. That was pretty good. These are the only 27 foot jumpers in history. Boston is having step problems and Ter-Ovanesyan had three shots of novocaine to dull the pain in his thigh on his take off leg. Ter-Ovanesyan hits 26-6¾w on his first jump, but Boston tops that with his 26-9w in the second round. Though the Armenian matches his opening jump on his last effort, the day belongs to Boston.
Unquestionably the highlight of the meet comes on Sunday when 20 year old Valeryi Brumel clears 7-5 in the high jump, breaking his own world record and bringing 81,000 to their feet.
But the other world record may have been better intrinsically. Hal Connolly, beaten by Al Hall in his last two meets, puts to rest any thought that he is past his prime. In a performance, Cordner Nelson describes as “the best series in the history of hammer throwing”, in fact “the best series ever in any event”, Connolly adds 13 inches to his world record with a throw of 231-10. But that isn't the half of it. His remaining throws are 227-10, 225-0, 228-10½, 227-2 and 227-7. Putting this in further perspective, the best effort of three of the best hammer throwers in the world are four feet short of Connolly's worst.
Pyotr Bolotnikov is the only double winner, taking the 10,000 in an American all comers record of 29:17.7 on Saturday and the 5000 in 13:55.6 on Sunday as the Russians sweep both races.
Wilma Rudolph Ward wins 100

Opening Ceremonies

Ulis Williams lane 2 wins 400

Women's 80 meter hurdles

Payton Jordan Meet Director/Stanford Coach

The discus dual among world record holder Al Oerter and former record holders Vladimir Trusenyov and Rink Babka falls short of the anticipated fervor. Oerter wins easily at 200-1. Babka beats Trusenyov 193-10½ to 189-9. Oerter says that a trailing wind hampered the distances. “I am sure that my 200 foot throw would have gone at least five feet further with no wind or with a slight headwind.”
The timers are having a bad day. In the 100 Bob Hayes beats Roger Sayers by a yard, but both are given 10.2.

               Bob Hayes                                                                                       Roger Sayers

 In the highs Jerry Tarr hits the tape four feet in front of Hayes Jones, but the margin is not reflected in the times of 13.4 and 13.7.
Paul Drayton and Sayers run 20.8 and 20.9 to sweep the 200. Ulis Wiliams takes the 400 with ease in 46.4. Ray Saddler eases up at the finish and barely holds off Vadim Arkhipchuk 46.8 to 46.9.
Jerry Siebert says he is retiring after his 800. He wants to take Tom Courtney's 1:45.7 American record with him. The field is small, the track fast and the weather good. He follows the Russian leader through a 52.5 first go round, but can't get by the Soviet and Jim Dupree until the final straight where he opens up and powers to a 1:46.4 win. Dupree runs 1:46.8 in second.
One can only hope Jim Beatty gave Ivan Byelitskiy a hearty handshake and a slap on the back after the 1500 for the Soviet provides something Beatty has seldom seen, a fast early pace. The gutsy Ruskie leads through spits of 57.8, 1:57.8 and 2:57.7 before Beatty takes over on the backstretch and races to an American record of 3:39.9. Keith Forman, subbing for injured Jim Grelle, also passes Byelitskiy only to be nipped in the last few yards 3:41.0 to 3:41.2.
Rex Cawley takes the lead in the 400H on the sixth hurdle, but Willie Atterberry has more in the tank coming off the last hurdle and wins 50.3 to 50.5.
Ron Morris vaults 16-0¾ to win by nearly a foot over the Russian vaulters, but the surprise is a no clearance by John Cramer who passes at 13-3 and 13-9 before missing at 14-5¼. No explanation is given.
George Young wins the hearts of the crowd in the steeplechase when he hits a hurdle and falls flat on his face on the penultimate lap, only to rise and chase winner Nikolay Sokolov to the finish, losing only 8:42.3 to 8:44.7. There will be other days for George.
Dallas Long
As expected, Dallas Long and Gary Gubner go 1-2 in the shot, but it isn't easy. Long throws 64-1 to win, but Gubner has training for weight lifting and barely edges the Russian record of Viktor Lipsnis 62-3 to 62-1½.
Hayes Jones, Bob Hayes, Homer Jones and Paul Drayton combine to run 39.6 for victory in the short relay. The 1600 relay is even better. After Ray Saddler leads off in 46.9, things heat up. Cawley splits 45.9 and hands to Dave Archibald who runs 45.3. Ulis Williams brings it home in 45.7 for a 3:03.8 total, excellent considering that the Russians provide no competition and finish in 3:09.9. The red, white and blue win the team competition 128-107.
And yes, there are women's events. Tennessee State provides the basis for the US victories. Wilma Ward wins the 100 in 11.5 and Vivian Brown takes the 200 in 23.7. Willye White and Edith McGuirre combine with these two to take the 400 relay in 44.6. Other than that, our ladies are soundly whipped by the Soviet girls, as the visitors sweep six of the other seven events and take the meet 66-41.
Bert Nelson writes about the week leading up to the meet. The Russians arrived eight days before the competition. They stay in the Stanford dorms. We put on the full court press in the hospitality department. Each of the Russian women are given lipsticks. All of the athletes, coaches, managers, etc. are presented with baskets of fruit fresh from the Santa Clara Valley. The Russians are fascinated with our magazines. Okay, Track and Field News not so much, but Life, Time and the Saturday Evening Post are big hits. Yes, they know who Frank Sinatra and Doris Day are. A life cover featuring Marilyn Monroe is a big hit. Nelson runs through a typical dinner menu, “chicken, corn, potatoes, four kinds of bread, cottage cheese, several jellos, fruit salad, two kinds of milk, coffee, ice cream, a variety of fruit, and all the fruit juice you could drink”. No cabbage and fish head soup here, you Godless Ruskies.

Bert overhears a conversation among three pretty fair college football players. Homer Jones, Bob Hayes and Roger Sayers are talking about pro football. Jones and Hayes are going to play in the pros. Sayers says he is not. A surprised Hayes asks why not. Sayers replies, “Are you crazy, man? I weigh 148 pounds.” Rumor has it that Roger may not be the best football player in his family.


Day 1
100 Meters  2. Wilma Rudolph-Ward 11.2    Maria Ikina  11.3  Edith McGuire 11.8  Gallina Popova 12.1

Javelin  Elvira Ozelina 183  4 1/2  Alextina Shastivka  167-9  Ranee Bair 147-3   Karen Mendyka 143-7

High Jump  Talkiya  USSR 5-7  Gallina Eveyukeva  5-5  Barbara Brown  5-3  Estelle Baskerville  5-2

Discus  Tamara Press    Olga Connolly 167 1  1/2  Antonina Eolyukhiina  163-6  Sharon Shepherd  151-3

4x100 Relay  US  44.8   USSR   

Day One

100 Meters  Robert Hayes  10.2  Roger Sayers 10.2  Amin Tuyskov  10.4  Edvin Ossolin 10.5

110 HH  Jerry Tarr  13.4  Hayes Johnes  13.7  Anatoly Mikhaliev 13.7  Anatliv  Chistyokov 14.2

400 Meters  Ulis Williams 46.4  Ray Saddler 46.8  Vadin Aralipchik  46.9  Viktor Bychkov 47.9

10,000 Meters  P:yto Bolotnikov  29:17.7  Leonid Ivnaoff 29:30.3  Max Truex  29:34.1  Peter McCardle 30:57.2

Shot PUt  Dallas Long  64-1  Gary Gubner  62-3  Viktor Liponis  62-1

Pole Vault  Ron Morris  16-3/4 US    Petrenka  15-1 USSR   Igor Feld USSR  14-9  1/4   Jon Cramer  US No Height

20Km Walk  Vladimir Gobabnichay  1hr 27:51  Antily Vedyskov  1 hr 38:28  Ron Zinn 1 hr 43:34  John Allen 1 hr 46:04

4x100meter relay  Hayes Jones, Bob Hayes, Homer Jones, Paul Drayton 39.8  Amin Tuyakev, Edvin Ossolin,  Yvacheslav Prokhorevsky Nikolai Politike  40.2

Broad Jump  Ralph Boston 26-9  Igor Ter Ovanesyan  26 6 3/4  Paul Warfiled  25  8 3/;4  Dimitry Bonderenko 25-4

Hammer  Hal Connolly 251-10 WR  Alexay Bielievsky 221-3  Yuriy Bakaronov 218-11  Al Hall 213- 1 1/2


100  Kuznetsov 10.9  Kurenko  11.1  Herman 11.2   Pauly 12.3

BJ  Herman 24 3 1/2  Kuznetsov 23-11  1/4  Kurenko  23-9  Pauly 23- 1 1/2 

SP  Kuznetsov  47-4  Pauly  45-6 1/4  Herman  43-0  Kurenko  40-10

HJ  Tie  Kuznetsov   Herman 5-11   Pauly 5-9   Kurenko Withdrew
Ralph Boston at Rome

Janis Lusis  today

  John Thomas

George Young

Igor Ter-Ovanesyan

Rink Babka

400  Herman  50.1  Pauly  50.2   Kuznetsov  53.2

Total Day One Decathlon Vasily  Kuznetsov  4080 Paul Herman 4041 Steve  Pauly 3874

Day  2
200 Meters   1. Vivian Brown, US, 23.7    2. Maria Itkina, USSR, 23.8   3. Valentina Maslovakaya, USSR, 24.3   4. Carol Smith, US  24.3

80 meter Hurdles
1. Irina Press, USSR 10.7   2. Niilya Kulykova USSR 10.8  3. Cherrie Parish  US  11.2  4. Joanne Terry US 11.3

800 Meters
1. Lyudmila Lysenko USSR 2:08.6  2. Yekaterina Pariyuk USSR 2:09.6   3. Leah Bennett US 2:10.4 (US record, pending of 2:12.8 also by Bennett)  4. Sandra Knott US 2:11.8

Shot Put
1. Tamara Press USSR 57  1/2   2. Galina Zybina USSR 55  1/2  3. Earlene Brown US  48 11  4. Cynthia Wyatt US 46  10 1/2
Broad Jump   1. Tatiana Schelkanova USSR  20  11  3/4   2. Willye White US 20  3 1/2  3. Vera Krepkina USSR 19  5 1/2  4. Edith McGuire US  18  9 1/2


110 HH  Kzsnetsov  14.6 (923)  Pauly US  14.8 (867)  Herman US 15.3 740  Kutenko (withdrew due to illness

Discus  Kuznetsov 155-3 (854)  Pauly 140-1 (790)  Herman 137  10 (683)
Pole Vault Herman 13 10 1/4 (854)  Kuznetsov 13  8 1/2 (835)  Pauly 12 11 1/2 (720)

Jav  Kuznetsov 228 4 1/2 (977)  Pauly 215  4 1/4 (784)  Herman 194 8 1/2 (647)

1500 meters Herman 4:15.9  (665)  Pauly 5:01 (253)  Kuznetsov 5:30 (141)

Final Score  Kuznetsov  7830  Herman 7653   Pauly 6996

Men  Day Two

400 Hurdles  Willie Atterbury  50.3 MR,  Rex Cawley 50.5  Vasilliy Aniaimov 50.9 , Georgiy Chevychalov  51.2

200 Meters   Paul Drayton 20.8  Roger Syers 20.9  Edvin Ossolin 21.2  Amin Tuyakov 21.5

800 Meters  Jerry Siebert 1:46.4  Jim Dupree 1:46.8  Valeriy Bulyshev 1:48  Abram Kriveshev 1:49.6

Steeplechase  Nickolay Sokolov  8:42.3  George Young  8:44.7  Pat Traynor  8:50  Vladimir Evdokomov 9:02

High Jump   Valery Brumel  7-5 WR  Gene Johnson 7-0  Viktor Bolyshov 6-10 fewer misses  John Thomas 6-10

Discus  Al Oerter  200-1  Rink Babka 193-10 1/2  Vladimir Trusenov  189-9  Kim Bukhantsev 184-5

1500 Meters Jim Beatty  3:39.8  Ivan Beletskely 3:41  Keith Foreman  3:41.2  Vasily Savlakov  3:48.8

5000 Meters  Pytor Bolotkniov 13:53.6  Alexander Artynyuk  14:06.4  Charlie Clark  14:09.8  John Gutknecht 14:31.5

Jav   Janis Lusis 269-6  USSR     Viktor Taybulenko 256-2  USSR   Dand Studney  USA 243  Nick Kovalakides 238  3  1/2 US HSJ  Vladimir Gosaeyev  54  5  1/21   Oleg Fedoseev  53  1  1/2  Bill Share 52  4 1/2  Herman Stokes  51  3 1/2

4x400  1. US  Sadler Cawley  Archibald Williams  3:03.8
            2.  USSR  Arkipchick  Aychkov  Anisunov  Sverbetev   3:09.8

Final Men     US  128   USSR  107
                      USSR 90   USA  41
Note:  Some times and distance may vary slightly from Roy's reporting due to the difficulty reading some of the text off the internet.   Of interest in the AP  story  was that writing style of the day  frequently referred to women athletes in a formal manner  ie.  Mrs. Rudolph-Ward or Mrs. Ludyshenko.

Also to be noted in the Eugene Guard Register on this same day there was an All - Comers meet in Eugene in which Bill Dellinger won the mile   4:43   and the 2 mile in 10:01.  Maybe he had just come in from a hard 20 miler and wanted to do a little cool down. ed.

Advertising in the Eugene Guard Register that day -- Earl Schieb would  "Paint Your Car"  for $29.95    and a set of 4 new tires was $49.50.

Dean Cromwell      Dink Templeton
We will end this report with mention of the deaths of two track and field icons. On August 4 Dean Cromwell, the coach at USC from 1908 to 1948 and 1948 Olympic coach, dies of a heart attack at 82 in Los Angeles. His teams won twelve NCAA titles including nine in a row from 1935 to 1943. Many of his athletes became prominent coaches themselves. They include Herschel Smith, long time coach at Compton College and founder of the Compton Invitational; Jesse Mortensen who followed Cromwell at USC, winning seven NCAA championships; Payton Jordan of Stanford who was the meet director for the 1962 dual meet with the Russians; Jess Hill, the USC athletic director and acting SC track coach for the '62 season; and Vern Wolfe the current SC coach.   Not to be forgotten was Cromwell's role in taking Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman off of the 4x100 relay at the 1936 Olympics (See earlier post on Sam Stoller) ed.

                                                                                                     Dean Cromwell and Greta Garbo
Three days later the grim reaper visited Dink Templeton. He died of a heart attack following pneumonia which developed from a bad cold he picked up, ironically, at the US-USSR meet. He placed fourth in the broad jump in the 1920 Olympics and played on the Olympic winning rugby team. He coached the Stanford track team as an undergraduate in 1917 and 1918. He was known as “the boy coach” when, following graduation, he became the head coach in 1921. Over the next 19 years his Stanford team won three NCAA titles, a record beaten only by Cromwell and Mortensen (who died in February of '62). He held an edge on Cromwell in dual meets, 12-11. He resigned from Stanford in 1939 because of ill health. Upon regaining his health he coached the San Francisco Olympic Club until it dropped track 15 years later. He was a flier in WWI and later earned a law degree at Stanford.
Late breaking news from page 19. Dr. Robert Dickie of the Princeton University physics department thinks that some of the world's leading jumpers are reaching fantastic heights because the earth's gravitational pull is fading. Andhere              Brumel, Boston and Ter-Ovanesyan thought hard work was the reason.
Valery Brumel

Brumel died Jan. 25, 2003 at age 60

Paul Drayton winner of 200

Gary Gubner

Al Oerter 
And now to give you a weapon for the next time the conversation at the Dew Drop Inn turns to track and field trivia. Hit 'em with this and you won't have to buy a round the rest of the evening. The shot that set Bill Nieder's 65-10 world record and the shot that Dallas Long used to break that record by half an inch.......is the same shot. Vern Wolfe gave it to Long when he was at North Phoenix High. It is the only one Long has ever used. On the night Nieder set his record he borrowed it from Long.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 91 Tim Danielson Jailed on Murder Charge

Otis Martin and Tim Danielson

                                                              Four HS Four Minute Milers
                                        Alan Webb, Marty Liquori, Tim Danielson, Jim Ryun

Some of you will remember Tim Danielson being the second high school miler (after Jim Ryun) to break 4:00 minutes for the one mile run.  Today that notoriety is linked to the fact that Tim was charged with the murder of his wife after an apparently botched murder-suicide attempt.  This occurred in 2011, but I wasn't aware of the events, however I did become aware that Tim can receive email from anyone who may care to write him, and he can respond by regular mail.   I am also attaching links to news reports covering the case.



Mike Solomon, one of our readers who ran against Tim at the California State Meet in 1966 informed me that those who want to email Tim need to find the san diego country sheriff website. From there they have a place to contact inmates.
timothy danielson
# 11143930
DOB 1947

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 90 Those Elusive USA-Poland Women's dual meet results for 1962

Since Track and Field News did not report the women's score or results in the USA Poland dual meet of 1962,  we had to do some searching to find those records.  My first clue was a google reference to  the book  American Women's Track and Field, A History , 1895-1980 by Louise Mead Tricard.   It cost $80 on Amazon.  There were some pages of that 746 page book shown on the internet, but it came up a page or two shy of the USA/Poland results.  What next?  My local library in Springfield, OH didn't have it but through interlibrary loan, I was able to get the copy in the Cleveland, OH public library sent to me.  I opened to the missing page of that semi exhaustive compilation only to be disappointed that the only results were times and distances by US athletes.    How to fill in the blanks for those Polish women?  Back to the internet.  I started by checking the Chicago Tribune archives, but there was a fee to pay for getting access.  My next shot came  by looking up names of some of the top male athletes in the meet, for example Jim Beatty and googled, Jim Beatty US Poland dual meet 1962.  A number of references came up including one from the Eugene Oregon Register Guard newspaper for 1962.  The whole paper is on line without having to pay any fee for looking. And since the U. of Oregon had won the NCAA meet that year, track was still a sport to be reported by the future  Track Town Daily Blatt.   By golly there were the women's and men's results, and here they are for you.  Here's the actual site.,  http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=4pF9x-cDGsoC&dat=19620701&printsec=frontpage&hl=en look at the upper left hand corner of the page on the left,  those are the second day results.  Today when trying to back track through the process, I couldn't find my way back to it, but in my Google, 'History'   the site was still there and it opened.

                                        USA vs. Poland   June 30-July 1, 1962
                                                       University of Chicago
Men's results appear in an earlier blog entry.

Day One

400 meter relay
1. USA  Willye White, Janell Smith, Edith McGuire, Vivian Browne   43.7
2. Poland 43.7  names not provided.

1. Frances Davenport USA   149-9
2. Teresa Trukawinska  Pol   148-2
3. Janina Bochutinska  Pol  146 3 1/2
4. Karen Mendyka  USA  141-7

Shot Put
1. Jadwiga Kowaltruk  Pol   48-10
2. Stephania Kielwizn   Pol   48-2
3. Cal Reutledge   USA 46-7
4. Sharon Sheppard   USA 46-5

80 Meter Hurdles
1. Maria Platkowska  Pol    11.0
2. Cherrie Parrish  USA      11.2
3. Kalina Kryzanaka  Pol  11.3
4. Jeanne Terry  USA   11.4

100 Meters
1. Teresa Pepia   Pol  11.7
2. Edith McGuire USA  11.8
3. Helena Gorezka  Pol 11.9
4. Janell Smith  USA 12.2

Broad Jump
1. Willye White  USA 19 10 1/2
2. Elizbieta Krzesinska  Pol  19 10
3. Maria Bibrowa  Pol   19 8
4. Edith McGuire  USA  18 3 1/2

Day Two

200 Meters
1. Vivian Browne  USA 23.9
2.Barbara Sobatta  Pol  24.3       (another Sobatta)
3. Janell Smith  USA  24.5
4. Elizabieta Szyroka  Pol  24.8

High Jump
1. Jaroslawa Bieda  Pol  5  4 1/2
2. Barbara Browne  USA  5  3 1/4
3. Barbara Owcearek  Pol  5 3 1/4
4. Estelle Baskerville  USA  5 1

1. Kazimiera Rykowska   Pol  158  1
2. Zyta Mojek  Pol   155 1
3. Sharon Sheppard  USA   145  8 1/2
4. Melody McCarthy  USA   131  3

800 Meters
1. Krystana  Nowakowska  Pol   2:10.5
2. Beata Zbikowska  Pol  2:12.5
3. Leah Bennett  USA  2:12.8  (US citizens record , old rec. 2:14.4 Pat Daniels 1960)
4. Sandra Knott  USA  2:14.1

Team Score   Poland 61   USA  45

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 89 Fastballs and Distance Runners

   In 1967  This photo was taken at the end of the first lap at the Big 8 Conference Mile Run at Norman, Oklahoma.  The following correspondence between myself and Bill Blewett (Oklahoma U runner on the pole) and Dr. David Costill, renowned exercise physiologist discusses what distance runners and their coaches often must confront regarding when to back off and rest during periods of intense training and racing.  Bill is a physicist and has done extensive reading and study on the subject of racing and resting.  This aspect of sport carries across many disciplines and can be applied to the science  of pitching in baseball.      Bill has recently written a book  "The Science of the Fastball" (McFarland & Co.) coming out this December 5, 2012, but  it can be pre-ordered on numerous booksellers' websites.   He is also currently working on another book about distance running.  Recently several of you have written about overtraining.  We all know overtraining ourselves or an athlete we are coaching is about the easiet thing to do and one of the biggest mistakes one can make.  Trying to decide when enough is enough and convince a highly motivated athlete that he or she will not benefit from more work is constant problem in coaching.  We've all had our own experiences with this.  The most difficult thing to do  is to say , "Enough." ed. 

"Jim Ryun won the Big 8 mile that year in 4:08.5. If you look closely at the photo you'll see my nostrils flaring as I reached the quarter in 60.5 not feeling at all lightfooted as I had a week earlier when we ran Kansas in a dual meet in Norman. I led the Big 8 race for 2 1/4 laps. I was advancing to the rear of the pack by the 1320 mark (in 3:14) and took on a passenger in the last quarter mile to finish 14th out of 16."
Bill Blewett

That 8x10 has resided on my bookshelf for years, and one day about four years ago, I noticed for the first time the position of my left foot.  After just one lap of the race, I was already on my heels, an indication that I had lost my efficient foot mechanics (forefoot strike).  That's not supposed to happen, of course, until late in the race.  I ran a "personal worst" that day, just eight days after running a personal best.  I looked back at my workout log and found that I did nothing out of the ordinary in those eight days, and I had eased off in my training in the two days before the Big 8 meet.  Data from one of Dr. Costill's books indicate that a runner restores glycogen in about 48 hours after a workout (I have reprinted that graph with permission from TAFNEWS Press from "A Scientific Approach to Distance Running" in my book), so why were my calf muscles glycogen deficient eight days after the last race?  The answer, I found is that muscle damage that occurs with eccentric contractions slows the restoration of glycogen.  The only muscles that were sore after every mile race (or longer races) were my calf muscles.  As Dr. Costill says, it is due to the inflammatory response, and what I found in my literature search was a study indicating the macrophages, which do their work in the inflammation phase, vacuum up not only the debris from the muscle damage but also the glycogen granules that are stored among the myofibrils.  

One of the themes of the book about running I'm working on is that distance runners overtrain and over-race, and the main victims of this culture of overtraining are the high school runners.  Dr. Costill's statement is his email reply is very powerful relative to the issue of overtraining.

George, I think you'll find this article interesting.  It appeared in Baltimore Sun July 9.  I didn't have space (700 word max) to explain why muscle damage retards the restoration of glycogen, but it is an issue that first sparked my curiosity with regard to running; why did it sometimes take more than seven days for the calf muscles to fully recover from a mile race?  It is a very important issue in pitching.  


The biology of the midseason pitching slump

Fatigue sets in when fastballers don't have time to restore the glycogen in their muscles

July 09, 2012|By William Blewett
The All-Star Game brings more than just a midseason shot of excitement to Major League Baseball. It provides much-needed rest for the players, a four-day respite in a 162-game season that often produces fatigue and injury.
The players who most need rest are the starting pitchers, who, paradoxically, get the most rest during the season, playing only every fifth day. Yet, midseason pitching swoons, like the Oriole starters have recently experienced, are not uncommon.
Perhaps the best-known case of pitching fatigue to occur around the All-Star break was that of Bob Feller, the Cleveland fireballer who at age 17 struck out 17 batters in his fifth major-league start. In his third season, 1938, Mr. Feller fell into a slump after being selected as an all-star. He won nine games before the break, then lost nine games after it. His earned-run average for August soared to 8.71, up from 1.43 in May. Cleveland newspapers declared his fastball gone. No one knew why.
Modern science offers an explanation of Mr. Feller's power outage. The likely cause was fatigue of the most heavily worked muscles of pitching: the wrist flexors and finger flexors of the forearm.
A major-league fastball requires exceptional hand speed and arm speed, which demand an abundance of the powerful fast-glycolytic muscle fibers in the arm and shoulder — the same fiber type Olympic sprinters and jumpers rely on for explosive power. Physiologists have a second name for this high-performance fiber: fast-fatigable.

This fiber fatigues rapidly because its main energy source is a limited supply of microscopic glycogen granules stored in each fiber. A pitcher can deplete the glycogen from his forearm flexors in a single outing, but it takes more than a day to restore the glycogen. If there is substantial micro-trauma to the muscle fibers — a routine occurrence in pitchers' forearm muscles — restoration can take a week or more. The glycogen energy system, technically known as intramuscular storage of energy substrate, is much like a rechargeable battery.

Depletion of glycogen causes muscle fibers to lose power, to contract more slowly under a load. At very low glycogen levels, fibers can shut down — enter a state of stiffness — or begin to act like slow-twitch fibers, relying not on glycogen but on a very small, less-powerful aerobic capacity.
This leads to differential fatigue, in which the flexion of the wrist and fingers lags the arm in its high-speed rotation. The result: the pitcher loses his precise coordination between the two fastest movements of pitching: forward arm rotation, with speeds as high as 10,000 degrees per second, and wrist flexion, up to 4,500 degrees per second.

This temporary loss of perfect coordination affects control, often leaving the fastball up in the strike zone. It also produces a slower spin rate, resulting in less movement of the fastball, making the pitch more easily hittable.

The remedy is simple. Rest. Skip a start. Add an extra rest day to the cycle. Or send the pitcher to the bullpen, where the workload is lighter. Pitchers, however, sometimes work harder in response, worsening the problem.

Because the restoration can take days, the workouts between outings that forcefully activate the fast-glycolytic fibers of the pitching muscles — such as wrist curls, chin-ups, long tossing, or near-game-speed bullpen throwing sessions — delay the full recharging of glycogen.The effect of muscle micro-trauma on restoration can be seen in the contrast between a no-hitter and the game after the no-hitter, particularly with high pitch counts. Johan Santana threw a no-hitter on June 1, the first in New York Mets history. Seven days later, he gave up six earned runs and four homers in five innings. His manager was blamed for the dismal performance because he delayed the next start by two days. It would likely have been even worse, however, had Mr. Santana stuck to the five-day cycle.
Compared to pitchers of a century ago, pitchers today routinely throw faster, expending more stored energy per pitch. They also train harder during the season, depleting more glycogen between starts. Bad games, short outings, shellings, and inconsistent pitching were less common 100 years ago. There was no All-Star Game then — and no need for a midseason break to forestall pitching fatigue.
William Blewett, who writes from Bel Air, is the author of "The Science of the Fastball" (McFarland & Co.), to be released this fall. His email is wkblewett@aol.com.

Dave,   a friend of mine sent this article to me and I'm forwarding because I know this type of physiology is right in the middle of your expertise and interests.   Bill Blewett , the writer , is a physicist who also ran a 4:02 mile back in the 60's and a sub 14:00 minute 3 mile.  In high school he never broke 5minutes for the mile.  He came to Oklahoma the year after I left, and we only met a few years ago.  His son is pitching in the minor leagues, so that's what peeked his interest in the science of throwing.     Some day Bill  may come to Dayton for a visit, and I'd like to bring him over to Muncie to meet you and pick your brain a bit.     George

George and Bill

Yes, in the 1980s we looked at glycogen storage after exercise that had induced some tissue damage and found a very slow recovery.  Per Blom and I did studies after marathons that showed a very slow glycogen recovery, primarily due to the inflammatory response tissue damage and complete depletion.  However, it is hard to say how this translates into pitching and the injuries caused by excessive training.  I had many arguments with top level coaches who insisted on excessive training with the philosophy that "the athlete that trains the hardest is the best."  Boy, that's an easy one to deflate, but highly motivated coaches and athletes don't want to be confused by facts!  I'm sure many athletes never realize their full potential, simply because they trained too hard.
Dave Costill


It was great to get this note and its affirmation of the effect of slowed glycogen restoration.  Thank you.
The observation that led to my search about this effect came from that photo taken of me and the other milers at the 1967 Big 8 conference meet in Norman.


Note from Bruce Kritzler, Savannah , GA
George, Bill, etc,
Thanks for sharing the article on pitching in baseball (and obvious applications to distance running/racing).
I believe all recovery is aerobic related? Would pitchers benefit from running easy distance on off days, for recovery of arms, shoulders, wrist, fingers?
Have always felt the ability to race well late in the season is getting the right mix of aerobic/anaerobic (distance/speed) throughout the year. Definitely agree that most high schoolers are over-raced. Guess not every athlete has to run every meet. Some meets can be used as development type meets for novices, while big invitationals can be used for top flight kids.

Note from Rick Lower , Beaverton, OR

Always enjoy your topics, this one more than most! I wanted to give you my recent POV with the issue of “overtraining” in high school runners here in Oregon. There seem to be two prevalent camps, with neither  allowing kids to reach their potential.
-Camp one are the programs run by coaches who know the power of Lydiard training, but don’t control the pace or surfaces run on adequately. Consequently, we have kids running 60-70-80 miles /week but get sick of it or get injured. As long as they can get a lot of kids out each season, their programs are successful because they always have enough kids that can withstand the pounding.
-Camp two are the programs that tried the above, then decided to blame mileage for the injuries. Subsequently, they pride themselves on low mileage but replace the miles with too many workouts of intervals/tempos, basically hard workouts to try to make up for the lack of aerobic base work. Just as many injuries as camp one for different reasons.

Take care!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 88 Ira Murchison Remembered

Western  Michigan University   Sprinter , Ira Murchison, remembered.

John Bork , NCAA 880 yards champion 1961 for Western Michigan University sent this to me.  It is part of a newsletter that circulates amongst former Western Michigan University friends and former athletes.  George Dales was the coach at Western Michigan in those days. ed.

                                                                       Ira Muchison
                                                                    B. February 6, 1933
                                                                    D. March 28, 1994
Bob Parks forwarded this to me; originally written by George Dales,  and asked me to forward it to those on my e-mail list. 

"Ira Murchison got a gold medal in the 4x100m relay in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne, Australia, and also took 4th in the 100 meters. Ira was a good guy and a very good sprinter, although being very short. He had a lightning start. While I was at EMU he was associated with the U. of Chicago  track and field team and used to accompany them to a number of our meets. "

Murchison defeats Chicago Track Club Runners

Melbourne 100 Final Morrow wins, Murchison extreme right

                                                                       Truex ,  Rozavolgyi, and Murchison

"No nation has swept the Olympic 100-meters medals. At the turn-of-the-20th-century, at Paris  the USA seemed poised. US champion Arthur Duffey widely led Ivy Leaguers Frank Jarvis and J.W.B. Tewksbury, but tripped and fell in the shadows of trees down the course at the Bois de Boulogne. It was not until Melbourne  Western Michigan's Ira Murchison blasted out of the blocks and dug his way to a long lead flailing gobs of cinders in his wake. On the hastily constructed track, Murchison said his lane, at least, was not rolled. When Bobby Morrow of Abilene Christian surged to the front it was obvious he would ultimately win handily as an immortal can. Then Hec Hogan passed Murchison, and Thane Baker of Kansas State thrashed past the Aussie. The Olympiad was held in November and Murchison had gone to train with Coach George Dales up in Michigan. It snowed and snowed and his training was confined to the 40-yard Oakland Gym floor at Western Michigan. Murchison had defeated Morrow and Baker previously in June at US Trials, equaling World record 10.2, time also obtained at Compton three weeks prior. In August, at the CISM Games in Olympiastadion where Owens had set Olympic record 10.3 Murchison had become the first human to flash 10.1! He did so both in heat and semi-final [4 watches: 10.1] before succumbing in 10.2 [10.1 10.2 10.2] to Willie Williams in that one 10.1 World record performance."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vol. 2 No. 87 July 1962 National AAU meet and Polish Dual

JULY 1962
And now we return to those golden days of yesteryear and the 1962 National AAU Championships held at Mount San Antonio College. This is the meet that will determine the US team for the meets with Poland and the Soviet Union.
Al Oerter lost his discus WR to Vladimir Trusenyov of the Soviet Union three weeks ago and is determined to get it back. He doesn't, but puts on the most dominating performance in discus history, defeating former WR holders, Rink Babka and Jay Silvester. He's done that before so why was this so dominating? Because all six of his throws were better than the best of any other competitor. His winning throw of 202-2 is an American record and a mere ½ inch off Trusenyov's record. Babka is second at 193-4½, putting him on the team.
Speaking of Olympic champions who recently lost WRs to Soviets, Ralph Boston has not been having a good season. He rallies this night to jump 26-6 and win by nearly a foot over Paul Warfield's 25-6¼.

This is 9+ inches short of Ter-Ovanesyan's record, but heightens the excitement of a head to head showdown with the great Russian in the upcoming dual meet.
Oerter and Boston are not the only Americans to lose a WR to a Russian. Add John Thomas to that list. Today Thomas wins, but leaves spectators wondering what happened. He jumps 6-10 to win on misses over Gene Johnson of Cal and Bob Avants of SC. A national championship should be celebrated, but the fact that he can't clear 6-11 and is half a foot under Brumel's record is cause for concern. The guy has gone from the greatest high jumper in history to just another good jumper. He will have a chance to rectify this situation in the Russian dual meet.
Gary Gubner, after a season of being pounded by Dallas Long, has perseverance pay off. Trailing on his penultimate try on a chilly evening, the giant New Yorker uncorks a throw of 63-6½ to surpass Long's 63-1¼. Long succumbs to the pressure on his last effort, hitting only 58-2 and Gubner is the US champ.

Washington's John Cramer, still using the stone age metal pole, improves his PR in the nationals for the fourth time in four years with a vault of 15-8¼, good enough to make the team, but not good enough to defeat veteran Ron Morris who clears 16-0¼. World record holder Dave Tork vaults 15-8¼, but loses a spot on the team on misses.

Ron Morris

Jerry Dyes
Tork is not the only world record holder to lose this day. In the hammer throw Al Hall, competing for the New York AC, puts the pressure on WR holder Hal Connolly from the beginning, throwing 211, 215 and 219-3 before Connolly can manage a fair throw. He finally responds with 215- ½, enough to make the team, but not to defeat Hall. Hall is described as jubilant and justly so. This is his first win over the '56 Olympic champion in ten years of trying.
Dan Studney of SCVYV wins the javelin at 246-6. Marine Nick Kovalakides' 245-10 keeps Jerry Dyes off the team by 9½ inches. This may have been Jerry's last competition. ed.
Paul Drayton supplies the big news in the track events. After placing fourth in the 100 at 9.5, he runs the 220 on the curve in 20.5 to tie Great Britain's Peter Radford's world record. Roger Sayers, Homer Jones and Steve Haas finish within a foot of each other in 20.8 with Sayers making the team.
Harry Jerome

World record holder Frank Budd has the early lead in the 100, but Canadian Harry Jerome and Bob Hayes are coming on fast. Suddenly Budd is out of it with a pulled muscle and Hayes goes on to win in 9.3. Jerome is second at 9.4. Sayers edges Drayton for the second spot on the team, 9.4 to 9.5.
The 120HH is the best race of the meet. Hayes Jones always gets a great start and this is one of his best. By the second hurdle the former Eastern Michigan star has five feet on NCAA champ Jerry Tarr. Then the tide turns. Tarr is gaining that margin back, nearly a foot a hurdle. They are even at the ninth hurdle. Jones refuses to give up and they hit the tape together with Tarr's superior lean providing a two inch win as both clock 13.4. Up and coming Blaine Lindgren takes third in 13.7.
Just as in last week's NCAA meet, Tarr is not done. This time he doubles in the not-so-important-anymore 220LH (straight), winning his heat in 22.8 after Miami of Ohio's Scott Tyler throws down a 22.6 in the first heat. In the final Tyler is out early and holds a two yard lead at the ninth hurdle. Tarr then finds the gear that the rest of the field doesn't have and sweeps to victory in 22.6. Tyler barely holds off Tom Hester, an 18.3 high schooler, with both clocking 22.7. No great heartbreaks here as there will be no Polish or Russian meet competition in this event. Note: This Bill Toomey kid doesn't know when to quit. He runs last in his heat in an embarrassing 24.3. Someone should take him aside and suggest a sport in which he has a better chance of success, maybe golf, bowling or badminton.
Willie Atterberry is 6-1½ and 148 pounds. He may not look strong, but after training with Mihaly Igloi this season, his newly found strength shows. Lawson Smart and Rex Cawley are out fast, but here comes Willie. He catches them at the eighth hurdle, takes the lead at the ninth and holds on to win in 50.5, an improvement of half a second on his best. Cawley takes second in 50.6 to make the dual meet team as Smart fades to 51.1.
Jim Beatty
The quality of the mile field is evidenced by the fact that Bob Vinton finishes his 4:06.9 heat with a sub 56 lap, but unfortunately for Bob, so do four others. Bob will be watching the final from the stands, a race that will be described as “the greatest mile ever run by Americans”. The rumor is that Jim Beatty will be attempting to run a world record, a task made more difficult by the lack of Dyrol Burleson in the field.
With Bob Seaman taking the field through the 220 in 27.4, no one can afford to dawdle. Jim Grelle leads at the quarter in 58.3. He moves out to let Beatty control his own destiny and the lead, but the pace drops to 1:59.7 at the half with Grelle, Cary Weisiger, Bill Dotson and New Zealand's John Davies in close attendance. Other 60+ lap takes the world record out of the picture as Weisiger leads at the bell in 3:00.5. Grelle and Beatty are side by side right behind. The pace picks up around the turn and the penultimate 220 is covered in 28.9. Beatty makes his move, but it is not the explosive burst for which he is known and Weisiger holds him off early in the final curve. Here Grelle turns on the heat and leads through 1500 in 3:41.5. Beatty follows on his shoulder and now Weisiger is third, a yard back as they enter the straight. Dotson is there, but beginning to fall back. Down the straight they come with Grelle holding off Beatty's rush until mid straight when he begins to tie up. The race is Beatty's and now the source of drama is who else makes the team. Weisiger gains on the fading Grelle, catching him five yards from the tape, but the ex-Oregon star is not done. He leans and falls across the line, inches ahead of the hard charging marine. Dotson has to move out to keep from stepping on Grelle. The result – Beatty 3:57.9, Grelle 3:58.1, Wesiger 3:58.1 and Dotson 3:59.0 – is the first time four Americans have broken four minutes in one race. Davies is fifth in 4:00.2. Grelle's badge of honor are his skinned knee and elbow. He has made the team.
The long distances go to foreigners. Bruce Kidd, the amazing 18 year old Canadian, produces an American all comers record in Friday night's six mile, 28:23.2. Peter McArdle technically takes the American record in 28:34.8, five seconds ahead of John Gutknecht. The word technically is used because Max Truex's Olympic 10,000 would have had him passing six miles 40 seconds faster.
Bruce Kidd
The next day when the field for the three mile toes the line, there next to Murray Halberg, Dyrol Burleson, Lazlo Tabori and Truex, is that kid, Kidd, again. Hasn't anyone told him that 18 year olds aren't supposed to run at this level nor win at this level and certainly not double against an Olympic champion in a national championship meet? Apparently not, as he is still there at two miles, reached in 9:08, after Burleson and Tabori have dropped out. Truex is doing the work, but with a lap to go Halberg pulls alongside and the race is on. Kidd runs his final lap in 58.8. Truex clocks 58.4, but it is Halberg's 56.2 that provides the see ya moment. Halberg 13:30.6, Truex 13:32.8, Kidd 13:33.8, Pat Clohessey 13:36.2. Charlie Clark's 13:50.8 fifth place finish is significant as, thanks to the plethora of foreign runners, he is the second American and will run in the dual meets. Kidd apologies after the race. “I'm sorry but I just couldn't stay with them. I guess I'm not a doubler. At least not yet.”
Bill Sharpe says he can't run 100 meters under 11 seconds and can't long jump much more than 21 feet, yet inexplicably he wins the triple jump at 52-1¼. Kermit Alexander, the “heavy legged Negro football star” is second at 50-9¾ until veteran Herman Stokes jumps 51-1¼ on his fifth jump to take Kermit's spot on the international team.
Ulis Williams, Adolph Plummer and Ray Saddler win their 440 heats as NCAA champ, Hubert Brown is ill and runs last in his race. Williams, mindful of Plummer, starts faster than usual and holds a yard lead over Plummer and Saddler as the field enters the straight. Plummer's strong finish fails him this time and Williams holds form to pull away for a four yard victory over Saddler. His 45.8 is only a tenth off Glenn Davis' world record (obviously soft, considering the 400 meter record is 44.9). Fellow freshman Saddler runs 46.2. Veteran George Kerr edges Cal freshman Dave Archibald for third, both clocking 46.3. Plummer is fifth at 46.4. With freshmen finishing 1-2-4, it appears the US 400/440 is in good hands for the next few years.
It would seem that the steeplechase is open to whomever steps up. Deacon Jones and George Young voice doubts about their condition. Bob Schul is out with mononucleosis. NCAA champ Pat Traynor ran fast in the NCAA's last year and then failed in the AAU meet. Would he be able to run fast two weeks in a row this time? Keith Forman is inexperienced. He dropped out of last week's race. He has potential, but can he realize it today?
Traynor has no doubts. He leads through five laps before Young pulls alongside, followed closely by Jones, Jeff Fishback and Forman. Shortly later, Young, the American record holder at 8:38.0, begins to pull away. By seven laps he has 15 yards over Forman who has passed Traynor on the backstretch. Jones, to no one's surprise has dropped out. Young wins in 8:48.2, but the drama is in seeing who joins him on the dual meet team. Forman answers the call, leaving Traynor behind, 8:52.2 to 8:56.6. Fishback is fourth two seconds back. Young says that he could have run 8:40 today, but that that won't be enough against the Russians.
And finally, the 800. The heats are wicked. Warren Farlow runs 1:49.5, Norm Hoffman 1:49.3 and Greg Pelster 1:49.7, all personal bests, but none good enough to make the final. The field is loaded: former Cal stars and Olympians Jack Yerman and Jerry Siebert, defending champion Jim Dupree, John Reilly, Sig Ohlemann and Ben Tucker all have a chance. Siebert leads through the 220 in 25.8. No one wants to take over, so the next half lap falls off to 28.2, making the quarter 54.0. Yerman, second most of the way, pulls even with Siebert at the 660, reached in 1:20.8. Siebert, on the inside, holds the lead around the curve, but now Dupree is on his heels ready to move on the straight. Yerman begins to fade and now Dupree is boxed. Siebert is home free, a winner in 1:47.1. Once clear, Dupree doesn't close, but holds off the long charge of Reilly who comes from eight yards back in the stretch to pass Yerman. Dupree 1:47.6, Reilly 1:47.7, Yerman 1:47.9. Siebert is pleased. “This is a much bigger win than anything I have had before.”

In the summer of 1962 I had just finished my freshman year at U. of Oklahoma and returned to my home in Dayton, OH to spend the summer.  Knowing this dual meet between the U.S. and Poland would be a great chance to see our best track and field athletes and the strong Polish team with its sprinters, throwers and distance runners, I took a train to Chicago and stayed with relatives that weekend.  The meet was held at the U. of Chicago's football stadium.  Beneath that grandstand the world's first nuclear fission reaction had taken place only twenty years before the meet.  The mixture of cinders and peat had been imported from the track in Ireland where Herb Elliot had set his world record in the mile a few years earlier.  For some reason that track was removed and some enterprising group bought it  and excavated the old Chicago track and back filled it with the old sod of the Emerald Isle.  I've not been able to find the photos I took at the meet, but I recall the shoving match between George Young and Kryzkowiak.  I also remember Beatty outkicking the field in the homestretch of the 1500.  Most of the rest is all forgotten.  With Chicago, having the second largest Polish speaking community in the world after Warsaw, it was rare to hear any English spoken in the stands.  It was equivalent to a USA Mexico soccer match played in Los Angeles today.  One American I do remember was Walt Bellamy the NBA player then with the Chicago Packers who was in attendance.  Today the old stadium and track are gone, and the new track runs north south rather than the previous east west.   A library stands on the old location.  I wonder if there was much nuclear contamination on that site.   George Brose ed.
A week later, Jnne 30, July 1 to be exact, the teams meet in Chicago. This is the precursor for the Russian dual meet three weeks off. There is no doubt the US will win, but there are questions to be answered in several events.
The first day is a disaster for the Poles. The US goes 1-2 in all but two events, the 5000 where Max Truex and Charlie Clark run 2-4, and the high jump which Gene Johnson wins at 7-0½, but John Thomas can only clear 6-9¾ and loses second on misses. Long and Gubner throw 63-9 and 63-5 for a four foot margin over the best Pole. Remember Al Hall's upset of Hal Connolly in the hammer a week ago? Well, maybe that wasn't such an upset. Hall does it again, 214-11 to 211-2. This is the most competitive field event of the meet as the Poles throw 208-11 and 207-10. The most competitive track event also takes place the first day. Witold Baran of Poland takes the lead on the backstretch of the 1500 only to have Jim Beatty go wide on the turn to pass him and Cary Weisiger nip him at the tape. Beatty 3:41.9, Weisiger 3:42.5, Baran 3:42.7. The least competitive race from a team aspect is the 110 hurdles where Jerry Tarr once again edges Hayes Jones on the run in, 13.6 for both. They put on their sweats and warm down while waiting for the Poles who finish in 14.9 and 15.3.
The second day provides some solace for the visitors. They sweep the javelin and the triple jump and provide the big surprise of the meet in which Marian Foik edges Paul Drayton and Homer Jones in the 200, 21.0 to 21.1 for the Americans. The most controversial race is the steeplechase where Poland's Olympic champion and world record holder, Zdzislaw Krzyskowiak (“Krzys” from now on), locks up in a tight dual with George Young. On the Pole's heels on the final lap, Young takes advantage of Krzys running in the second lane by trying to squeeze by the Pole on the pole. Krzys cuts him off. Young retaliates by pushing him, but the moment is lost and so is the race. Krys wins 8:38.0 to 8:42.4, times that don't reflect how tight the race was as Young “had to stop and climb over the last hurdle”. Chicago has a large Polish population. At the awards ceremony Young is booed as if this were Warsaw. Aside from the 110 hurdles the other race that is a foregone conclusion is the 1600 (not yet 4x4) relay where Saddler, Cawley, Archibald and Williams run 3:03.7 to leave the Poles far behind in 3:11.3.
We've saved the best for the last. Remember last month's report of Russian Vladimir Trusenyev breaking Al Oerter's world record in the discus? Well, you can rest easy. Big Al has it back. On Sunday he spins one out 204-10½ to reclaim his record by over 2½ feet. In three weeks Trusenyev and Oerter will meet in Palo Alto and we will be there to cover the action.
This report would not be complete without a footnote. Ron Morris and John Cramer vault 15-3 and 14-11 to go 1-2 in the pole vault. The best Pole vaulter (sorry about that) is third at 14-5. But it is the mark of the second Pole that is the eye-catcher. A game chap by the name of Piotr Sobotta takes fourth at 9-0. Let me be clear: nine feet in an international competition. Sobatta is the Polish high jump champion. He finished fourth in yesterday's competition at 6-6¾. There must have been a injury and Piotr volunteered to embarrass himself in a replacement role to earn that fourth place point in the PV. The final score is 131-81 so it is not as if that point is important. Henceforth in this reporter's lexicon the word “Sobatta” means taking one for the team. Next time you see a batter lean in and get hit by a pitch he could have avoided, you can say to yourself, “That's a Sobatta”. When a point guard holds his ground to take a charge by a fast breaking Dwight Howard, that's a Sobatta. When your high hurdler volunteers to run the third leg on the 4x4 with the meet on the line, that's a Sobatta. You are now armed with a new word; go forth and use it well.

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...