Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 27 September 1963 Part One (Weird Track News)


When John Pennel became the first vaulter to clear 17 feet no one knew about it except his mother. The clearance came in mid August in practice at the University of Miami. Being a dutiful son, John told his mother, but included the proviso, “Please, Mom, don't breathe a word of this until I do it officially”.
As difficult as it may have been, Mom bit her tongue during the weekly bunco game with the girls. Fortunately she only had to keep silent for a week because on August 24 in the Gold Coast AAU Championships in Coral Gables, her son becomes the world's first 17 foot vaulter and everyone knows about it. The actual clearance is 17-0¾, a mark which loses some of the emotional kick when those Europeans translate it to 5.20 meters.

See the Coral Gables jump at link below.  Mr. Mason thinks this may not be the world record jump as Pennel does not seem too elated, and seems to have cleared it by a foot.

While that may have been the most significant world record set that day, it isn't the only one. New Zealand's Bill Baille erases Emil Zatopek's name from the record books not once, but twice in the same race. His 59:51.8 clips 23.2 seconds from the great Czech's 20,000 meter record. Since it was a nice day and he was feeling fine, Baillie continued for another 8.2 seconds to break Zatopek's one hour record by 152 yards at 12 miles 961 yards.  

Baille in a XC meet demonstrating why Lydiard may have
kept him out of the steeplechase
(Baille could have walked or crawled those last 8.2 seconds and still have broken the record.  Had he just stood there, he might have been disqualified for not making an honest effort. ed.)

In looking for info on Bill Baille, we came across this interesting site from New Zealand with photos from the U. of Oregon's visit to that country to take on the Kiwi's in the 4x 1 mile.


In this series of photos note that Rothman's tobacco apparently put some money into sponsorship of the meeting, and the Kiwis were not shy about displaying the company name on their sweats.  A similar pic of the Americans with their gift  sweats, shows them possibly trying to hide the logo  perhaps being a bit  concerned about commercialism and loss of amateur status.  ed. 

Dallas Long studying for his life after track

Keeping in mind that the Olympics are next year, the first siting of Dallas Long is significant. His time has been taken up with dental school, a commitment requiring a layoff from competition of 361 days. The 23 year old world record holder makes his 1963 debut in an all-comers meet in Los Angeles. The night before he had taken some standing puts and reached 57-0. This night he hopes for 60'. That hope is realized and then some with a throw of 62-9, putting him number four on the world list.
That same evening a 17 year old Manual Arts HS junior, Jim Woods, shows up without track shoes. Borrowing shoes from a friend before each jump, he triple jumps 48-10¼ and is encouraged to try again next week.
Now it is next week, September 5 to be exact, and both Long and Woods show up at LA State. This time Long adds a foot to last week's effort and ends his eight day season atop the yearly world list at 63-9.
Jim Woods returns as well. This time he has shoes and a new name, Mike. Mike has never been coached. He has had no special training. Indeed he has never practiced triple jumping. Where this lack of familiarity with a complicated event would seem to be a barrier for most, it doesn't seem to bother Mike. He puts together a series of 48-5, F, 49-7, 50-1, F and 51-8. At the end of the day he has broken the high school record of 49-7¾ which has stood for 26 years (Billy Brown of Baker, LA 1937), established new international junior (under 19) and age 17 records, moved to number 10 on the US all time triple jump list and now ranks third on this year's US list, a mere half inch behind Darryl Horn and Ralph Boston.

Care to know more about Billy Brown?  Check out the article at the end of this post.

 It is mentioned that he, Woods, was born in Memphis on June 3, 1946 and is 5-10, 148. He has run the 100 in 9.9 and long jumped 23-11½. “He is considered a quiet and modest boy.” Mike, if there were a meet next week, we'd sure invite you back.
The European season still going strong, but the only meets to report in the US are, well, somewhat odd, unusual, strange, take your pick.

The report on the third annual Dean Cromwell Memorial, held at Culver City High and viewed by 5000, is headlined “Two World Bests Fall”. 
Cromwell trying for another World Best with Greta Garbo in 1929

The first clue here is that the word “bests” is used, not “records”. The events are the 70HH and the 120LH where Blaine Lindgren runs 8.2 and 12.5 to clip .2 off the marks he set in this meet last year.
There is a four man eight mile relay in which the LA Track Club just misses the world best held by the British national team by 6.2 seconds. Mal Robinson opens with 8:56.8 and is followed by Merle McGee (9:03.0), Ron Larrieu (9:07.0) and Bob Schul (8:53.6) for a “snappy 36:00.2”. (Actually these splits add up to 36:00.4, a detail that seems to have escaped the magazine's editorial staff, but not your ever alert reporter.)
Watching a 36 minute relay might take some of the enthusiasm out of the most loyal fan, but what about a two mile steeplechase which apparently includes people from off the street? There is a photo on page 3 of the winner, Ray Hughes, tangling “with a novice who had been lapped twice”. The guy has his arm out, holding Hughes back at a hurdle.
In memory of the 1912 Olympics where Ralph Rose won the gold in this event, a two handed shot put event is held. Add the right handed and left handed throws together for a total. That didn't catch on 60 years ago and thankfully, it doesn't now. Parry O'Brien does his best Rose impression to win with marks of 61-1 and 43-10 for a 104-11 mark.  (Is there a record for a two handed throw? ie. both hands on the shot when it is released?)

As off beat as the Cromwell Memorial is, things are even stranger the previous week, August 17, in Seattle at the Brian Sternberg Benefit Meet held to raise money for Brian's medical expenses. There are only two events, the pole vault and the mile. They are conducted at halftime of an exhibition game between the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs which is watched by a disappointingly small crowd of 13,500. Jim Grelle bests Keith Forman in the mile, 4:04.4 to 4:05.9 “as the bands played and the crowd roared”.
The pole vault doesn't move as quickly as the mile, so before the vaulters reach 16 feet, halftime is over and the game has resumed undoubtedly causing an unneeded distraction for the vaulters. You have to remember that John Pennel is the guy who tied his world record in the dark in Poland by the light of automobile headlights. He is a gamer. He goes 16-6 before failing at 17-1. This is the week before his WR at 17-0¾ so it is a historic moment in the world of track and field, but not so much for the football fans who watch Lamonica hit Biletnikoff on a ten yard out and wonder who the hell Emmitt Thomas was covering on that play as Pennel is coming down the runway.
Brian Sternberg watches from a closed circuit television in his room at University Hospital and thanks the crowd at halftime via a remote set up. Unfortunately, instead of producing a financial windfall, the meet and game result in a loss of $35,000. Each team and the promoter contribute $1000 for a total of $3000 for Brian's rehab.

In the European Report we find that after two near misses, 8:31.2 and 8:33.4, the great Gaston Roelants of Belgium has eclipsed the steeplechase WR by eight tenths with an 8:29.6 in a meet in Stockholm.
Roelants more recently

The world list fills page 7. Americans who have the best marks in the world are: 200 Carr 20.2; 400 Plummer 44.6; 110HH Jones 13.4; 400IH Cawley 49.3; PV Pennel 17-0¾; BJ Boston 26-11; SP Long 63-9; DT Oerter 205-5½.
Dick Drake's On Your Marks column reports on the domination of the women's high jump by Iolanda Balas (jo'landa ba'la) of Romania. 

Indeed there has never been a man more dominate in his event. The top 64 marks in the women's high jump, from her record of 6-3¼ down to 5-10 7/8 are hers. Jumping ahead a bit here as TFN probably will not cover this, she adds the '64 Olympic gold to the one she won in '60, improves the WR 14 times and is undefeated in 150 consecutive meets. Look up the word “dominant” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and you will find her photo.......Another note from this column is that Dallas Long has been lifting four nights a week since school was out in June and is now benching 460.
In a short column entitled “Predictions” authored by the staff, we find three predictions. Dallas Long will better his own SP record, but not reach 67 feet. Bill Nieder will be reinstated by the AAU and Jim Woods (no longer Mike) will triple jump 53 feet. Just to be clear, Woods was Jim the week he jumped 48-10, then Mike the next week when he went 51-8, but in the future he will be Jim when he jumps 53'. All this in the same issue. Does Track and Field News have staff meetings?
This issue has the feel that the staff was taking a breather after a full track season. In place of news there is filler: two pages of letters to the editor from fans, including one about the writer's eight year old brother who has run a 3:38 half mile; a Tom Swiftie contest - “Give me my discus”, Al ordered.
Al Oerter   "Al ordered" Get it?

“So I was the first man to clear 16 feet” said John uselessly. - and those were the best ones; two pages devoted to continental records (the Central American record in the decathlon is 5413 by Rodolpho Mijares of Mexico) (Sorry, we could not find a photo of Rodolpho Mijares)  and a two page story lifted from the June issue of Sport magazine entitled “Meet Joe Faust”.
The latter provides an insight into a unique character in track and field history. In order to do justice to his story, we will need more space than this entry will provide. The next entry, September, 1963 part two, will be devoted to Joe Faust, then and now.

Lousiana Sports Hall of Fame   from this note we can see that Louis Zamperini was not the only high school athlete to make the American team in 1936.

Billy Brown

Sport: Track and Field
Induction Year: 1969
On July 4, 1936, young Billy Brown wasn’t worried about the hop, step and jump competition in the national AAU track and field championships at Princeton, N.J.
Brown, who had just completed his junior year at Baker, La., High School, wasn’t overconfident about his chances to qualify for the United States Olympic team that would compete in Berlin later that summer. The reason he wasn’t concerned about the competition was that he didn’t intend to jump in the meet.
He went to New Jersey for the junior AAU championships, held one day before the senior meet, and needed special permission to enter the junior meet. Because of a bout with the mumps, he had missed a qualifying meet in New Orleans.
Thanks to the intervention of U.S. Olympic coach Lawson Robertson, Brown was allowed to jump in the junior meet. He was second in the broad jump (now called the long jump) and first in the hop, step and jump (triple jump).
The following day, Loyola coach Tad Gormley spotted Brown in the bleachers and called him down to the track.
“You should be jumping today,” Gormley told him. “When you won the hop, step and jump, you automatically qualified for the senior meet.”
So Brown went into the dressing room, put on his track togs again and won the gold medal—beating the meet record-holder and defending champion, Rolland Romero of Loyola, by four inches. At the age of 17, Brown was the youngest athlete ever to win a flat jumping event in the national championships—and the youngest member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic track and field team.
Dudley Wilkins of Southwestern Louisiana Institute was third, giving Louisiana athletes a 1-2-3 sweep.
Brown’s victory over Romero was no fluke. The previous December, he beat Gormley and Sol Furth of New York (who had finished in the top four in the national meet four times in the previous six years) in the Sugar Bowl track meet.
In the strictly regimented Olympics, Brown wasn’t able to properly warm up and didn’t make the finals in the Berlin Games. But the following year, he won the national AAU title again with a leap of 49 feet, 7 ¼ inches that stood as a national interscholastic record for 26 years.
In state high school rallies, Brown won four events three years in a row. Although Baker High was a small school (and didn’t have a football team at that time), all schools were in the same division in 1935 and 1936. When they were divided into classes in 1937, Brown had enough points (20) to win the team title by himself. (Two teammates had three apiece for a 26-18 margin over runner-up Summerfield.)
Brown also excelled in basketball at Baker High, and was a promising centerfielder on summer baseball teams—playing with the town team and a Baton Rouge American Legion team. His track coach for his first two years was John East, who had been a Southern conference high jump champion at LSU. Marvin Sacharie took over the reins in Brown’s senior year, but Brown coached himself in the month between the end of his junior season and the Olympic Trials.
He set state high school records in both the triple jump and long jump. The triple jump record stood for 32 years, until Spencer Thomas of Carver (New Orleans) became the state’s first prep 50-footer in 1969. Brown’s long jump record of 24 feet, 8 ¼ inches stood until Don Troutman of Roanoke leaped 24-11 in 1956.
It was more of the same at LSU, where Brown set school records in four evens with 25-7 in the long jump, 50-11 ½ in the triple jump, 9.5 in the 100 yard dash and 20.5 in the 220 yard dash. He won seven individual titles in Southeastern Conference meets and led Coach Bernie Moore’s Tigers to three consecutive SEC championships. In both of his last two years, Brow was the leading scorer in the NCAA championships. LSU finished in the top five both years with Brown scoring all of the team’s points—22 in 1940 and 24 in 1941.
In 1941, he became the first triple winner in the history of the SEC meet. The same year he won the NCAA long jump title. Brown probably would’ve won the previous year, too, but miserable weather in Minneapolis forced NCAA officials to move the long jump indoors. Brown had never competed indoors, and didn’t have the proper shoes. But he still finished second to future baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson of UCLA.
In three years of competition in the Drake Relays, where the traditional prizes for first place were wrist watches, Brown won the long jump three times and the 100 once. He had no trouble keeping up with the time.
National AAU secretary-treasurer Dan Ferris selected Brown on five All-America teams—two while he was in high school and three during his college career. These teams, it should be noted, included only one athlete in each event. As a high school senior, Brown made an All-America team that had no athletes from the SEC and only two (Rice hurdlers Fred Wolcott and Jack Patterson) from the Southwest Conference.
Before Brown arrived at LSU, only football players were allowed to eat at the training table. Moore was happy to make an exception for a freshman who had already won two national championships.
In national AAU meets, Brown won the triple jump six times and the long jump twice. He also placed third and fourth in the 100 two years in a row.
He set the American record in the triple jump in the 1941 AAU meet with a leap of 50 feet 11 ½ inches. That was an especially remarkable achievement considering the fact that the event wasn’t held in college meets and Brown trained for it only for a week or two each year before he went to the national AAU meet.
He enlisted in the Navy after graduating from LSU and represented the Navy when he won his final AAU title in 1943.
The 6-3, 175-pound stringbean was the tallest world class sprinter until the mid-1960s. He placed in SEC meets in the high jump with a best of 6-3, and was good enough in the pole vault and weight events to be considered a strong contender for the decathlon.
“Those who saw Billy Brown close out his SEC career should deem it a great privilege,” wrote Birmingham News sports editor Zipp Newman after the 1941 SEC meet. “Few in the audience will hardly ever look upon another athlete in Brown’s class.”

Who Was Billy Brown?
by Jerry Byrd
In 1935, Baker’s Billy Brown was the first athlete at a Louisiana High School Athletic Association school to break the 23-foot barrier in the long jump.
A year later, he was the first athlete at an LHSAA school to break the 24-foot barrier.
His record of 24 feet, 8 1/2 inches stood for 20 years, until Don Troutman of Class C Roanoke broke it in 1956 with 24-11.
Troy Twilley of Slidell raised the state record to  26 feet, 0 1/2 inch in 1994, but a 23-foot jump is still good enough to win most high school track and field meets — including state championship meets in Louisiana.
Later, in his last two years at LSU, Brown scored all of the Tigers’ points in national championship meets two years in a row (22 in 1940, 24 in 1941.
“Those who saw Billy Brown close out his SEC career should deem it a great privilege,” wrote Birmingham News sports editor Zipp Newman after the 1941 SEC meet. “Few in the audience will hardly ever look upon another athlete in Brown’s class.”
Brown made All-America track and field teams in three of his four years at LSU, and won two national AAU championships in the long jump and six in the triple jump, setting the American record in the triple jump with 50-11 1/2 in 1941.
He had no trouble keeping up with the time. The first place prize in each event at the Drake Relays was a wrist watch, and Brown won the long jump three times and the 100-yard dash once in the Drake meet.
Brown broke the previous state record in the long jump by more than a foot. His state record in the triple jump stood until Spencer Thomas of George Washington Carver (New Orleans) broke it 32 years later with 50-6 1/2.
Since Thomas became the state’s first 50-footer in 1969, more than 15 others have joined him in the 50-Foot Club and six of them jumped over 51 feet. In 2004, Kenny Hall of Tara (Baton Rouge) broke the 51-foot barrier three weeks in a row, shattering the state record in the state meet with 51-8 1/4. In July of 2004, Hall won the event by six feet in the national Junior Olympics with a wind-aided 56-2 1/2 and broke the national high school record by nearly a foot with a wind-legal jump of 54-10 1/4.
The first Louisiana high school athlete to break the 25-foot barrier in the long jump was Donald  Robbins of Destrehan, who set a record of 25-2 1/4 in 1972.
Twilley is still the only Louisiana member of the 26-foot club, but you have to jump 25 feet to crack the state’s all-time Top Ten — and I haven’t heard of anybody doing that this season.
In state track and field meets, Brown won four events three years in a row — including two years in which  all schools (regardless of size) competed for the same titles.
In most events, winning performances in the 1930s wouldn’t stack up very well against recent efforts. But that doesn’t apply to Baker’s Billy Brown in the long jump and triple jump. He was 70 years ahead of his time.
In 1936, Brown, Rolland Romero and Dudley Wilkins gave Louisiana athletes a 1-2-3 sweep in the triple jump on the team that represented the United States in the Berlin Olympics. Romero was fifth and Wilkins eighth in the Olympics as both of them outjumped Germany’s Luz Long, who had captured the silver medal in the long jump.

Jerry Byrd is the former sports editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune and an award-winning columnist. You can contact him by E-mail at  jbsportswriter@comcast.net

Monday, April 29, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 26 Bill Schnier to Retire after 33 Seasons at the University of Cincinnati

Sports - Track and Field - University of Cincinnati


12 conference championships
25 NCAA national meet qualifiers
10 All-Americans
2 Olympic medalists (David Payne and Mary Wineberg)
15-time conference Coach of the Year awards
Conference USA Coach of the Decade (1995-2005)
47 of 53 UC records were set during his tenure. 

For several months now, I've known that one of my best friends in the world, Bill Schnier, long time track and cross country coach has been getting ready to retire.  I've written several pieces to put into this blog that would recognize and honor him for all he has contributed to the University of Cincinnati and the sport of track and field over the years.  But I kept putting off placing them in the blog, because I thought the day would never really arrive.  Bill  and I both had goals of becoming college track coaches back in the early 70's.  But as Bill would say.  He had a  plan, and it paid off, for himself, his family, and for the university.   

 Below is the piece I wrote last Fall. Following that is a press release from the University of Cincinnati, and last but probably the best article is a recently written blog entry from Bill Koch who writes  about U. of Cincinnati sports. In it you will be able to read what Bill's concerns are about the future of college athletics.  

October, 2012

I recently received the following press release from the U. of Cincinnati announcing Bill Schnier's pending retirement.  Although there are many nice things said about Bill in this announcement, they only begin to scratch the surface in describing this unique individual.  Bill is foremost a teacher descending from two parents who were both teachers.   He started his coaching career teaching high school and coaching track, but he has always carried the educator in his persona.  He is not a guy who just hangs the workouts on the wall and expects his runners to follow that advice and perform. He is  foremost a person who cares about the future of his athletes, not just the performances they put on the track.  I've known Bill since we were both graduate students, he at Indiana University being mentored by Sam Bell.  When he left IU to take on the unenviable job of coaching track and cross country at Cincinnati, he picked up a program that was in shambles (the track a war zone covered in broken glass ) and made it a force to be reckoned with in several conferences until now the university is moving on from its 8 years in  the Big East.  In the past ten years he has seen the scholarships in his men's program dwindle down to zero, but his teams are still a force to be feared in their conference.  What does that say about a program, competing well in a good Division One conference without scholarships?  It says that your athletes are scholars who happen to be able to run.  One of his former  athletes is Lewis Johnson who does some announcing for NBC when track is occasionally televised.  In the Beijing Olympics two of his athletes won medals,  Mary Weinberg in the 4x400 (gold) and David Payne 110HH (silver).   I don't think the university realizes quite what they will be missing when Bill retires.   I'm sure his working days are not over either, he seems a lot younger than his birth certificate lets on, and he has a deep interest in a lot of different fields.  Bill is also an historian, and it is evident when one rides through Cincinnati with him as he points out hundreds of unknown or forgotten features in the city.  Furthermore his own family is one to be envied.  You never saw a home track meet at Cincy that wasn't attended and worked by his wife Kathy and children Lorraine, Ellen, and Keller.  Kathy and Lorraine teach at the same high school, Ellen works in TV production in Cincinnati, and Keller is a civil engineer in North Carolina.  ed.  
                                       Bill with Eric Finan, All American XC
                                   and the top distance runner in the Big East
                                                    in 2010 and 2011
Bill Schnier, as the University of Cincinnati sees him, 
Bill Schnier, who is beginning his 33rd year at the University of Cincinnati, has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2012-13 seasons.
Schnier came to UC in 1980 and has led the Bearcats men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams to unprecedented success. UC track and field and cross country teams have won 12 of the school’s 15 conference team titles and 160 individual/relay titles since Schnier arrived. There have been 25 student-athletes who have earned qualification for NCAA national championships, 10 of which went on to become All-Americans. The men’s cross country indoor and outdoor track and field teams have won the All-Ohio championship eight times under Schnier’s tutelage. Two student-athletes have gone on to win Olympic medals.
“I have spent my entire professional career attempting to build teams of quality, so retirement is only a concept to me, more relevant to someone else,” Schnier said. “I will very much miss not having a team to coach. However, it is my turn to pass the baton to a younger coach and enter a different phase of my life.  “Serving UC, over 1000 athletes and their parents, and the sport which I love has been an honor. It has been a joy to watch so many people walk through the years from 18 to 22, then see them be even more productive after college. UC gave me the opportunity to do this and I, in turn, simply passed that opportunity on to others. Almost all of them made the most of their opportunity to better themselves and the team. All of my 33 years have been well spent.”
Schnier has been named conference coach of the year 15 times and was twice selected as Ohio cross country coach of the year. He was named the Conference USA coach of the decade in both cross country and track and field. An astounding 47 of programs' 53 school records were set during his time at UC. He coached such notables as NBC Olympic track and field analyst Lewis Johnson and Olympic medalists David Payne and Mary Wineberg. It was also under Schnier’s watch that the UC women’s track and field and cross country program was formed.
In October, he will be inducted into UC's James P. Kelly, Sr. Hall of Fame. Induction into the UC athletics hall of fame will be the fourth hall of fame for Schnier. He was previously inducted into the Capital University Hall of Fame and the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Running Hall of Fame in recognition for his volunteer work and involvement with the local running community in addition to his status as a standout coach in the area.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Bill over the past year and I am better off for it,” said UC director of athletics Whit Babcock. “He is a coach in the truest sense of the word.  He has certainly been successful competition-wise, however his legacy at UC will reach well beyond just wins and losses.  He has impacted thousands of student-athletes in such a positive manner and helped them grow as men and women.  Coach Schnier possesses integrity and he promotes sportsmanship, academic achievement and teamwork.  He is cut from the John Wooden cloth.  I can’t thank him enough for his service to UC and our student-athletes.  He’s a gentleman, a true Bearcat, and I wish him and Kathy the best in this next chapter of his life.” 
Schnier is also in his 46th year working in education. He began his career at Trotwood-Madison High School where he taught history and coached track and field for seven seasons, leading his team to a second-place finish in the Ohio State AAA championship meet in 1975. He then spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana before coming to UC in 1980.
Many of Schnier’s most special achievements have encompassed academics and character. Of the student-athletes that he has coached at UC, 16 have won the prestigious Jimmy Nippert Award, honoring the most outstanding male senior student-athlete. He has also coached three winners of the Helen Norman Smith award, honoring the top female student-athlete, and four winners of the Jean Stephens Award, honoring the UC student-athlete that best exemplifies integrity, commitment to the team, athletic department and equitable treatment of others.
Schnier is a 1966 graduate of Capital University where he played baseball for two years before switching to track and field. He set the Capital record for the outdoor 800 meters (1:54.14) and was a member of the record-setting outdoor 4x800 meters relay team (7:51.04), both of which are still school records to date. He earned master's degrees from Wright State University and Indiana University in 1977 and in 1987 earned a doctorate in human performance from Indiana.
Schnier is married to the former Kathy Henn. The couple has three adult children: Lorraine, Ellen and Keller. 
The UC department of athletics will recognize Schnier during the Oct. 6 Homecoming football game.
Sports - Track and Field - University of Cincinnati
We should all be as happy in our work as Bill Schnier has been while coaching the men’s cross country and track and field teams at the University of Cincinnati for the past 33 years.  Schnier’s teams have won 12 conference titles. He has coached Olympic medalists Mary Wineberg and David Payne and produced 10 All-Americans. He has been inducted into four halls of fame and was voted Conference USA coach of the decade in 2005.
“This is what I’m supposed to be doing,” he said in his office earlier this week.
But he won’t be doing it much longer. The 68-year-old Schnier, who is not only the longest-tenured coach at UC but also the longest-tenured employee in the athletic department, has decided to retire effective June 30.
“Little by little it’s becoming less fun,” Schnier said. “Not the going to practice or going to meets, certainly not the athletes themselves, but just the whole ambiance of athletics in general.”
Since Schnier arrived at UC in 1980, the Bearcats have competed in four different conferences – the Metro, the Great Midwest, Conference USA and the Big East – and starting next year they will compete in the newly formed American Athletic Conference. He has worked for five presidents and seven different athletic directors. During his 33 years at the school, the Bearcats have had 10 football coaches and five basketball coaches.
As athletic directors and conferences have come and gone, Schnier has done his best to remain true to his fundamental belief that athletics are part of the university’s mission of developing students in body, mind and spirit.
He will leave with no regrets and an abundance of cherished relationships, but also with concern over the future of college athletics. He worries about the wisdom of recent conference shuffling that seems to have little to do with the well-being of student-athletes and everything to do with television money.
“I’ve never talked to one person, either a sports person or a non-sports person, who thinks this is a good idea, because it truly doesn’t make any sense unless the only thing you’re possibly interested in is the bottom line, and in that case it makes a lot of sense,” Schnier said 
 Lost in the pursuit of television money, he said, are traditional league rivalries between schools of similar size and mission who are also compatible geographically. As a result, after next year UC will no longer be in the same conference as longtime rival Louisville, but will play in a far-flung league with schools such as Central Florida and SMU largely because of the desire among the nation’s top football schools to cash in huge sums of money from ESPN and other networks.“I think maybe ESPN has gotten to be too big,” Schnier said. “It looks like ESPN is the tail wagging the dog. The vehicle is football.”It was largely because of UC’s desire to grow its football program, Schnier said, that former UC athletic director Mike Thomas defunded scholarships for men’s track and cross country in 2009. Schnier soldiered on without the scholarships and still managed to recruit quality athletes by selling the school’s academic advantages. (The scholarships are now being restored under current athletic director Whit Babcock)
.“The demands of football were so great that someone had to pay for football, someone had to pay for administrations,” Schnier said. “It had to do with the insatiable appetite of one coach who threatened to leave if he didn’t get everything. He got everything and still left. That’s selling your soul.“In the image of most people out there, we like to appreciate Robin Hood because he robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, but really in college athletics to a great extent we’re robbing from the poor to give to the rich.”
Schnier has seen a shift in emphasis away from what he believes is the true value of athletics – to help student-athletes grow as individuals through competition.“The bottom line is the answer to every question,” he said. “I don’t find that very interesting, and I don’t find that very healthy in an academic setting. We are still a university, and I certainly don’t find it very satisfying in an educational institution where making money is not the mission of the school, but creating an opportunity for education and relationships (is).”
The UC athletic department has made great strides during Schnier’s tenure. The Bearcats’ eight-year stay in the Big East Conference enhanced their national profile, especially in football.
But some things haven’t changed or have come full circle. When Schnier started at UC in 1980, the Bearcats were in the Metro Conference, which he described as basically a group of schools that had nowhere else to go. Now in 2013 they’re about to enter the AAC because they again have no viable alternative.
“UC in 1980 was very different inasmuch as we didn’t have much money and now we do,” Schnier said. “Now we have an enormous amount of money in comparison, but just like in 1980 it’s still not enough. Now it’s an all-out pursuit for more money. If we don’t have that money, we can’t keep up with the Joneses.”
Money aside, Schnier believes the athletic department at any school should be an integral part of the university community, a place where student-athletes are no different from regular students in the sense that they go to college to get an education and prepare to lead a productive life.
“What do we learn from sports?” Schnier said. “We usually learn how to go out and do something unrelated to sports better.

“That’s the value of what we do. I would like to think that the people who are on this team go out and do something more important than high jump or run the hundred.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 25 August , 1963 The European Tour

August 1963
Pack your bags and put on your traveling clothes. We're going on a two week tour of Europe with stops in the Soviet Union, Poland, West Germany and Great Britain.
But first let's chronicle the European efforts of Americans previous to the national dual meets. On July 13 in London's White City Stadium John Pennel betters Brian Sternberg's 16-8 world record by ¾ of and inch.
Buddy Edelen
In the same stadium on the previous day Buddy Edelen runs six miles in an American record 28:00.8 in finishing fourth in the AAA meet.

We have our first Willie Davenport sighting. He is described as “an American serviceman” who hurdles 14.0 and 14.1. Mention is made that he has run 13.9, but the magazine doesn't have the details yet.

An even earlier sighting , Willie Davenport's 7th Grade photo at Warren , OH , Howland HS 1958
He is in the middle row on the left

Last month's issue had an article on Steve Haas' great potential as a half miler. The Occidental student loses a couple tactical 800s then finishes his tour by dropping down to his former specialties, winning a 46.7 400 and losing a wind-aided 21.0 200.
And now, buckle your seat belts. We are off for Moscow for the long awaited dual with the Soviet Union where 140,000 watch the two day affair won by the US by the dangerously close score of 119-114.
If this meet is notable for a single event, it is the high jump where Russian hero Valeriy Brumel tacks half an inch on to his world record with a 7-5¾ jump. Two come through performances keep the US from an embarrassing defeat. Long jump world record holder Igor Ter-Ovanesyan has five jumps over 26 feet to two for Ralph Boston, but Boston hits the big one, 26-10½ to top T-O's 26-5¾.
The other athlete to put on his big boy pants is Hal Connolly. The WR holder in the hammer has been plagued by back pain that kept him from competing in the AAU meet. His back is better and he arrives as a late entry from Tampere, Finland where he has been teaching. After four rounds the Soviets are 1-2. Connolly and Al Hall trail. Given the 5-3-2-1 scoring system, if the event ends this way, the Russians will win 8 to 3, an advantage that would project the meet's outcome to a 117-116 Soviet victory. Not to worry. The Olympic champion steps into a phone booth to put on his Superman costume and returns to throw 219-0 to better the Ruskies by three feet.
Edvin Ozolin
The fact that the Russians were this close can be laid off to surprises in the sprints, hurdles and relay. Bob Hayes wins the 100 easily, but Edvin Ozolin 

catches Johnny Gilbert at the tape for second. Ulis Williams supplies the expected win in the 400 at 46.2, but Lester Milburn fades to third behind Russian Vadim Arkhipcuk whose 46.3 is a Soviet record.
Blaine Lindgren with his University of Utah coaches
Marv Hess and Gordon Mortenson
If there is any running event in which the US has a lock, it is the hurdles, but on this day the world is spinning off its axis. Hayes Jones is a tried and true veteran, the only American to compete in all five dual meets with the USSR, yet he is flustered. He false starts and stops although the starter has not recalled the field. Jones says, “I jumped. I was guilty, so I stopped. I told the starter and he fired the recall.” (You can do that?) In the meantime Russian Anatoly Mikhailov outleans Blaine Lindgren at the tape.

 The race is rerun later in the day to the accompaniment of the whistling crowd. A similar thing happens. Jones, thinking he has false started, slows at the second hurdle before changing gears too late. The starter is saved from a life in a Siberian gulag as Mikhailov once again beats Lindgren, 13.8 to 13.9, with Jones third at 14.0.

Hayes Jones at Pontiac HS in Michigan
Those upsets would have been unnoticed were it not for the major screw up in the 400 relay. The 10 meter run up zone before the 20 meter passing zone has just been legislated. Our team has had a year to become acquainted with the new rule, but instead treats it as if it has fallen from outer space. Johnny Gilbert makes a good pass to John Moon, but then the comedy of errors begins. Moon passes too soon to Paul Drayton who does the same to Bob Hayes. The US goes on to win in an unofficial 39.3, but there is no doubt the disqualification is warranted. The Russians earn five points for 40.2. Our guys had only three days to work on passes, but how tough is it to leave early enough that the incoming runner doesn't reach you in the run up zone? Drayton confuses the situation further with his explanation, “There is a new relay rule, and some confusion about it. You can get the baton in the first ten meters, but you can't run with it.” Paul, grab the other guys and come over here. We need to talk.
Fortunately no such problem presents itself in the 1600 relay. Ulis Williams, Ray Saddler, Lester Milburn and Rex Cawley put it together to thump the Ruskies by four seconds in 3:04.4.
The US has a problem in the 400 hurdles. Jim Allen is injured or Jim Allen is sick, depending on whose report you read. Whatever the case, Jim Allen is not competing. What to do? Wait a minute, Willie Atterberry is competing in Europe. Let's give him a call and see if he is busy. He is not. He arrives the day before the race. Good thing he did because he wins it, passing a went-out-too-fast Rex Cawley for a 50.4 to 50.9 victory.
The 800 provides an anxious moment. Valeriy Bulyshev catches Jim Dupree 30 meters from home, but Dupree holds him off for a 1:47.8 victory. Morgan Groth is third at 1:48.6.
Dyrol Burleson and Tom O'Hara go 1-2 in the 1500 at 3:41.0 and 3:41.2, but that is it for American distance running in this meet. The Soviets sweep the steeplechase, 5000 and 10,000. Same thing happens in the 20,000 meter walk.
Dave Davis and Parry O'Brien take the shot with Davis winning by a quarter of an inch at 61-11¼. Jay Silvester and Rink Babka do the same in the discus though the margin between them is greater. Silvester's 201-7 gives him a 16 foot advantage over his teammate.

There seems to be some disagreement over the way the team conducted itself off the track. Did they go wild under the bright lights and sinful offerings of 1963 Moscow? In his column Jim Dunaway takes on other journalists for erroneously reporting “loose living” and “wine, women and song” stories. On the other hand, Parry O'Brien says, “Some of our people were not a credit to the flag they represented.” Taking a moderate position is head coach Payton Jordan. “The team attitude was not unusual at the start of the trip when you consider all factors. We were together as a team for the first time – on a long trip, with new environment and food, and most important with basically a young team that had to adjust to many new and strange circumstances.”
Five days have passed and now we are in Warsaw to take on the Poles in a two day meet which plays out pretty much as expected. But that doesn't mean there is no drama and a modicum of frustration.
Josef Schmidt

John Pennel jumped 16-8¾ two weeks ago to better the world record. Now, with victory assured, he asks for the bar to be set at 16-9¼ (5.11 meters). The bar is placed and measured at that height. It appears that we are good to go. It is growing dark and for some reason not explained, there are no lights. What to do? That's right, cars are brought onto the field and the rest of the event is illuminated by their headlights. Pennel is a trooper. Down the runway he comes and over he goes with some to spare. A new world record! Not so fast, Bucky. We have to remeasure. For some reason known only to God and the Polish officials the bar is now at 16-9. Okay, still a world record! Once again you are jumping to conclusions. To be submitted for a world record the height must be in meters. Sixteen feet, nine inches converts to 5.105 meters, but only centimeters can be considered so the official height is 5.10 meters. Guess what that is in English measurement. Yep, 16-8¾, equal to his existing record. To recap. He thought he was jumping half an inch over his record, but it was only a quarter inch which turned into exactly the same height he had jumped before.
Fortunately the rest of the meet is less confusing. As expected, Hayes, Carr and Williams take the sprints in 10.2, 20.8 and 45.8, Jones and Cawley are hurdle winners in 13.6 and 50.8 and our relay teams win in 39.6 and 3:03.5. No splits are given.
The feature race for the Polish fans is the 1500 where local hero Witold Baran takes on Dyrol Burleson and Tom O'Hara. Nobody wants to lead so the race comes down to the last lap. Burleson takes over on the backstretch and holds off challenges to win in 3:50.0 to O'Hara's 3:50.2 and Baran's 3:50.4. No splits are given.
A couple collegiate records are set. Villanova's Pat Traynor wins the steeplechase and lowers the record he already owns to 8:43.6. Jim Keefe of Connecticut places a competitive third in the 5000 in 13:59.2, shaving 3.2 seconds off Julio Marin's collegiate record.
After last week's big match up with Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, Ralph Boston can't come within a foot of his mark that day and Darryl Horn tops him 25-10¾ to 25-9.
At the end of what had to be a long two days for the Polish fans, they can take pride in the performance of Josef Schmidt. The world record holder in the triple jump takes the event in 55-03/4, nine inches off his record to lead a Polish sweep. US 125 Poland 85.
If this is July 31 we must be in Germany. And indeed it is and we are, specifically Hanover, Germany where we will take on the West German team. Payton Jordan has shuffled his cards. Several athletes are running events in which they usually don't compete.
The spotlight is on Bob Hayes and Henry Carr. Hayes is moving up to the 200 and Carr to the 400. At the end of the two days Payton Jordan says he has witnessed “the greatest 100 meters ever run”. No, not the open hundred which Hayes wins in 10.2, but the anchor leg of the 400 meter relay where he takes the baton five meters down and blazes to a one meter victory. Not sure what Hayes Jones, John Moon and Paul Drayton were doing to produce such a deficit, but they all need to give old Bob a pat on the back.

John Moon in his coaching days at Seton Hall

 For a guy who doesn't train all that often, Hayes looks pretty good in the 200, winning by a meter over Drayton in 20.6.
And now to the 400. Arizona State teammate Ulis Williams has been given a day off and Henry Carr has a much awaited shot at the open 400, his first since high school. Running inside Manfred Kinder, Carr catches him in the 120 meters and pulls away for a 45.4 win, leaving Kinder well back at 46.2.
Think Hayes did well in his anchor leg? Well, so did Carr. With teammates Williams, Milburn and Cawley shooting for the world record in the 1600 relay, Carr sizzles a 44.3. No other splits are given.
Morgan Groth and Tom O'Hara switch events. O'Hara bests Jim Dupree in the 800, 1:49.3 to 1:49.7. Groth tops Cary Weisiger in the 1500 3:42.4 to 3:43.1. Again no splits are given nor are they in any race description on the tour.
A less than a week ago Jim Keefe broke the collegiate 5000 record. Today he adds the 10,000 with his 29:28.4 second place.
Jim Allen just keeps improving. Today he lowers his PR in the intermediates to 50.1 as he and Rex Cawley hit the tape together. Cawley gets the nod, but there is definitely a new kid on the block.
The final tally is US 141 WG 82.
Now the US team is in London for the dual with Great Britain at White City Stadium where the distances will be in English measurement. Like its predecessors, this is a two day meet. The oddity is that there is a day off between the days of competition. As with the other meets, there is no indication of which events are on which days.
Clearly our guys have stayed at the dance too long. They are tired and it shows. This not to say that those who paid their hard earned shillings for a ticket were disappointed. No, indeed, they saw a world record broken and another tied.
Not surprisingly, the broken record is the pole vault and John Pennel is the guy who does it. With two 16-8¾'s in the bank, Pennel decides to try a height high enough not to have the conversion problems of last week. The bar is set at 16-10¼. After two misses, he clears, but once again there are problems in converting. For a height to be recognized by the IAAF as a record the mark must be metric. Pennel's 16-10¼ equates to 5.136 meters. The more alert among you, cognizant of the situation in the Polish meet, realize that 5.136 will be submitted as 5.13 because marks are rounded down to centimeters. Therefore in English measurement Pennel's record is.....”unknown until made official, but perhaps it will be 16-10”. That is the exact quote on page five of this issue. This sort of sloppy math is unacceptable in the offices of OUTV. We put our top math guy on the problem. After hours of laborious calculations, our guy, who got a passing grade in high school algebra, had the solution. Five point one three meters equals 16 feet 9.96840 inches (he could have carried it out further, but didn't want to show off). In English measurement PV records are rounded down in quarter inch increments. Therefore 5.13 meters converts to 16-9¾. To review: 16'10¼” = 5.136 meters = 5.13 meters = 16 ft 9.96840 inches = 16' 9¾”. Yes, you will be responsible for this on the midterm.
Enough with this math mumbo jumbo, you may be saying. What about that tied world record? The US has been trying to break the 400 relay record with no success. Now our lads have a shot at the 440 relay mark, but there is some confusion as to what mark they are trying to break. The University of Texas has the official 440R record of 39.6, but that was run around one turn. Since 1960 the IAAF accepts only marks made around two turns. That record is 40.0 set last year by the University of Oregon.
Are our guys – Jones, Moon, Drayton and Hayes – ready to redeem themselves for the poor passing that required that superhuman effort by Hayes in the West German meet? The answer is a resounding NO! Last time they got Hayes off five meters down and he won by a meter. This time they mess up the passing sufficiently to create a six yard deficit of which Hayes gets five back and they finish in 40.1. The British team of Olympic silver medalist Peter Radford and three guys named Jones ties the record at 40.0. And no, the Jones boys, Ron, David and Berwyn are not related. Payton Jordan does not mince words in naming the culprit, “Our trouble was in passing, especially by Paul Drayton, who, after all, is not a relay runner.”
Credit has to be given to Ralph Boston, who does his impression of a utility infielder, winning the broad jump at 25-10, placing third in the high jump at 6-6 and fourth in the triple jump at 51-1. Guess there wasn't a lane available in the hurdles. Our guys win 120-91, not that anyone really cares.
Elsewhere in this issue we learn that on August 7 16 year old junior Jim Ryun ran two miles in a high school record of 9:13.8. Good as that is, there is a fasrter 16 year old. The wonderfully named Rex Montague Maddaford of New Zealand holds the 16 year old best of 9:09.3 set in March of this year just nine days after his birthday.  (Rex  Montague Maddaford would go on to make the finals of the 5000 and 10 ,000 meters at Mexico City in 1968 finishing 10th and 12th in those two races.  At least his folks didn't name him Reginald.  His best 10,000 was 28:17.8 on April 17, 1968  while finishing second at the New Zealand Olympic trials.   Speaking of names  Theordorus Jacobus Leonardus  Quax would shorten the whole thing to Dick Quax. ed.)

Jazy in a 1200 m training run prior to Tokyo games
Cordner Nelson predicts that Janis Lusis of Russia will soon break the world record in the javelin. He is more exact in his prediction that France's Michel Jazy will break Peter Snell's mile record. It will happen on August 16 in Goteborg, Germany. 

We'll find out how accurate he is on at least one of those predictions in the next issue.

Page 7 has a photo that causes you to look twice. It is a shot of the handoff to the anchorman in a 440 relay in Dublin, Ireland. Larry Questad is making the pass. The teammates previous to him were Steve Cortright and Steve Hass. Clutching the baton is anchorman Pat Boone. Yes, the singer, that Pat Boone. He holds a sizable lead at this point with no opposition in sight, and holds off “fast closing” Noel Carroll for a narrow win. No other information is given.  (I am looking for evidence of this relay with Pat Boone, and will publish any confirmation at a later date.  ed. 

Bill Crothers and Harry Jerome
Talk about provincial, until this year if a Canadian were to set a national record, it had to be on Canadian soil. Marks that didn't qualify are last year's 46.2 by Bill Crothers, Harry Jerome's 20.7 and Bruce Kidd's 13:17.4 3M. Imagine setting a world record and/or winning Olympic gold and not having it count for a national record. Silly Canucks.
Bruce Kidd

Each year Track and Field News publishes its national record relay rankings, a subjective listing of seven relays (440, 880, mile, 2M, 4M, sprint medley and distance medley) and awards points on a 10-8-6-4-2-1 basis. This year's winner is Texas Southern with 34 points, followed by Arizona State 26, Oregon State 20, USC 17 and the Striders 16. TSU is first in the 440 and second in the 880, mile and sprint medley. Arizona State and Oregon State are ranked first in two events: ASU 880 and mile, OSU 2M and DMR. USC and Fordham are the other first place winners in the SMR and 4M respectively.
As long as we are on the subject of relays, a round of applause is warranted for the NCAA rules committee's decision to include the 440 relay and the mile relay in future championship meets, an inclusion a long time coming. The committee also decided that the NCAA indoor meet will be held February 29 in Portland and Louisville “and perhaps elsewhere”. Not sure how that works.
Page 22 is filled with letters to the editor. We will close with the most poignant. Mrs. Dorothy B. Juola of East Lansing, Michigan writes “Enclosed please find $.50. Would it be possible to send the July, 1963 copy of Track and Field News to me as quickly as possible? You see, while cleaning house this morning, I misplaced my husband's copy. (“You threw it away.”) As you must know, that is practically grounds for divorce, and we have been married only four months. Please help me save this otherwise very short-lived marriage.” Questions abound. Did the brothers Nelson comply and eat the cost of postage? Did this save the marriage? Are the Juolas still together and living in a retirement community in Tarpon Springs, Florida?  (Mrs. Juola may want to pick up a copy of the 1962 best seller "Sex and the Single Girl" by Helen Gurley Brown, if she doesn't come up with the July issue.)

Here are two obituaries I found while researching this current issue.  Both Willie Davenport and Pat Traynor are mentioned in this posting. ed. 

Pat Traynor - obituary

Clinical pychologist and former track star who was an all-American steeplechase champion at Villanova University, died at home Saturday from apparent heart failure.
Mr. Traynor grew up in Havertown. He signed up for the track team at Monsignor Bonner High School to get in shape for basketball, his first love, his son Patrick Jr. said.
Mr. Traynor played both sports at Bonner, and was Catholic League cross-country and mile champion. After graduating from Bonner in 1959, he moved on to Villanova to run for famed coach Jumbo Elliott.
Elliott determined the 6-foot-2 athlete's strengths. "Traynor can't run very well indoors," he told a reporter in 1962. "He's like a big elephant, flopping around on the track."
Outdoors, though, Elliott said, Mr. Traynor could run anything from a mile on up, and the coach made him a steeplechaser. The event requires running and jumping hurdles and into puddles of water for nearly two miles.
In 1962, Mr. Traynor was voted most outstanding male college athlete at the Penn Relays, in which he won two long-distance races and came in second in the steeplechase to Deacon Jones, a former Olympian.
Mr. Traynor was an NCAA all-American in the steeplechase in 1961 and 1962, and won the national AAU steeplechase championship in 1962 and 1963. He also won the AAU's 10,000-meter cross-country championship in 1963.
"I never saw a kid with more determination," Villanova trainer Jake Nevin told a reporter in 1962. "Tell Pat to take it easy, and he says, 'No, I want to work out twice today.' You find guys who are big stars who don't work half as hard."
Mr. Traynor once told a reporter that he had read Alan Sillitoe's The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner. "The guy in it was a nut," he said, "and all of us have some of him in us."
After graduating with a history degree from Villanova in 1963, Mr. Traynor ran competitively while teaching at Sayre Junior High School in Philadelphia. In 1964, he qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo, but came down with a case of food poisoning at the trials and was chosen as an alternate.
From 1965 to '69, Mr. Traynor served in the Air Force and competed with the track team. He hoped to run the steeplechase at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, but did poorly in high-altitude trials in Lake Tahoe. While competing as a member of the National Track and Field team that year, he ran a mile in just under four minutes (3:59.6).
After his discharge from the service, he returned to teaching and then counseled families and patients at health centers in Philadelphia for 30 years. At the time of his death, he was head administrator at the New Life Clinic, an outpatient mental-health facility in Northeast Philadelphia.
Mr. Traynor was a member of the Monsignor Bonner Hall of Fame and the Villanova University Varsity Club Hall of Fame. He attended the annual Penn Relays and was a fan of Villanova basketball and track and field.
He also enjoyed painting landscapes, Irish music, and spending time with his grandchildren, his son said.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

Willie Davenport, 59; Olympic Champions


    • Email

Willie Davenport, the 1968 Olympic champion in the men's 110-meter high hurdles and one of the first African American athletes to represent the United States in the Winter Olympics, has died. He was 59.
Davenport was changing planes at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Monday when he collapsed, apparently from a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at Resurrection Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.

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...