This issue is 48 pages, the largest T&FN has published, dwarfing the previous largest, the 1960 Olympic issue, by 50%. The recent indoor news is sandwiched between the world rankings and lists and the US rankings and lists. The cover is graced by the smiling face of C.K. Yang, the magazine's 1963 Athlete of the Year.
As mentioned when he broke his friend, Rafer Johnson's, decathlon record, the deciding factor was the pole vault where the development of the fiberglass pole was the deciding margin. Johnson's marks were better in 7 of the 10 events and take away the pole vault, Johnson holds the edge. On the other hand, Yang has so thoroughly dominated the year's decathlon competition that he has outscored the second best performer, Germany's Willie Holdorf, by 1036 points.
Gaston Roelants, billed as Baillie's main competition, drops out in the first mile with a groin pull and a torn Achilles tendon. His status as the favorite in the Olympic steeplechase is now in doubt.
- Although the event has been renamed the long jump, TFN uses broad jump as that is what the event was called in 1963
Former East Texas State athlete runs strong 50 years later
Van der Wal, now 73, attended East Texas State in 1959 and 1960 for his sophomore and junior years, after transferring from Oklahoma Baptist University.
"The campus seemed a lot closer back then, because I think people are commuting a lot more now," Van der Wal said. "Back then there seemed to be more cohesiveness. I was on a full track scholarship, getting $50 a month spending money, my scholarship paid for room and board and books. I bet the tuition was less than $200 per year, for two semesters."
Originally from northern Netherlands, Van der Wal and his family immigrated to Canada when he was 11-years-old. He said he adapted quickly to the new country and continued to immerse himself in the sport of running.
"In the Netherlands I was a high jumper," Van der Wal said. "I ran all the time, and swam, and biked. My dad had been a runner. He made national teams and had been an army champion. When we came to Canada, this farmer had land that was about eight miles from the house we lived in, and Dad would ride on a bike and I would run beside him, so I practiced long, slow distance running this way."
He said he later realized this type of running practice was one of the best ways to hone his abilities, which would help him win races and earn nearly 50 different scholarships to colleges in the United States.
"I have to say, the thing that really attracted me to East Texas State was that I could work and I could run," Van der Wal said. "School was actually incidental. It was not my first priority, but I realized by this time that I wanted to teach because I'd get more holidays that way, and I could run more. My parents did not slow me down from that, they were silently very proud of me."
Van der Wal said there were little or no African-American students on campus at East Texas State during the time he was there, and ultimately it was segregation issues that led him to transfer to another school before graduating.
"At the end of my junior year, I left because they wouldn't allow me to run against blacks," he said. "And so I went to the University of Nebraska at Kearny and graduated from there. I believed everyone was created in God's image."
Van der Wal said that he was the first white runner to compete in an all black track meet in the U.S., at Texas Southern University in Houston.
"When I look back, a guy would've had to have had real guts to do that, because I could have gotten myself killed," he said. "I did it two years in a row, '63 and ‘64, and back then, you didn't do that in Texas."
Van der Wal said he can't recall all the things he has accomplished over the years as far as running, but some achievements are especially memorable to him.
"One of the most amazing things ever, I don't know how I did it, I hitchhiked all the way to the Cow Palace and set the world record for the one mile steeplechase," Van der Wal said. "I became the Midwestern AU athlete of the year, in other words of the whole area top athletes, professional and amateur. I was just a Canadian kid, so it was unreal. I beat Gale Sayers, who was Rookie of the Year in the NFL."
He still runs and competes regularly, and won five first place medals at the National Canadian Track and Field Championships just last year.
"It's been over 55 years that I've won championships, in the U.S. and Canada," Van der Wal said. "The sport has been so good to me. I have received jobs because of the sport. I got my commissions because of the sport. Nobody tells me that they started on their own running and they did it for 55 years if they didn't love it, and to continue as a runner, you have to have people around you that love it too."
Glad the "e" finally got attached to Hylke van der Wal's name. pronounced "Hike". i knew him. Nice guy,but prone to blow his own horn. He had been to our house in Saginaw in the mid 70s. Good to hear he's still spouting off. RT