Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CVol. 3 No. 64 May, 1964

"With great thanks to Steve Price  for his corrections (I got a C- on the original), here is May 1964."   Roy Mason
May 1964
The last weekend of April is when the season really starts as it is the weekend of the Penn Relays, Drake Relays, and Mt. SAC Relays. Let's start with Penn where the Villanova Wildcats put on quite a show. With Vic Zwolak, Tom Sullivan and Noel Carroll doing most of the heavy lifting, the hometown youngsters warm up by winning the four mile relay (16:50.7) and the distance medley (9:55.8) on Friday before returning Saturday to take the sprint medley (3:23.4) and the two mile relay (7:31.7).
North Carolina College's Norm Tate has a pretty good couple of days. He wins his specialties, the broad jump and the triple jump with marks of 24-11w and 50-8¼ before anchoring his 440 and 880 relay teams to victory. Tate's two individual wins are matched by Bob Hayes of Florida A&M who drops Mel Pender and Tom Robinson by the wayside in a 9.3 hundred before taking the measure of Paul Drayton in the 200, 20.6 to 21.0. Hayes says he is serious about training for the 200 and will take on WR holder Henry Carr in the Coliseum Relays in three weeks. The world record holder in the 100 vs. the world record holder in the 200. We can't wait.
As good as Norm Tate is at Penn, Gayle Hopkins is better at Drake. The Arizona senior graduated from Davenport High where he set the Iowa state high jump record of 6-5½. This weekend he returns home to jump 26-2 and 51-8 and put himself firmly in the Olympic picture in both the triple jump and the broad jump. His broad jump is truly outstanding as it is an improvement of 11½ inches and betters Jesse Owens' meet record by half an inch.
Dallas Long may be the world record holder in the shot put, but he better keep an eye on the rear view mirror because Texas A&M freshman Randy Matson is gaining. On this day Matson erases Long's freshman record of 63-7 with a throw of 64-1.
Tom O'Hara was the golden boy of the indoor season, setting a WR of 3:56.4 before being injured. Now he is on his way back. In his first outdoor competition he shows his fitness with a 56.8 final lap to take the measure of John Camien by four yards in 4:01.0.
The Mt. SAC Relays have always been a mecca for discus throwers and this year is no different. On his first throw Al Oerter betters his world record by over a foot with a 206-6 effort. Just to show this wasn't a fluke, on his last toss he adds a 206-4 to his resume. Dave Weill's lifetime best of 197-6½ takes second ahead of Jay Silvester's 195-0. Silvester's mark is not to be sneezed at, but had to be disappointing as he had warmed up with a toss in the 208 range.
The Grambling 440 relay team ties the world record at 40.0. There is a photo of the quartet, Don Owens, Richard Stebbins, Vernus Ragsdale and Don Meadows, on the front page of this issue but nary a mention of this achievement in the Mt. SAC article.
Oerter's performance earned him outstanding field event honors. Vernus Ragsdale of Grambling takes home that award for the track events as he wins the 220 in 20.7 and has a 19.5 split in the 880 relay in addition to running a leg on the winning Grambling 440 relay team.
The half mile provides some excitement. USC freshman Dennis Carr throws caution to the wind, going through the quarter in 51.3 and, if unofficial splits can be believed, actually picking up the pace to hit the 660 in 1:16.5. The wall is firmly hit 30 yards later and he staggers home in an ugly final 220 of 41.1 for a last place 1:57.6. SC assistant Willie Williams says, “He ran a fine race for 660 yards”.
Demonstrating that patience is a virtue, comebacking Jerry Siebert blows away a good field of Greg Pelster, Ernie Cunliffe, Steve Haas, Jan Underwood and Jim Dupree in the final 220 to win by a second and a half in 1:48.5 for the national lead.
In 1964 no report would be complete without mention of an official foul up, this time the ever intricate counting the laps in the 10,000 problem. Charlie Clark hits the tape in a way too fast 28:24.0. By the time the more alert of the officials realizes that they have stopped Charlie too soon, he is in the infield accepting congratulations. The “Oh, Charlie, I think you have one more lap to run” moment had to be the very definition of awkward. Charlie is a trooper about the whole thing. He hops on the track and dutifully runs another lap to finish in 30:07.4, still ahead of Pat Clohessy's 30:21.0.
The Striders put up the fastest mile relay of the year with Mike Larrabee 47.6, Don Webster 47.2, Adolph Plummer 46.2 and Earl Young 46.8 combining for 3:07.8. Jim Heath splits 46.1 for third place Camp Pendleton and Art Carter of second place New Mexico runs 46.2. Not to be overlooked is a 46.6 in the freshman race by a young man from San Jose State, one Tommy Smith.
Ed Burke improves his position in the world hammer throwing community by improving from 206-4 to 214-8.
C.K. Yang wins the decathlon with 8043 points, over a thousand short of his world record set in this meet last year. This decline can be attributed to the fact that his training is aimed at a peak performance in the October Olympics. Although his point total was not mentioned, particular note is made of the performance of 24 year old Russ Hodge, a giant at 6-3, 220 pounds. Oddly, his best marks were in running events where he clocks 10.9, 49.1 and a very impressive 4:26.6. Hodge, who has four years of college eligibility remaining, expresses his obvious inexperience, “I haven't got taught nothing yet.” (including English apparently) “I haven't had any real coaching.”
Though there were no big meets the following Saturday, May 2, there were some significant marks. Bob Hayes runs his fourth legit 9.1 in Nashville. Randy Matson, improving by leaps and bounds, puts together the second best shot – discus double, 64-10½ and 182-11 in Houston. By next year when he is a sophomore the kid may amount to something. In Long Beach John Rambo takes over the national lead in the high jump with a 7-1½ clearance. Oregon soph Ken Moore surprises with an 8:48.1 two mile. Jim Beatty opens his outdoor season with a 4:08.4 relay leg.
The next weekend the elite of American track and field have gathered in Fresno for the West Coast Relays. Let us go back to that scene. It is Friday evening, May 8. The time is 7:48. Dallas Long is stepping into the shot put ring for his second attempt of the evening. His world record is 65-11½. Only a few moments ago he threw 65-3. If you are a track fan, this is not the time to go out for popcorn.
A mighty burst and grunt. Long spins twice to keep his balance. The last line that is marked is 65 feet. The shot lands well beyond. The crowd roars. And indeed they should. The effort is measured at 66-7¼, a new world record.
Or is it? The distance is remeasured. Yes, it is 66-7¼. The shot is weighed. It is in excess of sixteen pounds by an ounce. The landing area measures higher than the ring. So, what's problem? Well it seems the circle does not have a raised rim, a necessity for record submission. One has to believe that since Long had upped his record only a month ago, there might be a chance of a record tonight and officals would have made the ring record legal. The mark will be submitted, but acceptance is questionable.
Long takes a third throw, 64-11, and calls it a night. He seems to limp as he walks off. This evening's performance is a surprise. He had dropped a 200 pound weight on his foot and hadn't trained for ten days and, being a new father, had been up all night with the baby.
The open 440 produces the nation's best time, 46.5, as BYU's Bob Tobler holds off San Jose State freshman Tommy Smith in the same time. This is Smith's third race of the season after starring on the SJS freshman basketball team.
If you recall in our April report, Charles Craig of Fresno State bettered the collegiate triple jump record, but the lack of a wind gauge kept the mark from being recognized. Charlie is back and this time there is no official foul up. He jumps 52-4, good enough to take down Luther Hayes' 51-11 record, but a quarter inch short of Darrell Horn's winning jump.
George Kerr's 1:52.9 880 victory normally wouldn't bear mentioning except that the first lap went off in sixty seconds flat.
A week has passed and the focus of US track has moved 220 miles south on Hwy 99 to Los Angeles for the Coliseum Relays. Bob Hayes is the man at 100, but tonight he eschews the short sprint for the long one, the 200. He has been training for the 200 and is ready to take on world record holder, Henry Carr. Carr, on the other hand, is testing his mettle in the 100. He gets off well, but is nipped at the tape by Grambling sophomore Dick Stebbins, 10.2 for both. Now it is Hayes' turn to venture into the world of Henry Carr at 200. Around the curve they go and Hayes has two yards on the world record holder. Then Carr's 400 strength comes into play. The gap closes and then then opens with Carr winning by two yards, 20.6 to 20.8 on a cold night. Carr says he will concentrate on the 200 now. Hayes is not ready to concede this distance to Carr. He says, “I was beaten by an outstanding man”, but avows he will continue to work on the 200.
As the name of the meet is the Coliseum Relays it is only appropriate that the world record which is equaled this night is in a relay, specifically the two mile relay. Villanova is here to take on the best teams from the west, Stanford, UCLA, San Jose State and Texas. After the first leg the Wildcats are down 17 yards, but mid 1:49 splits by Al Adams and Tom Sullivan position Noel Carroll well on the anchor leg. He trails San Jose State's John Garrison until the home straight where he “struggles” past to win by three yards. Carroll's 1:46.9 leg gives Villanova a tie for the world record at 7:19.0. Garrison's 1:48.0 brings San Jose in second at 7:19.6. UCLA nabs third in 7:20.6 on the strength of sophomore Bob Day's 1:46.1 anchor. Texas and Stanford finish in 7:21.4 and 7:23.5.
John Camien may have a history of being outkicked by Tom O'Hara, but tonight he does some serious outkicking himself as he wins the mile in 4:00.7 five yards ahead of Jim Grelle's 4:01.4 and Bob Schul's 4:01.6.
Billy Mills, “the blue-eyed Sioux”, takes the 5000 field through a remarkably even paced three miles – 4:30.0, 4:30.6, 4:29.5 – before succumbing to New Zealand's veteran Bill Baille who runs his last lap in 60.2 for a convincing 13:54.5 victory while Mills has to be content with a 13:57.4 PR.
When USC freshman Dennis Carr woke the morning of May 16 he held three high school national records. When the sun set that day he was down to one. Larry Kelly of Chicago's Maine East HS took half a second off Carr's 1:50.9 880 record against high school competition. Carr still holds the open high school record at 1:49.2. But when it rains, it pours. Carr also lost his mile record against HS competition this day when Jim Ryun of Wichita East dropped the record from 4:08.7 to 4:06.4. Tom Sullivan still holds the open record of 4:03.5. To rub salt in Carr's wounds, both Kelly and Ryun are juniors.
To wile away the boredom of the bus ride to the Texas Relays TCU's sub 1:52 half miler Roger Hunt decides to see how long he can hold his breath. Four minutes and sixteen seconds pass before he gasps a breath. The staff at OUTV realizes that many of our readers, although of a certain age, are still very competitive. Thus we feel obligated to provide this warning: Caution, geezers, do not try this at home.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Donald is my late brother and it just blows my mind that there is very little intel on the many track meets that these guys participated in during that four year period. I miss him every day of my life.

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