Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vol. 3 No. 81 June , 1964

June 1964
The Olympics are less than four months off. Will the US be ready? We better be because Trinidad sure is. On May 16 Yale's Wendell Mottley runs 46.1, the fastest 400 in the world this year. On the same day in Raleigh, NC, another Trinidadian, Edwin Roberts, lays down a 9.4, 20.1 (straightaway) double. The next week, May 22-23, Kent Bernard, running for Michigan in the Big Ten meet, relegates his countryman, Mottley, to number two with a 46.0 clocking then backs it up with a 45.4 relay leg. 
Kent Bernard
Edwin Roberts
Wendell Motteley

Also on the 23rd on the opposite side of the county, the AAWU meet is held in Los Angeles bringing together Cal, SC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington and Washington State. The feature race is the mile which Stanford's Paul Schlicke wins in 4:02.5. He is closely followed by SC's Bruce Bess and Washington's John Valient, both at 4:02.7.
Bruce Bess
 Prerace favorite Bob Day of UCLA finishes in 4:03.2. Cal's Dave Archibald and Forrest Beaty place 1-2 in the 440 at 46.3 and 46.6. Both collect gold medals on Cal's 3:11.0 mile relay team.
Cal's 4xx440 NCAA championship team
Forrest Beatty, Al Courchesne, Dave Fishback and Dave Archibald
Those same days the WAC meet, held in Salt Lake City, sees strong doubles by Henry Carr of Arizona State and Gayle Hopkins of Arizona. 
Gayle Hopkins
Carr is unpressed in the sprints, clocking 9.3 and 20.4 while Hopkins makes Friday's prelim marks hold up to take the horizontal jumps at 26-0 and 50-7, barely edging New Mexico's Clarence Robinson who leaps 25-5 and 50-4½. BYU's Bob Tobler takes up the challenge laid down by Kent Bernard the previous day matching his world leading 46.0.
Clarence Robinson and Coach Hugh Hackett
But the real excitement this weekend comes from the California Relays in Modesto where a seasoned veteran and rosy cheeked youngster steal the show. This is saying a lot when one considers there were also two record breaking performances in the relays.
Ralph Boston

Defending Olympic broad jump champion Ralph Boston displays his readiness by breaking his own American record and coming within ¾ of an inch of Ter-Ovanesyan's WR with a leap of 27-2½. (note: Though the event has been officially renamed the long jump, Track and Field News continues to refer to it as the broad jump. So as long as they do, we shall also.) Perhaps more remarkable is his consistency. His series averages 26-8 1/8, only 1/8 of an inch less than Jesse Owen's world record that lasted 25 years.
As remarkable as this performance is, the crowd's heart is stolen by a third place finisher, high school junior Jim Ryun. Running with the big boys for the first time, the 17 year old proves that he belongs. The pace is slow – 62.7, 2:05.3 and 3:05.8 – and the crowd is anticipating fireworks on the last lap. They are not disappointed. Tom O'Hara makes a burst on the backstretch but Dyrol Burleson matches it. O'Hara leads into the straight as the pair opens ground on the field. But, wait a minute, what is that high school kid doing? Passing world class runners right and left, that's what. He has passed Bob Seaman in the backstretch, John Camien on the curve and now Cary Weisiger in the final straight.
O'Hara and Burleson hit the tape together. Many observers see O'Hara as the winner, but unfortunately none of them are finish judges. Burleson gets the nod by a tenth in 4:00.2. But it is Ryun who is the focus of the crowd. He hits the finish in 4:01.7, edging Weisiger who has the same time. Camien, 4:02.2, and Seaman, 4:04.2 take fifth and sixth. Ryun's last lap goes off in 55.7. Track and field has a budding new star. This is the time almost weekly Ryun's name began being mentioned over and over on ABC's Wide World of Sports when track and field got regular coverage on Saturday afternoons.
Grambling's 440 relay team ties the WR of 40.0 held by Oregon and Great Britain. This achievement is dimmed only slightly by their inability to beat the Striders' big name team of Adolph Plummer, Mike Larabee, Don Webster and Earl Young in the 880 relay. The Striders win easily 1:23.2 to 1:24.0 when, as Cordner Nelson writes, “Dick Stebbins showed a lack of enthusiasm on the third leg”.
Mike Larabee
The other record broken this evening is the collegiate sprint medley. Morgan Groth has already run 4:05.5 on OSU's winning distance medley.

Morgan Groth

Now he is off six yards behind Olympic veteran Jerry Siebert of the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village. He makes up the margin and stays on Siebert's heels before pulling away in the homestretch with a 1:46.9 split and a 3:17.5 record. As good as that is, Groth is just another guy in the Oregon State workouts he shares with world class half milers Norm Hoffman and Jan Underwood. The latter wins the open 880 this evening at 1:48.7.
Jim Beatty is coming back from an injury but there is no timidity in him. He leads the two mile through 2:07, 4:20 and 6:35 half mile splits before the wisdom of a less aggressive pace is made evident when Bruce Kidd and Bill Baillie go by on the final backstretch. Kidd runs the last lap in 57.9. We don't know what Baillie's finish is, but it is faster. Baillie wins 8:37.1 to 8:38.1. Beatty has to be content with the US lead at 8:41.0. There will be other days.

There are noteworthy performances in other field events beside the broad jump.  Fred Hansen vaults 16-4½ to tie the mark Don Meyers set the same day in Colorado for the world lead. Discus thrower Dave Weill has a day to remember. No, he doesn't beat “Automatic Al” Oerter.
Nobody does. But he does become the seventh member of the 200 foot club when he exceeds that mark by two inches in taking second place to Oerter's 203-6. Les Tipton throws 260-10½ to top Frank Covelli by 11 inches in the javelin.

Forrest Beatty

Frank Covelli

Ulis Williams
It is the next day and you get to choose a word: courageous, tough, strong, gutsy. They all apply to Buddy Edelen's performance in the Yonkers Marathon. He runs 2:24:25.6, a good, but not a great time. Well, not a great time until you realize the conditions. The temperature is 91. The humidity is 40%. The winner qualifies for the Olympic team. 128 start, but only 41 finish. Among the drop outs are Hal Higdon, Norm Higgins, Gordon McKenzie, Jim Green and Alex Breckenridge. Edelen's margins over runner ups Adolph Gruber and John J. Kelly are 19:45 and 20:20. These guys are no dogs. Gruber won five marathons last year. Kelly has won this race eight times. When Edelen breasts the tape they are an incredible three and a half miles behind.
Buddy Edelen center with handkerchief around his neck.
Ron Daws in the dark uniform to the right.
Picture is from the following blog link  Jack and Viv taken at the Jackrabbit 15 miler in South Dakota. Edelen ran this race after the marathon trials and before the 64 Olympis

Normally a local AAU meet wouldn't be covered in Track and Field News, but then the Southern Pacific Association is not an ordinary AAU chapter. It includes the majority of Southern California, the hotbed of US track. The shot put competition takes the spotlight when Dallas Long puts the iron ball 66-3½. Last month he threw 66-7¼, but the lack of a raised rim on the circle will likely keep that mark from being accepted as a world record. All the t's have been crossed and the i's dotted on this one. It will be submitted as the WR. Second place goes to two time Olympic champion Parry O'Brien.
O'Brien has become just another guy the last couple years, but today he exhibits his never say die attitude by throwing 63-10, his PR, and the first time he has improved in four years. Just to show that the shot is not the only weight event on the schedule, Hal Connolly spins the hammer 222-2½ to take the world lead.
New Zealand's Bill Baillie is on a tour of the US. Today he drops down to the mile where Jim Grelle awaits. Baillie used his fierce kick to win the California Relays two mile last week. Will his finishing prowess hold him in good stead today? Almost, but not quite. He and Grelle are shoulder to shoulder up the straight but Grelle holds on for a 4:00.0 to 4:00.1 victory.
Mike Larrabee wins the 440 in 47.0, but only after surviving a qualifying heat where Dick Edmunds edges him 46.7 to 46.8 with Rex Cawley at 47.2. Yes, the SPAAAU is a special meet.
Rex Cawley USC out of Farmington, MI
Saturday, June 5 is a memorable date in track history. In Houston at the Texas Federation meet, Fred Hansen vaults into the record book, literally. John Pennell had the record at 16-10 with a 17-0¾ pending. Fred's 17-1 clearance gives him the WR, but perhaps more significant for the future is his last jump at 17-3¾ of which his coach, Emmett Brunson, says, “Fred was over by at least four inches, but he just wasn't getting enough drive off his pole”.
With the Olympics only four months off, prospects look pretty good for the Rice University grad.
That evening a crowd of 7700 fills the stands at Compton Junior College for meet director Herschel Smith's always exciting Compton Invitational. They will go home with memories to last a lifetime.
Track and Field News co-editors, Bert and Cordner Nelson, are overwhelmed by the 5000. Bert says it is “the best race I have ever seen” and Cordner calls it “the most significant race by American distance runners in history”.
Bruce Kidd, the 20 year old American all comers record holder of 13:43.8 (set at age 18) is here. So is fast finishing Bill Baillie of New Zealand. Speaking of fast finishers, here is Jim Beatty. Rapidly improving Bob Schul is in the field as are Ron Larrieu, Danny Murphy and Julio Marin. Oh, and there is a high school kid who may be heard from, Gerry Lindgren from Spokane, Washington.
Lindgren between Schul and Dellinger
Lindgren shows a definite lack of respect for his elders. Instead of assuming his place as a follower, he takes the field out in 61.6. The crowd loves it. Bruce Kidd takes over on the second lap and leads for most of the next nine laps. It is to Kidd's advantage to keep the pace hot. Kidd is a strong finisher, but just two weeks ago Baille outkicked him. Beatty and Schul are also respected for their finishing prowess. It is obvious that the young Canadian's strategy is to negate those kicks with a fast pace. Another runner who must share that plan is Lindgren. Running with the moxie of a veteran, he sits on Kidd's shoulder as laps go by in 2:07.6 (66.0), 3:13.8 (66.2), 4:20.7 (66.9), 5:29.0 (68.3) and 6:36.3 (67.3). On the seventh lap the pace slows before Lindgren delights the crowd by taking the lead, passing the start of the eighth lap in 7:46.6 (70.3). But Kidd is not finished. He musters a 66.8 go round to take the lead at two miles in 8:53.4.
Kidd leads through one more lap (68.6 and 10:02.4), but the field is ready to strike. Larrieu, running the race of his life, moves to third. Ballie is fourth. Beatty sees Schul go by and finds Murphy on his heels. Behind Murphy a five yard gap opens. On the backstretch Larrieu, running aggressively, takes a four yard lead.
It is quickly covered by Schul who leads at the end of ten laps (65.1 – 11:07.5). That five yard separation in the field is now 40 yards. Beatty, coming back from a calf injury three weeks ago, drops out. “The tempo felt good, but I didn't want to take a chance on my leg.” Now the order is Schul, Larrieu, Kidd, Baillie, Lindgren and Murphy with two and a half laps left.
Bob Schul probably at Oxford, OH
courtesy of Jim Gerard estate
a lap and a half to go, Schul leads (66.9 – 12:14.4) with Baillie on his shoulder, Lindgren five yards back, three ahead of Larrieu and Murphy. Kidd is slipping away and is now 10 yards back. At the gun it is Schul and Ballie. Cordner Nelson writes, “Everyone there knew that Baillie would outkick Schul......except Schul”. The red clad Miami runner passes the three mile mark in 13:15.6, an American record, and then goes to the afterburners. He covers the last 188 yards in 22.4, “probably faster than any other man in a world class 5000”, says CN. His last lap is 55.4. Baillie can't match it and finishes 15 yards back. Schul's American record is 13:38.0, three seconds off the world record and the fourth fastest all time. Baillie has to be content with 13:40.0, a PR good for seventh all time. Schul's post race comment has to cause concern for prospective Olympic competitors, “I just ran to win. I didn't feet a bit tired. Honest, I didn't go all out.” Baillie says of Schul, “He has a royal chance to win at Tokyo”.
There is enough glory to go around for the rest of the field. Larrieu and Lindgren battle for third with the veteran finally pulling away in the straight, 13:43.0 to 13:44.0 as both bettered Beatty's American record of 13:45.0. They are now 11th and 13th on the all time world list. Apparently this was better than hanging around the malt shop in Spokane as Lindgren says, “That race was a lot of fun. I never had so much fun”. (editor's note: we are guessing that Gerry has yet to discover girls.)
Schul breaks the collegiate record by a whopping 21.2 seconds. Had he not been in the race, Danny Murphy would have that honor. His 13:49.2 clips ten seconds off the former mark. Not only is Murphy now the number two college runner, he is the number 5 American and number 23 on the world list. He has just clipped 23.5 seconds off his PR. Kidd pays the price for leading and limps in at 13:58.8. His only consolation is that Lindgren missed his age 18 record by two tenths.
How good was this race? Here is how good: Charlie Clark in eighth shaves two tenths off his PR yet falls from fifth to eighth on the all time US list.
Half an hour passes and now the field is lining up for the mile and what a field it is. Tom O'Hara, Dyrol Burleson, Cary Weisiger and Jim Grelle represent the old guard. The up and coming group is Bob Day, Morgan Groth, Archie San Romani and that high school kid, Jim Ryun.
Bob Delany who recently set the junior college mile record is the rabbit. The gap his 57.9 opens is soon closed as he tows them through a 2:00.2 half with Grelle, Weisiger and Day 2-3-4. Trailing after having been knocked into the infield is Ryun at 2:01.5. On the third lap Groth passes Grelle and leads at the bell in 3:01.6.
Cary Weisiger
Day is third and the favorites, Burleson and O'Hara, have moved into 4th and 5th. A five yard gap has opened in front of San Romani, Ryun and Weisiger who are tightly packed only a tenth apart. Grelle retakes the lead and holds it through the 1500 in 3:42.9 but the entire field is within striking distance. Onto the straight they come. Burleson and O'Hara go by Grelle, but no one is moving as fast as San Romani who passes Grelle and Groth. Burleson holds on to win in 3:57.4 over O'Hara who barely edges San Romani as they both run 3:57.6. Groth is next in 3:57.9. Then it is Grelle 3:58.5, Day and Weisinger both 3:58.9, and Ryun 3:59.0. San Romani finishes the fastest with a last lap of 54.9. Burleson and O'Hara come home in 55.4 and 55.5. Day is the slowest at 56.3. On the last lap everyone changed positions at least once. See the race at this link.
How significant is this race in the history of American middle distance running? Let us count the ways. Eight Americans break four minutes in the same race. Four - San Romani, Groth, Day and Ryun – do it for the first time. A high school kid, Ryun, runs 3:59.0.
Mike Larrabee wins the 400 in 46.2 over Rex Cawley and Bob Tobler.
Bob Tobler
Unfortunately this race marks the end of the career of 440 record holder Adolph Plummer who drops out at the 350 mark. “I have officially retired from competition. I have arthritis of the knee.”
Otis Davis, Ulis Williams, Adolph Plummer, Earl Young
Randall's Island 1963
Hayes Jones' status as the heavy Olympic favorite in the hurdles takes a hit. Blaine Lindgren tops him as both run 13.8..
Lindgren and Jones
Utah State freshman Jerry Cerulla is third, also in 13.8. Ed Carruthers clears seven feet for the first time to beat John Thomas also at 7-0.
Fishback and Danny Murphy on left Ben Tucker hand raised finishing XC meet on track against Cal Berkeley
Even in a meet as wonderful as tonight's, the officials manage to mess up one event. Jeff Fishback outruns George Young in the steeplechase, but his 8:33.2 is questionable even to Fishback who asks that the course be remeasured. That is done the next day. Yep, it is 70 yards short.

A week later and we are in San Diego for the appropriately named San Diego Invitational. In addition to many of the competitors from the Compton meet, Fred Hansen who set the pole vault WR of 17-1 last week in Houston is in attendance. He and former WR holder John Pennel clear 16-8½ and the bar is raised to 17-2. They each miss the first attempt, but Hansen clears on his second try. Now it is Pennel's turn. The worst that can happen is that he misses and takes a third try, right? To use an old line, if Pennel didn't have bad luck, he wouldn't have any luck at all. Not only does he miss, he is injured (not specified), begins spitting blood and is hospitalized for the night.
Hayes Jones is anxious to avenge last week's upset loss to Blaine Lindgren, but this evening's race makes one think last week wasn't an upset as Lindgren wins easily 13.6 to 13.9. New Mexico's Bernie Rivers takes the 100 into the wind in 9.3. He returns to add the 220 to his list of accomplishments, clocking 20.7 and leaving Paul Drayton and the recently unretired Adolph Plummer in his dust, 21.1 for both.
Here is Bob Schul again, this time lining up for the mile where he will test his kick against established miler Cary Weisiger. Weisiger tries to run the sprint out of the US 5000 record holder, but a 3:02.6 1320 isn't enough. Schul blows by in the homestretch to win by nine tenths in 3:59.1.
The last time we saw Olympic veteran Jerry Siebert was three weeks ago when Morgan Groth outran him on the anchor leg of the sprint medley. Apparently he has made good use of that time. His 1:47.5 880 is the fastest in the world and provides him with a wide margin over a good field. Ted Nelson and Greg Pelster take the runner up spots both in 1:49.1. Wait a minute, who is that high school kid in fourth? Even though Jim Ryun is in the race, he isn't that kid. It is Bob Hose of San Diego Madison who is right on the veterans' heels in 1:49.2, a national HS record bettering the 1:50.4 set only last month by Larry Kelley of Maine East High in Illinois. Versatile Ron Whitney holds off Ryun, 1:49.6 to 1:50.3.
Last year Ulis Williams was the pre-Olympic 400 favorite. That designation is up for grabs now as Ulis has been injured and hasn't had a serious race since mid April. That is until tonight's 440. He can't match Hiram Carroll's 46.7, but a 46.9 tosses his hat in the ring. Trailing Ulis by a tenth are the rejuvenated Adolph Plummer and high schooler Freddie Banks.
We will close with notes on a couple high school kids. Leon Forman, the coach at Long Beach Poly, has had some good athletes over the years, but says Earl McCullough is the best. Given the following facts, it is hard to argue otherwise. McCullough was entered in 47 individual races and won them all. He tied the national records of 13.7 and 18.1 in the high and low hurdles and was state champ in both. His average times in these events are 14.2 and 18.7. He seldom ran the sprints, but had bests of 9.7, 21.7 and 50.2. He also ran on 21 relay teams. The other kid to watch is Bobby Bonds, a pretty good baseball player at Riverside High, who found time to win the California state broad jump championship with a leap of 25-3. Wonder what the future holds for these kids.

Bobby Bonds

Earl McCullough

Some of those Kiwi
kids in later years from

L-R: Bill Baillie, Barry Magee, Jeff Julian
L-R: Bill Baillie, Barry Magee, Jeff Julian
Bill Baillie was one of the all-time greats of New Zealand athletics, winning 15 national titles from 880 yards through to the 6 miles on the track, as well as cross-country and road titles. He placed a close 6th in the Tokyo Olympic 5000m, and also pipped Ron Clarke on the post in an international 2-mile race. Bill set world records over 20000m and 1 hour on the track in 1963; these were broken by Ron Clarke, but they still stand as New zealand records. After 40 laps of 72s, going through 10000m in 29:48, he switched down to 70s a lap for the next 10 or so laps to make sure he set the New Zealand 10-mile track record on the way through. In later years, Bill established himself as a world force in age-group triathlon.
Barry won bronze in the Rome Olympic marathon in 1960, and later that year won the inaugural Fukuoka marathon. Barry won many national titles over 6 miles track, cross country, and road. A career highlight apart from his Olympic medal would be ranking first in the world over 10000m in 1961. Barry won the World Cup 10,000m in Helsinki in 28:51, with a very hard last 800m, and ranked 3rd world-wide over 5000m in 13:39.
Jeff Julian was one of the icons of New Zealand distance running, winning 11 national titles: 4 marathons, 2 cross-country titles, and 5 road race titles. He was famous for his prodigious fast mileage training. Jeff had an amazing year in 1963, when he set world 30-mile (2 hr:47.34) and 40-mile (3hr:53.36) track records in the one race. He also clocked 47:36 for 10 miles, and won Fukuoka in 2hr 14mins, beating a world-class lineup. Unfortunately he couldn’t reproduce this form the next year in the Tokyo Olympics, but his place in the pantheon of all-time greats was cemented by his victory in Fukuoka, often described as “harder to win than the Olympics”.
Other New Zealanders to have won Fukuoka include 1968 Olympic bronze medalist Mike Ryan,(1967, 2hr 13m), and Paul Ballinger (2hr 10min).
Bill Baillie is married to Jeff’s sister Val, who took the photo for coach Randy Smith, who runs the Arthur Lydiard Classic, a high school track meet in Ohio.



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