Saturday, January 18, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 2 1964 NCAA Meet

Editor's Note:   Rather than doing the NCAA and AAU meets in one post for June 1964 (that would be too much of a good thing), we will cover those meets in separate issues as well as the Olympic trials and meets leading up to the OT's.  So fasten yer seatbelts. 
Note:  One of our readers, Thomas Coyne caught an error on the Oregon team photo below, correcting the date to 1965 from 1964.  Since the photo probably came from Coach Bowerman's papers, we'll chalk the error up to him.  However our sharp eyed and like minded Thomas Coyne did not let it get past him.   Then another follow up came from John Lawson, former Kansas All American, bringing more information that Thomas was looking for.  Good job guys.   If anyone else catches mistakes or has more information to add about our stories, we'll be happy to put that on the blog. Write us at    ed.

This month's issue of Track and Field News reports three vitally important meets.
  The NCAA qualifies the top six to compete in the Olympic Trials. 
The AAU also qualifies the top six finishers for the Trials, but also qualifies the top two finishers for the team that will face the Russians in the Coliseum July 25-26. 
The winner of the Olympic Semi-Final meet will be on the Olympic team. 
June 18-20 finds us in Eugene, Oregon for the NCAAs. The Ducks come through for the hometown fans. Oregon, on the strength of 24 points in the javelin, runs away with the title with 70 points, a comfortable 30 points ahead of San Jose State.
Harry Jerome adds 16 points with a meet record 10.1 in the 100, a mark matched by Edwin Roberts of North Carolina College and Trenton Jackson of Illinois in second and third.
Edwin Roberts
Bob Hayes
with kind permission of Finnobar Callanan, Ireland


  Bob Hayes chooses to run only the 200 and does so magnificently, clocking a wind aided 20.4. Once again Roberts matches the winning time but gets a second for his troubles. Jerome is third in 20.6. Roberts and Jerome are the meet's top scorers with 16 points.

Today, with the advent of technology, there are seldom ties in running events. This is not the case in 1964. In this meet there are two. The oddity is that they are not in the shortest races. In the 400 Nick Lee of Morgan State has the early lead but Ulis Williams of Arizona State owns the backstretch and takes a two yard lead into the final straight. Kent Bernard of Michigan
Kent Bernard
closes strongly, but BYU's Bob Tobler
Bob Tobler
finishes even stronger, catching Williams at the tape as Bernard just misses. Officials can't decide between Williams and Tobler so both are awarded gold medals. Although running the same 45.9 as the others, Bernard has to settle for bronze.

 At this time Hayward Field had stands inside the track which block the view of the last turn. The 800 field is bunched at the end of a a 54.3 first lap, but down the backstretch John Garrison of San Jose State passes Villanova's Noel Carroll and USC's Bruce Bess
Bruce Bess
to lead as the field disappears behind the stands. When they enter the straight, Garrison still leads but Bess has passed Carroll. St. John's Tom Farrell and Ohio's Barry Sugden have entered the picture. Farrell's chances look dim until a hole opens. He powers through to win in 1:48.5. Sugden, Bess and Garrison take 2-3-4 in 1:48.7, 1:48.9 and 1:49.1. Carroll fades to sixth, being passed by Oregon's Ray Van Asten. 

 As exciting as the 800 is, the 1500 is even better. There is the Oregon – Oregon State rivalry between Morgan Groth and Archie San Romani.  Middle America is represented by Tom Von Ruden of Oklahoma State, Richard Romo of Texas,

Romo leading a stellar field of milers in another race


Romo today Pres. of U. of Texas San Antonio

 Robin Lingle of Missouri and John Camien of Emporia State. In addition, Ben Tucker of San Jose State, Bob Day of UCLA and Tom Sullivan of Villanova are toeing the starting line.

Day may be young, but he is not afraid to lead through splits of 58.3 and 2:00.6 with Groth and Von Ruden right on him. On the third lap Tucker takes the lead at the bell in 3:00.2. He leads down the backstretch with Groth on his shoulder. As they approach the final curve push comes to shove, literally. Groth, on the outside, takes a foot lead and cuts for the pole. He has been disqualified for this behavior twice this year.  Day is having none of this. He shoves Groth but breaks stride in doing so. The inspector calls it a double foul with no advantage to anyone, so no disqualification.
Morgan Groth
Groth is unsure of his condition but he has the lead into the straightaway. San Romani is the one man who can catch him but he waits for an opening that is late in coming. Past Day, Camien and Tucker he goes, but is too little too late to catch Groth who wins in a collegiate record 3:40.4. San Romani finishes in 3:40.8 with Camien third at 3:41.0. All three have run the final lap in 54.4. Tucker, Lingle and Day are next at 3:41.1, 3:42.0 and 3:42.1. 
Alert readers may recall that there are two races that result in ties, an unusual occurrence made all the more odd because the second tie comes in the 5000. Throw in the fact that the co-winners are from service academies and you have the makings of a great trivia question for Friday's track geezer gathering at the Dew Drop Inn.
The pace – 4:33 and 9:17 – is such that the field is together when the three mile mark is reached in 13:47.8. Jim Keefe of Central Connecticut has the lead as the field disappears behind the stands. He holds it into the straight but here comes Jim Murphy of the Air Force Academy and Bill Straub of Army. Straub, on the outside, leads by a foot “a few yards from the tape” but Murphy isn't through. He leans “like a hurdler” and the two are inseparable at the tape. They share gold medals and the new meet record of 14:12.3. Keefe is third at 14:13.0. Ken Moore adds to the Oregon total by placing fourth 14:14.4.
The 10,000 isn't anywhere near as close. Jim Keefe and Vic Zwolak are in the race but fall back to fifth and eighth as Danny Murphy of San Jose State and Doug Brown of Montana break away. Brown leads with two laps remaining but Murphy exhibits a gear Brown doesn't have. At six miles he leads by 55 yards and stretches his margin to the finish, winning by 14 seconds in a meet record 29:37.8. Murphy's teammate, Gene Gurule, sprints past Washington State's John Valient to take third and give the Spartans 16 points in this event.
Bill Bowerman and Clarence 'Hec' Edmunson coach U. of Washington
Remember when coaches dressed up for track meets?

Vic Zwolak may be bloody but he is unbowed. Two days later he dominates the steeplechase field with the fastest clocking by an American this year, 8:42.0. Oregon's distance depth pays off with 11 points as Mike Lehner finishes second in 8:50.6 and Clayton Steinke and Ken Moore take fifth and sixth.

A pic of this bunch of Oregon runners a few months later on their way to NCAA XC meet
Flanking Bowerman are Steinke and Lehner, San Romani, and Kenny Moore.  Tomm, Keith Forman, and Mortinson on the left.  Check the sartorial splendor.  This is the way college runners were expected to dress back then for road trips.
Correction :"The photo of the Oregon team going to the NCAA Cross Country Championship is mis-dated.  It should be 1963, not 1964.

The Oregon team pictured is the one that ran in the 1963 championship won by San Jose State at East Lansing.

The 1964 NCAA XC championship held at East Lansing was the last over the four mile distance.  It was won by Western Michigan University.
The following year the distance was moved up to six miles and the race was moved to Kansas (I forgot to check just where).  However, the
winning team was again from Western Michigan University." Thomas Coyne

"The 1965 and 1966 Cross Country Championships  were run at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas. Pleased to say I beat Doug Brown of Montana who had out leaned me in the 3 mile in Berkeley at the 1965 NCAA Outdoor Championships a few months earlier. "
John Lawson
  Coach Bill Bowerman has whipped Moore like a rented mule in this meet. In addition to his fourth in the 5000, he was ninth in the 10,000 before running 9:02.8 today in his first steeplechase.
Bobby May of Rice dominates a mediocre field in the 110 highs. He is out early and never looks back in equaling the meet record in 13.7.
The field in the 400 intermediates appears formidable until the semis lop off many of the contenders. Ron Whitney of Oxy, Jim Miller of Colorado and Jim Allen of Washington State, all potential winners, are relegated to being spectators for the final. Whitney hasn't gotten in shape after playing football last fall. Allen pulls a hamstring and drops out. Miller, holder of the fastest 300 meter hurdle time, has always had trouble with the last 100 and, indeed, that is the problem today.
None of this matters to LSU's Billy Hardin who provides ample evidence that he would have won no matter who was in the field. He is handicapped by his lane one placement but that isn't a problem. He has two yards by the second hurdle and stretches it all the way to the tape, winning in 50.2. Vince McArdle of Manhattan and Andy McCray of North Carolina College take the next two places in 50.8 and 50.9.
1964 is the first year of relay competition in the NCAA meet. The results range from so-so to pretty darn good. Only seven schools can round up four guys to run on a 440 team eliminating the need for heats. Anchorman Trenton Jackson brings Illinois from 3½ yards behind Fresno State to victory in 40.1. Fresno, USC and Colorado run 40.3, 40.5 and 40.7 but then quality falls off the table. Houston runs 41.6 but that looks pretty good compared with Oregon State's 42.3 and Oregon's 42.4. Coaches are holding their stars out. Darrell Newman could have made a difference for Fresno and Harry Jerome and Dave Blunt would have put Oregon in the thick of it. These three filled their days with 100s and 220s. One wonders that if coaches knew that only a final would be run, entries might have been different.
Cal's mile relay team is real good. Everyone knows that going in, but someone forgot to tell Nebraska lead off man, Dick Stramm. He passes off with the lead. It is short lived. Dave Fishback, brother of steeplechaser Jeff, puts the Golden Bears into the lead on the second leg and 45.6 and 45.8 legs by Forrest Beaty and Dave Archibald salt away a 3:07.4 win. The day's fastest splits, 45.3 and 45.4 belong to BYU's Bob Tobler and Michigan's Kent Bernard as their teams take second and third in 3:09.0 and 3:09.5.

The discus is won by New Mexico's “jolly, rolly-polly Negro track nut” (your reporter isn't capable of making this sort of stuff up), Larry Kennedy. who drops the platter 185-2 away to relegate Occidental's Bill Neville to second at 181-7½.

Larry Kennedy

Oct. 20, 2005Larry Kennedy, who won the discus for the University of New Mexico at the 1964 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, passed away on Oct. 8 in Santa Rosa, Calif. at the age of 63. Kennedy is survived by his wife of 24 years, Rebecca, and daughters Allison and Denise. Kennedy, then a junior at UNM, won the national title at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. with a school record-setting throw of 185 feet, 2 1/2 inches. His performance helped the New Mexico men finished tied for 18th at the `64 meet with a score of 10 points. Earlier in the year, Kennedy captured the Western Athletic Conference discus crown with a throw of 178 feet, 8 1/2 inches as the Lobos won their first of four consecutive WAC championships. Kennedy was a key figure on what was arguably the greatest team ever assembled at UNM in 1965. The '65 Lobos won every dual meet that spring, captured their second WAC title and finished a program-best fifth, just seven points out of first, at the NCAA Championships in Berkley, Calif. The Menlo Park, Calif. native finished his UNM career as the school record holder in both the shot put and discus throw. His shot put record of 58 feet, 10 inches, which he set during the Lobos' memorable dual-meet victory over USC at University Stadium in 1965, stood for 21 years. He is still one of just five New Mexico men ever to win a national outdoor title and the only discus champion in program history. "He was a great one," said current UNM head coach Matt Henry. "I remember raking the pits over there at University Stadium when I was a little kid and they used to have to chase us out of there when he would start warming up. We thought we were safe, but that discus would fly so far when he threw it, it would nearly hit us."   
Want to get a point in the hammer throw? All you have to do is show up. There are only six competitors. Everybody scores. That this event is a child of the East Coast is evident. The competitors are from Connecticut, Harvard, Bowdoin, Northeastern and Cornell. Somehow George Frenn of Long Beach State got in there, but he is injured and finishes last. Bill Corsetti of Northeastern is the favorite and leads going into the last round at 190-7, but Bowdoin sophomore Bill Schulten steps up and throws 191-6 on his last throw for the win.
Injuries have held back NYU's Gary Gubner this year but he is still the class of the shot put field. His 61-8 tops Southern Illinois' George Woods' 60-4¾.

Remember those 24 Oregon points in the javelin? Not only do these three throwers score enough points to top the total of all but five other schools, they comprise the first 1-2-3 finish in NCAA history.  
Les Tipton
Les Tipton's 249-10½ takes the gold, but the real story belongs to second placer Gary Reddaway. Not only does he have a bone growth on his right elbow which hurts so much that he hasn't thrown in six weeks, he is suffering from a cold and hay fever. As if that weren't enough, recently he was kicked by a horse.
Does Bill Bowerman give him the day off? Not the “spit on it, rub a little dirt on it and get back in the game” Bill Bowerman who has run Kenny Moore in the 5000, 10,000 and steeplechase. Reddaway gets a cortisone shot and is handed his javelin which he deposits 246-1½ down the field for second place. Ron Gomez may be only the third best Duck spear thrower this day, but his 232-8½ is better than the throw of any competitor without a big yellow “O” on his chest.
Rain causes havoc in the jumping events. Qualifying in the pole vault is supposed to be 15-6 but the damp conditions cause the officials to lower that requirement to 15-0. A downpour causes the finals to be delayed half an hour. Another half hour rain delay happens midway through the competition causing vaulters to stand around shivering. John Uelses of LaSalle manages to clear 16-0 for the win. Mike Flanagan of SC, Billy Pemelton of Abilene Christian and Bill Self of Washington State all clear 15-9 and finish in that order.
The weather conditions are not kind to the high jumpers either. They are jumping from a Tartan surface but getting there is the problem. They start on a soggy track, clear the concrete curb and run up a grassy rise to reach the apron. Still, six jumpers clear 6-9. Former NCAA champ Roger Olson of Cal and internationalist Paul Stuber of Oregon can go no higher. Cal's internationalist, Gene Johnson, Washington State's Bob Keppel and Harvard's Chris Pardee all clear 6-10 and finish 2-3-4 in that order.
John Rambo of Long Beach State separates himself from the crowd, clearing 6-11 on his first attempt and 7-0¼ on his third try. With the win in hand, he has the bar set at 7-2¼ and barely misses on one attempt. Today's success spurs a vigilant resolve. “I've only trained two days a week. Now I'm going to start training hard.”
The rain may have effected the vertical jumps but they don't seem to have been the cause of much concern in the horizontal jumps. Indeed, meet records are set in both.

Gail Hopkins of Arizona 

Gail Hopkins
broad jumps farther than anyone in the world not named Ter-Ovanesyan or Boston, 26-9¼. Sid Nicholas of Fresno State takes second at 26-1, relegating the 25-7 of Washington's Phil Shinnick to third best. Today has not been kind to former champions. Last year's winner, Clifton Mayfield, Central State (Ohio) pulls a hamstring and can kiss his Olympic hopes goodby. Anthony Watson, (Oklahoma) the 1962 champ, has a bad knee which forces him to jump off the wrong foot, producing a seventh place 24-0.
Fresno's Charlie Craig has three triple jumps better than the competition. His 51-8¾ is the meet record. Norm Tate of North Carolina College has a herniated muscle in his thigh. It is one of those “it only hurts when I jump” things. When he starts to jump “it pops out with dismaying unpredictability” says TFN editor Cordner Nelson. Tate still manages a second place 50-3 until the last round when San Jose State's Les Bond lands 50-7¼ from the board, relegating Tate to third. Gail Hopkins, yesterday's broad jump champion, can do no better than fourth at 50-2. In fifth at 50-0 is “bushy haired African” Christian Ohiri. Four jumpers have beaten him today, but he might be the brightest guy in the stadium. C.O. just graduated magna cum laude from Harvard.
Our next report will be from Rutgers University where the AAU Championships will be held June 27-28.
 Photos of U. of Oregon athletes are from U.. of Oregon library archives


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