Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vol 4. No. 9 First Round- Olympic Trials 1964 July 3, 4

 First 1964 Olympic Trials            
     It is July 3 and 4. A week has past since the AAU Championship at Rutgers and now we are 48 miles up I-95 at Randall's Island in New York City. First place and you are on the Olympic team. Second through sixth placers get another chance at the Los Angeles Trials in September. Finish seventh and welcome to summer vacation.

Broad Jump
      One competitor who wishes the Olympics were this weekend is reigning Olympic champion Ralph Boston who has the greatest day in the history of broad jumping. 
The Downing Stadium pit is outside the oval, a mere ten feet from the stands, and there is an aiding wind for most jumps. These factors result in a spectacular show. Igor Ter-Ovanesyan's world record is 27-3½. Boston betters that twice today. A 27-5½ jump on his last attempt is the longest in history. Unfortunately it is negated for record recognition by a significant wind of 15.2 mph. His previous 27-4 is aided by a wind of 5.8 mph. He also has a windy jump of 26-10½. Boston's best legal jumps are 26-8½ on his first two efforts. His average for the series of six jumps is an amazing 26-11. Ralph is ready.

Bill Miller   McMurry St.
You can click on this article to enlarge it to readability

      Darrell Horn is also having a pretty good day. He is second at 26-11¾w (13.2 mph). Needless to say he is excited as he hadn't bettered 26 feet until last week at the AAU meet. Also earning the right to return for the final trials are Bill Miller 26-6¾w, Charlie Mays 26-4w, Gail Hopkins 26-2¼w and Phil Shinnick with a legal 26-1½.

In searching for a picture of Phil Shinnick
Phil Shinnick

we found the following reportage from a Seattle TV station KOMO about his disallowed world record set in 1963 at the Modesto Relays.
 100 Meters
     The 100 is also held on Saturday. Bob Hayes was injured in the AAU meet. He is here but if he decides not to run he will be advanced to next month's final meet. With no incentive to compete, he decides not to. This creates a great opportunity for the other competitors, a chance to lock up a spot on the team right now.
Bob Hayes will decide to take a pass on this meet

     The heats are won by Nebraska freshman Charlie Greene and Trenton Jackson of Illinois. No one of note is eliminated. Greene shows he is the class of the field in the final. At 90 meters he has a meter on Jackson and his spot on Olympic team is assured. Or so it would seem, for at this point his hamstring pulls and he plummets to the ground in agony. The fact that he crosses the finish line matters little as Jackson and Gerry Ashworth go by. Jackson is on the team. He and Ashworth are timed in 10.1. Greene, Mel Pender and Bernie Rivers finish in that order in 10.2. Darrel Newman and Richard Stebbins tie for sixth at 10.3 and both will run in Los Angeles. The severity of Greene's injury is not known. By the evening he is walking normally.

Charlie Greene

For more on Charlie Greene see this article from Seattle Post Intelligencer,  2005
   400 IH
   The heats and final of the 400 intermediate hurdles are both run on Saturday. Rex Cawley and Jay Luck win their heats and are in the blocks for the final an hour and 45 minutes later. So are Willie Atterberry, Chris Stauffer, Billy Hardin, Tom Wyatt, John Bethea and Vince McArdle. Less than a minute after the starter's pistol is fired one will be on the team, five others will have a chance next month and two will be free to engage in other pursuits.
Rex Cawley
     Hardin is taking no prisoners. He is out fast and takes a commanding lead. Well, until the eighth hurdle, which he hits, just as Luck and Cawley go by. By the ninth hurdle the race belongs to Luck. He opens his margin over Cawley and hits the tape in 49.4, a PR by eight tenths.  Cawley's 49.8 is his best of the year, but not good enough this day. Stauffer takes third in a PR of 50.1, edging Hardin by a tenth. Bethea, Wyatt and Atterberry are timed in 50.5, but Willie is odd man out. He speaks of a European tour, but says that if that doesn't happen, he will retire.
 The inconsistency of javelin throwing is exemplified by the fact that of the eleven 250 foot throwers that are in the field, none throw that far. Only three of those eleven place in the top six which warrant entry in the Los Angeles meet. The surprise winner is Jim Stevenson, a junior at Penn State, who throws 242-8.
James Stevenson
Favorite Frank Covelli barely qualifies for Los Angeles in sixth place at 237-7.
Frank Covelli
The 110 meter high hurdles matches Blaine Lindgren with Hayes Jones for the fourth time this year. Lindgren won the first two but Hayes took last week's AAU dual. The rest of the field is composed of veterans Willie May, Elias Gilbert and Russ Rogers and youngsters Willie Davenport, Jerry Cerulla and Bobby May.


Lindgren and Jones in one of the Russian duals


Willie Davenport                   Elias Gilbert

Jerry Cerulla Utah State

     Jones gets one of his lightening quick starts and is out early. Just at the midway point where Lindgren traditionally starts to close....he doesn't. Jones pulls away for a decisive win 13.4 to Lindgren's 13.7. The rest of the field is timed in 13.9 except Willie May who runs 14.0. 

     Jones reacts with surprise at his time because he feels he isn't in shape yet. “Guess I ran so fast because I was scared.” 
 Twenty five hundred fans watch the hammer throw which is held outside the stadium. Hal Connolly's dominance is evident from the get go. His 214-9 on his first attempt is enough to win and yet is his poorest effort of the day. When the dust has settled, Connolly's best throw of 225-4 is third on this year's world list. The two marks better than today's also belong to him. It is no surprise that Hal Connolly is on the Olympic team. Al Hall's 208-9 puts him three inches ahead of Ed Burke. No one else throws 200 feet.
     5000 Meters
Maybe Bob Schul isn't considered the shoo-in in the 5000 that Connolly is in the hammer, but the Miami of Ohio runner has blossomed this year. His withering closing speed gives him the last lap advantage that wins off any pace. That is the problem that faces Joe Lynch, Kenny Moore, Oscar Moore, Bill Dellinger, Gerry Lindgren, Jim Beatty, Jim Keefe, Billy Mills and Doug Brown. What can you do when the other guy is just flat out faster? 
Schul waiting to do the inevitable
     Once again Gerry Lindgren goes to the front, leading through the mile in 4:29.3. Though he keeps the lead, the next mile slows to 4:42.5 and the inevitable just becomes more so. The once indomitable Beatty drops out on the tenth lap. Lindgren, Dellinger and Schul separate from the rest in the third mile. With 700 meters left Schul is taking no chances. He moves into the lead. Lindgren's courage can't be questioned. He is even with a lap remaining. On the backstretch the veteran Dellinger throws caution to the wind and takes the lead. This is an all or nothing situation. Win and you are on the team. Finish second or sixth and it doesn't matter. The former Oregon star starts his flat out finish too early, but what other choice does he have? 
     Into the straight they come and Schul switches to that gear that no one else has. With 80 meters left he moves past Dellinger and pulls away for the win in 14:10.8. Dellinger's gamble almost pays off but he comes up just short at 14:11.4 while Lindgren's 14:13.8 leaves him 20 meters behind. 
     Beatty hopes his season isn't through. He says that he was forced to drop out because of pain in the ball of his right foot, the same spot he had 22 stitches last winter. He says, “I plan to ask the committee for a another chance to make the Olympic team in Los Angeles”.
    High Jump
 In the high jump John Thomas turns the tables on Ed Carruthers and John Rambo both of whom beat him last week. Thomas clears 7-1 to cement his spot on the team. Rambo gets over 7-0. Otis Burrell is third at 6-11. Then it gets crowded. Six jumpers are bunched at 6-9. Lew Hoyt, Carruthers and Gene Zubrinsky tie for fourth and live to try again in LA. Paul Stuber, Gene Johnson and Richard Ross are left behind on misses or attempts. This has to be especially painful for Stuber. He is out because he took a successful jump at 6-3 and therefore has one extra and unnecessary attempt.

Shot Put
Randy Matson
Matson and Long
Saturday's other final is the shot put. Dallas Long lost to Randy Matson, a still wet behind the ears kid, last week in the AAU Championship. He is mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Indeed he doesn't. A sense of decorum settles on the shot put world as the record holder drops the iron ball 64-9¼ from the toe board and leaves the young whippersnapper exactly two feet behind. Parry O'Brien is third at 62-6. Dave Davis, Gary Gubner and John McGrath also qualify for the Los Angeles trials. 


400 Meters
Mike Larabee
Forrest Beaty
     Now it is Sunday. A request to run 400 heats and the final on different days, as they will be in the Olympics, has been turned down by the Olympic Committee. The first heat sees Mike Larrabee edging Ulis Williams, both running 46.0.  Theron Lewis and Bill Boyle also qualify for the final. Sadly, Adolph Plummer says it is the end of his career. He is hampered by arthritis in his knee. Last coming off the curve, he nearly stops before jogging across the line in 55.9. He says, “There goes ten years of life down the drain in one race”. Olan Cassell and Jim Heath both run 46.2 to finish 1-2 in the second heat while Bob Tobler and Forrest Beaty are the other qualifiers.
Ulis Williams
      Mike Larrabee nearly withdraws because his pancreas injury is so painful. He is supposed to eat every two hours but with the trials the same day he has to pass up eating between races. He is in pain as he settles into his blocks for the final.
Bob Tobler
     Cassell in lane six makes up the stagger on Larrabee and Lewis in the outside lanes in 50 yards. He leads the entire way just holding off the hard finishing Williams 45.9 to 46.0. Lewis (46.1), Boyle (46.2) and Tobler (46.3) all finish ahead of Larrabee who guts out a 46.6 to edge Heath (46.7) for the final spot in the Los Angeles trials.

3000 Meters Steeplechase
Jeff Fishback
     Jeff Fishback is having a heck of a season in the steeplechase. Today he moves to second on the all time US list with a strong 8:40.4. George Young is the US record holder but those credentials don't help him today as he finishes in 8:45.8. Just a step back is Oregon's Mike Lehner whose 8:46.0 bests the 8:47.8 of NCAA champ Vic Zwolak. Bill Silverberg of Kansas surprises in fifth with a PR of 8:50.8. Ron Davis deprives Mike Manley of the last qualifying spot 8:57.6 to 8:58.8, both personal bests.

      Al Oerter is nearly as dominant in the discus as Connolly is in the hammer. Once again he is a man among boys, granted, very large boys. He has four throws better than the competition and wins easily with a mark of 201-11. Dave Weill is the distant runner up at 193-0. Also taking another shot at it next month will be Jay Silvester, Rink Babka, Glenn Passey and Larry Kennedy.  The latter edges John McGrath for the last qualifying spot by three inches. Not to worry. We'll see big John in LA because he qualified yesterday in the shot.
     Having to put his reputation on the line in every meet isn't wearing on Oerter at all. He loves the competition. “I'm throwing better than ever and I think I can improve still further, say 215 to 220 feet.”
Al Oerter
Larry Kennedy
     If he wins his third gold medal in October will he call it quits? “Absolutely not. I've often said that I would like to try for five gold medals. I honestly think it is possible.” 
  200 Meters
      Bob Hayes' injury has caused him to scratch from the 200. No mention is made whether he will be advanced to the Los Angeles trials in this event as he will be in the 100.
     Richard Stebbins is out fast in the first heat and holds on to win in 20.9. Henry Carr eases through the finish in 21.2. John Moon and Bernie Rivers also make the final. Paul Drayton's 20.8 takes the second heat ahead of Larry Dunn, Earl Horner and Don Webster.
     The final sees Stebbins once again the leader coming off the curve, but here comes Henry Carr. The Arizona State star shows no sign of his recent injury in easing past Stebbins to win 20.7 to 20.8. Earning the right to run in LA are Drayton (21.0), Dunn (21.0), Webster (21.1) and Moon (21.2).

Pole Vault
Fred Hansen
     After the AAU meet, history's first 17 foot pole vaulter, John Pennel, said that he had most of his problems ironed out. He is over his wrist, back and foot injuries. John has been working on not planting his pole too soon and feels he is ready for 17 feet once again. Well, 17 doesn't happen, but 16-6 does and that is enough to stamp his ticket to Tokyo. Dave Tork, Billy Pemelton, Ron Morris, Fred Hansen and Gerald Pratt are over 16-2 and finish in that order.

800 Meters
Jerry Siebert
      Fittingly, Saturday's 800 heats are won by AAU champ Jerry Siebert and NCAA champ Morgan Groth. The rest of the field for Sunday's final includes Jim Dupree, Tom Farrell, Barry Sugden, Fran Smith, Ted Nelson and Darnell Mitchell.
Tom Farrell  #10
Farrell and Dupree a      re out early, but by the 200 Siebert has taken over only to be passed by Dupree at the bell, reached in 52.8. Down the backstretch Sugden makes his move and leads into the curve. Farrell, a big kicker, has moved from last to fourth. Siebert and Groth both move strongly in the homestretch. Siebert has the lead. Groth is gaining, but runs out of time. Siebert holds on to win in 1:47.2 with Groth inches behind in the same time. Sugden takes third in 1:47.3 with Farrell fourth in 1:47.5. Mitchell and Smith take the coveted final two spots for the LA Trials, both running 1:47.7. Nelson runs 1:48.2. Dupree fade badly and finishes last in 1:49.7. Though not making the Olympic team today, Groth, Sugden, Farrell, Smith and Nelson have to be pleased. They all have run personal bests.
Morgan Groth
      Siebert is relieved at having his Olympic selection assured. He says, “I'm happy with my time, but I am not in the shape I was in Rome. I will devote as much time as grad school will allow me. Coach (Brutus) Hamilton is kind of a genius for getting guys in shape.”

Triple Jump
Ira Davis
     The triple jump is conducted on the  same runway as the broad jump but the pit is at the other end. The prevailing wind that aided the broad jumpers is a detriment for the triple jumpers. Ira Davis placed fourth in the 1960 Rome Olympics, but has competed only a dozen times in the last four years. It doesn't seem that the relatively long lay off has hurt him. Today he nabs the one available spot on the Olympic team with a jump of 52-10¾, edging Darrell Horn by 4½ inches. Horn, the only athlete to qualify in both the broad jump and the triple jump, isn't despondent. “I had one great jump, 53-7, and fouled by three inches. This is only the fourth meet this year in which I have competed in the triple jump. I am going to concentrate on it before Los Angeles. Charlie Craig (51-10) and Bill Sharpe (50-8 ½) are third and fourth. Les Bond is the loser in the game of musical chairs in qualifying for the LA meet. His 50-0 leaves him in seventh, so close, yet so far away from the 50-1¾ of Todd Gaskell and the 50-1½ of Art Walker.
      It would seen that time and effort could be saved by skipping the heats of the 1500 and just running the final. Ted Nelson and Morgan Groth qualified in both the 800 and 1500, but have chosen to run only the 800, leaving only 11 in the field. Four qualify in each of Saturday's heats meaning that these races are run to eliminate one in the first heat and two in the second. 
     1500 Meters

Archie San Romani takes the first heat in 3:49.0. Bob Day, Jim Ryun and Tom O'Hara also qualify. Ben Tucker, two seconds behind O'Hara, is eliminated. Dyrol Burleson loafs to a leisurely 3:54.7 win in the second heat. He is followed by a pack of Jim Grelle, Cary Weisiger, John Camien and Robin Lingle. Lingle is timed in 3:54.9, the same as Weisiger and Camien, but all that earns him is a seat in the stands for the final.
      On Sunday this is the race that we have come to see, O'Hara vs. Burleson with the winner making the team. Burleson has always beaten O'Hara, but the streak came to an end last week at the AAU meet where O'Hara scored a resounding victory in running the third fastest 1500 in history, a US record 3:38.1. Burleson was quoted as saying he got cocky before that race and had done three hard workouts that week. This week he has worked lightly and “laid around my air conditioned hotel room”.
     O'Hara leads a tightly packed field through a 60.8 opening lap, but in the second go around apparently everyone has decided they are kickers. O'Hara allows the pace to dawdle and no one seems to have an alternate strategy. The 800 is reached in 2:07.2. The tempo picks up on the third lap. The 1200 goes by in 3:07.5 and the real race is on. O'Hara's win last week was based on being on the pole at the start of the last lap and, indeed, that's where he is with 300 remaining. Weisiger is well back but the rest of the field is within three tenths at this point. They all are sprinters now. Burleson tells the story, “On the backstretch of the final lap I hit trouble when that tremendous high school runner, Jim Ryun, moved up with Tom. I was getting ready to sprint the final 220 and it appeared that I would have to go wide to get around them. Suddenly a gap opened up between Ryun and O'Hara which enabled me to shoot through.” And shoot through he does. He has inches on O'Hara at the top of the final straight which he stretches to five feet at the finish, winning in 3:45.4 with O'Hara two tenths back. Grelle nips Ryun for third, 3:46.1 for both. San Romani is fifth in 3:46.4. The all important sixth spot goes to Day in 3:46.6 as he holds off the late charge of Weisiger by a tenth. 
      Burleson runs the final lap in 52.5. O'Hara experiences the frustration of finishing in 52.9 and getting beat. Grelle runs 53.2. Ryun's 53.3 comes up short, but isn't bad for a high school kid. The time for Weisiger's final lap isn't mentioned but it may have been the fastest of all. Burleson's last 300 went off in 37.8. If the splits given for Weisiger are correct (1200 in 3:09.9 and 1500 in 3:46.7), he ran 36.8 for his last 300. One wonders whether this is possible.

      Editor's note: A special shout out has to go to Pete Brown of Plano, Texas who has saved the day for the OUTV crew. When a frantic search for the first seven issues of the 1964 Track and Field News in our offices high atop the Once Upon a Time in the Vest Building resulted in failure, Pete came to our aid once again and provided the needed issues. We are in your debt, Pete. All of us from the entire board of directors, CEO, CFO, president, multiple vice presidents, editors and reporters down to the lowliest interns raise our glasses high in salute to you and your service to the cause. Thank you, Pete.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re track and field news. I think that Tom Jennings has every issue from day 1.

John Perry

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