Monday, February 10, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 7 Salute to Living Members of the 1960 Olympic Team

This posting was inspired by the  piece we did a few months ago on the members of the 1960 Olympic track and field team who had passed away.  Earl Young, a member of that team saw our blog, contacted us and asked if we might do something to remember those men and women.  This  post was so popular that we decided it was worth the effort to do another issue on the surviving members of the 1960 team.  To many of our readers in the 65-70 year age group , this was their first exposure to the Olympics, there was fairly complete TV coverage for the first time, and we saw many favorites do well, and some of our heroes crash and burn.  But in all it was a moment when international competition became an important part of the psyche of every kid who loved track and field.  Women's coverage was limited to the victories of Wilma Rudolph and the Tennessee Tigerbelles 4x100 team.  For that reason, many of the women listed below are very unknown to the public and it is very hard to find any material about them.  Coverage of track and field became a regular event  after the 1960 Olympic games.  Most of us still reflect back to the 1960's as the best years of our lives and of our sport.  Now that so many other factors play into track and field, we often feel less connected to the athletes and the Games.  There are middle men between them and us whether it be equipment manufacturers, toothpaste companies seeking endorsement,  agents, and a very detached commentary of the modern games, where the personality and career of the broadcaster is more important than the athlete.  Those guys and gals were basically on their own to survive and make it to a meet and support their families selling insurance, teaching, or painting houses.   They couldn't coach the sport they were most knowledgeable in for fear of being called a professional and losing the right to compete, while the administrators of the sport were getting fat and having their Olympian sized egos massaged at the international gatherings.  In talking to some of these former athletes, we learned that their per diems were a pittance.  There was no such thing as a shoe contract.  At the Games Adidas and Puma were handing out shoes right and left and some of those athletes used that occasion to make a few dollars reselling the shoes when they got home, heaven forbid.

We've tried to have a short bio for each athlete and a picture taken at the time of the games.  In a few instances we were unable to locate a picture.  If you have one of the missing folks, please send it on to us.  In a couple of cases the pictures are copyrighted, and we will not leave them on the site very long.   Only a little of the copy is our original writing, and where we have borrowed, we have acknowledged the sources.    It was a lot of fun and a lot of work putting this together,  we hope you enjoy it and look forward to comments, criticisms , and corrections.
George Brose and Roy Mason

February 10, 2014
The Living Members of the 1960 United States Track and Field Team

Bill Alley

In his first year as a Jayhawk in 1959, javelin thrower Bill Alley had a throw of 270 feet, 1 inch, at the Texas Relays, a toss that broke the U.S. record by one inch and shattered the NCAA record by 13 feet. In June of 1959, Alley captured the NCAA championship with a throw of 240-5, winning despite bone chip complications in his throwing elbow. The win helped the Jayhawks to their first NCAA team championship. At the Meet of Champions in 1960, Alley threw a personal-best 273-10, breaking the collegiate record again a week before retaining his NCAA collegiate crown with a throw of 268-9. Alley placed second at the 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials, one place ahead of KU teammate Terry Beucher. Despite a great performance at an Olympic warm up meet, Alley failed to qualify for the finals at the Rome Olympics. (from

Karen Anderson-Oldham
(No Picture Available)
Karen was resting in 4th place in the preliminary throws at Rome with a throw of 50.62 meters, but in the finals she dropped to 46 meters and 13th place.  She had finished 8th at Melbourne in 1956.  Karen Anderson competed at the 1955 Pan American Games and 1956 Olympic Games while she was still a high school student. At the PanAms she won the gold medal in the javelin throw. She was a three-time AAU Champion with the spear, winning in 1954-56. Anderson set four American records with the javelin, in 1955, 1956, and twice in 1960. She attended the University of Pennsylvania but did not compete there. Anderson-Oldham won the US Olympic Trials with the javelin in 1956 and 1960. She later became quite a good golfer, tying for second at the 1996 US Senior Women's Amateur Championship, after placing third in the same event in 1995. That put her on the US team that won the 1996 Senior Women's International Team Championships in Belgium. Anderson-Oldham married an Akron attorney, Ned Oldham, and was a seven-time Akron city golf champion. She has also volunteered with developmentally disabled children, and helped the Akron YMCA with its gym programs, in addition to serving as a deacon and ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church of Akron.
Personal Best: JT – 50.62 (1960)

Rink Babka
Silver medalist in the Discus at Rome.   Olympian and successful businessman in his post athletic career. 

For a detailed summary  on Rink Babka and his career consult his website below

Ed Bagdonas
 We mistakenly did not include Ed Bagdonas in our earlier post on team members who have passed away.  Please see the earlier post for information on Ed Bagdonas

Jim Beatty
Beatty made this SI cover after the 1960 Olympic Trials.  Behind him, Max Truex in blue, third runner unidentified
At Rome , and injured Jim Beatty did not get out of his 5,000 prelim running 14:44.
Beatty won the AAU mile in 1962 and was AAU indoor mile champion from 1961-63. In 1963 he won a silver medal in the 1500 at the Pan American Games. Beatty did not qualify for the 1964 Olympics after finishing fifth in the Final Trials 5000 metres. He later returned to Charlotte, North Carolina and served several terms in the North Carolina legislature.
Personal Bests: 880y – 1:49.6 (1961); 1500 – 3:39.4 (1962); Mile – 3:55.5 (1963); 2 miles – 8:29.8 (1962); 5K – 13:45.0 (1962).

Jul. 31, 2013 EDT from USA Today      BOB CASTELLO/STAFF

On the night in 1962 when he made history by running the world's first sub-four-minute mile indoors, Jim Beatty warmed up with wet socks.
"It was pouring down. It was a monsoon," Beatty recalled Tuesday, during a break from addressing a group at the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association All-Sports Clinic at the TD Convention Center.
"And it was (standing room only), 13,000 people, so you couldn't park right by the door. I was way back. No umbrella."
So he ran through the parking lot of the Los Angeles Sports Arena, drenching the only pair of socks he had other than the ones in which he would compete.
"I kept saying, 'Please don't get a blister,' " Beatty said.
It ended well for Beatty, who finished the race in 3 minutes, 58.9 seconds.
"I still get sweaty palms," he said after watching the ABC "Wide World of Sports" broadcast of the event again Tuesday. "I've only seen it 500 times."
Beatty, 78, was born in New York but moved to Charlotte when he was 5. He attended the University of North Carolina and was a six-time All-American and four-time national champion with the Tar Heels.
He made the 1960 U.S. Olympic team but failed to reach the 5,000-meter final in Rome, which became a source of inspiration.
Fifty-one years after that special night in L.A., Beatty said there are two things he remembers most about it. The first is that he wanted to make sure an American achieved the feat.
"I wanted to let the people know what an American could do," he said. "That became my mission after Rome, to attack the world, to go after records."
The second had to do with the record he eclipsed in becoming the first to run under four minutes indoors. Ireland's Ron Delany had the previous mark with his 4:01.4.
"Records are made to be broken," said Beatty, who broke 11 American records and three world records in 1962. "But if you're the first, it's there forever. So that was my own personal mission, to be the first in the world.
"I entered that race not even thinking about the world record. How do you go into a race where the world record is secondary? To me it's astounding that you put the world record aside. Being the first in the world is so much bigger than the world record."
A year later, Beatty set the world indoor record in the mile again, this time at Madison Square Garden.
"If you grew up in the era when I did and you want to break the world indoor record for the one-mile run," he said, "where would you want to break it? Madison square Garden. That's the mecca."
In the spring of 1963, Beatty suffered an injury he said "broke my heart," a collapsed quadricep during a race against New Zealand Olympian Peter Snell.
Later that year, while carrying the garbage out at home, Beatty cut his foot on a piece of medal, a mishap that required 27 stitches on the ball of his left foot.
"The curtain came down," he said. "I was the pre-Olympic favorite to go to Tokyo, but that ended my track career.
"However, what I realized was my destiny was to be the first man in the world to run an indoor sub-four-minute mile. Now it happened that along the way I did all those other things, too."
He laughed and added, "But had I not done the indoor sub-four-minute mile, the other things would have been pretty good, too."

Terry Beucher

In 1958 as a junior Terry Beucher had a season best of 190'11" against Missouri. Beucher finished third at the 1960 NCAA Championships in the javelin. He also made the 1960 Olympic team with a third place result at the U.S. Olympic trials, joining KU teammate and fellow javelin thrower Bill Alley in Rome.
Full name: Terence Eugene "Terry" Beucher
Gender: Male
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight: 201 lbs (91 kg)
Born: February 19, 1937 (Age 76) in Farmersburg, Iowa, United States
Affiliations: US Air Force, (USA)

Terry Beucher threw the javelin for the University of Kansas and later the U.S. Air Force. While at Air Force, he finished third in the javelin in the 1960 NCAA Championship, and was 5th that year in the AAU Meet.
Personal Best: JT – 78.00 (255-11) (1960). Terry did not get out of the first round at Rome.
from and Sport Reference

Ralph Boston


From the L.A. Times August, 2010 by Jerry Crowe

In August 1960, Boston gained recognition when he broke the last of Jesse Owens' world records, with a long jump of 26 feet 11 1/4 inches. He broke the record five times over the next five years.

It probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if Ralph Boston had broken anyone else's world record.
If he hadn't eclipsed the long-jump mark held by the great Jesse Owens, the last of Owens' world records still on the books, the feat might not have registered quite so loudly.
It certainly wouldn't have transcended track and field.
But break Owens' record he did — 50 years ago this month, in an extraordinary meet at Mt. San Antonio College — and just like that Ralph Boston was somebody.
"It changed my life," he says.
No longer was he simply an Olympic qualifier from Laurel, Miss., a medal contender in the upcoming Rome Olympics.
"Now I'm a world record-holder and the favorite," says Boston, a farmer's son and the youngest of 10 children. "I became a name that was fairly recognizable."
So recognizable that a few days later in New York, where the U.S. team was processed en route to Rome, Boston says he was stopped on the street by a fellow Olympian.
"He's got a camera and he says, 'Ralph Boston, I want to take your picture,' and he snaps it," Boston says of the memorable encounter. "I said, 'Who are you?' and he said, 'You don't know me now, but you will. My name is Cassius Marcellus Clay.' "
A tall, lean biochemistry major at Tennessee State, Boston went on to break the world record five more times over the next five years, in 1961 becoming the first to jump 27 feet.
He won three Olympic medals: gold in Rome, where he broke the oldest of Owens' Olympic records; silver in Tokyo four years later; and, in 1968, bronze in Mexico City, where he was warming up when Bob Beamon set a long-jump record that would stand nearly as long as Owens'.
Boston, 71, later was a television sports broadcaster, assistant dean of students at the University of Tennessee and co-owner of a CBS TV affiliate in Knoxville, Tenn.
Divorced and a great-grandfather, he lives outside Atlanta and is "just kind of enjoying life as much as I can," he says. His autobiography will be published this fall.
"You always would like to end up with a truckload of gold medals," Boston says of his athletic career, "but I learned a lot about life and made just a whole parcel of friends."

Boston could compete in multiple events running sub 14 in the 110HH , and he was said to have pole vaulted 13'. 

Don Bragg

Don Bragg, gold medalist in the Pole Vault,  Villanova grad.  At the time the publicity said he wanted to become the next movie Tarzan.  This never happened, but the gold did come his way.
The following youtube clip shows Bragg, Ron Morris (silver) and Eeles Landstrom of Finland  (bronze) all jumping at Rome.  Thanks to Lief Bugge for putting this film on youtube.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown was a high jumper who competed for the New York Police Athletic League. She was AAU Champion in 1958 both indoors and out. In addition to her 1960 Olympic performance, she represented the United States seven times in dual internationals.  She did not have a good day at Rome jumping 1.50 meters (4' 11").  
Personal Bests: HJ – 5-5¾ [1.67] (1960); LJ – 18-6¼ [5.64] (1964).

Frank Budd
Frank Budd was a member of the dq'd. 4x100 disaster, but vindicated himself in later years with a WR in the 100 yards and a number of other major championships. 
Frank Budd
fromSport: U.S. Olympic Track & Field
Born: July 20, 1939
Town: Long Branch, New Jersey
Francis Joseph Budd was born July 20, 1939 in Long Branch. He grew up in Asbury Park and suffered from a childhood illness—possibly undiagnosed polio—that left one cal noticeably larger than the other. In overcoming this disadvantage, Frank simply learned to work harder than all the other kids.
Frank attended Asbury Park High School. He played football and basketball for the Blue Bishops, but it was as a sprinter that he filled the stand with college recruiters. After graduating in 1958, he joined coach Jim Elliott’s track team at Villanova University, where he developed into one of the fastest runners in the world, earning All-America honors with ’Nova’s dominant track team of that era.
Frank’s first taste of top-level international competition came as a member of the American Olympic team in 1960. He was one of three US sprinters favored to take medals in the 100 meters, along with Ray Norton and fellow New Jerseyan Dave Sime. In the final, Garman sprinter Armin Hary was a surprise winner of the gold. Sime finished second while Frank was a disappointing fifth, with Norton less than a stride behind him. All six runners finished within .18 of one antoher.
Frank’s other event did not go well either. In the 4 x 100 relay, Frank’s team won the first two heats, but in the final he and Norton passed the baton out of the zone and were disqualified.
Frank recovered from his Olympic disappointment and came into his own in 1961. He won his first 21 races after Rome and at various times that year he established new world records for the 100 yards and 220 yards. He set the 100 yard record (9.2 seconds) at a meet on Randall’s Island, under the New York’s Triborough Bridge. The record he broke was first set by Mel Patton and had stood for more than a dozen years.
Frank was also a member of a record-setting 4 x100 team that included Charles Frazier, Hayes Jones and Paul Drayton. He was the NCAA champion at 100 yards and 220 yards. He repeated as the 100 champ in 1962. Frank also dominated the competition during the 1961–62 indoor season. He was considered the fastest man in the world until Florida A&M’s Bob Hayes (who had previously tied Frank’s 9.2 time) beat him in the spring of 1962 in a sprint billed as the “Race of the Century.”
As runners were basically amateurs in those days, Frank began looking for a payday in his other sport. Under today’s more liberal rules he might have stayed with track until the 1964 Olympics. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in 1962 and he made the team as a wide receiver that fall. Frank saw action in four games, catching a total of five passes. He averaged a whopping 26 yards per catch, and scored his only touchdown in a win over the Redskins. In 1963, Frank played for those same Redskins. In 8 games he caught 5 passes, including a 50-yard bomb against the Cardinals. From 1964 to 1966, he played with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
After his sports career, Frank returned to New Jersey, where he worked in the Department of Corrections and for an Atlantic City casino. He retired to Mt. Laurel.

Setting WR in 100 yards, 9.1

 and with Coach Jumbo Elliot

Dyrol Burleson

Burleson pressing John Davies on the backstretch of the U of Oregon vs. New Zealand
4x 1 mile run on grass in New Zealand  (from the Nelson News Feb. 2, 1963).  Kiwis won in a
relatively slow time with Peter Snell anchoring.

 Burleson came on the scene with a national high school record April 25, 1958  in the mile at 4:13. 2 for Cottage Grove HS, Oregon.  I still remember this picture of him bug eyed in Sports Illustrated.
  He won a lot of big US races and was consistently one of the top  milers in the US along with Jim Beatty from 1959 to 1964.  He made both 1500 finals at Rome and Tokyo. 

Full name: Dyrol Jay Burleson
Gender: Male
Height: 6'2" (187 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: April 27, 1940 (Age 73) in Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Affiliations: Oregon Track Club, Eugene (US)

Dyrol Burleson was best American milers in the early 1960s, twice making the Olympic final in the 1500. He won the AAU 1500 title in 1959, 1961, and 1963, and was Pan American gold medalist in the 1500 in 1959. Competing for Oregon, Burleson won the NCAA title at 1500 metres in 1960, and the mile in 1961-62. In May 1962, he anchored the Oregon 4×mile relay team that broke the world record.
Personal Bests: 880y – 1:48.2 (1962); 1500 – 3:38.8 (1964); Mile – 3:55.6 (1963); 2 miles – 8:39.6 (1966).  (from Sports reference)

The following link from the Cottage Grove Sentinel has a nice biography on Burleson up to the present.

Alex Breckenridge

Alex Breckenridge leading Ron Delany

Breckenridge was born in Buffalo, NY, but was raised in Scotland, and the Scots still treat him as one of their own as evidenced by the website below.  He came back to the US on a track scholarship from Villanova at the same time as Ron Delany, Don Bragg, Ed Collymore and others.  He served in the US Marine Corps and was one of the organizers of the first Marine Corps Marathon.  He represented the US in the Marathon at Rome finishing 30th in 2hr. 29 min. 38 sec.   The site below is long, but tells a fascinating story about this man. 

Alex Breckinridge competed for Villanova and the US Marine Corps as a distance runner. He was AAU champion in 1959 at both 15 and 30 km. At the 1959 Pan American Games he finished sixth in the 10000 metres event.
Personal Bests: Mile – 4:13.8 (1955); 2 miles – 8:56.8i (1960); 5K – 14:32.1 (1959); 10K – 30:47.0 (1962); Marathon – 2-27:17 (1962).

Al Cantello

from Wikipedia
Al Cantello (born 9 June 1933) is a retired American javelin thrower as a member of the United States Marine Corps. He is currently the coach of the men's distance running program at the United States Naval Academy where he has been since 1963.
He graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1955. In 1959, he set the world record in the javelin and won the bronze medal at the 1959 Pan American Games and made the US Olympic team in 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Despite having the second longest throw (79.72m) in the games during the qualifying rounds, he finished tenth (with an official throw of 74.7m). During the Rome Olympics, he suffered from dysentery and was not permitted to throw the American-style javelin, but has stated "he has no regrets". Cantello won the AAU title in 1959 and 1960, and held a world ranking of #4 for both years. In 1964, Sport magazine named Cantello to its all-time track and field team and voted him the world's greatest competitor in the javelin. He was known for his form, in which he would throw his whole body into the throw and end in a semi-handstand.[1]
His personal best throw, with the old javelin type, was 86.04 metres, achieved in June 1959 in Compton.
He has coached at the United States Naval Academy for more than 40 years where he was named NCAA Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year three times. He is known by his runners for his creative use of the English language. While at La Salle, Cantello was twice named to the Track and Field All-American team. He won the javelin contest at four straight Mid-Atlantic Conference Track and Field Championships and three times won the javelin toss at the Penn Relays.
In 2013 Cantello was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Coaches Hall of Fame along with Ron Allice, Dennis Craddock, Jim Hunt, Curtis Frye and Paul Olsen.

Les Carney

I first saw Les Carney run at the Ohio U. Relays in Athens, OH in a snowstorm in early April 1960.  Ralph Boston was also there that cold day running the hurdles and long jumping.  Who would have thought that by September they would both have Olympic medals around their necks and Boston being a world record holder?  ed.

Carney finishing a close second to Livio Berutti in the 200 meters.

By Caroline Ferenchak Some athletes have are destined to go places. Les Carney was destined to go to Rome. Carney "grew up playing sports...out in the street, everywhere," he said, recalling games played with siblings and other kids in his neighborhood in Wintersville, OH, near Steubenville. Natural talent and confidence carried Carney through junior high and high school, where he excelled in not just one, but all four sports he was eligible to compete in - football, basketball, baseball and track. A football scholarship brought him to Ohio University and the Mid-American Conference. His prior time in the Army, however, showed him that his future successes would lie in track and field. Carney played football and ran track at Ohio and he experienced "no hesitation in thinking that I would not succeed at that level." And succeed he did. Carney won awards for both sports during his time at Ohio, including All-Mid-American Honorable Mention in football, All-American in track, and Sportsman of the Year for Ohio University in 1959. Approximately one year after graduating from Ohio, Carney applied for a leave of absence from his job. He traveled to California, where he tried out for the United States Olympic team for track and field. Trying out for the team was a personal goal of Carney's, however he credits his track coach as "very instrumental in helping me and encouraging me to continue to pursue that goal after I graduated." Carney secured a spot on the team and competed in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. His life-long dedication to sports and competition paid off when he ran the 200 meters in 20.69 seconds, just seven one-hundredths behind Livio Berruti of Italy, but enough to earn the silver medal. He became the first Ohio athlete to compete in the Games. Carney recognizes the far-reaching effects of his accomplishments at every level. In addition to self-satisfaction, his achievements brought gratification to his family as well. "All of them enjoyed the achievements as much as I did." Sports "teaches discipline and a sense of accomplishment when you succeed. It teaches you to be a teammate, to compromise...knowing how to win and knowing how to lose," he said. "With dedication and hard work, who knows what the end result may be." Carney resides in Akron, OH, with his wife of 45 years. They have three grown children. He continues to keep sports in his life by playing golf in his spare time. Caroline Ferenchak is a journalism at Ohio University.

Dave Clark

Dave Clark was the number three vaulter behind Bragg and Morriss on the US team.  He jumped for North Texas State University.   His personal best was 15' 3".  At Rome he tied for 18th place at 4.20 meters  13' 9".   I talked to Dave this morning about Rome and why he didn't hit his normal height which would have been good for a medal at 15'3".    During the event he had made the opening height when a sudden storm struck the event.   When the storm ceased he took a warm up jump on a runway that was parallel to the actual vaulting runway.  Part way through that jump he bailed out and instead of dropping into the pit, he was projected horizontally through the pit and slid across the grass and hit the concrete curbing of the track injuring his shoulder.  That pretty much ended his day.  He said he made friends with one of the Russian vaulters, Petrinka, but the KGB lads quashed their contacting each other in Rome.  Another interesting story includes the Russian who broke his ankle warming up.  (See, youtube video under Don Bragg).  When their poles were being inspected before the competition, Dave noticed that the Russian had put more layers of tape on his pole than were allowed and he called him on it.  The officials made him take the tape off and re-wrap it.  The Russian was infuriated about this and was raising a lot of hell with everybody.  Ufortunately for him his day was over quickly when he broke his ankle landing in the vault box.  Dave came home, got his masters , and was a teacher for 38 years in the Dallas area.  He still participates at clinics, and he has run five marathons.

Dick Cochran

Richard “Dick” Cochran (1938-)
1960; discus (BRONZE)
Unity fuels the Olympic spirit, but for MU alum Dick Cochran, sharp contrasts exist between his trip to Rome and the games today. “It was totally different than what you see now,” he says. “I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but it was just different. We were truly amateurs.” Sponsorships were unheard of, and his per diem allowance was only $2. The 1960 Olympic Games were the first televised live worldwide, but TV cameras claimed a sparse presence.
During the opening ceremonies, Cochran and his teammates wore white pants and blue wool jackets — not ideal for a hot Italian summer, so the throwers, who were competing soon, sat in the stands.
One night, a man in a dark suit showed up at Cochran’s door. He was from the U.S. State Department. “The lead guy walked up and got right in my face, and he said, ‘We want you to understand that the Russians are not to get any medals. Do you understand?’
“We were about two steps away from bombing each other,” Cochran recalls. “There was a lot of pressure on the United States athletes to do well against the Russian athletes. Frankly, we found the Russian athletes to be a great bunch of guys.”
After several throws in the finals, Cochran was in fifth place. He stepped into the circle on his next-to-last throw and thought to himself: You’re not going to get a medal. You’ve got to do something different. You’re going to let your school down, let your parents down, your country down.
A man sat in the stands 60 yards away as Cochran prepared. “To this day, I have no idea who this guy was,” he says. “I remember clearly hearing him say, ‘Cochran, throw the shit out of the thing.’ And I did. And I beat the Russians, and the Russians just went ape.”
Three American flags rose above the podium that year as Cochran took bronze behind Rink Babka’s silver and Al Oerter’s gold. “I don’t think anybody stands on that stand, particularly when all three of you have won medals, that tears don’t come to your eyes when you hear the national anthem play.”
And for all the differences, some Olympic experiences don’t change. from

Phil Coleman

Philip Yates "Phil" Coleman
 Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
Weight: 154 lbs (70 kg)
Born: July 10, 1931 (Age 82) in
Champaign, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: UCTC, Chicago (USA)

Phil Coleman was primarily a steeplechaser but also won the AAU Indoor mile championships in 1960. In the steeple he was AAU Champion in 1959-60 and won the 1959 Pan American Games gold medal in the steeplechase.
Personal Bests: 1500 – 3:47.6 (1960); Mile – 4:03.8i (1960); 2 miles – 8:48.0 (1956); 5000
Phil Coleman, ran the steeplechase for the US team in 1960 and was eliminated in the heats running 8:56.2  Below is an article written by Phil for Sports Illustrated March 6, 1961 that tells much about those times in the late fifties when money started to play a role in the sport.

Shirley Crowder

Shirley Crowder was a hurdler for Tennessee State University who won the 1960 Final Olympic Trials in the 80 metre hurdles. She was eliminated in the first heat at Rome with a 12.4 time for 80 meters hurdles.   She also won three AAU titles, in the 80 hurdles in 1957 and 1959, and the indoor 50 yard hurdles in 1958. Crowder competed for the US at the 1959 Pan-American Games, placing sixth in the hurdles, and in the first USA-USSR dual meet in 1959.
Personal Bests: 80mH – 11.2 (1960); LJ – 18-0¼ [5.49] (1960

William Ernest "Ernie" Cunliffe
January, 1961  -Setting WR 1000 yards at 2:07.9 formerly held by Gunnar Neilson and Arnie Sowell

Ernie Cunliffe with his coach, Payton Jordan
Ernie also broke the American outdoor 1000 yards record and World Best in 2:07.3

Height: 6'0" (180 cm)
Weight: 170 lbs. (77 Kg)
Born: September 2, 1937 (Age 76) in Long Beach, California, United States
Affiliations: Stanford Cardinal, Stanford (USA)

A few weeks later September 1960, Ernie Cunliffe ran on a US 4×880 yards team (with Tom Murphy, Jack Yerman, and Jerry Siebert) against the British Empire in a dual meet. The US finished second in the race, but was credited with a world record for the event. Although the British Empire team posted a better time, they represented four different nations so their time could not be accepted for world record purposes. Cunliffe was AAU indoor champion over 1,000 yards in 1961 and 1964. He twice competed in the 800 metres at the Pan American Games, finishing fifth in 1959 and third in 1963.
Personal Bests: 800 – 1:46.6 (1960); 1500 – 3:42.1 (1960 en route in mile race); Mile – 4:00.4 (1960).
Ernie Cunliffe has been a regular contributor to this blog since its inception. Always a dominant member of any race he got into,  Ernie was a front runner, and led the way in many great races.  Ernie took  Dyrol Burleson to his first sub-four minute mile on Oregon soil. He was on the track at Wanganui, NZ when Peter Snell broke Herb Elliot's one mile record.  One of his regrets is never having run a sub 4 himself (4:00.4), but it must be remembered he never raced on an all-weather track in his prime.    Apart from his efforts on the track,  Ernie coached the Air Force Academy  men's track teams and women's cross country teams from 1978-1984.  He has climbed all 55 of the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado as well as  Mt. Kilimanjaro when he was in his 60's including bivouacking at 19,000 feet just below the summit which is no mean task.   He was part of the US World Record 2 mile relay in 1960, and personally set the World Record at 1000 yards indoors in Boston AA Games.

Pat Daniels-Winslow
(Picture not available)
Billee Pat Daniels-Winslow-Connolly had a long career competing in the unusual combination of the 800 metres and the pentathlon. She was an eight-time AAU Champion in the pentathlon, winning seven consecutively from 1961-67, and also won AAU titles in the long jump in 1967 and the 800 metres in 1960-61. Daniels-Winslow won a gold medal in the pentathlon at the 1967 Pan American Games. She competed for the US in various dual meets in several events, the 800, long jump, and high jump. She competed for San Mateo Junior College and the San Mateo Athletic Association, but ran the 800 at the 1960 Olympic Games while still a student at Cupertino High School in California. Her second marriage was to Hal Connolly, 1956 Olympic hammer throw gold medalist.
Personal Bests: 200 – 24.0 (1967); 440y – 56.1 (1967); 800 – 2:13.1 (1961); 80H – 11.4 (1970); 100H – 14.4 (1970); HJ – 5-7¼ [1.71] (1967); LJ – 20-6 [6.25] (1967); SP – 46-2 [14.07] (1971); DT – 132-0 [40.23] (1973); Pen – 4880 (1967).

Ira Davis
Davis participated at Rome in his second of three Olympic Games.  In 1956 he placed 11th at 15.40 meters,  1960 4th at 15.64 meters, and 1964 9th at 16.00 meters.
 Ira Sylvester Davis
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: September 25, 1936 (Age 77) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Affiliations: Philadelphia Pioneer Club, Philadelphia (USA)
Ira Davis won the AAU triple jump in 1958-60. In addition to his three Olympic appearances, he also finished seventh in the triple jump in the 1959 Pan American Games.
Personal Bests: 100y – 9.6 (1956); 220y – 21.1 (1958); 440y – 46.9 (1958); LJ  from Sport Reference

Otis Davis

Otis Davis rose to the occasion in Rome, setting a World Record in the 400 meters.  He was only the third American qualifier in the trials in Palo Alto.
Otis Davis started at the University of Oregon as a basketball player, taking up track in 1958 at the age of 26. The following year he ran 46.5 for 440y and finished third in the AAU, and in 1960 he won the AAU before going on to take the Olympic title with a new world record of 44.9 (45.07). Davis also ran the anchor on the gold medal winning relay team, which also set a world record. After winning the 1961 AAU 440y, Davis retired, ending a brief but brilliant track career. He went into coaching and teaching until 1980 when he was appointed the Director of Recreation of the Sports Complex for the U.S. Military in Germany.
Personal Bests: 100 – 9.5 (1962); 220y – 20.9 (1961); 400 – 44.9 (1960)

Bill Dellinger

Dellinger made three Olympic teams as a 5,000 meter specialist.   At Rome he ran 14;08.5 in his heat finishing 4th but did not advance to the finals.  Four years later he would bring home a bronze medal from Tokyo in this event in one of the greatest 5000 finals in Olympic history.
Dellinger's running career spanned a period much longer than the typical top level runner.  He was NCAA mile champion in 1954 and ten years later saw his greatest race happen at Tokyo in 1964 when he chased Bob Schul in the 5000 finishing a bronze medalist.  Certainly his career was a case for persistency and hard work ultimately leading to great success.  His career as a coach at U. of Oregon is that of a peer amongst giants at that school. 

This tribute comes from the National Distance Running Hall of Fame Website
A running hero to not just all the athletes he coached while at the University of Oregon, but to distance runners throughout the nation, Bill Dellinger has established a reputation of unassuming excellence in the world of running.

Dellinger was born in Grants Pass, Oregon on March 23, 1934, and went to college at the University of Oregon where he started training with esteemed coach Bill Bowerman. Beginning his career knowing little about racing and competition, he soon showed just how far he had come when he became the first sophomore at Oregon to win the NCAA mile in 1954 and later went on to win every collegiate cross-country race.

In 1956, Dellinger beat the American 5000 meters record three times, and won the 5000 meters at both the NCAA and Olympic Trials. Not feeling ready to compete in the Olympics however, he dropped out of the Olympic final in Melbourne, and started running twice a day to improve. He went on to compete in the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games, and became the 1959 Pan American Games 5,000 meters champion. He won three national titles and set numerous national records.

After serving as Bowerman’s assistant coach, Dellinger became University of Oregon head coach in 1967, coaching stars like Steve Prefontaine and Alberto Salazar. His teams won four NCAA cross-country titles and placed second four more times. His expertise in running were matched only by his flawless coaching.

Dellinger retired in 1999, but continued to coach a few individuals. He suffered a stroke in August 2000, but has undergone rehabilitation and is beginning to coach again.
Dave Edstrom

Taken during New Zealand tour, 1962.  Courtesy of John Bork Jr.

 Edstrom University of Oregon did not have a good Olympics and withdrew after four events.
He had won the gold at the Pan Am Games in Chicago the previous year.

Joe Faust

Joe Faust was the youngest member of the US men's track and field team in Rome.  At 17 years 9 months, one of the youngest at the time to clear 7 feet in the high jump  (null wing) as Joe refers to it in his autobiography on Wikepedia.  His life can be defined more for what he has done since his jumping days.  Joe is a pioneer flier, researcher, developer, entrepreneur and publisher in the world of hang gliding.  If you don't believe it go to Wikepedia where his autobiographic entry shows hundreds of references to hang gliding and only two or three lines about his Olympic team membership.   His efforts at Rome were hampered by a back  injury resulting in a subpar performance  and a 17th placing in the event at 1.95 meters.  A more definitive story on Joe Faust can be found in Vol. 3 No. 29 of this blog.
From the book: "ROME 1960..The Olympics That Changed The World” by David Maraniss
“The high-jump competition was an all-day affair.  It started at 9 that morning with 32 jumpers, and by lunch the field had narrowed to 17 who had cleared 6’-6 ¾” . American Joe Faust, with a sore lower back, was the first one out in the afternoon. “
“It could be said that Joe Faust failed at the Rome Olympics, coming up short after working toward a single moment for 7 years, but his disappointment was not written into the larger drama of U.S. men’s track-and-field team on what came to be known as Black Thursday.  Few had heard of Faust before or after 9/1/60, and he was virtually invisible at the competition, withdrawing after the preliminary round in the high jump.  He barely dragged his pained body over the bar at 6-4 ¾, then bowed out, finishing in 17th place, which was far worse than he might have done but better than 14 other jumpers from Tunisia to Iceland.  That is how most Olympic athletes finish, unknown and unseen, away from the glare of media hype and patriotic hope.  Like any of them, Faust would have been delighted to win a gold medal at the Stadio Olimpico, but he understood that in the larger scheme of things it would not have mattered, and the scheme of things is what he was all about.

Rudi Haluza

 It might have looked funny, but that penguin-like waddle Rudy Haluza used to breeze around tracks took him to not one but two Olympics. A 1966 UNO graduate, Haluza competed in the 20km race walk at the 1960 Rome Olympics and 1968 Mexico City Olympics. His fourth-place finish in Mexico City remains the highest Olympic finish ever by an American race walker — and some think he should have come home with the bronze medal.
Haluza came to UNO through the Boostrapper program as a captain in the U.S. Air Force (he walked the two miles to and from school each day). A Riverside, Calif., native, he began race walking in 1951. He tried to make the 1956 Olympic team but finished 12th at the trials. He made the 1960 U.S. team that competed in Rome but became ill with dysentery and finished 24th. The same thing happened at the 1964 Olympic Trials. Haluza led the pack for the first 26 miles of the 31-mile race but became sick with dysentery again and had to quit. Haluza said he ate too close to race time.
When he returned to UNO and resumed his training he enrolled in a “Nutrition and Dietetics” class (one of just two men in the nearly all-girl class).
In 1964 Haluza broke the 45-year-old American record for most distance race walked in one hour, covering seven miles and 1,614 yards to eclipse the previous standard of seven miles, 1,450 yards, set in 1918. Four years later he was competing in Mexico City, at 37 the oldest U.S. team member. By then he’d left the Air Force and was a United Airlines pilot.
Haluza finished the 1968 Olympics in fourth place in 1 hour, 35 minutes — just one minute behind Nikolai Smaga of Russia. Mexico’s José Pedraza finished second, but many observers thought he should have been disqualified for running on his final burst (in race walking, one foot must be kept on the ground at all time). But no such ruling came as Pedraza earned the first-ever track medal for Mexico.
See a November 1965 Gateway profile of Haluza at
Watch a YouTube video of Haluza, No. 4, competing in Mexico City at
More video of the race, including the dramatic finish, can be seen at

Martha Hudson

Hudson, Olympic track and field gold medal winner and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-American, was born March 21, 1939, in Eastman. The oldest of three children of a truck driver and a housewife, Hudson began her athletic career as guard for her elementary school basketball team. She loved to race and often beat the neighborhood boys. At Twin City High School a physical education teacher noticed Hudson's natural running ability and encouraged her to concentrate on track instead of basketball. Although her basketball team elected her captain, Hudson began to train and compete for track.
At the Tuskegee Relays in Alabama, Hudson, who was only 4 feet 10 inches tall, caught the eye of Edward Stanley Temple, a track coach at Tennessee State University in Nashville for forty-four years. At Temple's invitation, Hudson took part in his summer track clinics from 1955 through 1957, outrunning some of the legendary coach's Tigerbelles. In 1957 she graduated from high school as salutatorian of her class, and she accepted a scholarship to Tennessee State. While at TSU, Hudson (nicknamed "Pee Wee" by a teammate) won the national AAU 100-yard dash, set the 75-yard dash record, and came in second in the 50-yard dash. One of her biggest wins came during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, where she ran the first leg of the 400-meter relay against competitors who were all at least six inches taller than she. Hudson and the three other Tigerbelles on the American relay team won the gold medal.
Upon returning to the United States, Hudson was treated to a tremendous homecoming. In the TSU auditorium the mayor of Nashville and the governor of Tennessee welcomed the gold medalists. Joking about her stature, Hudson told the large crowd,
"I doubt if ever so much depended on so little," drawing cheers and laughter from the stands. Her hometown in Georgia also honored her by declaring a Martha Hudson Day. Hudson graduated from TSU in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
Hudson competed nationally and internationally for six years. She moved back to Georgia, where she married, raised a family, coached girls' basketball, and taught for more than thirty years at Upson Lee North Elementary School in Thomaston. She was inducted into the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.
Rafer Johnson

 Rafer Johnson was probably the most recognizable member of the team.  Flag bearer at the opening ceremonies and torchbearer twenty-four years later at the Los Angeles Games.  His epic duel with his UCLA teammate C.K. Yang will be remember as one of the highlights of the US team performance in Rome. 
 Rafer Johnson was born on August 18, 1935 in Hillsboro, Texas, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Licence to Kill (1989), Wild in the Country (1961) and Tarzan and the Jungle Boy


As part of Robert F. Kennedy's entourage, he was present at Kennedy's assassination in 1968.
He and football player Roosevelt Grier (aka "Rosie Grier") helped capture and physically detained Robert F. Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan.
Inducted into the Sport in Society Hall of Fame, 1999.
Rafer Johnson was olympic champion 1960 in Rome in decathlon.
Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, 1983 (charter member).
Inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1994 (inaugural induction).
Inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1974 (inaugural induction).
The first torch runner for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics at the Los Angeles Colosseum.

Barbara Jones

Barbara, mother of Conyers resident Leslie Slater, was only 15 in 1952 when she became the youngest woman to ever win a gold medal for Track and Field, a record she still holds today. But it was at home that the Olympian made the biggest impression on her daughter by passing on a champion’s attitude taught to by her own parents during her time of triumph.

Growing up in the projects in Chicago, Barbara was discovered by track and field gold medalist Jessie Owens, who saw potential in the competitive teenager. Owens helped Barbara pave her way to the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, where she broke the world-record as part of the USA 4x100 relay team that captured the gold medal. She would go on to collect gold medals in the 1955 and 1959 Pan American Games and the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

One of her favorite memories is from the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, where the 15-year-old athlete awoke to broad daylight at 2 a.m. She remembers getting dressed and walking down the street to a carnival where she rode the Ferris wheel for hours before fellow teammate May Faggs and Olympic Boxer Floyd Patterson found her and marched her directly back to the Olympic Village. It would be the same day she broke the relay world record, a feat which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

There is another momentous occasion that Barbara does not remember, which was her record-breaking 100-meter sprint during the 1955 Pan American preliminaries in Mexico City, which is situated 7,500 feet above sea level. She had beaten the previous 12:2-second record in 11:06 seconds and promptly fainted when she crossed the finish line. Once revived, she learned of her record-breaking performance from her teammates. When she returned home, the Chicago Tribune wrote Jones-Slater “may very well be the best sprinter in the world.” True to form, she beat her own world record in the USA vs. Russia games in 1958 with a 10:3-second 100-yard dash.

Her accomplishments were also recognized with induction into the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the International Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. She was a carrier of the Olympic Torch in 1996 and served on the Olympic planning committee.

Her daughter, Leslie Slater, has a vast collection of articles and memorabilia chronicling her mother’s athletic conquests across the globe, the stories from which she shared with her children at an early age. Among the newspaper clippings and photographs that stretch the length of her kitchen table is also a story of personal triumph stemming from physical defeat. Jones-Slater injured her leg mere feet before crossing the finish line first in the qualifying stage of for the 1956 Olympics. Set to compete in Melbourne, it was not to be as the injury would not heal in time for the games. She said she was considered a “has been” by the media but remembers the incident as an emotional turning point that fueled her recovery and return to the Olympics in 1960. exerpt from online article by Kathy Hooks  Feb. 19, 2013

Hayes Jones

Picture from Saturday Evening Post

At 5' 10", Hayes Jones was not big by hurdling standards but he was very fast, very competitive and very consistent. Blessed with 9.4 100-yard dash speed and an excellent start, Jones built on an outstanding competitive record to become Olympic champion in the 110m hurdles in 1964. His first major international experience came in 1959, when he won the 110m hurdles at the Pan-American Games. A year later, at the Rome Olympics he was third behind teammates Lee Calhoun and Willie May. He advanced from bronze to gold four years later, winning the Tokyo Olympics in a time of 13.6. At Pontiac High School, he won the Class A state title in the long jump (1956). At Eastern Michigan University, he won the high hurdles and low hurdles doubles at the national championships as a sophomore in 1958. He went on to capture nine AAU hurdles titles over a six-year period. Indoors, where his fast start made him virtually unbeatable, he logged 55 straight wins and set a world indoor best of 6.8 for 60 yards in 1962. While in college, he also ran impressively in both the 100 and 220 and was a member of a world record setting 4x100m relay team. Following his retirement, Jones entered private business.
1960 Olympics: 110 m hurdles (3rd)
1964 Olympics: 110 m hurdles - 13.60 (1st)
1959 Pan-Am Games: 110 m hurdles (1st)
high school: Pontiac (Pontiac, Michigan), 1956
undergraduate: Eastern Michigan (Ypsilanti, Michigan), 1960
Recreational director
from USATF Hall of Fame Induction

Pam Kurrell
(no picture available)

 Pam Kurrell placed 19th in the Discus at Rome.  Her best throw was 43.23 meters (141+') 
Little information is available on the internet about this athlete.  If anyone can fill in more details, please contact us.

Full name: Pamela Joan "Pam" Kurrell
Height: 5'0" (153 cm)
Weight: 139 lbs (63 kg)
Born: January 6, 1939 (Age 75) in San Francisco, California, United States
Affiliations: Laurel Track Club

Ron Laird

Born: May 31, 1938 - Louisville, Kentucky
1,500 m race walk - 5:50.20
1 mi. race walk - 6:14.40
2 mi. race walk - 13:31
5 km race walk - 21:09
10 km race walk - 43:07
10 mi. race walk - 1:10:42
20 km race walk - 1:28:18
20 mi. race walk - 2:40:12
50 km race walk - 4:29:39

"Longevity" is a word that is synonymous with Ron Laird's race-walking career. "Success" is another. Laird's career spanned three decades in which he won 65 national championships. Laird's first taste of success came in 1958 when he won national titles in both the 20 and 25-kilometer walks, starting a streak in which he won at least one American title for the next 18 years. He had seven wins in 1965, eight in 1967 and nine in 1969. Laird's amazing string eclipsed Hall of Famer Henry Laskau's record of 42 American titles. At one point, Laird won five-straight 15 km titles. His highest win total in any event was seven in both the 15 km and one-hour races. Laird won his final title in 1976, the same year in which he made his fourth U.S. Olympic team (1960, 1964 and 1968 were the other three). He won the gold medal in the 20 km walk at the 1967 Pan-American Games after a fourth-place finish in 1963. He placed third at 20 km in the 1967 and 1973 World Cup. Laird held 81 American records at distances ranging from 1 km to 25 miles and was named six times as the outstanding U.S. race walker.
1960 Olympics: 50 km race walk - 4:53:22 (19th)
1964 Olympics: 20 km race walk
1968 Olympics: 20 km race walk - 1:44:38 (25th)
1976 Olympics: 20 km race walk - 1:33:28 (20th)
1967 World Cup: 20,000 m race walk (3rd)
1973 World Cup: 20,000 m race walk (3rd)
1964 AAU & Olympic Trials: 20 km race walk - 1:34:45 (1st)
1963 Pan-Am Games: 20,000 m race walk (4th)
1967 Pan-Am Games: 20,000 m race walk (1st)
high school: Peekskill High School (Peekskill, New York), 1956
House painter
Dallas Long
from USAT&F Hall of Fame Induction
Dallas Long
Inducted: 1996, athlete
Born: June 13, 1940 - Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Shot Put - 20.68 m

Many Hall of Fame athletes have either won Olympic gold medals or set world records. Dr. Dallas Long has done both and was one of the world's premier shot putters in the 1960s. Long attended North Phoenix High School in Arizona, where he was coached by Vern Wolfe, also a Hall of Famer. Long set a national high school record there and later attended the University of Southern California, where he attained his greatest success and was again coached by Wolfe. He was NCAA champion for three successive years, from 1960 to 1962, and national champion in 1961. He set the first of his world records in March 1959, when he threw 63' 2". He improved upon that record five times, culminating with a throw of 67' 10" at the Olympic trials in 1964. That year, he won the gold medal with a throw of 66' 8 1/2", setting an Olympic record in the event. Four years earlier, at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Long took the bronze medal behind fellow Americans Bill Nieder and Parry O'Brien. After earning both dental and medical degrees from USC, Long practiced medicine in Southern California and Arizona.
Records Held
World Record: Shot Put - 20.68 m (July 25, 1964 - )
1960 Olympics: Shot Put (3rd)
1964 Olympics: Shot Put - 20.33 m (1st)
1961 AAU: Shot Put (1st)
1960 NCAA: Shot Put (1st)
1961 NCAA: Shot Put (1st)
1962 NCAA: Shot Put (1st)
high school: North Phoenix (North Phoenix, Arizona)
undergraduate: USC (Los Angeles, California), 1962
Medical doctor
Bruce MacDonald
20Km walk
MacDonald following Ron Zinn

Bruce MacDonald received a scholarship to NYU as a hurdler in 1947. After graduating college, a teammate from the NY Pioneer Club asked MacDonald to compete in an all-around event that included a half-mile race walk. To prepare for the event, MacDonald and his teammate received help from the legendary Henry Laskau. After some persuasion, MacDonald gave in and eventually focused his energies on race walking. Laskau must have known what a talent his student had: MacDonald became a three time Olympian (1956 - 20K, 1960 - 50K, 1964 - 50K).
Even before MacDonald finished his elite career, he started giving back to the sport as a coach. In 1958, he was the head track and field coach at Port Washington High School. One of his first protégé’s was Ron Daniel, who competed in exhibition events at dual meets. MacDonald was the head coach, on and off, for nearly 50 years and played a key part in getting the race walk accepted as a scoring event in the New York State High School Championships. Today he still coaches at Port Washington Middle School.
MacDonald has served as an IAAF judge and as an umpire at the 1996 Olympic Games. He has coached countless world and national class race walkers. 
Robert Mimm
 50Km walk
Robert Franklin "Bob" Mimm
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Born: October 18, 1924 (Age 89) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Affiliations: Penn Athletic Club

Robert Mimm was 23rd in the 50Km walk in Rome 
Bob Mimm's best finishes in AAU walk events were second in the 1959 50 km. and third in the 1961 3 km. He competed for Rutgers and the Penn AC.
Personal Best: 20kmW – 1-36:07 (1960).


Ron Morris

Ron in Finland with Taisto Laitinen, Kaoko Nystrom, Timo Koskela, Ron, Penti Nikula, and Risto Ankio

Ron was a top pole vaulter during a period of transition for the event. He gained renown for his ability to master the various types of poles that came into use while he was competing. He was able to transition from bamboo to steel and then fiberglass poles, and remain competitive internationally throughout this period.
Ron was a five-time winner at the Relays. He captured three U.S. National Championships. The highlight of his career was his silver medal performance at the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he finished behind only teammate Don Bragg.
Ron coached at Cal State L.A. for many years. Since retiring from that position, he has run OnTrack, a company that supplies track and field equipment.
Born: 1935
College: USC

Full name: Ronald Hugh "Ron" Morris
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Weight: 154 lbs (70 kg)
Born: April 27, 1935 (Age 78) in Glendale, California, United States
Affiliations: Southern California Striders, Anaheim (USA)
Finished in second place in Pole Vault at Rome.

After setting a national high school record of 13-11½ () in 1953, Ron Morris enrolled at USC and was AAU pole vault champion in 1958, 1961, and 1962. At the 1959 Pan American Games he finished fourth in the pole vault. After his competitive days were over he became head track coach at Los Angeles State. Today he owns and operates a track and field equipment supply business in Burbank, CA  (  Lots of track news at this site.
Personal Best: PV – 16-6 (5.03) (1966).

Phil Mulkey

from Wikipedia 
Philip Roy "Phil" Mulkey (born January 7, 1933 in Monett, Missouri) is an American track and field athlete, primarily known for the multi-event decathlon.  At Rome, Mulkey had to deal with injury and ended up withdrawing from competition.  But a year later he astounded the track and field world bettering his personal best by over 1000 points and setting a world record.  Following commentary is from an earlier posting on our site.

Let's go back less than a year to the end of the Rome Olympics. World record holder Rafer Johnson had won a tight dual with close friend and former UCLA teammate, C.K. Yang for the decathlon gold medal. Johnson officially retired from competition and signed on as an assistant coach at UCLA where he would coach Yang in an effort to break his own world record, the passing of the mantle from one good friend to another, a feel good story any way you look at it.

Problem was that nobody told Phil Mulkey about that. Phil Mulkey, the guy who had failed to finish at Rome and was never considered a threat for a medal, that Phil Mulkey?
(Phil Mulkey getting treatment at Rome from Cliff Cushman and Tom Murphy during the decathlon).

 The guy whose best is over 1000 points from the record, that guy? The guy who teaches school in Memphis, that one? The guy who has been doing this for years without any visible sign of great improvement, that fella? Yep, and this is where things get interesting. Apparently home cooking provides Mulkey an advantage because on June 16-17 in the Southeastern AAU meet, held in his hometown, he shocks the track world (and himself) by breaking Johnson's record by 46 points with a total of 8709. How is this possible? If Yang doesn't break the record, the only other athlete in the universe with the potential to do it is the USSR's Vasiliy Kuznyetsov. Others need not apply. No one, certainly not Mulkey is thinking about a record when the competition begins. Mulkey does not have the individual event greatness of Johnson or Yang, but he has no holes either. His day one performances of 10.7 (PR), 24-1, 50-3¼, 6-6½ (PR) and 51.0 total 4667. A very good score is in the making, but at this point no one is thinking of a WR. The second day opens with a 14.6 clocking in the hurdles. The discus is up next and he hits 154-3½ for his third PR of the meet. In those events in which he doesn't PR, he is close. Although bothered by a hamstring injury, he vaults 14-4¾, only 2¾ inches short of his best. With only two events remaining, still there is no thought of breaking Rafer's record. Mulkey is a good javelin thrower for a decathlete, but it is not his strength. He occasionally hits 200' in practice and his first two throws today are no exception: 201-3 and 199-4. His third throw puts a different perspective on things. He launches his wooden Held a surprising 221-3½ and suddenly the possibility of a world record comes into focus. Run a 4:47.0 1500, Phil, and you break Rafer's record by one point. Decathletes being what they are, the rest of his competitors huddle with him to plan out the race, breaking it down to 220 segments. Decathlon fans being what they are, there aren't many in attendance. Darkness has overtaken the stadium and the field is illuminated by automobile headlights. A crowd of 40 watches from the shadows. No split times are given except that Mulkey hits three laps three seconds ahead of schedule. The last three quarters of a lap had to be agonizing to watch with one eye on Mulkey and one eye on the stopwatch. He crosses the finish line in 4:43.8. He has improved his personal best by a stunning 1059 points and the record is his. Ron Barbee writes, “Mulkey was so exhausted after the 1500 that he was unable to walk for 30 minutes after the race. A doctor present took Mulkey's pulse and it registered 210, compared to his normal 42.” Mulkey is quoted as saying, “I don't think I'll ever hit that score again.” You don't have to, Phil. Once is enough. Wonder if he went to school Monday? (Phil competed in Masters Track and Field beginning in 1975, and won the world Masters decathlon in 1993).

Collegiately, Mulkey competed for Memphis State College and then the University of Wyoming. He never quit the sport, moving from the Open division into the early days of Masters athletics. He competed at many Masters Athletics World Championships and set several world records as he progressed through the age groups.[4] His M60 American Record was decertified as the American record after World Masters Athletics changed the implement specifications, but it remains the best mark. He coached his then girlfriend Philipa Raschker (Phil and Phil), one of the most successful Masters athletes ever.[5] Both Phils each were named the 1993 and 1994 USATF Combined Athletes of the year.[6]
Now residing in Birmingham, Alabama, Mulkey has spent many years coaching at The Altamont School, with numerous state titles to his team's credits.

Tom Murphy
Murphy being edged by Willie Atterberry at Penn Relays
Tom Murphy was America's leading 2 lapper in the late 1950's and 1960.  I remember watching him winning the Russian dual meet on national tv and being interviewed on ABC Wide World of Sports post race.  In conversation with Tom this winter he recalled that at Rome, because of the increased number of nations involved in the Olympics, it took three preliminary races to get into the finals of the 800.  Tom felt that the type of training popular in America at the time (intervals, intervals, intervals) did not allow the Yanks to carry through to the end of a brutal series of heats.  As a result he along with Ernie Cunliffe and Jerry Siebert were unable to make it into the finals.   He ran a 1:48.2 in the semis and was eliminated.   He chatted with Peter Snell a few days after his victory and first heard about the long distance training that Arthur Lydiard was putting his athletes through and understood then what was lacking in the American training diet.

In September 1960, Tom  ran on a US 4×880 yards team (with Ernie Cunliffe, Jack Yerman, and Jerry Siebert) against the British Empire in a dual meet. The US finished second in the race, but was credited with a world record for the event. Although the British Empire team posted a better time, they represented four different nations, so their time could not be accepted for world record purposes. Murphy was AAU 800 champion in 1959 and AAU indoor champion at 600 y in 1960. At the 1959 Pan American Games he won a gold medal in the 800 metres event. He competed for Manhattan College and the NYAC.
Personal Bests: 440y – 47.7 (1958); 800 – 1:46.7 (1960).

Bill Nieder
William Henry ("Billy ") Nieder (born 10 August 1933) is an American athlete who mainly competed in the shot put. He was born in Hempstead, New York, and grew up in Lawrence, Kansas. Nieder and Al Oerter grew up within a few miles of each other on Long Island.  How Bill Easton got both of them to come out to Kansas would be and interesting story to know. 

After tearing up a knee in his first varsity football game at Kansas, Nieder became a full time shot putter[.1]
He competed for the United States at the 1956 Summer Olympics and received a silver medal for his 18.18 m long throw, losing to Parry O'Brien. Four year later, Nieder later won gold with his throw of 19.68 m/64' 6¾" inches at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy. The mark was the Olympic record and was an improvement of 5 feet from his mark 4 years earlier. Parry O'Brien had also improved over that time but was almost 2 feet behind Nieder with Dallas Long third.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, Nieder was the first collegiate athlete to better the 60-foot mark with a 16-pound shot. He was also the first high school prep athlete to break the 60-foot barrier with a 12-pound shot put.
Nieder, who set the shot put world record on three occasions, tried boxing when his track and field career ended following the 1960 Olympics. He was knocked out in his first bout and hung up the gloves for good.
He was employed by 3M and was instrumental in developing artificial athletic turf. Nieder sold the first ever synthetic track surface for an Olympic Games to the 1968 Mexico City organizers. [2] Such tracks are now standard at all major track meets. Nieder later developed a new version of the rubber room.
Nieder helped subdue a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit of American Airlines flight 1561 headed to San Francisco on Sunday, May 8, 2011. from Wikipedia

Ray Norton

A double gold medallist in the Pan-American Games in 1959, Norton was America's great hope going into the 1960 Games. He proved one of its greatest disappointments, finishing last in both the 100m and 200m finals. ("They ran the two events back to back in those days," explains Radford. "We were all knackered.") To round off a terrible Games, Norton was responsible for the disqualification of the US team from the relay after a botched baton exchange. But the Oklahoman, later an athletics trainer and now living in Nevada, enjoyed a singular distinction: for almost half a century he was the only man to hold the 100m and 200m world records at the same time – an achievement matched by Usain Bolt in 2008. from an article by Tom Lamont writing for The Observer
One of our readers, Geoff Nelson has noted that Norton did not hold the WR in the 100m.
see Norton on this youtube winning Olympic trials,  note error identifying Ron Morris as Don Bragg

Ernestine Pollards
Ernestine Pollards shown here running beside Wilma Rudolph

Pollards was eliminated in her heat in the 200 meters running 24.5 for 4th place.

Full name: Ernestine Pollards (-Thorp)
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
Weight: 115 lbs (52 kg)
Born: January 19, 1942 (Age 72) in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: Mayor Daley Youth Foundation, Chicago (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Ernestine Pollards ran sprints for the Mayor Daley Youth Foundation in Chicago, and competed in the 1960 Olympic Games while still in high school. Her best year was 1961 when she ran on a 4×100 metre relay team (with Willye White, Vivian Brown, and Wilma Rudolph) that broke the world record in a dual meet against the Soviet Union, and competed in three international duals against the USSR, West Germany, and Great Britain.
Personal Best: 100 – 11.8 (1960); 200 – 23.7 (1961).

Irene Rose Robertson
(no picture available)
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight: 139 lbs (63 kg)
Born: November 10, 1931 (Age 82) in
Batavia, New York, United States
Affiliations: Spartan Women's Athletic Club, (USA) 

Irene Robertson was a sprinter/hurdler who competed in two Olympic Games, but failed to make a final in the  hurdles in either 1956 or 1960. She was the AAU 400 metres champion in 1960, and competed in 1960 for the US in a dual meet against Greece. Robertson attended El Camino Junior College and represented the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Personal Best: 80H – 11.1 (1960).
Neomia Rogers

 (no picture available)
Height: 5'7" (171 cm)
Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)
Born: July 12, 1940 (Age 73) in
Garrison, Minnesota, United States
Affiliations: Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee (USA) 

Neomia Rogers was a high jumper for Tuskegee Institute who won the 1957 AAU high jump championship. She also represented the US at the 1959 Pan American Games, placing seventh in the high jump, also winning the AAU Junior title that year in the high jump.
Personal Best: HJ – 5-5¾ [1.67] (1960).
Bill Sharpe
Picture not available

William ("Bill") John Sharpe (born January 23, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sharpe, a three time Olympian '56, '60, and  '64 finished 17th at Rome.

Bill Sharpe won AAU triple jump in 1957 and 1961-62 and won the NCAA triple for West Chester State in 1956. After college, he competed for the Philadelphia Pioneer Club.  Sharpe also won a bronze medal in the triple jump at the 1959 Pan American Games and a gold medal in the 1963 Pan American Games. He was 4th at Melbourne.
Personal Bests: HJ – 1.93 (6-4) (1956); LJ – 7.01 (23-0) (1952); TJ – 16.18 (53-1) (1964).  Wikipedia and Sports-Reference.

Jerry Siebert

Jerry Siebert from Willits, CA and University of California was one of America's top three 880 runners in the early sixties.   All three Americans struggled with the 3 heat races to get through to the 800 finals in Rome.   
In 1958 Jerry Siebert ran on a Cal Berkeley relay team that broke the world record for 4×880y. In 1960 he again ran on a world-record setting 4×880 y relay team (with Ernie Cunliffe, Tom Murphy, and Jack Yerman), this team a US team that competed in a dual meet against the British Empire, although the US team did not win the race. The British Empire team was made of athletes from four different nations, so their mark could not be recognized for record purposes. Siebert was AAU 800 champion in 1962 and 1964. He was runner-up in the 1960 800 for Cal.
Personal Bests: 800 – 1:46.3y (1962); Mile – 4:12.4 (1960).
Interview on flotrack with Jerry Siebert and Don Bowden

Dave Sime
David W. "Dave" Sime
Monday 12/14/2005  -  Duke Sports Information

Duke Letterman, Football and Baseball
Atlantic Coast Conference Athlete of the Year, 1956
Olympic Silver Medalist, 1960
Holder of 7 World Track Records
Dave Sime, the red-haired flash from Fairlawn, NJ, set a total of seven world track records during his career at Duke. The 1960 Olympic Silver Medal winner is considered one of the all-time sprinted in the world. Only a serious leg injury during his prime in 1956 kept him from winning a gold medal. During that season he set several world records and was named ACC Athlete of the Year before being sidelined with an injury in a pre-Olympic meet.

Bobby Morrow of Abilene Christian, a man he had soundly defeated during the season, went on to win the 100 and 200 meters at the Olympics. In 1960, Sime did make it to the Olympics and earned a silver medal in the 100 meters.

Sime came to Duke on a baseball scholarship but gave it up after two years to concentrate his efforts on track. He also played football during his senior year and served as the "lonesome end" for the Blue Devils.   for more on Dave Sime see Once Upon a Time in the Vest Vol. 2  No.  45  
The Morannis book on the 1960 Olympics, reports that the CIA wanted to recruit Sime to in turn recruit East European athletes to defect during the Olympics.  He didn't go along with that effort

Ann Lois "Annie" Smith (-Earthman)
(no picture available)
Height: 5'9" (174 cm)
Weight: 134 lbs (61 kg)
Born: April 23, 1939 (Age 74) in
Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Affiliations: TSU Tigers, Nashville (USA)
Annie Smith competed in the Long Jump at Rome but did not establish a fair jump.

Annie Smith was a long jumper from Tennessee State. In addition to her 1960 Olympic appearance, she won a gold medal at the 1959 Pan American Games in the long jump, and in 1958, represented the US in four international dual meets. Smith was AAU Junior Champion in the long jump in 1955, and in 1958 won the AAU Indoor 400 metres, which was contested as an exhibition event that year, as women did not run 400 metres often in that era.
Personal Best: LJ – 19-1½ [5.83] (1958).

Bob Soth

Bob Soth ran 14:40 placing 7th in his heat of the 5000 meters at Rome.   Soth's best finish at the AAU Meet was third in the 1959 6-miles. He also placed fourth in the 5K in 1956 and 1960. Soth won a bronze medal in the 10K at the 1959 Pan American Games. He ran for Drake and the Southern Cal Striders. He was a grad student at Long Beach St. when he went to the 1960 Olympics.  Probably best remembered in the Russian dual meet 10,000 meters in Philadelphia when we  first became aware of thermo regulation problems that occur during distance races in the heat.  Three of four runners collapsed and Max Truex who finished the race was given third place because the Russians claimed that he had been lapped and didn't complete the race. 
Personal Bests: Mile – 4:12.0 (1957); 2 miles – 8:55.5 (1959); 5K – 14:18.6 (1960); 10K 30:21

Jo Ann Terry Grissom
No photo available

Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
Weight: 137 lbs (62 kg)
Born: August 4, 1938 (Age 75) in Indianapolis, Indiana,
Affiliations: TSU Tigers, Nashville (USA)

Jo Ann Terry was eliminated in the heats of the hurdles at Rome.
Jo Ann Terry was a multi-event athlete for Tennessee State University, who competed at two Olympic Games, and won a gold medal in the 80 metre hurdles at the 1963 Pan American Games. In 1960, Terry won AAU titles in both the high hurdles and the pentathlon. She later became a school teacher and coach.
Personal Bests: 100 – 11.1 (1961); HJ – 5-1 [1.55] (1960/61); LJ – 19-11¼ [6.08] (1964).

Anthony Watson

AnthonyWatson, a surprise member of the Olympic team in 1960 was a freshman long jumper from the University of Oklahoma.  Six feet four inches, he was also an excellent sprinter 9.3 100, 21.0 220, 26'2' long jump.  He was on a partial scholarship and washing dishes in the athletic dorm that year.  He began to show great improvement winning the Houston Meet of Champions and qualifying for the trials at the AAU meet.    Was NCAA long jump champion in 1962 and made the US team that year for the Russian dual meet.  At the games he did not advance to the finals in jumping 7.32 meters, (24'-0").

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams Adams-or Lady Dancer, as she was called-ran the third leg of the 4 x I00-meter relay that won her and her teammates the gold in 1960 at the Rome Olympics At the 1958 Pan-American Games in Chicago, Adams captured three gold medals and posted an American record for the women's 220-yard dash. Born in Bloomingdale, Ga., just outside Savannah, Adams, who holds bachelor's and master's degrees from TSU, serves as an associate director of comprehensive health, physical education, driver education and safety with the Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools. In 1994 she was elected president of the National Association for Sports and Physical Education. Among her many distinct honors are membership on Ohio's, Special Olympics Board of Directors and in the U.S. Olympian Society, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ohio Professional and Amateur Athletics Committee, and the Presidential Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Jack Yerman

Jack's life is recalled in this book by
his son Bruce.

Your Time Will Come, Jack Yerman and His Incredible Journey to the 1960 Olympics
by Bruce Hamilton Yerman

Available in hardback, paperback, and ePub @

Jack was the leading 400 meter runner for the US coming into the Olympics having won the Trials at Palo Alto.  However illness reduced his effectiveness in the 400.  He was the lead off runner in the 4x400 which was victorious in World Record time. 
For more on Jack see this article from his hometown paper The Paradise Post

Earl Young
Earl and His Proud Parents

With Coach Oliver Jackson

Earl Young took up quarter-miling in his freshman year (1959) at Abilene Christian. In his first season he ran 48.5 for 440y, but showed dramatic improvement in the Olympic year and ran 45.9 for sixth place in the Olympic final before contributing a 45.6 stage on the winning relay team. At the 1963 Pan American Games he won gold with both relay teams in the 4×100 metres (with Ollan Cassell, Ira Murchison, and the non-Olympian Brooks Johnson) and in the 4×400 metres (with Ollan Cassell and the non-Olympians James Johnson and Richard Edmunds).
Personal Bests: 100 – 10.5 (1960); 220 – 20.9 (1960); 400 – 45.7 (1960).

At nineteen years of age, one of the youngest medal winners.    He was one of the fortunate ones whose parents and coach Oliver Jackson were present to see him run in Rome.  Earl has been a great help in putting the energy into making this posting possible.

George Young

at Mount Sac

from sports
George Young was one of the gutsiest distance runners in the annals of U.S. track. At the 1959 Pan American Games he finished fifth in the 3,000 metres steeplechase. In his Olympic début he failed to survive the heats of the 1960 steeplechase but, in 1964, he placed fifth and improved to take the bronze medal in 1968. He also ran in the 1968 marathon, placing 16th, and in his fourth Olympics he ran only in the 5,000 m and was eliminated in the heats. Prior to becoming a school teacher, George Young attended, at various times, Northern Arizona, Western New Mexico, and Arizona. He won the AAU steeplechase three times, the three miles once, the marathon once, and he was twice the AAU indoor three mile champion.

Personal Bests: Mile – 3:59.6 (1972); 2 miles – 8:22.0 (1968); 5000 – 13.29.4 (1972); 6 miles – 27:54.8 (1972); Mar – 2.30.48 (1968); 3000S – 8:30.6 (1968).

 Arguably the best New Mexican runner of all-time. Young grew up in Silver City during the 50's competing for Western High School in Track and Cross Country. Pre-dating competitive trail and mountain running, Young excelled at several other elements of tough-guy running including his specialty event the steeplechase, beating near everyone he raced to the finish line over a twelve year career, and heaping loads of pain and suffering on his competition. 
Young lettered at the Univ. of Arizona, and after graduation
ran to national records in the steeplechase (8:31.0 in '61, then 8:30.6 in '68), the two mile (8:22.0 in '68), and the 5000m (13:32.2 in '71), and indoor world records in the two mile and three mile distances. He was the first American runner to compete in four Olympiads spanning the '60, '64, '68, and '72 Olympic Games as a contemporary of Schul, Ryun, and Mills. At the '68 Games in Mexico City he ran to steeplechase bronze (8:51.86) after coming up short (5th place) at the '64 Games in Tokyo (8:38.2). In addition to claiming a spot on the podium he raced to a 16th place finish in the marathon (2:31:15). At the '72 Games in Munich he ran the 5000m alongside young American upstart Steve Prefontaine who had edged him out at the Trials.

In March '72, Young ran his first and only sub-four minute mile at 34yrs of age (
3:59.6 mile) in Los Angeles, CA. He was the oldest runner to have accomplished the feat at that time, and the first New Mexican born runner to break four minutes for the mile.

The following link discusses a recent visit to the Rome Olympic Village site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ira Davis was 4th (not 12th) in the triple jump in1960. Bill Sharpe was 4th in the triple jump in1956.

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