Thursday, May 15, 2014

Vol. 4 No. 40 Mel Patton R.I.P.

News came from Ernie Cunliffe this morning that Mel Patton, Olympic 200 meter champion 1948, and first man to legally run a 9.3  100 yards, and a WR 220  20.2.  From Los Angeles, Mel ran for Southern Cal and was twice a double winner in the 100 and 220 in the NCAA, 1947 and 1948.
The following link contains a thirty page interview with Mel Patton done for the LA 84 Foundation.

Barney Ewell, Mel Patton, Harrison Dillard on the
boat to London 1948

Winning the 200 meters, 1948 London

Below is his Olympic record from Sports Reference

Full name: Melvin Emery "Mel" Patton
Gender: Male
Height: 6'1" (185 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: November 16, 1924 (Age 89) in Los Angeles, California, United States
Affiliations: USC Trojans, Los Angeles (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics
Medals: 2 Gold (2 Total)


During his three seasons of competition, Mel Patton was the undisputed king of American sprinters. 
A highly nervous runner, he never competed in the AAU championships, but he won the NCAA 100y in
 1947 and took both sprints in 1948 and 1949. After twice running 9.4 for 100y in 1947, Patton ran the 
first official 9.3 at the West Coast Relays in 1948. In 1949 he ran a wind-assisted 9.1 and at the same 
meet, when the wind had dropped, he ran a legal 20.2 for a new world 220y record. One of Patton's 
rare defeats came in the Olympic 100 m final in 1948 when he placed fifth. His only other losses during
 his peak years came at the 1948 Final Trials when he lost to Harrison Dillard in the heats and to 
Barney Ewell in the final. Patton was also a fine relay runner who twice ran on world- record-setting
4×220y teams for Southern Cal. After his retirement from amateur competition, he ran a series of
 pro races in Australia. He then became manager of the Washington office of Sanders Associates, Inc., 
an electronics company.
Personal Bests: 100 – 10.44 (1948); 200 – 20.7 (1948).


Glossary  · SHARE  · Embed  · CSV  · PRE  · LINK  · ?
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsMen's 100 metresUnited StatesUSA5
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsMen's 200 metresUnited StatesUSA1Gold
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsMen's 4 × 100 metres RelayUnited StatesUSA1Gold

Men's 100 metres

Event History  · Glossary  · SHARE  · Embed  · CSV  · PRE  · LINK  · ?
GamesAgeCitySportCountryPhaseUnitRankATMLT(H)T(A 1/10)
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesFinal5at 0.171
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesSemi-FinalsHeat Two1QU10.410.6
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesQuarter-FinalsHeat Three1QU10.410.6
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesRound OneHeat Two1QU10.610.7

Men's 200 metres

Event History  · Glossary  · SHARE  · Embed  · CSV  · PRE  · LINK  · ?
GamesAgeCitySportCountryPhaseUnitRankT(H)T(A 1/10)LATM
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesFinal121.121.32
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesSemi-FinalsHeat One2QU21.6at 0.26
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesQuarter-FinalsHeat Four1QU21.4
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesRound OneHeat Six1QU21.6

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Event History  · Glossary  · SHARE  · Embed  · CSV  · PRE  · LINK  · ?
GamesAgeCitySportTeamNOCPhaseUnitRankT(H)T(A 1/10)L
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesUSAFinal140.640.73
1948 Summer23LondonAthleticsUnited StatesUSARound OneHeat One1QU41.141.2
A brief account of Patton's pro career was found in a 1954 edition of the Lewiston, 
Maine Evening Journal by the sports editor Norman S. Thomas.  

"As you no doubt recall, Mel Patton, the American sprinter turned pro and went to Australia
Most of what happened didn't get on the wire this far North, but in the 75 yard
dash he was fifth.  In the 130 yard race he was in front with 50 yards to go when 
he turned his ankle and had to drop out.  All races are run on a handicap basis.
Keith Alton won the 75 yard event in 7.5.  Herb McKenley of Jamaica won the longer 
race in 12.5.  

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