Friday, February 20, 2015

v.5 n 11 February 1965

The indoor season, which started slowly, is now going full blast. But before we give you that report, let us review Ron Clarke's outdoor season in Australia and New Zealand. We reported on some of these races in last month's issue, but to more fully understand this great runner we need to put his racing in perspective.
Here is how Clarke spent the month between Jan. 17 and Feb 14:
* Jan. 17 Hobart - A world record 5000 of 13:34.8 (not 13:34.6 as reported last month), breaking Vladimir Kuts' 13:35.0.
  • Jan. 21 Tokoroa, NZ - 8:33.0 2 mile in an attempt to break Bob Schul's 8:26.4 world record
  • Jan. 23 Adelaide - 8:47.0 2 mile in 90 degree weather
  • Jan. 26 Melbourne - 27:40.0 6 mile in extremely windy conditions in an attempt to break his own world record of 27:17.8
  • Jan. 28 Melbourne - 4:07.8 mile
  • Jan. 30 Melbourne – 13:19.0 3 mile
  • Feb. 1 Auckland, NZ – Broke his recent 5000 world record with a 13:33.6, passing 3 miles in 13:08.0 to just miss his own 13:07.6 WR en route
  • Feb. 5 Dunedin, NZ – 5000 meters in 13:47.0
  • Feb. 6 Melbourne - Ran an 880 in 1:56.0, losing to Tony Forbes' 1:55.3
  • Feb. 10 Melbourne - Attempted to break the world records at 20K and one hour but when high winds made that impossible, he stopped after ten miles, covered in 47:45.8, 19 seconds off the WR for that distance.
  • Feb. 13 Melbourne - One mile in 4:04.4
  • Feb. 14 Unlisted site - Ran 3 miles in 13:11.0 in 90 degree heat.
For those of you counting at home, you are right, that is 12 high quality races in 29 days. He was paid for none of these, running only for the love of running. Cue “Those Were the Days” background music.

The Millrose Games are held on Thursday, Jan. 28, the first of three meets in three nights for Bill Crothers. He wins the half easily in 1:51.2. Local hero Tom Farrell from St. Johns hangs back in the 600 until the last lap then passes three Olympians to win in 1:10.5. Ollan Cassell (1:10.8), Theron Lewis (1:11.2) and Mike Larrabee (1:12.3) trail.
Brit John Whetton surprises New Zealand's John Davies with a wicked final lap which brings him home a winner in 4:05.4, the season's fastest mile.

Bill Crothers

The two mile is decided by a vigorous kick as well. George Young follows until two laps remain then turns on the heat to win by ten yards in 8:48.4 over Kiwi Bill Bailey, 8:50.6 and Olympic 10K champ Billy Mills, 8:52.0.
Fordham junior Sam Perry missed most of last year with a hamstring problem but, if tonight's performance is an indication, he is healthy now. He blasts a 5.9 60 to destroy an excellent field of Edwin Roberts, Mel Pender and Paul Drayton to tie the WR he shares with Bob Hayes.
On this day in Wales, Whetton could only manage a third
place behind Alan Simpson and Ricardo Romo c. 1963?
One day and 500 miles later we are in Toronto for the Maple Leaf Games. Bill Crothers won the 880 last night in New York. Tonight he drops to the 600 and administers a beating to an excellent field. His 1:11.3 leaves Ron Whitney (1:12.1) and George Kerr (1:12.2) well behind. John Whetton's win last night ran his consecutive victory streak to 17. Tonight the streak ends at the hands, or more accurately, the feet of Jim Grelle in 4:13.2. No splits are given.
The three mile resembles the British Commonwealth Games with New Zealand's Bill Ballie coming home in 13:42.6 ahead of Canadians Dave Ellis (13:45.5) and Chris Williamson (13:49.2) and Brit Mike Wiggs (13:51.6).
Now it is Saturday and we are in the stands for the Boston Athletic Association meet where we find that H...E'...S....B...A...C...K. Yep, that's Bill Crothers lining up for the 600, his third race in three cities in three nights. One minute nine and three tenths seconds after the gun is fired, the great Canadian has not only won again, but has come within a tenth of a second of tying Wendell Mottley's world record. Tom Farrell clocks 1:09.8 in second. Crothers says he has been going to bed at 2, getting on a plane at 8 to get to the next meet for the last two days.
Jim Grelle finds that he who lives by the kick, dies by the kick as Kiwi John Davies goes by on the last lap to win the season's fastest mile, 4:03.0 to 4:04.0. Billy Mills gives indication of good things to come at longer distances with his 4:05.2 PR.
Charley Mays wins the quarter in 48.3 and Richard Ross wins the high jump with his first indoor seven foot clearance.
Not all indoor track is on the east coast. Indeed, on this very night the Oregon Invitational is being held in Portland, where the fans leave talking about Jerry Lindgren. The Washington State freshman says he is not in top condition, yet he travels two miles in a personal best of 8:37.9 to leave Oregon's Ken Moore (8:43.2) and Oregon State's Tracy Smith (8:45.7) well behind. Lindgren's effort tonight shatters Bruce Kidd's age 18 indoor best of 8:53.1.

A year ago Neil Steinhauer was a 57-8 shot putter at Westmont College in California. Now he is a student at Oregon and things are looking up. On his first throw of the evening he breaks 60'. Not one to rest on his laurels, young Neil pops 61-5 on his second effort. He finishes the night with three more 60 foot throws and a foul of 63-6.
A week has past and now we are in Philadelphia for Friday's Inquirer Games. Although there are few significant marks, the meet is noteworthy because it is the first meet of a Russian tour. Igor Ter-Ovanesyan provides the highlight with his 26-1 ¼ long jump victory but high jump world record holder Valeriy Brumel has to withdraw because of a sore knee. Brits John Whetton (4:06.8) and Maurice Herriott (8:54.2) win the mile and two mile. Bill Crothers, after three tough races last week and a bout of the flu, drops out of the 1000.
The next night, Feb. 6, finds the focus of the track world moved west to New Mexico and Washington for the Albuquerque Invitational and the Seattle Invitational.
Local favorite Adolph Plummer returns from a short lived retirement in the 440, however the night belongs to Ray Saddler. Adolph is in great shape to run a heck of a 380, but folds badly at this point. Saddler blasts past en route to a 48.1, a tenth off Wendell Motley's world record but a tenth better than Roy Cochran's American record. Olympic champ Mike Larrabee, obviously not an indoor guy, takes second in 49.1, an improvement of 1.4 seconds over his previous best.
Ralph Boston wins the hurdles in 7.3 before jumping 25-8 to edge Clarence Robinson (25-4 ¼) and Gayle Hopkins (25-3 ½).
A standing room only crowd of 10,000 is in attendance for Seattle's first indoor meet. They are not disappointed. John Camien outsprints Bob Day as they run the fastest mile times of the season, 4:01.7 and 4:02.4. Jerry Lindgren clocks the second best two mile of the winter, 8:40.9, but this generates little excitement as he has already run three seconds faster.
Once again Neil Steinhauer has five throws over 60 feet. His 61-3 is the winner. Hometown boy Phil Shinnick takes the long jump at 25-1 and the high jump at 6-9.
Now it is Thursday, the eleventh, and we are in Madison Square Garden for the New York Athletic Club Games. Last summer Tom Farrell, a St. John's product, stated that he wanted to be well known. Tonight he gets his wish. He charges into the lead at the start of the 880 and holds off a strong bid by recuperating Bill Crothers to win in 1:49.8, a tenth better than Peter Snell's world record set three years ago.
It will take a big man to beat Gary Gubner who has a streak of 17 shot put wins at the Garden. At 6-3, 308, Hungary's Olympic bronze medalist Vilmos Varju, fits that description. He throws 61-10 ¼ to beat Gubner by over a foot.
Valeriy Brumel's knee still hurts, but he toughs it out to win the high jump at 7-3.
Ray Saddler's Texas Southern mile relay team edges Maryland State 3:17.2 to 3:17.8 on the strength of Saddler's 48.0 anchor.
Two nights later at the Michigan State Relays the Oklahoma State two mile relay team runs the second fastest indoor time ever, but maybe the intrinsically best. Villanova has the world record at 7:24.9 but it was run on an eight lap to the mile track. The Cowboys clock 7:26.1 on this eleven lap to the mile track which has much tighter curves.
After much deliberation and intense mathematical study, the Once Upon a Time in the Vest editorial staff proclaims the OSU effort this night to be intrinsically superior. Jim Metcalf leads off in 1:53.5 and is followed by Jim Perry and Tom Von Ruden, both clocking 1:50.8. Dave Perry finishes in 1:51.6.
On the same evening the track world is focused on the Los Angeles Invitational where the feature performer is Peter Snell in the final indoor race of of his career, running the 1000 yards against his Olympic 800 runner up, Bill Crothers. Snell is determined to go out on a high note. He eschews his normal wait and kick strategy for an all out attack, jumping to the lead at the gun. With Crothers right on him, Snell passes the 440 in 54.6. Crothers waits until the straightway just before the final lap to make his move. The Olympic champion holds him off as they begin the gun lap. On the backstretch Snell allows the pace to slacken but now he is just playing with his rival. As soon as Crothers closes, Snell throws it into gear and is gone. His half second margin, 2:07.9 to 2:08.4, may not sound decisive, but it is obvious that the New Zealander had a lot left in the tank. Crothers has to be credited with a courageous performance as mentioned earlier he is just coming off a bout of the flu.
Snell's fellow New Zealanders carry the day in the two longest races. John Davies' 4:06.3 mile bests Billy Mills' 4:06.6 and Wiltold Baran's 4:06.8. In the two mile Bill Baillie allows George Young to stay close for the first mile, then pulls away to a decisive 12 second win in 8:43.4.
New 880 world record holder Tom Farrell shows his range, running the 600 in 1:10.8, giving a lesson to veterans Jack Yerman (1:11.4) and George Kerr (1:11.7).
Floyd Manning bests Billy Pemelton and Mel Hein in the pole vault as they all clear 16-0. But the real story is the special high school vault where Paul Wilson of Warren High in Downey, California clears 16-0 ¾ for a high school record, but more importantly, the best mark in the world this year. Who knows, the kid might be pretty good some day.
Long Beach City College freshman Earl McCullough shows his seniors no respect in the 60 yard hurdles. He scores a dominating win in 7.1 over Brian Polkinghorne and Blaine Lindgren who run 7.3 and Russia's best, Anatoliy Mikhailov, another tenth back. Like Paul, Earl may have a future in the sport.
Shot put veterans John McGrath and Jay Silvester are smiling as they leave the meet. They went 1-2 with PRs of 63-5 and 63-0 ½. For McGrath, it was an impressive 10 inch improvement.
Has there ever been a better rivalry than that of Ralph Boston and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan in the long jump? Tonight is typical. Boston wins for the 8th time in 11 meeting by the margin of the cuticle on your left pinkie finger, one quarter of an inch, 26-4 ¾ to 26-4 ½. They will continue their dual next week in the AAU Nationals
The national championships are held in Madison Square Garden Friday and Saturday, Feb 19-20. As close as the Ter-Ovanesyan – Boston long jump competition was last week, this time it is even closer. Boston's first jump of 26-2½ gives him the lead which he holds through five rounds until the Russian matches it on his last attempt. Ter-Ovanesyan's second best jump is 26-1, ¾ inch better than Boston's so the victory belongs to the Russian. These marks would probably have been better had there been proper preparation. For some unexplained reason the pit is filled with dirt, not sand. The dirt “breaks” after each jump, causing jumpers to lose about six inches says reporter Jim Dunaway.
Boston may be disappointed but he doesn't go home without a gold medal. He lost the long jump by a scant margin, but he makes up for that by winning the 60 yard hurdles in a finish capable of being decided only by the Bulova phototimer. His 7.21 edges Roger Morgan's 7.23 and Earl McCullough's 7.24.
Billy Mills has won only one of six races this season, but he is looking for a record in the three mile. He goes through the mile in 4:25 and two miles in 8:59 with Canadian Dave Ellis in close attendance. Mills is able to crank out a 61.5 final quarter to leave Ellis six yards back as they run American and Canadian records of 13:25.4 and 13:26.4.
Former Mankato State star Ted Nelson runs last in the 1000 until the last lap when he comes alive and passes everyone, catching German Dieter Bogatzki fifteen yards from the tape to win by a foot in 2:10.5 for both.
It takes three tries to get the 600 underway. The field is recalled when Jack Yerman falls on the first turn. A false start follows. Finally they are off and Ollan Cassell and Andrzej Badenski trade the lead until the gun lap when Jack Yerman makes a move that carries him into first on the backstretch. Frank Tomeo, running for the Quantico Marines, closes fast but the victory belongs to Yerman by two yards in 1:11.3.
The mile quickly becomes a tactical affair which suits Jim Grelle just fine. He trails in 3:09.6 at the 1320 before finishing in 57.8 to soundly trounce Wiltold Baran and Carey Weisiger in 4:07.4.
A 7-2 high jump victory for anyone else would be reason to shout the news from the rooftops, but for the dominant Valeriy Brumel, it is just another day at the office.
Hal Connolly is an unpaid volunteer coach at Santa Monica High. His competitive days are behind him or so he thought until a couple weeks ago when he decided to give the 35 lb weight throw another shot just for the hell of it. For Hal, spinning the ball and chain is much like riding a bicycle. He hasn't forgotten how. His 70-0½ gives him the victory over the 66-8 of George Frenn. The only man to ever throw farther is Hal himself.
Shot putter Randy Matson has been staying close to home this winter. He has competed in indoor meets in Lubbock, Fort Worth and Dallas and broken the world record in each with throws of 65-6¾, 65-8¼ and 66-2½ but you won't find his name in the record books because he used the standard outdoor shot, not the required “kneadable” indoor ball.
In an effort to aid our readers who remember track “back in the day”, we invite you to join us on a trip down the memory lane of advertisers in this issue of Track and Field News. Tempting you to separate yourself from your money are: Nutrament (nutritionally complete liquid meal), New Balance shoes (no shin-splints), Herff Jones and Co. (a complete selection of high quality athletic medals, charms, keys and trophies), Garrett Tubular Hurdles (fast folding), Aluminum Athletic Equipment Co. (aluminum spill proof rocker hurdles), Port-A-Pit (happy landings), Mike Ryan and Sons (track clothing and equipment), The Harry Gill Company (3 fine hurdles to chose from), Carmel River Inn (an adventure in pleasant living at Carmel's garden motel), Rubkor America (the highest performance track in the world), M-F Athletic Company (new improved M-F heel protector), Brooks Shoes (style 75 track shoe), Recreation and Athletic Products (“Tartan” Surfacing Material), Packy (all new indoor pole vault box) John T Core (pentathlon screen test) and Puma Track Shoes (internationally famous). Of course the last page is a full page ad for Adidas shoes which you may purchase at Carlsen Import in New York City, Van Devoort' Hardware (yes, hardware) in Lansing, Michigan and the old standby, Cliff Severn Sporting Goods in Hollywood, CA.
There are several letters to the editor but this one caught our eye. This young man has seen the future. “I was really mad when they cut in on the telecast of the LA Invitational right in the middle of the two-mile for the presidential press conference, in which we learned that Lyndon still had his cold. A half hour wasted on what was basically a non-news story.” Hal Higdon, Michigan City, Indiana.

John Whetton's Later Career

John Whetton went on to further his post racing career being chased by the hounds.
This article appeared in a British online review with a BBC news release about Whetton
BBC News

Hunt ban gives athlete run around -
The recent ban on fox hunting has left one former Olympic athlete from Nottinghamshire busier then ever.
John Whetton, a 1,500m finalist at the Tokyo and Mexico games is a volunteer runner for the Readyfield Bloodhounds hunt in the East Midlands.

The 64-year-old from Newstead Abbey Park, is chased by hounds over countryside in Notts, Leics and Lincs.

The retired lecturer says the sport is now a hit with hunters who do not want to break the law.

The worst thing that can happen is you get licked to death

John Whetton

"We are not in competition with the fox hunts, but if people have a conscience about the legality of the animal rights issues with fox hunting, and don't want to be in conflict with their friends, they opt to come blood-hounding," he said.

Mr Whetton, who came eighth in the 1964 Olympics and fifth in the Mexico games four years later, says he is not afraid of the dogs but always wants to be first past the finishing line.

He said: "It's a competition. You are competing against them and want to get to the end before they do.

"If they do catch you, the worst thing that can happen is you get licked to death. They are very friendly."

  • Another 'commentor' on that piece provided this bio of Whetton
  • John Whetton established such an enviable reputation as an indoor miler, that it is sometimes overlooked that he also produced a number of impressive outdoor performances. Whetton won six consecutive national AAA indoor Mile/1500m titles between 1963 and 1968, a number of them by considerable margins. His early good form led to his selection for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic, where he finished 8th in the 1500m final. The annual European Indoor Championships commenced in 1966, and John won the 1500m title in each of the first three editions. Despite winning both national and international indoor titles in 1966, he was unable to reproduce that degree of superiority in the outdoor season, and failed to qualify for the either the European Championships or Commonwealth Games held that year. It was relatively late in his career that Whetton first won a medal in the AAA outdoor championships, finishing 2nd in the 1 Mile in 1967, before registering his only victory in the same event the following year. He subsequently gained selection for his 2nd Olympic Games at Mexico City in 1968, where he again made the final of the 1500m, this time finishing in 5th place. On 2 August 1969, Whetton finished 2nd in the AAA 1500m to Frank Murphy (Ireland), who John was destined to duel with again 7 weeks later at the European Championships in Athens. In the last lap in the Athens final, held on 20 September, Murphy led a group of four down the back straight, with Whetton at the rear. John eased through a gap with 200 metres remaining to position himself right behind Murphy, before making his challenge approaching the home straight. The two fought each other tooth and nail down the straight, before Whetton just edged ahead to claim victory (see photo above). Whetton's last major international appearance was at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, where he finished 5th in the 1500m final. (Ron Casey)

Tom Farrell

The following article appeared in Tom Farrell's St. John's University newsletter when he was inducted into their hall of fame in 2008
  • QUEENS, N.Y. (Nov. 13, 2008) – On Monday, November 17, the St. John’s Cross Country and Track & Field programs will honor alumnus and volunteer coach Tom Farrell in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of his bronze medal performance at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.
    A dinner reception commending Farrell’s dedicated career with St. John’s and multiple outside athletic accomplishments will be held at 7 p.m. in the Marillac Terrace. Friends, alumni and fans of the St. John’s cross country and track & field programs are invited to attend.

    Farrell, the guest of honor, is a former world record holder and part of the inaugural group of inductees in the St. John’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He is one of the most decorated athletes in St. John’s history and has served as the volunteer assistant coach for the Red Storm for the past nine years.
    He arrived at St. John’s in 1961 as a graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School. He made his mark early as the individual champion at the 1961 Freshman Metropolitan Cross Country Championships, helping his team win as well. As a sophomore, he ran in the record-setting two-mile relay team of Paul StelmaszykBob Buckley and Tom Bauer, who ran the relay in 7:41.1 at February’s Millrose Games. In late March of that year, he ran the second leg of the mile-relay team which broke the Canadian record (3:20.8) at the Eastern Canadian Track & Field Championships in Hamilton, Ontario 
    As a junior, Farrell represented the United States at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as the first American in the 800-meter run, after becoming St. John’s first NCAA Champion at the NCAA Finals in Eugene, Ore. Farrell qualified for the Olympic Trials at Randalls Island in New York City, where he finished fourth, then went on to finish second at the Olympic Finals in Los Angeles. He finished fifth in the 800-meter run in Tokyo.
    In mid-February of 1965, after his Olympic run, Farrell defeated Canada’s Bill Crothers at Madison Square Garden’s NYAC Games to set a new indoor World Record in the 880-yard run of 1:49.8. In the spring, he defended his NCAA 800-meter title. Farrell also won the British AAA 800-meter title in that same year. In the spring of 1966, he won the AAU title.

From Bill Schnier:
Very nice writeup on Feb, 1965.  I was very impressed with Ron Clarke's  season, both in quality and quantity, and especially his running for the love of the sport.  I especially enjoyed that we was always running in events shorter than his specialty in an attempt to develop a kick which improved but was still a limitation to this world record holder.  He still tried, and tried very hard.  Your section on Tom Ferrell was also impressive because he was short and stocky, not perfect for a middle-distance runner.  He had desire which compensates for a lot of deficiencies and also had speed.  I got to know Tom when we were both coaches in the Big East.  Although he lives in California, he returns for all three Big East championships to help with the St. John's team, all as a volunteer.  He is a very enjoyable person, full of information.  His bronze in 1968 was his high point, but he also had real empathy for the Afro-American movement in that Olympics, befriending many of those athletes.  I saw that spirit first hand as he worked with all St. John's athletes equally.  We spent some time at each championship talking about the days of yore as well as the current status of T&F.  But mainly I enjoyed him immensely inasmuch as he was a very well-rounded person, expert in many areas of life.  Although he has lived in Australia and California, he is still a New Yorker and always will be, but maybe all of us never really leave our origins.       Bill

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V 8 N. 52 Some Kids are Really Showing the Veterans a New Twist on the Sport

Youth is having its day.    Mondo  Duplantis in the polevault is setting the world on its ear with his elite jumping.  Now the Ingebrigtsen...