Saturday, April 11, 2015

v 5 n 28 March , 1965

MARCH 1965
We began last month's report with a list of impressive races run by Ron Clarke, the last of which was a world leading indoor two mile of 8:34.8 on February 27. This was not the end of this series of great races. The day after returning from the US Clarke was at it again, this time in Melbourne on March 3 with an attempt at Melvin Batty's ten mile world record of 47:26.8.
Clarke is nothing if not determined. He is wearing a new pair of spikes which begin to blister his feet in the first mile, yet on he pushes. He suffers a stitch in the fifth mile which is impossible to ignore. In the sixth mile he walks then stops to massage his side. The lap takes 84 seconds but resolution carries the day and he continues, finishing in 47:12.8 to add the ten mile record to his impressive world record collection of three miles, 5000 meters, six miles and 10,000 meters.

Enough is never enough for the intent Clarke. Three days later he jogs a 4:15.0 mile which apparently he likes so much that the next day he returns to do it again, this time running his second fastest four lapper, 4:04.0, in taking third behind Trevor Vincent (4:03.0 and Albie Thomas (4:03.5).

The next day there is a soccer match at which he is scheduled to provide the half time entertainment by taking a shot at Bob Schul's 8:26.4 two mile world record. A fierce wind makes that goal impossible. Hey, Ron, just jog through it and save your best shot for another day, right, mate? Ron Clarke just isn't built that way. Wind or not, he gives it his all, finishing in 8:40.8.

We are not sure how he spent the following day, but the day after he is back at it again, this time in Geelong in a blinding rain storm. Again the save it for another day philosophy isn't a consideration. He covers two miles in 8:34.0.

Wind one day, rain the next, what could be worse? How about a combination of wind and rain on March 13 which limits his last two mile race of the season to 8:52.4.

At this point Ron packs it up and begins training for the US and European season.
The US indoor season is limping to a close in the East as the outdoor season is being born in the West. There are five indoor meets on the weekend of February 25-27. On Thursday in the New York Knights of Columbus meet at Madison Square Garden Southern University equals the US mile relay record for an 11 lap to the mile track with a 3:16.0 clocking to match the mark set by Villanova eight years earlier. Anchor Theron Lewis does the heavy lifting with a 47.1 split. Although Eamon O'Reilly wins the two mile, it is third placer Art Dulong who is the subject of the crowd's conversation. The 16 year old high school junior establishes an age 16 world best of 9:04.0.

On the next evening on the other side of the country, Darrel Newman and Mel Hein become record holders. Newman runs the 60 in 5.9 to equal the mark set by Bob Hayes last year. Hein vaults 16-5 ¾ on his first attempt to become the new American record holder. The aforementioned 8:34.8 2 mile by Ron Clarke, aside from being a quality time, is important because he beats Billy Mills in their first meeting since Mills' Olympic 10,000 meter win. Mills is second in 8:41.4, his lifetime best.

Ralph Boston has four legal jumps better than those of Igor Ter-Ovanesyan, but the Russian has the one that counts, 26-4, to best Boston's 25-7. T-O's teammate, Olympic champion Valeryi Brumel, after leading on misses over Otis Burrell and Ed Caruthers at 7-0, has a sore knee and calls it a day. Notable marks include John McGrath's 63-7¾ shot put and Darrell Horn's 52-0¼ triple jump, just ¾ of an inch short of the American record.

Robin Lingle (right) with younger brother Carl
Von Ruden finishing a 440 leg against Oklahoma
The Big Eight meet is held on the 26th and 27th in Kansas City, Missouri where, to the delight of the hometown crowd, the Missouri Tigers win their second consecutive conference championship. The Tigers' Robin Lingle scores an impressive double, besting Oklahoma State's Tom Von Ruden in the mile, 4:08.9 to 4:10.4, on Friday before setting the meet record of 2:08.8 in the 1000 the next night.
Lingle, Von Ruden, and your blogger early in the Big 8 Mile, 1965

On that same night, Poland's Wiltold Baran demonstrates his consistency, taking the mile in Baltimore's All-Eastern meet in 4:05.7, the identical time he ran two nights before in winning the K of C meet. Countrymen Andrzej Badenski and Edward Czernik are also victorious, Badenski taking the 600 in 1:10.6 and Czernik the high jump at 6-10.
Edward Czernik


It is a lot easier to run fast on an eight lap to the mile track than an 11 lap to the mile track. How much easier? Let us count the ways. Southern, which had just tied the 11 lap AR at 3:16.0 last week, takes advantage of the fuller turns at the larger Mason-Dixon Games track in Louisville to rip a 3:11.1. Ray Saddler clips four tenths off Wendell Mottley's WR in the 440 with a 47.6 clocking and then anchors Southern with a 46.7.

Here is a 24 minute interview with Noel Carroll.  He passed away in 1998 at age 56.
Noel Carroll

Noel Carroll in later years

Villanova's 2 mile relay team, with Tom Sullivan on left and Noel Carroll third from left
Not only did the mile relay record fall, but the two mile relay as well. After half mile splits of 1:53.0 and 1:52.5 by Jim Orr and Al Adams, Villanova's Tom Sullivan breaks the race open with a 1:49.0 effort and Noel Carroll brings the Wildcats home in 1:50.1 to break the world record by three tenths in 7:24.6. The former record holder? That would be Villanova with the same cast of characters in last year's M-D games.
Billy Pemelton
One hopes that Mel Hein is an enjoy the moment sort of guy and celebrated last night's pole vault AR in hearty fashion, because today he no longer has it. Billy Pemelton, Hein's victim in San Francisco, turns the tables on his rival by vaulting 16-6 to take the record by a quarter of an inch as Hein, who cleared 15-6, can only watch. Almost an afterthought, we have Ron Clarke's 8:35.3 nearly solo two mile. Just another day at the office for Ron.

I knew PV star Mel Hein, Jr., about 1955-56 vaulting on a steel pole (AR indoor 16’5 ¾ ” in 1965 on fiber glass); he attended John Marshall Jr High (now a full blown HS in Pasadena, CA) and was the son of HOF football All-American Mel Hein, many times over all-pro and a member of the NFL HOF. I saw the football player father on the sidelines when the LA Dons beat the Baltimore Colts 56-0 in the LA Coliseum on October 26, 1947. I was 8 years old and it was my first pro game to witness in person---escorted by my father. Hein Sr. was an assistant coach for the LA Dons of the old AFL.  Pete Brown

The Central Collegiates are held at Notre Dame. Fittingly, the Irish win the team title and local favorite Bill Clark has the top mark of 8:57.6 in the two mile.
A week has passed and now we are at the IC4A meet at The Garden. Villanova rides wins by Tom Sullivan in the mile and Noel Carroll in the 1000 to overcome an early Maryland lead and take its fourth consecutive IC4A title by 2 ½ points over the Terrapins. Frank Costello jumps 6-11 for a PR then relegates that to the dust bin with his clearance at 7-0. Bill Clark blows away favorite Eamon O'Reilly of Villanova in the two mile with his 8:52.7 PR.

On the same day in Champaign, Illinois, the Big Ten championship is decided by the last event, the mile relay. Michigan State is in the enviable position of leading and only having to finish within two places of Wisconsin to take the title. But there is no joy in East Lansing this evening because the Badgers finish second and the Spartans fail to place. Wisconsin 46, Michigan State 43½, Michigan 24.

Outdoor action is getting underway on this same March 6 in the sun soaked Long Beach Relays where UCLA and USC get the kinks out. The two mile relay demonstrates that their middle distance guys are ready. The Bruins ride splits of 1:50.1 and 1:50.7 by Arnd Kruger and Bob Day to win by two seconds over the Trojans in 7:26.4.
Kruger would go on to co-author several books that were track related

a sharped eyed Bruce Kritzler noticed that O.J. Simpson is second from the camera 
The next time all your track buddies are gathered at the Dew Drop Inn, direct the conversation to those great NCAA indoor championships that were held in Detroit's Cobo Hall. Once the reminiscing starts, ask if anyone can remember when the indoor championships started. You may be the only one to say March 12-13, 1965. Fittingly, that is when and where we are right now.

Missouri and Oklahoma State show the strength of the Big Eight as they go 1-2 in the team championship, with the Tigers eking out a 14-12 victory. Villanova is third with 11 points.

Theron Lewis at far left with his Southern University teammates
Quarter milers love the new Cobo track as measured by Theron Lewis's 47.8 world record and three others at 48.3. Morgan State's mile relay team also got in on the record setting with a 3:15.6 clocking with Nick Lee anchoring in 47.3.

Tom Von Ruden of OSU doesn't set a record but he is the only one with two wins under his belt. He decisively upsets favorite Tom Sullivan of Villanova with a 1:51.8 880. The two tangle again on the third leg of the two mile relay with Sullivan having the upper hand, 1:49.5 to 1:50.0 but, though Villanova had a slight lead at the final exchange, the Cowboy's Jim Orr's 1:52.4 trumps Noel Carroll's 1:54.0 anchor and OSU wins in the second fastest time ever (on an 11 lap to the mile track), 7:27.9. Carroll, usually good for 1:52.0 or below, can be forgiven as he became a father two nights earlier and has slept little since.

This is how the Missouri team is remembered by their sports publicist:

Head Coach Tom Botts, Steve Herndon, Cal Groff, Gene Crews, Robin Lingle, Earl Denny, and Charlie Brown (Savitar,1966)
COLUMBIA, Mo. - With the arrival of the eve of the NCAA Championships' 50th Anniversary weekend, the Mizzou Tigers are given a unique opportunity to look back at how it all started. 1965 marked the first ever NCAA Indoor Championships meet, and the five Tigers who traveled to Detroit, Mich., for the event would depart with an honor held by few - as NCAA Team Champions. They are one of only two teams in Missouri history to hold that distinction, with the other being the Tigers' baseball program who won the title in 1954.

Entering the meet on the heels of a Big Eight Conference title, senior Robin Lingle ('65), junior Gene Crews ('66), and sophomores Charlie Brown ('67), Steve Herndon ('67), and Earl Denny ('67), once again out-matched conference competitor Oklahoma State for the NCAA crown. The five Tigers scored a total 14 points, overcoming Oklahoma's 12 point tally to claim the national team title.

"It was when the teams were smaller, so we brought five guys and all five scored," Herndon said. "It was a lot of fun, the meet is hard to forget. It was a great season and I still remember it."

"It was a great experience, a great sense of accomplishment and pride, knowing that I was part of a team that won the very first national championship for indoor track," Denny said.

Guiding the Tigers in his 24th year at Mizzou was the legendary Tom Botts, who would mentor eight conference championship teams, 96 individual conference champions, 23 All-Americans, five national champions, and two U.S. Olympians during his 31-year tenure at Missouri. The Mexico, Mo., native was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1977, the Drake Relays Hall of Fame in 1979, and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1983.

"He was a true gentleman and a competitor," Herndon said of Botts. "He was quite a guy. Those were four of the best years of my life."

Denny also had kind words to say of Botts, "[he] was a quiet man, very reserved and had the respect of all his athletes. It was a great experience for me, learning from him and [Assistant] Coach Bob Teel. They expected you to excel and give it your best."

Of Botts' five national champions was Robin Lingle, who helped lead the Tigers during the 1965 championship meet with his first-place finish in the 1000m run. Lingle became one of the 27 NCAA Champions to come out of Mizzou, crossing in 2:09.90. Lingle would go on to set an American and Collegiate Record in the event, crossing in 2:07.30 at the 1965 USTFF Championships in Milwaukee, Wisc. on March 15, 1965. Lingle also made the roster for two NCAA Outdoor Championship meets, placing fifth and third in the 1500m run in 1964 and 1965, respectively.

Also scoring points on the track was sophomore Charlie Brown, who timed through in 6.20 for the 60-yard dash for fourth overall. Brown, who also doubled as a running back for the Tigers football team, would go on to play for the New Orleans Saints where he became the first in the team's history to return a punt for a touchdown. Brown was inducted into the Mizzou Hall of Fame for both football and track in 1995.

Moving into the field events, junior Gene Crews placed third in the shot put with a top toss of 58-0, earning an All-American honor. Crews would return to the Championships in 1966 and place fourth with a best throw of 59-0.50. He would also qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1966, placing fifth with a mark of 60-6.50.

The pair of jumpers, sophomores Earl Denny and Steve Herndon, started and ended the weekend for the Tigers. Denny kicked things off, scoring some of the first points for the black and gold with his fourth place finish in the broad jump (24-1). Ending out the competition, and clinching the team win for Mizzou, was Herndon, who placed fourth in the high jump with a top bar of 6-8. Herndon also qualified for the 1966 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the high jump, where he took fifth with a best bar of 6-8.

"Everything was waiting for the high jump to finish to tell who won," Herndon said. "Robin Lingle ran up to me and asked what place I got, and he said it was enough to win the national championship. So it was down to me scoring in that event. I'll never forget that."

For their successes both on and off the track, all five of the 1965 NCAA Champions were inducted into the Mizzou Hall of Fame in 1995.

John McGrath

Darryl Newman, the co-world record holder in the 60, is beaten by Nebraska's Charlie Greene, 6.1 to 6.2. 
Herald Hadley
Herald Hadley of Kansas upsets Notre Dame's Bill Clark by half a second in the two mile with a personal best of 8:56.4. John Uelses was the only 16 footer in the pole vault field, but can clear only 15-4 ½, four inches below the winning mark of Washington State's Bob Yard. Robin Lingle's 2:09.9 win in the 1000 is instrumental in providing the team title for Missouri. New seven footer Frank Costello beats John Rambo in the high jump by jumping 6-11 to win a jump off after they had tied at 6-10. Randy Matson throws 63-2 to win the shot put.

Now it is Monday, March 15 and we are in Milwaukee for the USTFF championship. Robin Lingle is having a heck of a season. Two days ago he clinched the NCAA meet for Missouri. Tonight he destroys the field in the 1000 in 2:07.3, winning by a whopping 3.2 seconds in the third fastest time ever run. Emporia State's John Camien pulls away from NCAA champion Chris Johnson of USC to win the mile in the season's fastest time. 4:01.7.

One would think that the national championship meets would end the season, but not so. Our tour of the rust belt continues with the Cleveland K of C meet in Cleveland on March 19. A victory by Ralph Boston shouldn't be a surprise, but tonight it is, for it is in the 50 yard hurdles and the scalp he collects is that of US Final Olympic Trials champ Willie Davenport, 6.1 to 6.2. It is not a great night for US Olympic champions. Billy Mills tests his speed in the mile but comes up short by half a second against Jim Grelle who wins in 4:10.0. Bob Schul, out of training for five months with an injured knee, has all he can do to keep Dave Ellis from lapping him in the three mile. His 14:20.1 leaves him in fourth, 23 seconds behind.
No more stinky, smoke filled arenas for us. Now the sun is shining, the birds are singing and a light breeze is wafting as competition moves outdoors. 
Paul Wilson
On March 21 the world lead in the pole vault is extended to 6 ½ inches by the precocious Paul Wilson, a high school senior at Warren High in Downey, CA who vaults 16-6 ¾. On the same day UCLA's Bob Day crushes Dyrol Burleson's 8:42.6 collegiate 2 mile record with a stunning 8:35.4.

It appears that Southern University may have a bright future in the track and field game. Already this year two Jaguars' relay teams have set national freshman records. Their 3:08.3 destroyed the mile relay record of 3:10.1 set by Cal in 1962. Consistency was the watchword as Freddie Banks ran 47.3 out of the blocks and was followed by Anthony Gates' 47.1, Grundy Harris' 47.0 and Robert Johnson's 46.9. Banks and Harris were joined by Alex Bookter and Everett Mason in their 880  relay record run of 1:23.7 which lowered Occidental's record by a ridiculous 2.4 seconds. These guys might turn out to be pretty good. Their 3:08.3 is the fastest in the country this year. The second fastest time belongs to the Southern varsity at 3:09.8 in the same race. Wonder who carries whose equipment bags......Not that anyone runs the 220 on the straight any longer, San Jose soph Tommy Smith just tied the WR of 20.0 recently. He has also run 20.6 on the turn. He says the 220 is his favorite race as the 100 is too short and the 440 is too long.....Randy Matson appears to have picked up where he left off at the Olympics. Recently he added five inches to his PR with a throw of 66-8 ½. On the same day he tossed the discus 189-1, an improvement of over six feet for the best ever one day double as per the Portuguese Tables.....A game of musical coaching chairs apparently will effect the best mile prospect this country has produced. Brutus Hamilton is retiring at the end of this season after 32 years at Cal. His replacement will be Oregon State's Sam Bell who will take over on July 1. The Beavers are filling the void left by Bell by hiring Bob Timmons as an assistant this year who will become head coach when Bell departs. Yes, this is the same Bob Timmons who developed Archie San Romani and Jim Ryun at Witchita East HS. He is now in his first year as an assistant at Kansas. Timmons will report to Corvallis in June.   Where does this leave Ryun who had planned on following his former coach to Kansas? Look for Jim's next uniform to be black and orange for he says he will follow his coach to Oregon State.  Wonder how the state of Kansas is taking this news......Now is the springtime of our discontent and the the plotting and scheming will rise to near Shakespearean levels  to remove longtime coach Bill Easton, that  the door may open wide for Timmons and Ryun to work their magic in the Sunflower State.   

Talk about your late bloomer, high jumper John Dolbroth certainly qualifies.
John Dolbroth (1971) and (2006)
 He concentrated on the high jump in high school, yet his best was only 4-10. Now, seven years later, he is world class with a best of 6-10 ¼..... 

We will leave you with this puzzling note. Riverside, California's Bob Bonds former California state champion in the high (13.9) and low hurdles (18.8) has graduated from San Jose State and just signed to play football for the Kansas City Chiefs. But wait, didn't Riverside's Bobby Bonds, the state champion in the long jump (25-3) just sign to play baseball with the San Francisco Giants? Yes, they are brothers. Apparently their parents just liked the shortened version of Robert. (Odd, but nothing like George Forman naming all his five sons George.) Pretty talented family. Wonder if the next generation will have athletic ability.

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