Wednesday, May 20, 2015

V. 5 N. 41 A Not So Chance Meeting Between Two of Our Contributors

A Not So Chance Meeting Between Two of Our Contributors

Our blog has on occasion brought people together over the years.  Some were former teammates who had lost touch, some gatherings were  with people who had never met.  The case in point is an example of the latter.  Earl Young (Abiliene Christian University)  and Pete Brown (University of New Mexico) had competed on the same fields of honor back in the early 1960s, but never against each other in the same event.  However through a number of circumstances they were able to get together for lunch the other day.  Many of you probably remember Earl from his winning a gold medal on the 4x400 at the Rome Olympics in 1960 as well as his many great 440 races for Abiliene Christian College (now University).   Few of you would remember Pete who was a better than journeyman half miler (1:52)  for the Lobos.  Both men have provided photos and stories for this blog over the years.  Pete even sent us the whole set of 1963 Track and Field News journals  to use when working on that year.  Here are Pete and Earl's description of that meeting and a few more photos.       For years Pete ran a very successful historical tours business focusing mainly on US battlefields all over the world.

A few years ago  Earl was the recipient of a bone marrow transplant, and  thanks to that donation he is still around to tell his story.  You can read more about how he is working to help others in the same predicament.  Earl Young Website    Perhaps amongst the several hundred people who will read this story all over the world,  someone will take the opportunity to become a donor.

They both gave us permission to put this info on our blog.  GB

Pete Brown and Earl Young

Here I am at lunch today with Earl Young. He competed for Abilene Christian out of San Fernando HS. A member of the class of 1958, he ran the 440 PR of 49.6 at age 17 that year. One year later in Abilene he moved it down 3 full seconds to 46.6 and the next year won gold in Rome in the  4x400 relay (with Glenn Davis, Otis Davis, and Jack Yerman).

We both agreed that had Adolph Plummer submitted himself to rigorous training and with today’s facilities he would be the greatest who ever ran the event and own the world record. We’ve never seen anybody better than Plummer; Earl buys in 100%. Plummer beat Earl a couple of times in college in some big races. Earl won his share against Adolph and it was a memorable rivalry in the early 1960’s.
Adolph Plummer

Bobby Joe Morrow (3xOlympic Gold medals in 1956) came out to San Fernando with Coach Oliver Jackson and recruited Earl Young. His HS time was pedestrian, but Jackson saw something he liked in a photo of Earl and went after him; a good move. Local colleges turned up their noses at him.
Oliver Jackson and Earl Young in Rome
At 6’4” and 170lbs, Earl still has the same measurements he had in college. His relay split in Rome on a dirt track was 45.9. He’s a wonderful man; a Christian gentleman who will have a glass of wine now and then. He raises awareness of blood cancer (which he survived thanks to a bone marrow transplant in 2011) in his retirement and lives in a high rise just north of downtown Dallas. You don’t make the cover of Sports Illy for nothing. He was damn good and I think Adolph will agree.
Winning teams at Rome: Germany 3rd, US 1st, and West Indies Federation 3rd

Earl’s website is well worth watching, especially his video:  A bone marrow donor saved Earl’s life 4 years ago and he’s giving back many times over. Anyone who can spread the word on Earl Young’s Team should consider doing so.

 I ran the 880 in a number of meets when Earl was running the 440 and 220, but never met him until today.

Pete Brown

Here was one of the epic races with Adolph Plummer. The crowd must have been close to 12,000, although it was announced as much smaller. The crowd wanted a faster time, and really had no idea how good a time that was back in 1962 on a slow cinder track.  (46.6)   You two had some amazing duels.  Pete

Editor's note:  Pete won the 880 that night in 1:53.2.   

Great commentary……Earl was really special and ran for a hell of a coach, Oliver Jackson, who I got to know.   His name, as well as Earl’s, resonated and I have not thought about either of them in perhaps approximately 50 years.   Wayne Vandenberg

Hi Pete ... Found the article on the ACC-UNM Dual Meet... What an eye opener this track meet was for a skinny little Sophmore 2:02 880 runner .. Had no idea humans could run so fast.. had no idea track teams could be so strong.. had no idea anyone could run a 1:53 880 .. 
  Web Loudat

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