Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Monday, February 29, 2016

V 6 N. 21 John Disley RIP

John Disley
John Disley  No. 4

Leading Gordon Pirie

John Disley, a  name not well known to our American readers but an icon on the other side of the Atlantic.   Disley was the bronze medalist behind Horace Ashenfelter in 1952 in the Steeplechase at Helsinki.  He was for many years instrumental in leadership in British track and field and the relatively new sport of Orienteering.  Disley and Chris Brasher were also instrumental in getting the London Marathon going.  Both men attended an early  NYC marathon and were so taken by the excitement of the event, they decided that London needed one too and went about organizing that great event.

John Disley, Obituary

Biography From: Welsh Athletics

During the 1950s Wales’ outstanding athlete was undoubtedly John Disley. Born in Corris on 20th November 1928 he became Britain’s first world-class steeplechaser when he set four British records at 2 miles and five at 3,000m.
In September of 1951 Disley broke his own British and Commonwealth record for the 3,000m steeplechase, clocking 9:11.6 in a meeting at the White City, London, the home at the time of British athletics. Among those he beat was future Olympic champion Chris Brasher who was back in fifth place. Disley’s preparations for the following year’s Olympic Games in Helsinki were obviously going well. At those Games Disley was Wales’ only representative and was in the form of his life. He won the second heat with a huge improvement on his record, becoming the first British athlete to beat nine minutes. The final was a disappointment for him though and was won by the inspired American Horace Ashenfelter with Disley, despite another big improvement on his record, just being pipped for second place to take bronze. His Olympic medal was only the second to be won by a Welshman in an individual track event after Tom Richards’ marathon silver in the 1948 London Games. Only Colin Jackson has achieved this feat since.  Later in the year he became the first Welshman to be voted British Athlete of the Year and also won the Welsh Sports Personality of the Year award in 1955 - Ken Jones was the first winner the previous year.
He went to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics as Britain’s number one, and despite running 8:44.6 he could only finish sixth in a race surprisingly won by his inspired friend Chris Brasher in a new British and Olympic record 8:41.2. Brasher went into the race as Britain’s third string, behind Disley and Eric Shirley. It was Brasher’s first win over Disley.
It was his misfortune and greatest regret that the steeplechase, held in 1930 and 1934, was not re-introduced into the Commonwealth Games programme until 1962 when his competitive days were over. In 1958 he was still good enough to be ranked second in the Commonwealth but was denied the opportunity of representing his country in this event. On home soil at Cardiff Arms Park, and in front of fanatical Welsh fans, he would surely have won the gold medal. Instead, as far as the Commonwealth Games were concerned, he had to be satisfied with competing in the one mile in Vancouver in 1954 (he finished fifth in his heat, but still bettered his own Welsh mile record by 1.2 seconds with 4:09.0) and the three miles in 1958 where he had to pull out with Achilles tendon problems.
The European Championships in 1950 (Brussels) and 1954 (Berne) were not happy occasions as he could only finish thirteenth and tenth respectively.
A schoolmaster, he ran for London Athletic Club throughout his career and, despite missing out on the chance of carrying the three feathers to victory in Cardiff, he gained 19 British vests between 1950 and 1957. Educated at Oswestry High School in Shropshire, he had never seen an athletics track until he went to Loughborough College as a student in 1946. Before that his running had been confined to annual cross-country runs and school sports.
Disley first appeared on the Welsh scene when he won the first of his four Welsh mile titles at the 1949 championships held at Abertillery Park in the undistinguished time of 4:32.0. But he went on to beat Jim Alford’s Welsh record set in the 1938 Sydney Empire (Commonwealth) Games, clocking 4:10.6 in 1953 and subsequently beat it on five further occasions to end with a best of 4:05.4 in June 1958. Strangely, he didn’t win a Welsh steeplechase title, but won three AAA steeplechase titles, including the 2 miles event in 1952, which was classed as a world’s best (9:44.0 secs). During his career, he set 18 Welsh records at 1,500m, mile, 3,000m, 3,000m and 2 miles steeplechase and 5,000m. His best position in the Welsh cross-country championships was second in 1955, in a race at Caerleon won by the late Lyn Bevan of Newport.
He was a member of the International Orienteering Federation (1972-78) and was a leading pioneer of the sport in Britain. He was awarded the CBE in 1979 for his work in outdoor education and was vice-chairman of the Sports Council (1974-82). His other claim to fame is that along with Brasher, he founded the London marathon in 1981, and today it remains as one of the great marathons of the world. He married UK record holder (220y 1949, and 100y 1951) Sylvia Cheeseman in 1958, who won three relay medals at major Games including a bronze in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
He was one of the first five athletes inducted into the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 and is a vice-patron of Welsh Athletics, the governing body of the sport in Wales.
Mike Walters and Clive Williams

Sunday, February 28, 2016

V 6 N. 20 Ryun's 880 WR Outdoors and Glenn Cunningham clip

This clip, also from the KU archives shows Jim Ryun's 880 WR set at Terre Haute, IN.   In the second clip Ryun explains that he ran a 1:51 prelim and three hours later ran the finals setting the WR.   Tom Von Ruden is the only other runner I recognize in the race.  It appears Ryun also ran and won the mile that weekend over Jim Grelle.  Great drive at the end of the 880. Maybe some of you see others you know.  Film quality leaves a bit to be desired.  The photographer got a bit carried away with a blonde female sprinter but c'est la vie.   John Lawson can also be seen in this piece in the 3 or 6 mile.  We'll certainly report more in depth on this meet when we get to July, 1966.

Jim Ryun USATFF Meet Terre Haute, IN 1966

Ryun Interview on the Terre Haute Race

Here is a 9 minute clip on Glenn Cunningham  obviously produced by someone at U. of Kansas.  Really great quality.  No sound.   Scenes on campus with other students, all of them look to be much older than today's undergrads.  Any lipreader who can enlighten us on their conversations?  This was probably taken before the 1936 Olympics as it is labled 'Glenn Cunningham, World's Greatest Miler'. Perhaps though Cunningham had already enrolled in graduate school as he went on to earn a doctorate.  In some scenes he is also wearing a vest lableled NYCE.   He did go to New York for post grad studies.    Film quality here is excellent.

Glenn Cunningham, World's Greatest Miler

I wonder how many other universities have good film archives covering track and field from the 1920s  onward.  Could be a lifetime search to find these.  Check out your alma mater's records and let us know if you find other good ones.

George , Roy, Steve

Friday, February 26, 2016

V 6 N. 19 Still More Conversations with Darryl Taylor Part Three

This series of emails between Darryl, David Perry, and Dave Kemp center around the 1966 AAU indoor 2 mile relay championship race in Albequerque.   Darryl , David Perry, Dave Kemp, and Dave Mellady competed for the 49er Track Club in this event.

Hello Roy and George-Love all these great articles from what would be the final hurrah for this old 49er!  The 1966 and 1967 Indoor season saw some of the US's top middle distance runners heading West and joining the newly formed "49er Track Club".  I was most fortunate to participate is a series of indoor 2-Mile Relay events with these super-stars while getting my feet wet as a high school English Teacher and Track/X-C coach. I was reluctant to give up what gave me the most profound feeling of achievement and as a result I was able to contribute to some great team victories.
In 1966 we put together a mixed bag of runners for the National AAU Indoor Championships being held in Albuquerque New Mexico's 5000 ft. elevation. 
Dave Kemp-former Marine runner and LA State runner
Dave Mellady-former Marquette, Chicago Track Club and US Marine
Dave Perry-fomer Oklahoma State standout and brother of John Perry
Darryl Taylor-Long Beach State
At some point in our careers, all of us had run under 1:50 outdoors with Dave Perry easily to top talent on our team. Dave came West for this meet after signing with the 49ers so this was his first race on our team. Kemp, Mellady and I had competed against each other several times before teaming up with the 49ers to win the Los Angeles Times Indoor Games.  Splits were encouraging, especially if we could find a replacement for Jim Schultz who didn't break 2:00 on the lead off which put us in a hole right from the gun. Dave Kemp ran 1:56, I ran 1:54 and Mellady ran 1:54 to win the race (as I recall). Something around 7:45.  Mellady ran a 4:08 Mile in an all-comers meet so he was in racing shape while my training partners and I averaged 63.8 for 20x440 the following week. We all felt like we had three parts of the puzzle ready to go. February turned to March and on the 4th we flew to New Mexico where Tom Jennings introduced us to the 4th piece of the puzzle, Dave Perry. A good night's sleep, early arrival at Tingley Stadium Fairgrounds and a good warm-up in the converted Rodeo arena and we were ready to test out our newly minted relay team. With Schultz now at home, Dave Kemp put us on the right track as he blasted 1:51.7 right out of the blocks. I took the 2nd carry and ran 1:51.8 so everything was working perfectly. Dave Mellady, in a slightly off night ran 1:53.9 and gave the baton to Dave Perry. Whoa! That guy took off, never looked back and depending on whose splits you looked at ran either 1:49.9 or 1:50.1. Winning time was a close shave at the world indoor record for an indoor 2 Mile relay at 7:27.4. 
At the banquet, when they announced the winners of our event they simply said that the winning relay team consisted of "Three Daves and a Darryl". We cracked up at that!
Here are a couple of photos of that night, for me a very meaningful race for the National Championship.

     Dave Perry      Dave Mellady       Darryl Taylor       Dave Kemp
Three Daves and a Darryl at Awards Banquet  
Recent Stanford Graduate and new recruit Harry McCalla at lower Right

Oh, what a night that was!  I'll go a little farther back in time, to the West Coast Relays at Fresno.  I remember running the 2 mile relay that night.  I ran leadoff leg for CalState-LA.  We were a "courtesy" entry into the big race that included USC and Ok.State.  If memory serves me right the Ok.St. team consisted of Tom VonRudden, Dave Perry, John Perry, and (this one I cannot remember)  Ed.  That fourth man was James Metcalf  The race was a great one for Cal-State LA, but Ok.St. and USC both broke the existing world record with Ok.St. getting the win on a great final 880 by Dave Perry.  As the race unfolded I could hear the announcer calling the race over the P.A.  What I remember most of all was him calling "Its the Cowboys and Trojans, Cowboys and Trojans"  over and over.  I thought to my self, "I'm in this race as well"  and was motivated to push hard.  I finished the first leg in first place with a 1:50.3 split.  Handed off to Sam Clayton who ran 1:50.4, then Dick Barton with 1:51.6.  Then, due to an injury to our normar #4 we had to use a 200 type guy who ended up running around 2:08.  Disappointing for us, but great for OSU and USC. 
The Race in Albuqurque was something else.  We got there a couple of days ahead of the race, but had only 3 runners.  Dave Mellady was back in Milwaukee attending to serious family business.  I recall calling him and he was out shoveling snow!  I said we really needed him for the race, so he was able to arrange a flt. to join us on the day of the race.   The race was tough, with each leg having the Lobo runners go out like rockets and getting big leads, with each of the 49'ers closing the gap to even at each handoff.  Dave Perry had such a great surge at the end of the final leg to eek out the win.  Afterward, I couldn't understand why I had such a headache and throwing up!  I was reminded we were about 7,000 ft elevation.  Then it all made sense.  The dinner afterward was a proud moment for all of us, but especially for Tom Jennings as he had put his heart and soul into the 49er Track Club.  This was such a great bunch of guys, and I just wish we could all have been together for a longer time.  Great Memories.  Great to see Dave Perry's comments.  No one was tougher than him.  -Dave Kemp

This is really nice of you to send this on .   It's the kind of thing I hoped to see more of from readers,  so I really get a kick  when something like this arrives.  We'll get this on really soon.   
Someone recently sent me a DVD of the 64 Colesium Relays.  Think I saw your blond head in one of the races.  I can send you a copy if you don't have one.  George


Dave Perry sent this to me.  I think it belongs on your desk as well.

Hi George,

Reading Darryl's letter brought back a memory of that night.  1966 was the

year after my senior year at Oklahoma State.  Coach Higgins had lined me

up to run a series of indoor meets all over the country.  Canada, East & West

coast.  Just prior to the AAU in Albuquerque, I had won the 600 at the LA

Times Indoor Meet, and met briefly for the first time my future 2MR teammates. 

Tom Jennings put us together to run at the AAU Indoor Championship shortly
after I joined the 49er Track Club.
What Darryl didn't mention was the great team fielded by New Mexico University,
and we were running on their home turf.  On that team was John Baker, the person
a movie was based on who sadly died of cancer at an early age, and Clark Mitchell,
one of the greatest high school half-milers in California track history.  Let's just say it
wasn't a walk in the park.  They were definitely the favorite that night.  It took a
helluva time to win, and a tremendous effort by everyone on our team.
It was a very memorable night, and I was fortunate to share it with        some really
great guys.  A gung-ho enthusiastic bunch who loved the sport.
Amazing that Darryl has such a detailed memory of that night so long past. 
We didn't realize it at the time, but some of those brief flashes in time would
have a way of crystalizing in our memory.  There was nothing quite like some of those experiences.                                                                                               
David (OSU '65)

From Roy after seeing this post

 The Jim Schultz mentioned maybe couldn't break 2:00(damn sure he could, but just maybe not at that time) but he sure kicked my ass when I was a 49er (name coming from the fact that the school "Bellflower"  was founded in 1949).  He was a Bellflower runner.  So was his much younger brother whom I coached at BHS.  Great kid who ran 2:01 or so and was a XC stalwart.\

DAVE KEMP breaks for the pole behind (?)  NYAC (?)  University of New Mexico (?)

Great crowd in the stands,   did the recent NCAA indoor meet draw than many?

Darryl Taylor waits for the baton while Dave Mellady races New Mexico (?)

                                 David Perry Finishes Off With a 1:49.9 and a Team 7:27.4

                  Note the timer having a smoke trackside.  Not an unusual sight in those days.
Dave Perry    Dave Mellady    Darryl Taylor    Dave Kemp

Former Marines congratulate each other after winning National title.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

V 6 N. 18 Interesting comparison on athletes today and those of the past, also Jim Ryun WR 880 indoors

Couple of interesting clips for you.  The first is a  recent TED talk by David Epstein who wrote "The Sports Gene".   He is an incredibly effective speaker as well as writer.

In this talk he compares super athletes of the present with the best of the past.  Are the present day athletes really that much better or has technology made the difference?  He argues that athletes in the past 75 years or so have self selected or been selected into sports by their body types   and their rather abnormal limb and arm lengths into areas where those body types will give them the maximum advantage to compete in a given sport.  In the distant past, Epstein points out that high jumpers and shot putters were the same body types.  No more.  Then the running surfaces and other tech advances like starting blocks have also given them some extra leverage.  In cycling , the improvements in performance seem to be related more to aerodynamics and materials development than any other reason.

David Epstein TED Talk

Now for the other piece of this post,  In 1967    Jim Ryun running in a dual meet on his home indoor track, Fog Allen Fieldhouse, in Lawrence, Kansas set a world record in the 880 yards race in 1:48.3. It's probably Ryun's least remembered WR.   We found a film of this race in the KU archives.  Only problem is the film has been placed backwards in the re-recording device, so the runners appear to be going in the wrong direction and seem to be wearing their uniforms inside out.   The meet was between Kansas and Oklahoma State.  The runner chasing  Ryun is James Metcalf a member of Oklahoma State's world record setting 2 mile relay team.  Metcalf upon seeing the film this week commented that he (Metcalf) had run earlier that night in a 600 yards and finished second to Lowell Paul, a 1:46 half miler from KU.   A pretty tough double assignment that evening for Metcalf.  James also noted that before the race, Ryun told him it was gonna be fast.  Can anyone think of a world record being set in a dual meet besides this one?   Jesse Owens got his three in one meet but it was the Big Ten meet.


What's amazing is that Ryun's teammates didn't mob him over a new WR. Guess they were used to it.

He is just walking around and the only one who even talks to him is Chris McCubbins of Oklahoma State.

John Perry

Will Shakespeare had some thoughts on this:  Macbeth  Act 5 Scene 5

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Ryun 880 WR indoors

Of note:   Mentioned above Chris   McCubbins represented the U.S. in the Steeplechase in the Pan American Games and later ran for Canada in the 1976 Olympics.  During those Pan Am Games in Winnipeg he met and later married a Canadian lady.  
Here's a reference to that  race in Great Moments in Allen Fieldhouse History

Sunday, February 21, 2016

V 6 N. 17 March , 1966

MARCH 1966

Vancouver, BC
    February 19 finds us in Vancouver, BC for the Achilles meet (sponsored by the Achilles International Athletics Society). The big news, Parry O'Brien's lifetime best 64-0 shot put at age 34, was reported in last month's issue. The two time Olympic gold medalist was pushed by Neil Steinhauer who threw 63-3 ½. 
Parry O'Brien Video    Helsinki to Rome (interviewed by Caitlin Jenner)

Burleson being interviewed by Bob Richards.
One of our readers points out that yesterday, Feb. 20, 2016 was
Bob Richards' 90th birthday.

Dyrol Burleson wins the mile against minimal opposition in 4:04.7. Jerry Lindgren is finding the indoor season more challenging than last year. He decides to change tactics in the two mile. Tired of being the guy who sets the pace, he goes out slow (no splits given) and attempts to finish strong. Not a good plan, Gerry. Hungary's Lajos Mecser handles him easily, 8:43.0 to 8:49.4.

San Francisco
    Six days later we are in San Francisco's venerable Cow Palace for the Golden Gate Invitational. Ron Clarke may not be the Energizer Bunny, but this evening he gives a pretty good impression.
His objective is Jim Beatty's indoor two mile record of 8:30.8. At the halfway point his 4:13.8 puts him only three tenths behind Beatty's pace. Once that announcement has been made, the crowd of 9300 comes alive. With the announcement of each succeeding quarter mile time, the roar increases. With a quarter mile to go, the great Australian needs a 63 second finish. He does that with ease, coming home in 61.1 to take Beatty's mark by two full seconds in 8:28.8. Let's see, this is Clarke's – give us a minute to count them all - 16th world record.

    As much as this race was Clarke against the clock, there was some serious competition as well. Tracy Smith, a model of consistency last month with three clockings between 8:43 and 8:42, runs the race of his life to finish in 8:32.4, the fourth fastest indoor two mile ever. Gerry Lindgren, who later complained that school work is interfering with his training, is a well beaten 8:48.2.

    Other highlights include Jim Grelle's 4:00.3 mile and San Jose State's Joe Neff's 880 upset of Bob Hose, Archie San Romani and Cary Weisiger in what was obviously a tactical race. Neff's 1:56.4 gives him a three tenths margin over the three. Gayle Hopkins thumps Olympic champ Ralph Boston in the long jump 25-10 ¼ to 24-11 ½ and Art Walker holds off Mahoney Samuels in the triple jump 52-5 ¾ to 52-0 for the best field event marks. John Pennel wins the pole vault at 16-5.
Art Walker

Art Walker in Action  See Walker's style in this clip.

    A couple USC kids give notice of good things to come. Earl McCullough takes the 60 yard highs in 7.2 while teammate Lennox Miller wins the 60 by a remarkable three tenths in 6.0.
Earl McCullough
Lennox Miller

Toronto, Ontario
    On the same day before 13,685 fans in Toronto's Maple Leaf Games, Pennel's roommate, Bob Seagren, vaults a lifetime best of 16-7. A narrow miss at 17-0 portends things to come.
Bob Seagren

   Kansas City , MO
 The following day, Feb. 26, sees the finals of the Big Eight Indoor Championship. Kansas, lead by John Lawson's mile – two mile double, wins 41-37 over Nebraska. In this unenlightened time freshmen are not permitted to compete on the varsity level, therefore Jim Ryun, an Olympic competitor as a high schooler, is relegated to running a “special freshman mile'. The fact that the Kansas City track is a painfully tight 12 laps to the mile (146+ yards) doesn't seem to bother Ryun. He clips off a 3:59.6, the third fastest ever, behind only Tom O'Hara (3:56.4) and Jim Beatty (3:58.6), and the best for a 12 lap to the mile track.
Our friend Bill Blewett was a freshman at Oklahoma and wrote several years ago about that race.   
In the freshman mile of the 1966 Big-8 indoor meet (added to the program just for Ryun), he ran 3:59 on the little 12-lap Kansas City track, and the first two runners he lapped were Pete Carney and me. That distinction was reported in 
the Daily Oklahoman as well (When Pete saw the paper he shouted: "Why did they have to print that?"). But Ryun also inspired me. As a freshman I set my goal was to run sub-4:00, and I actually believed I could. My best mile at OU was a 4:07.8 relay split at Texas Relays my senior year. Three years later, in 1972, I ran 4:02.1 in the Meet of Champions in Houston. I competed seriously through 1976 but never bettered that mark. Today I joke that not breaking 4:00 was the great failure of my life. In reality, trying to break it -- running track at OU -- led to the successes of my life.
Bill Blewett can be seen on the pole after completing the
first lap at the Big 8 outdoor meet a few years later. Kind of
a tight bunch.

Baltimore, MD
    On the same date in Baltimore, buddies Seagren and Pennel have a mutually bad night, vaulting only 15-6 to tie for fourth, a foot below Russian Gennadiy Bliznyetsov. Over half the crowd of 9,000 wait until 1:20 the next morning to see if Bliznyetsov clears a WR 16-11. Willie Davenport has been undefeated in the hurdles this indoor season. The streak ends this evening as “quick-legged” Richmond Flowers beats him by a tenth in 6.9, becoming only the second man to break 7.0 behind Hayes Jones' 6.8.

Albequerque, NM
    The following weekend, March 4-5, the track and field focus is on Albuquerque where the AAU championships are held at an elevation of 5100 feet. Jumpers take the limelight, as Bob Seagren becomes the first indoor 17 foot vaulter with his world record 17-0¾ clearance. Art Walker displays his unworldly triple jump talents by adding 13 inches to his own WR with a leap of 54-9½ . When it becomes time to vote for the outstanding performer award, Walker isn't considered, as the triple jump isn't listed as an official event, only an invitational one. Your reporter, for one is incensed and ready to start a movement to have this injustice corrected. As of this writing, Art is still alive. At least a co-most valuable performer award should be designed and presented to him half century after this obvious wrongdoing. Look for the forward thinking solution Once Upon A Time in the Vest proposes at the end of this article.

  Another highlight of the meet is the 2 mile relay, where a hastily assembled crew representing the 49er Track Club goes at it.   The team is made up of Dave Kemp Marines and L.A. State, Darryl Taylor formerly with Long Beach St., Dave Mellady, Marquette, University of Chicago TC, and Marines, and recently graduated Oklahoma State standout Dave Perry.  They ran in that order and layed down splits of  1:51.7, 1:51.8, 1:53.9, and 1:49.9 or 1:50.0 depending on whose watch you're looking at finishing in 7:27.  4 just off the WR.   More about this race will be discussed by that quartet in our next posting.
Perry, Mellady, Taylor, Kemp after that
2 mile relay win

    Remember when you were a sophomore in high school? The world was a confusing place and life moved at an incomprehensible speed. Apparently this is not the case for Bill Gaines, a tenth grader from Mullica Hills, New Jersey. The “sizzling sophomore prep”, running only his third indoor race with spikes, equals the 60 yard world record of 5.9 in his heat and wins the final in 6.0.

    Freshmen Willie Davenport and Richmond Flowers have a couple interesting match ups. Willie bests Richmond, 6.9 to 7.1, in the hurdles, but the positions are reversed in the 60 as Flowers is second behind Gaines in 6.0 with Davenport fourth in 6.1.

    Though John McGrath tops Dave Maggard 64-3 ½ to 63-0 ¾ in the shot, the significant story is that of the last place finisher, Parry O'Brien, who fails to make the finals after two fouls and a 56-8. The two time Olympic champion, whose career has been a model of consistency, has now experienced his lifetime best throw (64-0 on Feb. 19) and undoubtedly his only last place finish in a period of two weeks.

Detroit, MI
    A week passes and we are in Detroit for the NCAA championship, the second time it has been held in Cobo Arena. Kansas tops USC for the title 14-13, but it is 19 year old Martin McGrady of Central State whom the fans are talking about as they leave. McGrady set the 600 world record of 1:09.0 last month on Louisville's generous eight lap to the mile track, but today he is up against a strong field on an 11 lap to the mile track. McGrady leads through a 49.8 quarter and holds on to edge Iowa State's Steve Carson and St. John's Olympian, Tom Farrell, in 1:09.4. He returns to run the fastest relay leg of the meet, 46.9, but comes up three tenths of a second short of catching Morgan State in the mile relay.

    How can Jerry Lindgren winning the two mile be an upset? Here's how. Lindgren has raced this distance six times this season and won only once. In several races he has been badly beaten. On the other hand, Kansas' John Lawson, the reigning NCAA cross country champion, has lost only once. Lindgren shows no timidity, taking the lead early and sprinting away from Lawson on the final lap to win, 8:41.4 to 8:43.2.

Martin McGrady
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Martin McGrady (born April 20, 1946 in AkronOhio – died April 29, 2006)[1] was an American track and field athlete known primarily for running the now obsolete indoor 600 yard dash. Before Eamonn Coghlan, McGrady held the title of "Chairman of the Boards."[2] Sports Illustrated said "Martin McGrady doesn't run the 600, he owns it."[3] Running standard Olympic distances, McGrady "barely earned a footnote" but at the Imperial distance indoors, he was legendary.[4] The race at the 1970 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships where he set the World Record of 1:07.6 in the event is regarded as the best indoor race and the number 7 track and field competition of the 20th Century.[5] McGrady's record stood for 22 years until it was finally beaten by Mark Everett.[6]
By running the odd distance, McGrady did not face softer competition. Reigning Olympic Champions/World Record holders Ralph Doubell (800 m) and Lee Evans (400 m) wanted the good race against McGrady.[7][8] The racing rivalry between Evans and McGrady is still remembered. They are pictured at the finish of a 600 on the cover of the March 1968 issue of Track and Field News, of course with McGrady taking the victory over a leaning Evans and Jim Kemp.[9] McGrady won three straight National championships[10] and had three straight victories at the prestigious Millrose Games.
McGrady attended Garfield High School in Akron and studied Medical Technology at Central State University, where he was coached by David Youngblade. He set the first of three world records in the 600 while at Central State, just a week before winning the 1966 NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships. He also tied the world record in the 500 metres.
On October 8, 2010, Youngblade had the honor to induct McGrady into the Central State University Hall of Fame.[11]

Cleveland, OH
March 18 finds us still in the rust belt, specifically Cleveland, for the Knights of Columbus meet, where Bob Seagren ups his new PV record by half an inch to 17-0¾. Half an inch may not seem like much but it is significant in that it matches the best mark (outdoors) by his roommate, John Pennel. No more exclusive laundromat duty for Bob. John will now have to take his turn. Only Fred Hansen's 17-1, 17-2 and 17-4 outdoor clearances are better than the roommates'.

    Not all the news is indoor nor in the US. Jim Grelle travels to Australia to take a shot at Fred Dwyer's 5:10 American record at 2000 meters. With help from Laurie Toogood and the always available Ron Clarke, he succeeds in 5:07.4.

    Earlier Clarke established an Australian record at 5000 when he clocked 13:28.8. Your reporter can already hear readers cries of outrage. Yes, Ron has run faster than this twice. How can this be the Australian record? Calm yourselves and pay close attention. In order for a mark to be an Australian record......it must be made on Australian soil. Now don't you feel funny objecting?

    A note in the On Your Marks column gives insight into what makes a champion. Cliff Cushman, the 400 intermediate hurdles silver medalist from the 1960 Rome Olympics has gained a bit of weight. He weighed 149 in 1960, recently ballooned to 192 and is now at 178. Though not able to compete because of his enlistment in the Air Force, Cushman recently measured a marathon course and ran it in 2:57. When at Kansas he ran a 9:09 two mile, so his plan to compete as a miler when he finishes his tour of duty as a pilot in Viet Nam, is not out of the question.

North Hollywood,  New York City, Lansing, Toronto
    It has been awhile since we reported on whether the Adidas ad featuring Cliff Severn Sporting Goods, 10636 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood still decorates the last page of the magazine. Let's check. Yep, some things never change. The shoe being advertised is the Tokyo 64, “The world's lightest track shoe with DETACHABLE spikes, of course”. They can also be purchased at Carlsen Import Shoe Co. in New York City, Van Dervooort's Hardware in Lansing, Michigan and Adidas Sporting Goods Ltd. in Toronto.

    And now to the Art Walker problem. Fifty years have passed, but it is never too late to right a wrong. The first thought our staff came up with is to arouse the citizenry and storm the castle (AAU offices) with torches and pitchforks. Though this plan has obvious merit, we have decided to hold it in reserve. Instead we have determined to let the hearts and minds of our fellow track enthusiasts bring us together in a peaceful solution.

    Here's the plan. As so many of you know, we gather every Friday at the Dew Drop Inn for spirited discussions of T&F. Starting this week, Mabel will place a large pickle jar at the end of the bar for donations to the “Art Walker, Outstanding Performer 1966 AAU Indoor Track and Field Championships, March 4-5, Albuquerque, New Mexico Triple Jump World Record 54 feet 9½ inches” plaque. When we have gathered the required amount, we will have the plaque made and present it to Art. We know you feel as strongly about this as we do. Come early, drink heartily and open your hearts and wallets. Meeting time is 5:00 except on the third Friday of the month when Dewey gets his Wal-Mart greeter check. He can't get there 'til 5:30. As he always buys, we start a bit later on those evenings.

Seriously folks,  if any of you know the current whereabouts of Mr. Art Walker, former world record holder indoors in the Triple Jump, we would love  to have that information.  We would like to give him the recognition he deserves for that WR in Albequerque 50 years ago.  You can notify us at   irathermediate@gmail.com.

Steve, Roy, and George

Saturday, February 20, 2016

V 6 N. 16 More Conversations with Darryl Taylor Part Two

You pass my hair cut inspection.      

Check out the first entry we ever did on the blog   Dave Kamanski from Bellflower HS  is pictured (previous post) shaking your hand.  My colleague Roy Mason was at Bellflower and knew Dave.  In our first ever blog posting six years ago Dave got the following ink.

Roy wrote:
 Paul David Kamanski , I’ll take a moment to explain his significance, both to the sport and to the state of Ohio. Dave was the coach at Bellflower High 15 years before I was. It was he who told me where the old copies of T&FNews were stored in an attic storeroom above the coaches’ office. He coached my lifelong friend, Buddy Cox. When I coached at Bellflower, Dave was just down the road at Cerritos College where he coached track and XC. Dave was a personable guy, a man’s man, a guy who always had time to talk. When Cerritos was installing a new all weather track, Dave asked if he could bring his new transfer sprinter over to work out on our track. It was Houston McTear who had burned a few bridges behind him. The guy didn’t last long at Cerritos which I think was his last stop. Something about attending classes. 

Not that class attendance was a major obstacle for Dave. Eric Tweit and I had a kid who had super potential on the track, but not in the classroom. He had run 52.0 without training, but dropped out to take a $3/hr. janitorial job his senior year. Dave got him enrolled at Cerritos and assured me grades would not be a problem, “He’ll be taking 10 credits of Kamanski” – volleyball, wrestling, handball, principles of officiating. The kid enrolled each spring and ran 51+ for the intermediates and 47.0 on a relay leg. 

Here is the Ohio connection.  (Note: George is from Ohio but not a Buckeye fan.)   Dave was best known for being one of the top referees in D-1 football. It was common to see him doing PAC-10 games most weekends. He was also the referee for four Rose Bowl games. (One of our rituals was asking him what time it was. “Well, let me check.” Elaborate extension of his arm. “I see by MY ROSE BOWL WATCH that it is 4:25.”) 

Dave was the referee for the 1980 Rose Bowl in which Charles White leaped into the end zone to score the winning touchdown on fourth down with less than a minute to play, giving SC a 17-16 win over the Buckeyes and plunging the state of Ohio into mourning. Unfortunately the cover of the following week’s SI showed White crossing the goal line without the ball. Oops! When asked about this, Dave had a stock answer, “The camera lied”.

Thanks for the interesting bit of history on Kamanski. We had a special relationship with him. Can't recall how many years ago this was, but sitting in the stands at Cerritos College while watching the Master's CIF Championship meet, I spotted Ty Hadley sitting a couple rows below me. I knew he had done some coaching at LBSC in the early '60s so I went down and sat with him for a while. During the conversation, he related that Dave had recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer and would not be around too much longer.  I quickly gathered the team that won the Southern California JC Championship Cross-Country title of 1960 and we were able to visit him at his home in Tustin. He still had his sense of humor, telling Larry Canova (Bellflower High School 1959) he needed to get his hair cut! Our little group had lunch together, talked about old times and the impact Dave had on our lives, running and otherwise. It was only a few days later that Dave passed away. He was seldom seen without his beloved cigar and I fear that had some effect on his health. Dave was a graduate of Occidental College and while at Cerritos he went out of his way to take me with him to Oxy's awards banquet 1960 or 1961. In the end Long Beach State was a better fit for me and choosing to be a 49er remains one of the best decisions in my life.  Darryl

The DVD is copied.   On it you will also get a nice bonus of archive films from the U. of Kansas  pre Jim Ryun days showing  Wes Santee winning the Big 7 cross country meet about 1955, also Big 7 Indoor races and field events.  Some rare footage of Wilt Chamberlain high jumping indoors and oudoors and triple jumping out doors.  How he got a release from the basketball coach to jump at the conference meet is anyone's guess.  Might have had a Saturday afternoon game, so he could have had time to get to Kansas City where the Big 7 Indoor meet was held same day.  Also on this is Cliff Cushman,  Al Oerter, Parry O'Brien all at Kansas Relays.   Film quality is a bit lacking, but still good enough to appreciate those days.  George

Good memories.  Did you write all this from your head, and a little reference to your training log?
I knew all the guys at Dayton Roosevelt who were the first team under 8:00 in 1962.  Warren Hand, Alan Payne, Charley Reed, and Lee Calhoun.   Warren won the state in XC his junior year.  Alan ran 1:56 not sure if he went to college.   Lee and Charley came to Oklahoma when I was there.   Lee won the Big 8 indoors at 600 yards as a soph. and triple jumped.  He could win the 880 and TJ in dual meets.  Charley was a journeyman 880 and mile relay guy.   Lee drifted around for a couple of years after college then  became a preacher, ended up with T.D. Jakes' mega church in Dallas.  He died about three years ago.  His little  brother Billy also came to Oklahoma on a partial scholarship as a half miler.  He moved down to the 440 won two NCAA indoor titles at that distance.  By then he had a full ride.   He never ran the NCAA outdoors, because he had to go home to Dayton to work the summers at a GM plant to support his wife and kids.  I see him every once in awhile when I go home.  Charley worked many years at GM and is now reitred.   I think Alan also worked most of his life at GM.   A lot of people will enjoy your stories.

Forgot to mention,  I remember seeing you run in some of the big indoor meets on TV  with that blond hair.
At first I thought ,  "Is Rainer Stenius running the 880?"  Then heard your name.   When I was in high school in the late 50s early 60s in Ohio we had some good chargers in the 880 too.   Barry Sugden from Akron  Beuchtel and Darnell Mitchell  and Choice Phillips  from Cleveland John Adams .  Mel Brodt coached at John Adams and went on to Bowling Green to coach Sid Sink and Dave Wottle.  Sugden was a child from the Firestone family tire merchants.  He could have been a legacy entry into Harvard, but chose to run for Stan Huntsman at Ohio U with Mitchell and Elmore Banton. Good decision.    Breaking 2:00 in those days meant something, usually a full ride somewhere if your grades were half decent.   Not any more.  George

Thanks a million-the DVD I'm copying right now contains the 1935 CIF Southern Section Finals, I believe held at the Coliseum in LA. That would be the one with Zampirini winning the mile in his National Record that lasted until Max Truex took it down in the 1950s.  Zamperini's CIF record lasted until Dale Story ran 4:16.9 in 1959, leading up to his big race with Archie San Romani JR. at the Compton Invitational, Archie getting the best of Dale 4:08.9 to 4:11.2.  That race being contested in the Open division against College and Club athletes robbed both of a National HS record. Evidentially Dale ran another 4:11.0 for the record in some other competition. 
Here are a couple of interesting photos from my archives you might enjoy from the long, long ago!

I do have notes from every year I competed, beginning in 1955 as a XC runner at Excelsior HS. Some detailed and some just what a work-out consisted of. This particular race I had references to from the program, photos, my work-out journal and that 8mm B&W film that my Dad took, probably lasting a full 20-30 seconds. So, a combination of all those plus my recollection of the biggest race of my HS career.  Made it to league finals, won my quarter-final heat for CIF Finals, made it to CIF Finals but nothing could quite match the electricity of that cold night. As I began putting down memories, more and more details came back to me. I see Larry Canova a time or two each month so he added some of his perspective. All fun! I also received a brief note from Steve Bruhns and Don Pickering saying they enjoyed the trip back in time but I'm still waiting to get them to tell me what they remember of that night, just to complete the story for myself.
I have other writings from some of my races and work-outs over the years but to be honest, pushing my stories onto your blog just seems like bragging a bit. I have little to brag about and much to be thankful for in terms of the great team mates and opposition competitors I was privileged to share the track with. When placed side by side with the truly great athletes of the 1950s and 1960s I just don't measure up to their standards.
That being said, I will continue to share some of what I remember and wrote about in the past. You guys are to be applauded for making this forum available to runners of all levels of ability and accomplishment. I SALUTE you for that!

I wonder what meet you might have seen that I ran in. I can only recall one local indoor meet that my parents were able to watch at home. My Dad set up his 8mm camera and recorded the race off the TV.  Also, the Albuquerque meet was scheduled to be broadcast on year but just before the 2MR started, there was a "Breaking News" interruption announcing that President Johnson had been sent to the hospital with some ailment. When the broadcast came back on, we had already finished.
You are making me think that I might find some film footage at LA 84 Foundation. I will check that out for sure. My two sons would love to see their Dad run an indoor race. And now my grandkids would enjoy that also.
Thanks for the tip.
Also, Darnell Mitchell and I were room-mates for the Pacific Coast Club on a trip to compete in the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Indoor games in '68 or '69.  We also ran in a 1000 at one of the LA indoor meets, Darnell was running for the Army and I for the PCC.  He won as I chased him around the track for 2nd place. I'll have to see if I can find a photo from that meet. John Bork was also in that race as was Dave Kemp and Mike Eck from Cal State Fullerton.  Think I ran 2:11

Start of L.A. Invitational 1000
Mike Eck,  John Bork,   ?   , Darryl Taylor,  Dave Kemp,  ?  Darnell Mitchell

With a lap to go I was still with him. Seems like I was always chasing those legitimate 1:47 guys!

V 11 N. 3 "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zatopek" by Pat Butcher, a Book Review by Paul O'Shea

When we come across books to review, we know that there is a particular skill set needed to be fair and honest and at the same time literary...