Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

V 6 N. 41 Mike Agostini R.I.P.

The IAAF website noted the passing of Mike Agostini.

Mike Agostini

If my memory is correct Mike was one of the early athletes who were suspected of taking under the table payments from meet organizers  when runners were being given a pittance to appear and compete at meets, while officials lived the high life.
Agostini winning 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver

Ira Murchison leading Agostini in Melbourne 100 Semis

Agostini started life in Trinidad in 1935, became an accomplished sprinter making the 100 meter finals in Melbourne in 1956, ran for Fresno State, and is seen online in a Villanova uniform.  After retiring from track competitions he emigrated to Australia and started several sports magazines including one called "Track and Field".   He was also an accomplished author and most recently published   "Death, The Ultimate Orgasm".    See Amazon link below.

Death, the Ultimate Orgasm

Monday, May 23, 2016

V 6 N. 40 All Time Performance List Italy

Jose Sant in Montreal sent me a website that included information about Italian track nuts who are doing some interesting work to preserve memories of the sport.  In that website were all time performance lists for Italian Men and Women.   This shows that we are not alone in the track world of trying to preserve the history of this great sport.   I'll also include the website as well if you are interested.   To get a translation in English, open the website, then right click on your mouse and a box will open.  Click on the instruction , " translate to English" and a computer generated translation will open, proving once again that the computer is not quite up to where the human brain is regarding  nuance in language.  George

Italian Men's All Time Performance List

Italian Women's All Time Performance List

Italian Historical Archive Site

Below is an extract from this website

We receive and publish.
I read with great interest the "story" that Marco Martini Italian sprinter has devoted to the early twentieth century, Ettore Caps. And I remembered to have in the library a book that I bought in Britain a few years ago, a book certainly Italic ignored our latitudes, published in the UK in 1943, then in the middle of World War II. So that in the back of the title reads: "this book is produced in complete conformity with the authorized economy standards ", but despite the limitations of the war economy the volume is very well presented, with a nice red cover, a hardcover that resists like new after more than seventy years, and some 91 photographs of excellent quality of the most celebrated sprinters, distance runners and cross-country professionals, as well as the organizers of those shows. Because it is precisely the professionals races which is dedicated, and as far as I know should be the only one on this matter. The well also think the compilers of the most useful publication, also British , "The British track and field guides to literature in 1275 to 1968 ", published for the first time in 1969 and then republished a few years ago by the British Library. We read on page 37 to comment " Powderhall and pedestrianism. The history of a sports enclosure, 1870-1943 ", this is the book to which I refer: " Professional athletics is a sport and twilight Jamieson is the only writer in modern times to give it a detailed consideration ". David A. Jamieson is the author, in fact.
In the north of the city of Edinburgh is created this space dedicated to professional sport, with races for men but also for animals, races that attracted thousands of spectators and especially of punters. Legacy of that road racing in the early nineteenth century who lived on large bets among the rich guy, who walked for days and days. A beautiful story with all the details is told in the book by Walter Thom (1813) walk on the "Captain Barclays", so he was known. From 1870 onwards Edinburgh flourished a busy pedestrian activities, involving not only the sprinters but also middle-distance runners, even the marathon runners. If we go into details never end, then we return to our caps. I asked myself if it was as good as he told the Italian reporters that "drank" avidly all, it should be somewhere above bid, with all the details, from Jamieson in her book. I looked in the index and found " Hoods, H., See Hector, C ". As also writes Martini, our was known to Edinburgh as Hector, and not with his Italian surname. Beside a reference: page 172, where it is the year 1916. He writes this author:
Coincident with Those events were the attractions provided by sprint handicaps And Also the continued popularity of dog-racing. In connection with the former a unique occurrence must be Referred to-one wich, moreover, has no parallel in the history of the Grounds. this incident occurred in the final of 130 yds. handicap run onSeptember 30, When Two runners ran two successive dead-heats, and Their struggle continued in a third attempe before a final decision was Gained. The runners were C. Hector , Edinburgh, running from 16 yds., and M.Malcon, Edinburg, handicapped at 11 yds., and Hector after another grim struggle succeeded in Gaining the judge's fiat. Both men were well-known competitors at Powderhall, Hector (in private life known as Caps ) was responsible for the introduction of many famous runners of foreign extraction, icluding the Kolehmainen brothers, to this country, whilst Malcon had a very successful carreer as a handicap winner, especially in the lower supporting items of the various New Year Galas, in cui he was successful in no fewer than four 220 yds. handicaps. ".
So our Ettore was a well-known competitor , and is what results from the search for Martini., But not a super And this is meant to be only a small documentary evidence, nothing else.
In the picture: the title of the book by David A. Jamieson                              

Saturday, May 21, 2016

V 6 N. 39 Photo Collection

While researching for another article, I came across a number old track pictures that might interest many of our readers.  I'm sure there are many, many stories in these pictures that will never be written.  Some of you may have some interesting comments on what you see here.  Do not hesitate to write in your comments at the bottom of this page.  We'll censor them and allow them to appear at the bottom of the post.   Don't ask why I put those last two pictures in,  I just felt like it.

Dickie Browning, U. of Illinois, Jan., 1954 a national tumbling champion going over 6; 8".  I remember reading something about this guy in Scholastic Coach.  His approach to the HJ bar was
a series of back handsprings that took him over the bar and into what looks like the side of a pole vault pit.  The practice was outlawed as he took off from two feet.  But definitely a precursor of the Fosbury Flop, and by the looks of it quite risky.  The pictures appeared in Life Magazine.

Eulace Peacock, he beat Jesse Owens five times in 1935 but was injured and on the sidelines or running way below par
in 1936.

George Spitz  6' 8 1/4"  for NYU  at Penn 1933

Jack Keller Ohio State demonstrating hurdle form at Penn  1934

Jesse Owens beating Sam Stoller (Michigan)   in a 10.5  100 meters at Penn in 1935

Wilt Chamberlain throwing high school shot at Penn Relays in
the late 1950's about 46 feet.  One step across the circle?

Wilt's high school running form.  Early version of compression socks?  I recall
he always wore knee pads like that playing basketball.  Looks like a total crap
playground track.  Weeds in lane one.   He was a Philadelphia native.

Tracy Smith,  Pre,  and Sid Sink
photographer unknown, nice job

Guys who beat Pre while winning their race.  You can click on the photo to enlarge it and read the captions

Lewis Tekaninawa, teammate of Jim Thorpe at Carlisle Indian School and Olympic teammate

Tempe, AZ, looks like the location of the old track back in the 1960s when it was in  the old
football stadium

Calvin Coolidge US President with Paavo Nurmi (rt.)

Ed Cook,  1908 co-gold Medalist Pole Vault London.
Taught and coached in Oakwood, OH for many years

Jessie Owens, Fanny Blankers Koen,  Emil Zatopek

Dave Sime
Wright St. Archives Photo
There are a lot of publicity fotos of this nature when Duke was turning
him into the golden boy in 1956.   Recent Sports Illustrated article has
put a little tarnish on his image.

John Davies, Joseph Odlozil, Peter Snell

Horace Ashenfelter and his Russian twin Helsinki 1952

Horace Ashenfelter about 2014 lacing them up for his 2-3 miles every other day run.
Thanks to David Baskwill and the Penn St Track Alum and Golf Blog

Brooklyn Marathon, 1909.  Runners look contemporary, crowd a bit antiquated

Mark Wright,  WR  June 8, 1912

Fanny Rosenfeld   Canadian Sprinter ,  1920s

Nazi Track
Guy in military uniform doing a little dance

Nazi track.  Check those haircuts and spikes

Canadian Phil Edwards   only man to win 4 bronze olympic medals 1928,1932, 1936

Highway marker noting Jesse Owens' birth place in Lawrence County,  Alabama, courtesy of Pete Brown

Irish American Club of New York after setting a World Record 1200 yard relay at Celtic Park NYC  July 26, 1913 with 3 Olympians

1939 USC  two mile relay team with Louis Zampirini on left

The Ira Murchison and Walter Buddy Davis photos below are courtesy of
Wright State University special collections

Ira Muchison with some of his winnings.  No idea on the date
but you can ask Ira what time it is.

Add caption
1952 Olympic Champion Walter Buddy Davis, at the National AAU meet in 
in Dayton, Ohio 1953.  Photo by Homer Hacker Dayton Daily News staff photographer

Walter Davis  in Dayton, OH,
Homer Hacker photog

Photographer's stamp on back of the Davis Photos

Walter Davis receiving 'Most Courageous' award from Ed Pollock of the
Philadelphia Sportswriters Association 1954.   Davis had polio for six years
as a child. overcame to become Olympic High Jump champion in 1952.  He
retired from track in 1953 and signed a contract to play in the NBA.  He had
been a two sport letterman at Texas A&M.  Babe Dietrickson won the same award
for women that year.  AP wirephoto

Archie San Romani beats Glenn Cunningham at Kansas Relays

Can you name this guy?  He's not a trackster, but a houshold
name nonetheless?  See at bottom of page

A long time TV dunce?  See below.  This photo from 1951  Philadelphia

The mystery men

John Madden

Ed McMahon

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

V 6 N. 38 Mamie Rallins R.I.P.

Mamie Rallins,  Olympian (1968 and 1972) and the first women's track and field coach at Ohio State University died tragically in an automobile accident recently in Ohio.

Below are two pieces about Mamie Rallins.

Rob Oller commentary | Ohio State women's track: Mamie Rallins won hearts with tough love

Stephanie Hightower arrived at Ohio State in 1976 a track and field diva. She left it four years later as one of Mamie Rallins’ little girls.
“That’s what she called us, her little girls. She never married and never had kids. We were her kids,” Hightower said Tuesday.
Those kids are heartbroken today, pained by the death of Rallins, the first African-American woman to coach at Ohio State. The Chicago native was killed Monday afternoon in a four-car collision near Fremont while driving from Columbus to her home in Port Clinton. Her car drifted left of center and struck two semis before colliding with a four-door sedan, according to a Ohio Highway Patrol release. She was 74.
I knew Rallins only from a distance — a distance I chose to keep, because she intimidated me. That look. Eyes narrowing. Voice snapping. Below a crusty exterior, however, was a nurturing caretaker who was fiercely loyal to her athletes.
“Once she loved you, you became hers,” Hightower said.
But first came the tough stuff.
“For the first three months at Ohio State she made me run cross country,” said Hightower, who was stunned by having to run something with more than two turns. For context, asking a sprinter to run anything more than a city block is like requiring a Derby horse to plow fields.
“She would drop us off in Upper Arlington and tell us to run back with the cross country team,” Hightower continued. “I was a sprinter and a prima donna. I had to figure out how I was going to deal with this woman.”
Unbeknownst to Hightower, Rallins already had figured how best to deal with her fastest athlete. Mixing tough love with reverse psychology, Rallins helped turn Hightower into the nation’s top women’s hurdler by telling her what she could not do.
“I was competitive, and that got me revved up to prove her wrong,” Hightower said.
Unfortunately, any chance for the Buckeyes’ hurdler to prove she was best in the world was quashed when the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, after Hightower already had made the team.
For Rallins, it was the third time getting caught in the middle of political turmoil. A world-class hurdler at Tennessee State, she competed in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where U.S. sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith made their Black Power Salute during the medal ceremony. She also participated in the 1972 Munich Games, when Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 members of the Israeli team.
Rallins discussed that Olympic history with her OSU athletes, but not to push a political agenda.
“I didn’t see Mamie as an activist,” said Hightower, who is President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League. “For her it was just being a purist as it related to sports. It was about the purity of the Olympic movement. She did talk about the tragedy of the ’72 Olympics, but more about how devastating it was and why anyone would do something like that. For her it was about how athletes from different countries bonded and how people made lifelong friends.”
Rallins also made clear she did not need the Olympics to create lifelong friendships. She was brought to OSU in 1976 to birth the track and field and cross country programs as varsity sports, and she kept in touch with the former athletes she coached during her 18 years at OSU, a career that saw her coach 60 indoor and outdoor Big Ten champions and 24 All-Americans. She also served the past seven years as a volunteer assistant under Karen Dennis, director of Ohio State track and cross country.
“She was a nurturing soul,” Hightower said. “We’re all heartbroken. She was just good people.”
Rob Oller is a sports reporter for The 

Jan. 17, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former women's track and field head coach Mamie Rallins received the Phyllis Bailey Career Achievement award at the women's basketball game against Purdue on Sunday.

Rallins, a two-time Olympic hurdler, helped start the women's track and field and cross country programs at Ohio State when she became head women’s coach in 1976. The first African-American woman to ever coach at Ohio State, she she coached 60 Big Ten indoor/outdoor champions, 24 All Americans, nine Olympic trial qualifiers and one Olympian during an 18-year career. She also served as assistant athletic director for three years.

Rallins also coached elite athletes, serving as the head coach of the U.S. indoor world championship team in 1987 and assistant coach of the USA Olympic team in 1996. She was the Olympic head manager for the USA women’s track team at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Rallins remains very involved with the Buckeyes, volunteering as a statistician for the track and field program.

I liked Mamie. When I went to Moscow in 74' with the US team, Mamie was on the team and sorta " showed me the ropes" as it was my first international meet and she had been on many such trips. At the outdoor track meets, she became friends with Judy and took an interest in our schnauzer. In later years I knew her as the coach of OSU and would visit with her on occasion. She always called me "old man" and reading this news report, I find she actually was older than me. She as a great hurdler and a great coach. 

Steve Price

Mamie took the lessons from Ed Temple and applied it to the more advantaged Ohio State.  Like Steve, I enjoyed her and she was always nice to me.  Over the years there has been so much drama at OSU with the T&F programs, but Mamie was able to do her thing.  She was a hard-nosed coach, much like her mentor.
   Bill Schnier

Report on Accident

Thursday, May 12, 2016

V 6 N. 37 Book Recommendation and a Mike Larrabee Story

For some history of research in distance running you can  open the following link coming to us from
Phillip Sparling  via Dr. David Costill.   A synopsis of several compendiums of research on running and recommendations of several other books you may have already read.   How many of the runners in the picture taken with Kenneth Cooper and Michael Pollock can you identify?  Some are household names, others a bit less known.  All are studs from the 70s who participated in a major research project.


On another subject we received this link to a story on Mike Larrabee,  1964 Olympic 400 meter champion from the L.A. Times.   Imagine winning an Olympic Gold medal today and returning to the classroom teaching math.

Mike Larrabee

The story came to us from Larry Loveridge who wrote the following:

Greetings From North Hollywood--
You have a great Blog. I left the following comment there, but was unable to post the photo I had wished to share. Here is the comment and I have attached  the photo and an LA Times article about Mike Larrabee..

Thank you for this blogger site... I attended and ran cross country and track (hurdles, sprints, jumps) 1962-1965 at James Monroe High in what is now called North Hills, CA. All my shoes were purchased through Cliff at his store at 10436 Magnolia in North Hollywood. And Mike Larrabee was our math teacher at Monroe in 1964 and he'd come out and run fartleks with us for workouts before he went over to Tokyo. Literally, he WAS a man among us boys. We even made him an honorary Letterman of our track team. I later keyed my events to the Triple Jump and Intermediates and toured the US representing the US Navy and then as a member of the All Military CISM team to Ireland and Europe. My teammates were the likes of Charlie Greene, Mel Pender, Jim Kemp, Geoff Vanderstock, Tracy Smith, Kenny Moore, Neal Steinhauer, Les Tipton, and our coach was Ralph Higgins. I still have my original Adidas and also the TJ shoes I jumped in from that era.
Thanks again for you diligent work with the site.

Larry Loveridge
North Hollywood CA

It was the Viking track team he joined Monday — his first day of classes after his return trip from Olympic competition in Tokyo. The student body cheered at a noon rally as Larrabee became an honorary varsity letterman.
Here I am with those original shoes... In 1964 (Note the Riddells on the left.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

V 6 N. 36 Jose Luis Munoz Olympic Games Volunteer seeking assistance to attend the Games in Rio

Jose Luis Munoz comes to us highly recommended by one of our readers, Mike Solomon.  Jose was selected to be a volunteer by the USOC in Rio to provide assistance to US Olympic athletes at the US Olympic House during the Games.   Jose is graduating this week (Masters Degree) from the University of Kansas.  See the Go Fund Me Link below to learn more about Jose's efforts to go to Rio.   Jose came to the University of Kansas on a track scholarship but was injured with several serious stress fractures that terminated his competitive running career.   In the gofundme site there are several pictures of Jose in a USA uniform.  These were publicity photos done by the USOC for another purpose, so these are merely modeling picutres of the uniform, not team participation photos.

Thank you so much!
I am trying to collect as much money as I can before June 1st so I can start booking my flight and hotel. Below is the link and a little intro.

My name is Jose Luis Munoz Jr. and a dream of mine since I was young has been to make it to the Olympics. I hope this open letter finds you well as I am excited to update you on a great opportunity I have before me. Currently, I am finishing graduate school at the University of Kansas in Higher Education Administration this May. In addition to my schooling I serve as a graduate assistant for the student-athlete development and leadership program at KU Athletics. To be the first in my family to attend graduate school is one of the most gratifying things I have ever experienced.  This experience has deeply impacted every area of my life. My first year as a Jayhawk, I had high goals of winning races and breaking records. I never imagined my competitive running would end before my eligibility did when I was announced medically disqualified to compete. Though my competitive dreams were no longer in reach God helped me to see that there is still great value and purpose in my life. Back then, the dream was to be an Olympic Distance runner and bring home a medal. Two years ago, I have had the opportunity to intern with the USA Track and Field governing body and was incredible experience. Please help me on making this opportunity become reality. Thank you.

José Luis Muñoz Jr.
KU Leads
Student-Athlete Development and Leadership
Allen Fieldhouse
1651 Naismith Dr.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Monday, May 9, 2016

V 6 N. 35 Some new/old pictures of Bobby Morrow

As mentioned earlier this month , I came across a lot of old pictures some not seen very often in the Wright State University Library Special Collections.

Here are the ones of Bobby Morrow.    Please note these are used through the courtesy of Wright State University and not for commercial reproduction.

Probably from Sports Illustrated sportsman of the year awards

Here's a foray into the 440 at Drake Relays finishing behind Glenn Davis and Dave Mills and ahead of Willie Atterbury

From Bill Schnier:
Real good photos of Bobby Morrow.  It's fun to see an as-is sprinter with minimal, if any, weightlifting and no steroids or supplements other than a steak and a hamburger.  Very different from the supermen of today.  Also nice to see a picture of Dave Mills.  I ran a 100 against him at the Kettering Holiday at Home and he nosed me out, the only older person ever to beat me in a 100.  When I found out who he was I felt better.      BIll

Great pictures of Morrow, Mills, Davis. I think I remember Davis was hurt hurdling and concentrated on flat races for awhile.

Phil  Scott

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...