Saturday, May 7, 2016

V 6 N. 34 Reunions at Texas and Kansas Relays and some other stuff

Last month a number of old timers  got together in Austin, TX   and Lawrence, KS to renew acquaintences, tell lies and remember what it was like to be young and fast and strong, not worried about professional careers, golf swings, and stock options.  Thanks to David Webb who led off some of UT's great relays in the mid 60s and Mike Solomon a transplanted SoCal runner in Lawrence who sent on these pictures.  Some are recognizable even today.  Others we provide names to go with the mugs.  Even a couple of interloping Aggies from Oklahoma State showed up in Austin, Dave and John Perry.   It's been great corresponding with some of these guys and they've contributed a lot of good stories and clippings to our blog the past few years.  Fleet feet to all of you.

Dave Perry (Oklahoma State 1:47) David Webb (1:51.7 U Texas)  John Perry(Oklahoma State 1:47)
Dave Perry to my right, John F Perry to my left (Texas had a John Perry also).  To my Upper right, Bill Elliott, 7'3+" high jump @ 1968 or 69 ( but not now).  Recall when asked by T&FN how Bill did it (took up the flop only ever in '68), he was quoted "I just run like hell and jump like hell." From Sonora in far West Texas, he was recruited only for LJ and HH.  I don't have a current photo of Jim Metcalf which is reason I posted the old news handoff to Perry.
Bob O'Bryan, Preston Davis, James Means all Longhorns
"John, please send these on to Dave, Arnold, Tom v and anyone else. Jim, John and Dave, I am so glad you came again to the Relays.  This is the first time I got to see you and visit and I hope we can do so again next year and for many years. I caption this photo "Two 1:47 guys trying to boost up a 1:54 guy!"  Still awes me how you guys came from hs quarter milers to world record half milers. I am really sorry you didn't get that 7:13 which you deserved in 1965."
   David Webb    

That weekend someone found a document crediting David with a 1:51 relay leg which made his day.  Dropped his PR. ed.
thank you so much for featuring us in your latest post.  Please edit a few corrections, if you don't mind.  First, it was me who found my time of 1:51.7 fifty years later in clippings I went through from a Bob O'Bryan scrapbook. The reason I didn't know about it in the first place  is that Kansas Relays had the only women's watches on a first come first serve basis. When we won, I dashed off to claim a watch for my girlfriend of the time. I never learned what my first leg of the relay time was until a few weeks ago going through those clippings. 
Second, you mention a quote I had with Jim Metcalf  (correction Dave Perry?) and John Perry and me in the picture. There are blanks and that they should be it should say "Two 1:47 guys boosting up a 1:52 guy."
Last, I did not improve my best by two seconds. In fact I had a 152.2 at the Southwest Conference meet the year before. However it was a delight to find after 50 years that I had actually been in a class like yourself, with a 151.7r!
Thanks again for all you do and all you write, George.  We really appreciate and enjoy you keeping 60s track ALIVE!

"Bob O'Bryan, MD, excelled at 220-440-880, anchored 440 relay, ran mile relay; Preston Davis,as you know, 880-mile-3 mile-CC Champ and, sorry you might disagree, but the greatest come-from-behind anchorman of his era!; and my permanent road trip roommate, James Means, 100-220 and superb 440 relay leadoff, did so for three Olympians on US Army team (including Charlie Greene of Nebraska)."  David
Preston Davis and Ricardo Romo

Preston Davis and Ricardo Romo, others unidentified

KU Dudes  2016 KU Relays

Mike Solomon  (1973 Maccabiah  Games 1500 champion) ,  Jay Mason  (1972 O-Trials 5,000), Mickey Mathews (1968 O-Trials 100),  John Wilson (Long Jump)

Jim Neihouse,  Randy Julian(  WR DMR),  Thorn Bigley (WR DMR) ,  Jim Ryun (WR  4x880 indoor, 800, 1500, mile,  68, 72 Olympics)

Bob Bornkessel,  Gregg Vandaveer (13.5  110HH, pole vault),  Delario Robinson (NCAA finalist 110HH), Terry Porter (1976 Olympics PV)

Mike Solomon,  Mike Kearns,  Randy Julian,  George Byers (WR 60yd lows), Mickey Mathews, Rick Peterson

Jim  Metcalf from that OSU  WR two mile relay team sent the following photos and comments about the exchanges that they used.  These  were taken at the Texas Relays (1965?)

the photo of the hand off is between John Perry and Tom Von Ruden.  Tom ran the 3rd leg.   
The Mizzou guy is Charlie Conrad taking the baton from Bill Rawson.

Speaking of Bill Rawson , just out of this picture, in a few years he would lose his life in Viet Nam.  See link:
Several tributes written about him is you scroll down on the link.

close up of previous photo
Did you ever see how OSU handed off in the longer relays. We called it semi blind but this looks like a blind handoff, Tom never looked back once he started running. We always kept our torsos and hips pointed down the track instead of turning and grabbing. We think it gave us a big edge. Never dropped a baton.  John Perry
Dave Perry finishes a step and a half ahead of Lingle.  Were the exchanges the difference?

What  do you think three of our hand offs like this...
see the Mizzou guy waiting...Tom is running.  we were all strong and always handed off in the last half of the  a smooth run... it was the difference in our world record and in many of our close sprint medley and two mile relays. The USA national team should use this hand off.  would never have a problem.

ed. They might not have time to practice together.  Often the teams aren't selected until the last minute with all the agents politicking to get their runners on the team.

I noticed the comment at the end of the bit on our hand offs.
I realize they don't have time to practice.  that is the beauty of this hand off.  It is such a natural running motion that it does not take more than a few minutes of practice to learn it.
In the modern pass the receivers hand is high up and wrist twisted and his hand is moving all over the place.  The hand off guy has to run with his baton hand held up high to put the baton into the moving hand.  Both are running in an unnatural way insofar as arm motion is concerned.
In out hand off , the receiver simply drops his open hand palm down to his side and holds it steady.   The hand off man slaps the baton into the receivers hand on the up stroke of a natural stride.  he never is looking for a moving target and his pumping motion of both arms is never compromised.
You can see that in the photo.
the only thing they have to get down, is when the receiver leaves his mark.
We did not spend time practicing hand offs.  that is how easy it is...
Please put my rebuttal at the end  of the story.

Jim Metcalf

More from Jim Metcalf:
yes...Dave was our anchor man.  This was 1963.
I ran lead off and John ran second.  John was one of the great relay runners in the country.  He was noted for breaking runners.  You can see how far he is ahead of Mizzou.   I gave him an even hand off with Bill Rawson.  Actually, John told me if it was going to be even, to drop back a couple of strides which I did.
He took the baton and ran right up beside Bill Rawson and got very close to him and looked him right in the eye for a few strides and then passed him and took off.
When we broke the world record, I gave John about a 5-8 yard lead over USC.  He ran his first 220 fast but not overly so, letting the USC guy catch him.  He then sped up so that he came thru the 440 at 52 and the USC guy must have been right at 50.  John was a very strong 3rd 220 runner and he broke USC in half and finished up in 1:47.5.  and was over 2 seconds ahead of USC.  They had been touted to beat us easily by the press.  The race was over.
Our senior year, John was anchor and he was incredible.  His record speaks for itself.  He was strong and he was tough.  He anchored us to victory in the sprint medley and two mile relay at Kansas and Drake against Preston Davis of Texas,  Charlie Christmas from ACC, and Peter  Scott from Nebraska who was national champion that year.  John also had a 46.5 on the anchor on the mile relay.
That summer at Compton, which was run in the Coliseum, he beat Bill Cruthers  and  George Kerr from Jamaica.

John was one of the greats.

This is the Texas Relays two mile relay in 1965. J Perry to Von Ruden on second to third leg. 

Would you post the following about Bill Rawson. By the way, I really wasn't staring him down.  I was just making sure that I wasn't cutting him off when I took the pace. 

Bill was a real gentleman and we were friendly competitors.  For some reason, Bill got really tired of track. It's my understanding that Marines wanted him to run on the Quantico Team but he chose Vietnam. 

"Bill Rawson taught me how to run a tough 880 back when I was a sophomore in 1964. In the Missouri Dual that year he led the race every step of the way, including the finish. He set the Missouri Stadium record with a 1:50.3 880. I was right there with a PR and a new appreciation of how to run a fast steady pace. We ran many times afterward.

He was a Marine Platoon leader just out of TBS in Quantico when he was killed in Vietnam, a  tragedy. I look at his name everytime I go to the Vietnam Memorial.

 I've attached a couple of photos from the Missouri yearbook."


I was in the Marines and came in to run this DMR with the Pacific Coast Club at Mt Sac. First time that I ever handed off to John Mason. I supposed we practiced a couple of times on race day. Fastest DMR in the USA that year. 


From Ernie Cunliffe:  (A few of you may not remember Ernie if you are under the age of 60. However most of us do.  He ran for Stanford, set a WR for 1000  yards at the Knights of Columbus Games in Boston, and represented the US in the 800meters at the Rome Olympics and coached for many years at the Air Force Academy.

Ernie Cunliffe taking Dyrol Burleson to the first sub 4 mile on Oregon soil.

As all of you know I did not have a lot of natural speed.   Thus I was the 2nd leg on the Mile Relay due to my best
440 out of the blocks a pedestrian 49.2.   My theory was to receive the baton way up at the last part of the relay
zone, thus making my roommate Dick Lassen run a 450+ and I would hand off at the very lst part of the relay zone
giving me a great 420+ or - and make the 3rd guy also run about a 450.  This always gave me some pretty good relay times as the coaches timed the baton at the finish line for the relay legs.

For the 4 x 880 relay I always anchored so I took the 3rd runners baton way at the lst part of the relay zone since
my mile runs had given me a lot of strength.   Thus I ran about a 900+ or - and the 3rd guy a 860.

We never worried about the baton hand offs but I note that Okla State had some pretty slick exchanges.

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