Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Thursday, July 28, 2016

V 6 N. 54 Bits and Pieces of News

Noting the passing of Bob Hayes, former coach and A.D. at McNeese State.

Bob Hayes, McNeese State obituary

A website called "The Undefeated"  has published a good article about  Harrison Dillard.

The Fastest Forgotten Man by Daniel McGraw

* Geoff Williams just reminded us that 1948 and 2016 were not great years to have the name 'Harrison' or  to be the fastest in the world in the hurdles.   Both Harrison Dillard and Kendra Harrison  went into the Olympic trials as the world's best in the 110 hh  and 100 h,  and both failed to make the team.   Harrison Dillard however was able to qualify in the 100 meters and win the gold in London.  Kendra Harrison is not on the team.

Here is a trailer and review of a new documentary  on the running boom  "Free To Run"

Free To Run     We have not seen it so are not  Free To Comment.

We found this story from the Denver Post about an affair between the 1936 Decathlon champion Glenn Morris and German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl that haunted Morris the rest of his life.  Terry Frei has written a novel about their relationship.

Glenn Morris and Leni Riefenstahl

Morris and the Nazi filmmaker carried on an affair during the Olympics, but he went home afterward and never saw her again.  Riefstahl was one of the hottest madchens in Europe in those years.  Josef Goebbels threw a conniption fit when she rejected his advances.  Morris  did prove one could bang away at both ends of the human performance spectrum (sport and sex)  without affecting performance of either.  On his return he went into a brief film career starring as Tarzan, and in a short demonstrating his skill at the ten decathlon events.   He played opposite his Jane,  Eleanor Holm the swimmer who was kicked of the Olympic team by Avery Brundage for excessive partying on the way over.   When the film career went bust, Morris sold insurance, but ended up a drifter in the Pacific Northwest the last years of his life.

Riefenstahl devoted six pages to the affair in her autobiography.
Glenn must have had tender feet as he played Tarzan with shoes.

Morris posed for this rather natural discus throw.
Is this how to build up a greater following for the sport?

Is Leni showing Glenn how to throw the shot or is he helping her with her golf putting stance?  "Ach, Liebchen,
du bist zu schoen.  Laufst du by mir?"

The Man on Cover of Swiss Illustrated News.

Kaster Semenya, Too Fast To Be A Woman

2009 Documentary on the South African 800 runner.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

V 6 N. 53 About that track meet in Houston

In Eugene at the Prefontaine Meet in May there was some talk about a series of meets to be held in the US with some prize money attached, so American athletes didn't have to go to Europe to make money the rest of the season.   Was the meet in Houston on Saturday part of that new series?  I did not see the meet up here in Canada so relied on some astute friends for their comments.  Also here is a link to the results.  Looks like it was a made for TV meet without a full compliment of events for either gender and some odd ball distances like 1000 meters for men.  When's the last time you saw an outdoor 1000 meter race that wasn't in Europe?  By the way did you see the size of that crowd at the Diamond League meet in London?  It must have been a near sellout in the Olympic Stadium.  They must have been offering a revote on the Brexit issue to get that many people in there.
American Track League (Houston)  Will there also be a National Track League someday?

From Roy Mason:
 Put this meet on in Eugene and you have 10,000 in the stands.  Anywhere else and you get the Houston type crowd which was how big?  Kids running around on the infield but you never had a shot of the stands.  The few times they were in a passing shot they looked....what's the word?......empty.

* Good fields.  These are professional runners.  Were they paid based on performance or was this just part of their contracts with their sponsors?

* The choreographed rush of children to the winner three seconds after the race ended was a big turn off for me.  

* Was there a charge for admission?  Guessing not.  Thinking they rounded up kids at the Boys and Girls clubs around the city and turned them loose.  No, just looked.  Tickets went at $12.50 but you could buy 100 for $500.  That would explain the kids.  

* Asafa Powell is built like a body builder.  What a physique.  

* Pretty sure DeGrasse and Powell didn't go out for beers after the meet.  These guys do not like each other.
Clayton Murphy

Fitzroy Dunkley

* I want to have another child because I found the greatest name in the world for the kid, Fitzroy Dunkley (2nd in 400).  Wouldn't be Fitzroy Dunkley Mason, just Fitzroy Dunkley.  Wouldn't matter if it were a boy or girl, Fitzroy Dunkley.  Sort of addictive.  I haven't been able to stop saying it all morning.

* Clayton Murphy is Clark Kent until the race starts.  Then he is Superman.  Really like this kid.

* Another guy I have liked for some time is Curtis Beach.  A decathlete (other than Ashton Eaton) who can break 50 in the intermediates.  Pretty damn good.  I learned this morning that Beach was the "pacesetter" who had the embarrassing job of running all by himself in that 1000.  Never seen a head swivel so often in a race.  Where are those guys?  They were here a minute ago.  Guys, come on, I can't run any slower.
Curtis Beach

* I recorded this and forgot it until I was about to stagger off to bed.  Fast forwarded through all the blah, blah, blah and commercials and just watched the races.  The major takeaway was the number and length of commercials.  Even at full speed ahead mode they took forever to get through.  One had to be a hard core fan to watch live.

* As I saw Trey Hardee and Lewis Johnson, I assume they were the only announcers.  As Johnson is experienced and never at a loss for words, I have to assume that it was Hardee, apparently not one to deal in metaphor, who provided the stunning description of the  100, stating, "That was a real footrace".  I envisioned Louis looking at him the minute they were off mike and saying "Did you really just say that?"

Thanks, Roy, you can go back to the hammock now.  GB

Sandi Morris
New American Record Holder 16'2"

Phil Scott says:

Murphy 2.20 1000m looked smooth Rick Wolhutter 2.13.9 AmRd  looks safe for time being. Curtis Beach Decathlete was rabbit 1.25 600m too slow. he also got 3rd in 400ih 49.6 


Steve Price Wrote:  Hey.......I enjoyed the ATL meet from Houston. It was a carnival like atmosphere with the little kids running about, people on the infield and hyped up music to accompany the races. The marks weren't great (cept' for the women's PV) but there was good competition and a real international flavor. Things moved along quickly and the interviews were quick and painless. I had pretaped the meet so could fast forward the commercials though even those were a tad interesting with Ashton Eaton et al.
A fun event that may catch on and spark some interest in televised Track & Field.
Comments ?
Bruce Kritzler wrote:
I also taped the meet and just finished watching it. Former Gator Hazel Clark handled the on field interviews.
Hazel Clark

Nice to see Clayton Murphy beat Centrowitz in 1k (basically workout time). Pretty good men's 400. Women's pv should have got more hype, and interview with new AR holder Sandi Morris. Good double by Prandini.
Pretty good meet over in London the last two days also. And US doing great in World Jr. Champs.
Gators just lost their two top recruits, as the Lyles brothers turned pro. Their parents, Kevin and Keisha Lyles, Seton Hall grads, trained in Gainesville most of post college career.

Richard Trace in his succinct , Hemingwayesque manner reports:

 "It seemed very contrived to me."

Monday, July 18, 2016

V 6 N. 52 High School Kids Who Have Made US Olympic Track and Field Team

With the outstanding performances of several high school athletes at this year's Olympic Trials, a question came up of how many high schoolers have made the team in the past.   This year Sydney McLaughlin just turned 17 finished third in the women's 400IH in a time of 54.18 and qualified.  Also two young men Noah Lyles (20.09) and Michael Norman (20.14) just missed making the team in the 200.   Our group of experts have thrown out some names, which may be incomplete, but this is what we've found off the top of our collective heads.  If you are a stats freak or have a better memory, please help us out with any additional names.   By definition, the athlete should still be in high school or have graduated in the same year as the trials.  We can't count swimmers and gymnasts in this, and we know there are many, many 14 year olds who have made the Olympic teams in these and other sports.   Here is what we have so far as corroborated through the website  www.sports-reference.com .   Sorry, we are not collecting information about other nations, but if you think you have one from your country who meets this definition, please feel free to add to our list.

Chronological Order

1924    Lee Barnes  b. 7-16-1906,   Salt Lake City, UT,   won the pole vault in 3.90 meters.
Lee Barnes
            not the favorite he prevailed over the US champion.  Also of note the World Record holder
            in the pole vault  Charles Hof of Norway had injured an ankle and could not jump, but instead
            ran the 800 and finished 8th in 1:56.7.   Quite a Plan B don't you think?  Barnes is the only
            person to perform as a stunt double for Buster Keaton as seen at 2:16 in this video.
            Lee Barnes performing for Buster Keaton

1928    Betty Robinson  Running in only her fourth track meet won the 100 meters at Amsterdam.  A
            few years later was injured in a plane crash and did not compete at Los Angeles in 1932.

       However using a standing start, she was able to make the 1936 team as a 4x100 runner and
            earned a second gold medal.

1936    Helen Stephens  b. Feb., 1918, Fulton, MO.  The Fulton Flash   in her first ever race set a
            WR at 50 yards, beating Stella Walsh.  At Berlin, she won the 100, ran on the gold medal
             4x100 and finished 9th in the discus.   PBs  100y  10.8, 200m 24.1, SP  44'11  1/2", (13.70)
             and discus  (39.50) at Berlin.

1936    Louis Zamperini  b. Jan. 1917  finished 8th in the 5000 as a recently graduated 19 year old.
            Went on to fame with his war exploits.

1948    Bob Mathias   Tulare, CA, won decathlon at 17 in London and then set WR winning again in             1952.

1956    Eddie Southern,  b. January 4, 1938 won the silver medal at the 1956 Melbourne Games in the 400IH as an 18 year old.

The Games were held late, November, due to the Australian summer, so Eddie did not enter the University of Texas till January, 1957.  Interesting note: Eddie won both the 220 and the 440 at the Texas High School State Meet in May of 1956.  He set a national high school record in the 220 in 20.7 and less than an hour later won the 440 in 47.2, a national high school record also.  Quite a double!  Thanks for this info to Preston Davis.

Oak Cliff TX newspaper  The Oak Cliff Advocate claims in this article that he graduated in 1955, but that may be a mistake as there were some other errors in their story.  So we will give him a pass since Preston says he didn't enroll in UT until after the Olympics and that he graduated in 1956.    Here's the account from the Oak Cliff Advocate
    Eddie Southern began running races at W. E. Greiner Junior High School before entering Sunset, where he set state and national high school records ablaze. The 1955 graduate competed as a member of the ’56 USA Olympic Track Team that traveled to Melborne, Austrailia, and stood on the podium as the 440-meter hurdles Olympic silver medalist. Along with his USA teammate Glenn Davis, Southern broke the world record in the pre-lims, and then both men broke it again in the finals. Southern was leading the pack until the last hurdle, when Davis passed him by and grabbed the gold. Southern went on to lead the University of Texas Track Team to Southwest Conference championships in ’57, ’58 and ’59, setting more individual records in multiple events.
Breaking news.  Eddie Southern D.Q'd.  Some back checking by Preston Davis indicates that Eddie did indeed graduate in 1955.  Therefore his double at the Texas state meet most likely was in 1955 as well.  Then he must have enrolled at UT in Fall 1955 and attended Spring 1956.  He ran for UT as a soph in 1957 and may have sat out in Fall 56 in order to compete in the Melbourne Olympics. So he would have had some college time before going to the O's even though he was still 18 in 1956.   

1964    Jim Ryun , Wichita, KS  b. April 29, 1947  qualified for 1500 meters.  Eliminated in semis.
            Went on to WR in 1500, Mile, 880,  and a silver medal in 1500 in 1968.

1964    Gerry Lindgren  b. March  9, 1946.   Finished 9th in 10,000 meters at Tokyo.  Earlier that
            summer had won 10,000 in the USA  USSR dual meet.   Eleven time NCAA champion.

1976    Houston Mctear   made US team in 100, but had to withdraw due to injuries.  Replaced
            by another high school athlete,  Johnny Lam Jones.

1976    Johnny Lam Jones  b. April, 1958,  Lawton, OK.  Replaced McTear and finished 6th in
            the 100 meters.  Won a gold on the 4x100.

1976    Dwayne Evans  b. Oct. 13, 1958,  P:hoenix, AZ.  Won bronze in 200 at Montreal, 20.43.
            Ran at Arizona State,   won 200    AAU 1978, and NCAA 1981.

2004    Allyson Felix    Born in November 1985,  Allyson was still 18 when she made the US team
            and earned a silver medal in the 200.  Technically she had graduated in 2003 and so was a
            year out of high school and had turned pro, but we think she earns a pass, because of her age.

2016    Sydney Mclaughlin    b. 7-8-1999.  Her future awaits.

2016     Vashti Cunningham    High Jump        Don Betowski reminded us that Vashti is also a recent               high school
              graduate from Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV.    Her dad Randall Cunningham was also               a pretty decent high jumper as well as an all Pro quarterback.

Friday, July 15, 2016

V 6 N. 51 New Book on the 1954 British Empire-Commonwealth Games

I recently discovered a new book by Jason Beck ,  The Miracle Mile, Stories of the 1954 
British Empire and Commonwealth Games published in Canada  by Caitlin Press.

 Much has been written about the Miracle Mile between Bannister and Landy at these games and the outcome is no surprise, nor is the outcome of the Jim Peters collapse on the track in the marathon.

But what is unique in this book is the remarkable way Jason Beck has pieced together the underlying stories behind these two events and at the same time incorporated the other sports of those games in a chronology from the conception of holding the event in Vancouver, the skullduggery in getting the games awarded to the city, and the preparations that went into being the  host.   The British Empire was in its last days although independence was yet to come to many of the 'countries' participating;  Trinidad and Tobago would become just Trinidad and the Gold Coast would become Ghana.  Kenya was there as Kenya, a colony,  though not yet independent and they had two distance men Nyandika Maiyoro and Lazaro Chepkwony.  Much was made of their running without shoes and their imagined lack of training.   Maiyoro would be in the lead of the 3 mile race right to the last lap when he was overtaken on the backstretch by Chris Chataway and several others wearing their spikes and with the benefits of Franz Stampfl's training.  But it was  indeed a breakthrough for the Kenyans onto the international stage.  Later in the week Chataway would do the commentary on the Miracle Mile for the BBC.

Chataway was a 23 year old Oxford graduate and brewer's assistant at the Guiness Breweries who would later go on to have champagne tastes as a member of Parliament.  It's noted that both Chataway and Freddie Green who finished second enjoyed the occasional cigarette as well.

 Chataway came into the games as the world's most famous also-ran having been runner up to Bannister in his first sub four, and a few weeks later to Landy when he broke Bannister's record.

Chataway was not to be headed at Vancouver winning that 3 mile, and a few weeks later that summer went on to defeat his hero, Zatopek   at 5000, although they both lost to a new upstart named Vladmir Kuts.   Six weeks later that year, Chataway would dog Kuts' heels in another 5000 at White City in London and outlean him at the tape in a WR of 13:51.6.

Chataway Kuts  See the last 300 meters of that race.  Note the use of a spotlight on the lead runners.

Jason Beck now curator for British Columbia's Sports Hall of Fame has done a remarkable job of sifting through the records of the games to write this book.  He notes that it was a ten year work.  He meticulously interviewed countless athletes and coaches still living from that time including all the milers who participated in the Miracle Mile,  Bannister, Landy, Rich Ferguson, Victor Milligan, Murray Halberg, Ian Boyd, Bill Baillie, and David Law who followed in that order.  The book is full of side stories to the mile and provides good descriptions of the  preliminaries.

 Ferguson was the great surprise as his career had failed to materialize in the early 1950s.  He had twice won the Big Ten two mile championship for the University of Iowa and had run in the 1952 Olympics 5000 but failed to finish in his heat.  Since then he had developed a case of stomach ulcers.  He just managed to qualify for the Canadian team with a 4:19 mile.  But for a month he underwent intense training with the iconic and controversial Canadian coach Lloyd Percival and had a remarkable transformation.   Percival's athletes filled 14 places on the Canadian team although he was not named to the coaching staff except as a co-coach, a postion he refused.  Ferguson  qualified for the 880 finals and finished a respectable fifth place in 1:53.2 for a Canadian record, so he approached the mile with an increasing confidence.  He would finish third in the Miracle Mile in 4:04, a world class time then and another Canadian record.

While the excitement of the mile was going on,  the marathon was progressing in 80 degree heat.  Jim Peters would enter the stadium about twenty minutes after the mile was over and the crowd was just settling down.   Mr. Beck does a great job of describing that race from its onset and its incredible conclusion with Peters eventually being taken off the track by a caring team masseur Mick Mayes after British officials had repeatedly discouraged anyone from helping Peters in his desperate condition.   Beck also notes that British officials in an effort not to miss  seeing the super-hyped mile race had failed to provide Peters with fluids out on the course.

Of  note especially to Canadian readers but also the old timers who read this blog for its back stories is the account of a young high schooler from Cumberland, BC on Vancouver Island, Terry Tobacco.  Yes, that's right,  Tobacco.   Terry was literally in his first year of running the 440 working his way through various championships to be selected as a member of the Canadian team. In the semis at Vancouver he had the second fastest time of the 28 competitors,  48.3.   In the finals he finished third in 47.8, and would hit 46.4 as the anchor for the 2nd place Canadian team in the 4x440.   He would go on to compete for the University of Washington and make All American status including beating Otis Davis in the NCAA championships in 1959.  Davis would be Olympic champion and world recordman in 1960.

You'll also find stories of Mike Agostini and his psychological war with his Aussie counterparts,  the account of Landy cutting his foot on a photographer's flash bulb just before the mile and keeping it quiet.  He had four stitches put into the arch of his left foot the day before the race.  Being a gentleman, he didn't want to make excuses.

Another interesting story is that of Emmanuel Ifeajuna of Nigeria who won the high jump.  This was the first international gold medal for a citizen of a black African nation.  He would go on to co-lead a coup d'etat against the Nigerian government which precipitated the civil war with breakaway Biafra.  He was eventually executed by his own people , the Biafrans when he tried to make peace and is treated as a traitor to this day by the Nigerian government.  The winners write the history.

A slightly different  bit of history that rings contemporary today was the banishing of Canadian weight thrower Jackie Macdonald for having appeared in an ad for Orange Crush, one of the Games sponsors.  In reality  the expulsion was due to an ongoing dispute  between Macdonald's coach Lloyd Percival and the Canadian AAU and coaching establishment making  Macdonald the scapegoat.  It was noted that Bannister had appeared in a shoe store ad, the Pakistani team in a rug store ad, the New Zealand team in a grass seed ad, and that many Canadian athletes had been photographed wearing t-shirts with Orange Crush logos.  Macdonald was eventually vindicated, but long after the discus event she was supposed to throw in was over.

There is also an account of the photographer Charlie Warner of The Vancouver Sun who took the famous photo of Bannister overtaking Landy on the final turn.

Bill Baillie congratulating Bannister and Landy after the race

So without further compliments and leaving many, many more good stories to be found between its covers. I can highly recommend this book being added to your reading list.  All pictures except the Chataway-Kuts race have been purloined from the book in review.

George Brose

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

V 6 N. 50 Canadian Sub 4 Minute Milers Gathering

David Bailey sent us this article about a reunion in Ontario of many of Canada's sub four minute milers.
They all still look pretty fit.

July 8, 2016
Hi George,
I was prompted to send you this article as a result of the comprehensive recent posting about 50 years ago in June 1966.  Well, June 19, 2016 in London, Ontario there was a celebration of Canadian Sub-4 minute milers.  It was conceived and organized by a good friend, track coach and 1500m runner (3:42), Dave Mills. This was held at TD Stadium, Western University in conjunction with the annual 1500m Night, which is an major annual track event organized by Steve Weiler that regularly draws 300 – 400 runners from across the provinces.  Canadian standards for international teams and hundreds of personal bests have been run at this meet.  The celebration started as a reception at the Labatt Lounge in the main building at the stadium for 15 of 56 Canadian Sub – 4 milers who were able to attend.  Just before the elite sections for women and men were held, the attendees were individually introduced to the crowd.  I had the honour to present commemorative certificates courtesy Athletics Canada to the attendees and then Bill Crothers, my East York Track Club teammate (1964 Olympic 800m Silver Medalist) and the first person to let me know that I had run a sub – 4 mile presented me with the certificate and commemorative plaque.  For those who were not able to attend, certificates will be sent to them.  Also, a similar event is planned on the west coast hosted by British Colombia Athletics in July.

I have attached a PDF from the London Free Press article about this event published the day before the event.  As well, some photos courtesy of Howard Adams who provided them free of charge are enclosed.  As you can see, he captured some treasured moments.

David Bailey's first Canadian Sub 4   Here is the article we posted last year about that first Canadian sub 4.

The London Western Track and Field website has extensive coverage of this event at:

All the best,

Bill Crothers, David Bailey, Dave Mills at the reception

David Bailey the Certificate to John Craig

David Bailey Receiving his Certificate from Bill Crothers

Canadian sub – 4 milers who could attend.  Front Row: Ross Proudfoot, Richard Tremain, Ron Becht, Jeremy Ray, Taylor Milne. Back Row: Jason Bunston, Brandon Matthias, Paul Steeds, David Hill, Paul Craig, Scott MacDonald, John Craig, Grant McLaren, Harvey Mitro, David Bailey

Shaking hands with Dave Hill who broke my Canadian record of 3:57.7 of 1967 when he ran 3:55.9 in 1977.  Dave Hill made the trip from Dallas, Texas to attend this event.

About 15 years ago I was in Halifax for the start of a tour of Nova Scotia. I came in a day or two early to check out some sites and found in the newspaper a Canadian HS kid from Ontario was going to attempt a 4 min mile in an all comers meet right there in Halifax. I took a cab over to the track and this skinny little guy did it! Nobody seemed to get very excited about it except Nate Brannan and me.
He’s had quite a career.


i well remember grant mclaren from the good old days at springbank.  he could pick them up and lay them down.
Richard Trace

Springbank, London, Ontario  Don't know what Springbank was all about?  Click on this link.

V 6 N. 49 Track Trials and Tribulations

So the O Trials have finally wound down.  The corporate power(s) have made their statement.  The athletes will be falling into line and heading down to Rio.  Lots of broken dreams, career endings, and new faces to become aware of, and a few old pros still hanging on.   Some of those who didn't make the team will still have some opportunity around the planet to ply their trade.  Maybe some of the Russians will be coming and certainly the the mad scientists and agents will be looking for new ways to beat the system.     Below are a few items and tidbits that have come across our desk and gotten stacked up, so while we wait for Roy to produce his next review of July, 1966 we'll share some of them with you.

Brief comment on the trials from Bill Schnier:

"The OT provide great theater.  This was apparent when Brenda Martinez was tripped in the 800 but came from behind to qualify for the Olympics in the 1500.  I was happy for her but sad for Eccleston from Hillsdale College whom she edged out by .01 seconds as both fell to the track.  The OT for women's gymnastics followed T&F and I was surprised at how ordinary it seemed compared with our sport, yet in the OG it often takes center stage, at least for Americans if the US does well."

I belive Eccleston pr'ed 3 times at OT, 4:134:114:06.
Brenda Martinez came for recruiting visit at ULM (Univ. Louisiana Monroe) when I was coaching there. She stayed local at UC-Riverside. Think she ran 57, 2:134:57 in hs.
The HS kids running at the Trials was the highlight for me. Especially Lyles and Norman in 200.

From Roy Mason:

"The North Bay League (okay, Montgomery High in Santa Rosa) was well represented in last night's Olympic Trials women's 5K. Kim Conley made her second Olympic team finishing third in 15:10.6. Sarah Hall (formerly Sarah Bei, now Ryan Hall's wife) was 14th in 15:55.

They were teammates in XC and track in the 2000-01 school year when Bei was a senior and Conley a freshman. The similarity ended there. Bei was big time, winning four state championships in XC and three in track. She also won the Footlocker XC meet. Conley was a good local runner but not the caliber of Bei. On the all time Redwood Empire lists she is 15th at 800, 6th at 1600 and 18th at 3200. Her best finish in the state meet was 19th.

Their HS times were Bei: 2:174:4610:11; Conley: 2:164:52.10:58. Bei went on to a glorious career at Stanford and after. Conley went to UC Davis where she slowly improved but wasn't on the national radar.

Guess all this goes to show that if at first you don't succeed, keep working hard and good things may happen. This means that there is still hope for you, Steve."

From John Bork

"I am wondering if you experienced the same 2 glaring faults in the NBC coverage:

1). Last night when they introduced the men for the final in the 110M Hurdles the coverage ended (for me)
     before the race started!  It had to be an unbelieve race with London Olympic Games Champion, Aires Merritt
     missing 3rd. place  to Jeff Porter by a mere .01 of a second. 13.21 to 13.22.
     After describing 2-3 times how Merritt was given a kidney transplant by his sister  then no race coverage-nothing!

     Again youth was serves when the winner was Oregon's sophomore, Devon Allen in a stunning 13.01!
     Just a sophomore or, Jr. at Oregon where he also plays football.

2)  A couple of nights before the NBC coverage failed to air the 1500Meter -Men's semi-final races (on my TV)
    even though the DVR - Guide indicated that they would be aired.

How about you guys? Did you see these races on your TV?

- Speaking of youth, 400M hurdle wunderkind Sydney McLaughlin is only 16 years old!
- Candace Hill, who made the semi-finals in the 100/200, is only 17 years old, and in December 2015 at age 16 signed a ten-year contract to run for Adidas. She has a best of 10.98 in the 100.
- Ageless youth Bernard Lagat, at 41, was jumping around like a kid at Christmas after winning the 5000 with a very youthful 52 second last lap.

- Lagat has won two Olympic medals running for Kenya in 2000 & 2004, can he win one this summer? Back in 1984, an aging 37-year old Carlos Lopes of Portugal won the Olympic marathon gold medal; in the same race, youthful 25-year old Alberto Salazar finished 15th.

- The Kenyan "B Team" --

U.S. distance runners are the Kenyan (African) "B Team" --
5000M -
Lagat, born in Kenya; Paul Chelimo, born in Kenya; plus Somalian born Hassan Mead
10000M -
Shadrock Kipchirchir, born in Kenya; Leonard Korir, born in Kenya; plus U.S. born Rupp
The Marathon -
Galen Rupp and Jared Ward will joined at the starting line by 41-year old Eritean-born Meb Keflezighi !"

From Bruce Kritzler:  Link to Film on Sarah Brown training while pregnant to get to the O Trials.  Did she make it?
Run Mama Run
Editor's note:  Sarah Brown, four time NCAA All American made it to the trials but did not advance out of her semi heat.
July 7 (pm) Watched 2 hs kids win 200m heats in 20.04, 20,05 both windy, but impressive. Then hs girl Sidney McGlaughlin won heat of 400h in 55...Great women's steeple, where 5 contenders broke away in last kilo, but one of group faded to last, and another lost about 4 places in last 200m. This was after Emma Coburn waited till 2k to put the hammer down.

Time sort of stops when you are in Eugene for Olympic Trials. Track 24hrs/day. I loved it. Leslie says she will never stay in the dorm again (too many men using women's restroom).

One thing I missed was all the NBA players switching teams. I now have no idea who plays where? Bruce

  Like some of you, I was really pulling for the HS athletes or the Division II and III athletes or simply the newcomers.  TV coverage loves the older people because they have name recognition, but I think that makes the sport tired & predictable.  We have had two decades of the same old, same old.  Those PRs by Eccleston are amazing which leads me to believe that could happen more often if given the opportunity.  It's not everyone who can rise to the level of the competition, but it surely is true of a few.  
   Bruce, I'm glad you went to the Trials.  I now feel as if I got the real scoop.  You are absolutely the best person to see the Trials with.  I will never forget at the 1980 Trials when Sam Bell was asking you questions.  That was very impressive to me.  I can also picture you smiling as you read this message from me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

V 6 N. 48 June, 1966

  This may not be perfect, but it is the best a couple of C students could do.  Steve was a big help with over a dozen corrections.

JUNE 1966

    Records? You want records? We got 'em. We have world records. We have American records. Looking for something more economical? We can give you a good deal on a junior college record guaranteed to last decades. Step right this way.

    The date is May 28. The place: Modesto Junior College. The meet: the California Relays. Unusually cold windy weather has hampered the performance of an exceptional field assembled by meet director Tom Moore. Despite this handicap, the chilled crowd of 10,000 witnesses a world record. The dull-gold clad sprinters from Southern University overcome the weather and tight turns (look at the track on Google Maps) to clip a tenth from Stanford's 440 relay world record. Harvey Nairn, Grundy Harris, Webster Johnson and George Anderson combine to hold off Texas Southern, a Tommie Smith anchored San Jose State, New Mexico and Stanford in 39.6.
This is the 1965 Southern U. relay squad. with Theron Lewis on left then Webster Johnson, R. Johnson, unidentified, and Grundy Harris.  Was the fifth man their secret weapon?

    The Jaguars take aim at the 880 relay, but conditions hold them to 1:23.0, four tenths off the WR. They also scrape together a foursome that wins the mile relay in 3:10.8 with Theron Lewis anchoring in 45.8
    The 440 brings fans to their feet as Tommie Smith lays back behind Jim Kemp and AAU champ Ollan Cassell until the final straight before powering by to win easily in 45.7.
Gaston Roelants
Belgium's Olympic steeplechase champion, Gaston Roelants, opens up twenty yards in the middle of the two mile but Tracy Smith is not to be denied. He finishes with a 2:05.4 final half mile to win in 8:34.4.
Tracy Smith 398 following Pre at the 1972 OTs.
Gerry Lindgen in stripes, Cliff Clark #301, Dick Burkele 6th.
Final positions for these men  Prefontaine 1st 13:22.8 AR, Smith 5th 13:44.8, Buerkele 8th 13:57.2, Clark 9th 13:58.6, Lindgren 12th 14:17.2
(Sorry but this photo is six years later than the current posting.  Not many racing pictures of Tracy Smith online.)
    The best match up of the day is in the discus where three time Olympic champion Al Oerter tangles with the man who took his world record, Czechoslovakia's Ludvik Danek. Danek threw 211-9¼ on the day in 1964 when he became the record holder. He upped that mark to 213-11½ last year.
Al Oerter

    On the other hand, Oerter has proven he can meet a challenge as measured by the '56, '60 and '64 Olympic gold medals in his sock drawer. He says he is “so strong it scares me” but that he is “a year away” in technique.
When the dust settles, Oerter has thrown a PR of 207-5 to top the 205-9 of the great Czech. In third place with 201-1 is Rink Babka. Wait a minute, didn't that guy retire? Well, yes, but golf didn't cut it for the Rinkster, so a couple weeks ago he picked up a discus and apparently it's like riding a bicycle, you never forget.
    The quality of this competition is such that the third through twelfth place finishers all have the best-ever marks for that particular place.
Ever hear of a meet where the athletes had to pay to get in? No? Well, this story will put a smile on your face. Oregon long jumper Bob Woodell has been severely injured while helping fraternity brothers build a float for a celebration. He is paralyzed from  the waist down and will be residing in the hospital for the foreseeable future. There will be medical bills to pay.
Bob Woodell

Early Days of Nike,  Woodell in foreground
behind  Phil Knight, Joanna Ceciliani, Geoff Hollister
His coach, Bill Bowerman, puts on benefit meet to help defray those costs.  A lot more can be learned about Bob Woodell who went on to executive positions including President and member of board of directors  in Blue Ribbon Sports (later Nike) in this article  in The Oregonian about one of his friends and colleagues Jack Joyce who passed away in 2014. He also was cofounder of Rogue Ales, and director of the Port of Portland during his career.   Blue Ribbon/Nike must have been a stressful place in the 1980s as a number of their execs went to their great reward at a relatively young age.     Bob Woodell/Jack Joyce

    On Thursday night, June 2, 8000 fans and 22 athletes each pay a dollar to enter Hayward Field. There are only six events, but they are dandies. All four shot putters have PRs, the most significant of which is the 67-0¾ effort by Neil Steinhauer. Oregon Stater Lahcen Samsam Akka of Morocco joins the 60 foot club by 2¼ inches.  
Lahcen Samsam Akka

more recent photo of Samsam Akka on left
SamSam Akka would go on with his studies in the US earning a doctorate at Berkeley and returning to Morocco to become very involved in Moroccan track and field.  He was Director of the World Cross Country Championships when they were held in Marrakech in 1998 and the World Junior Track and Field Championships in 2005.  He served as national technical director of track and field for many years.  He threw in two olympics, 1964 and 1972 when he reached the finals in the shot put finishing 15th with a throw of 19.11 meters.  His PR was 20.45 in 1972.  

Mike Lehner has resumed training only six weeks ago but steeplechases 8:46.4, the fastest time in the country this year.
    The feature one mile race does not disappoint. Alumnus Dyrol Burleson excites the crowd with a the fastest mile ever run at Hayward Field, 3:57.3. He is followed by Ducks Roscoe Devine at 3:59.1 and Wade Bell, under four for the first time at 3:59.8, making him the NCAA favorite. Devine will not be competing as he is a freshman and therefore not eligible for that competition.
Roscoe Divine

Wade Bell
    Bob Woodell watches the meet from an ambulance stretcher in the infield. 
Although not originally named, this is the first of the Oregon Twilight Meets which continue today.
Here's those Oregon boys today

    The following Saturday in the NAIA meet, Theron Lewis blazes a 45.2 quarter to move to a second place tie on the all time 400-440 list with Otis Davis, Carl Kauffman and Mike Larrabee. Only WR holder,Adolph Plummer, 44.9y, is not affected.

    The even bigger news comes this evening in the Compton Invitational held in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The future of US track and field is evident in the performances of Jim Ryun and Gerry Lindgren. Ryun has just turned 19 but tonight he is wearing his big boy pants as he lines up for the mile. George Young and Neill Duggan are supposed to lead him through the 1320 in2:56 at which point it will be Ryun alone in his effort to top Michel Jazy's 3:53.6 world record.

    The pace is slower than planned, leaving the Kansas freshman at 2:58.5 with a lap to go and no chance for the record. Well, wait a minute, apparently no one has told Ryun his task is impossible. Jim Grelle is within a yard with 330 to go, but from then it is Ryun against the clock. With 220 to go he is at 3:27.3. The 1500 is passed at 3:39.3. His acceleration is unlike anything seen in a quality mile. The last 220 is covered in a stunning 26.4. His time, 3:53.7, so agonizingly close to the record, gives promise for the future. Grelle is second at 3:56.0. Duggan, the 25 year old Englishman wearing the colors of Hancock College, is third in 3:59.1, a junior college record.

    Twenty year old Gerry Lindgren also has a goal this evening, Bob Schul's 5000 meter record of 13:38.0. Tracy Smith and Ron Larrieu challenge briefly in the second mile but from then on Lindgren has no help. Does he get the record? Yes. Does he break the record? No. He equals it and now shares the record with the esteemed 1964 Olympic champion. He misses by 1/5 of a second, the margin by which distances longer than a mile are measured at the time. Smith and Larrieu follow in 13:45.6 and 13:56.2. The fourth place finisher deserves a mention. He is 18 year old Rick Reilly who runs the second fastest 3 mile/5000 in high school history, 13:35.6 and 14:00.2. The only faster high school runner? That would be Gerry Lindgren. Talk about difficulty gaining prestige, Rick isn't even the fastest in his city as both he and Lindgren are from Spokane, Washington.

    As weeks tend to do, one passes and we are in Terre Haute, Indiana for the USTFF national championship where Jim Ryun is just keeping busy while waiting for the AAU nationals. Although the new Grasstex track at Indiana State is fast, Ryun. has run a 1:50.9 qualifying heat two hours earlier before lining up for the 880 final. As he will run a mile heat and final and a 440 relay leg tomorrow, nothing earthshaking is expected. Ohio's John Tillman leads through a 52.9 quarter with Ryun at 53.3. No great excitement from the crowd of a thousand. But then Ryun comes alive. He leaves a good field – Tom Von Ruden, Lowell Paul, Charlie Christmas – in his wake with a 26.1 third 220 and now it is on. His margin grows to 25 yards as he comes home in 25.5. His final lap of 51.6 gives him a time of 1:44.9 and Peter Snell's world record by two tenths.

880 WR Terre Haute, IN  
Here is the link to our earlier showing of this race and an interview with Ryun about that race.

    This is his first world record and third American record (880, mile -3:53.7, 2 mile – 8:25.2). Although soundly beaten, Von Ruden (1:47.9), Paul (1:48.0), Christmas (1:48.4) and Tillman (1:49.4) all run PRs.

    Making this achievement even more remarkable are the facts that this is only his seventh open half mile, his previous best was 1:50.3, the oddity of a negative split in a high quality 880 and the fact that just three years ago he was doing a paper route.
The next day he wins the mile in 4:02.8 and runs a relay leg of 47.8. Let's keep an eye on this kid. He may amount to something.
    Jim Ryun is certainly the focus of the weekend, but there are other meets of significance, specifically a couple in California. The San Diego Invitational has an intriguing 5000 field. The great Ron Clarke is joined by fellow Australian Tony Clarke in competition with Tracy Smith, Billy Mills, George Young and steeplechase world record holder Gaston Roelants of Belgium.

    Although everyone but Young takes a turn leading, they are still tightly packed with 600 yards to go. At this point Young, a strong finisher, goes to the afterburners. Surprisingly Clarke, not a great finisher, matches him as they pull away. Young's top end speed provides a 56.9 finish and a 13:40.2 to 13:40.6 victory over the world record holder. Smith is third in 13:42.2, followed by Mills, (13:44.8), Roelants, (13:46.8) and Cooke, (13:49.2). Although not winning, Clarke and Mills are pleased with their performances. Clarke had arrived from Australia only 22 hours earlier and didn't think he would run this fast. Sharing self doubt was Mills who had just resumed training in April after a five month layoff.

    The mile matches the 5000 for excitement. Mike Eck tows the field through 58.1 and 1:59.2 splits before Neill Duggan takes over, passing the 1320 in 3:00.0. Jim Grelle has been waiting to make his move. It comes on the backstretch and leaves no doubt. 

David Bailey's first sub 4   for an insider's view of this race

The ex-Oregon great hits the tape in 3:55.4 to tie his PR set last year. Duggan improves his junior college record by three seconds, finishing in 3:56.1. Dave Bailey sets a Canadian record of 3:59.1 but is barely noticed because the fourth place finisher is 18 year old Tim Danielson from the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista who becomes the second high school runner to break four minutes with a 3:59.4 clocking.
Happier days, Jim Ryun, Tim Danielson, Marty Liquori, Alan Webb
at the time the only high school sub four minute milers.

Tim Danielson's life has certainly taken a turn for the worse with his spending the
next fifty years to life in the California Correctional System for the murder of his ex-wife.
The Danielson Trial  from an earlier posting

Ron Larrieu, making a rare mile appearance, is fifth in 4:03.6, a PR, making this the 15th consecutive year he has improved in at least one event. Rick Reilly's sixth place 4:04.7 moves him to number five on the high school list. Except for Grelle, every runner establishes a personal best.

    There is some magical sprinting going on 500 miles north in Sacramento's venerable Hughes Stadium where the Sacramento Invitational is held. When the gun goes off in the 220 the world record is 20.2 by Olympic champion Henry Carr. Exactly twenty seconds later it belongs to Tommie Smith. The San Jose State sophomore is out behind San Jose City College's Lee Evans,
Tommie Smith

Smith and Evans racing at a later date, result same.
but by the time he reaches the straight, he has a four yard advantage which he doubles by the tape. Evans is timed in 21.0. Pretty sure Lee didn't go home disappointed, as he shaved a tenth off his JC 440 record with a 46.1 earlier.

    Bits and pieces gathered from here and there. Jim Beatty has won nomination for Democratic candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives. His slogan: “Let Jim Beatty run for you”. Honest.....Rex Cawley and Blaine Lindgren have retired....Cornell isn't mentioned much in T&FN, but there are two references in this issue. Two time Olympic champion Glenn Davis has been promoted from assistant to head coach at the Ithaca, NY school. 1952 Olympic broad jump silver medalist Meredith Gourdine, a Cornell grad, is a pretty bright guy. Not only does he have a PhD from Cal Tech, his company, Gourdine Laboratories, has been awarded a $685,000 grant from the Dept. of the Interior to conduct further research on a “novel generator”......Tom Moore ran 14.2 to tie the world record in the high hurdles in 1935. For 67 years he was the heart and soul of the California Relays, serving as the meet director, promoter and starter. In the initial meet in 1942, he started all but one race. What race was that and why? Answer below...
Tom Moore 
Publisher Cordner Nelson takes on the theory that the sitter has the advantage in a mile race. He has examined 89 mile and 1500 races since Bannister broke the four minute barrier and discovered that the leader in the home stretch wins 82% of the time, the leader going into the last curve wins 72% of the time and the leader with a lap to go wins 46% of the time. Take that for what you will.....Cordner has doped out the NCAA meet with UCLA winning easily with 69 points to San Jose's 44, Washington State's 32, Oregon's 31, Nebraska's 28 and USC's 22. That is unless Texas Southern can afford to travel to the meet. In which case, he would rate them a toss up with UCLA....Information we could probably do without: Rick Riley breakfasts on oatmeal with a dash of wheat germ every morning. He is also the vice-president of the student body at Ferris High and president of the Boys Federation.....The race Tom Moore didn't start was the high hurdles which he won.....
Tom Moore in the red shirt
And, yes, half a century later, Neill Duggan's 3:56.1 is still the fastest ever run by a junior college miler.

    We will meet Friday at 5:00 at the Dew Drop Inn as usual. Feel free to embellish the stories of your track achievements back in the day. As the line goes, “The older I get, the better I was.” Most of us competed so long ago that our times and distances can't be traced. Feel free to be creative.

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...