Monday, November 13, 2017

V7 N. 75 JULY, 1967

JULY 1967
    The path through this issue begins with Modesto's California Relays on May 27. The wind is a factor, both positive and negative. The discus throwers are thankful. USC's Gary Carlsen throws 205-2, the second best collegiate mark ever, but that is only good for fourth behind world record holder Ludvik Danek's 209-4 and the 207-2 and 205-4 of Rink Babka and Jay Silvester. At the end of the day those marks rank 1-2-4-5 on the world list.
Greene and Hines in one of their many races.
    The sprints are sensational. Charlie Greene, undefeated in the 100 the last three years, finds there is a new sheriff in town in the form of Jim Hines of Texas Southern. Hines has a step on Greene from the get-go and wins in the world record tying time of 10.0. As good as that is, it may not have been the best in the race. Oregon State freshman, Willie Turner, a late minute addition, thereby placed in lane one (yes, dirt track), emulates Bob Hayes in his great run from that lane in the '64 Olympics, closing strongly to take second and tie the record as well. Greene's dive at the tape earns him a mouthful of dirt and third place in 10.1. Olympic bronze medalist Harry Jerome and Arizona State's Jerry Bright are fourth and fifth in the same time. The article states that the race is “aided by a breeze barely under the legal limit”. I guess. In the stats the wind is listed as 4.473 mph. Can anyone tell me what the legal limit of two meters per second is in mph? Yes, the boy in the back. That's right, exactly 4.473 mph. That's cutting it pretty close. Still and all, those guys were moving.

Modesto Hines and Smith  clik here 

Tommie Smith
    Turner and Greene are back to take on Tommie Smith in the 220. Again they run 2-3 in wind-aided times of 20.4 and 20.6 behind Smith's 20.3, but surprisingly Turner gains on Smith in the last 50. Lee Evans dominates an elite 440 field by nearly ten yards, finishing into a strong wind in 45.6.
    Southern and Texas Southern are old relay rivals. Today they exchange victories, Southern winning the 440, 39.7 to 39.9, and TSU returning the favor in the 880, 1:22.6 to 1:22.9.
    Ron Larrieu surprises “the fastest two mile field of all time”. His world leading 8:32.0 leaves John Lawson (8:33.8), Lou Scott (8:35.2) and Tracy Smith (8:36.2) in his wake .
    The weekend of June 2-4 has more action than you can shake a baton at. Friday finds us at the Compton/Coliseum Invitational where Jim Ryun runs history's second fastest mile, USC's 440 relay team ties the world record and the world's “four best known” discus throwers finish within inches of each other but the Outstanding Athlete award goes to sprinter Jim Hines.
    Hines wins the 100 in 10.2, leaving Lennox Miller (10.3), Paul Nash (10.3) and Willie Turner (10.4) behind, but saves his best for the 200 where he meets the event's dominant performer, Tommie Smith. Hines is not lacking bravado. He says that were he to race Smith ten times at this distance he would beat him ten times. Idle boast? Maybe not, for this day it's not close. Hines has three yards as they enter the straight. Smith gets a couple back but the race goes to Hines 20.5 to 20.6. Nash and John Carlos trail in 20.7 and 20.8. Hines says, “I can do 20 flat or better”.
    Hines is not through. Although SC's 39.6 ties the WR, Hines anchoring his Texas Southern team, gains two yards on Lennox Miller as the TSU lads take second in 40.0.
    Not surprisingly, Ryun is a man among boys in the mile. After hitting the 1320 in 2:58.0, he goes to the afterburners, blistering a 55.2 final lap to win by the length of your driveway in 3:53.2. One of the “boys” among whom Ryun is manly is exactly that, a boy, a New Jersey high schooler, Marty Liquori, who takes third in the same time as second placer John Lawson, 4:01.1.
    The discus is disappointing from the fact that no one throws 200 feet but it is hard to fault from a competitive standpoint. Rink Babka, long a runner up, comes out on top with throw of 198-11, three inches ahead of Jay Silvester who edges world record holder Ludvik Danek by one inch. Where does this leave three time Olympic champion, Al Oerter? In fourth with a throw of 197-8, fifteen inches behind Babka.
Gaston Roelants
    Steeplechase world record holder Gaston Roelants of Belgium is demonstrating how the race should be run. Beginning the gun lap he leads by 35 yards. In sixth, with 300 to go, Pat Traynor hasn't gotten the word that he has no chance. The Villanova grad enlivens the crowd by showing a gear he didn't know he had, just missing Roelants at the tape, 8:39.8 to 8:40.2.
    Last week Lee Evans crushed the 440 field by over a second in 45.6. This evening he does the same, winning by seven tenths in 45.8. His third leg of the San Jose State mile relay is covered in 45.6 as the Spartans win in 3:07.1.
Al Oerter
    Al Oerter, smarting from his fourth place finish, spends a sleepless night on a plane and shows up the next day at the New York AC Spring Games on Travers Island where he flings the discus 203-6, his first 200 footer of the year and “the longest ever recorded in the East”.
    Sunday is an unusual day for a track meet and the Rose Bowl is an unusual site, but sure enough, here we are at the Rose Bowl Invitational. The Rose Bowl? The alert among you may be asking how a full sized track fits in there. It doesn't. The confines permit a track of only 385 yards. This divergence matters little except in the two mile relay, won by USC in 7:21.6, which keeps those getting splits on their toes.
Ludvik Danek
    Ludvik Danek demonstrates why he has the world record, throwing the discus 210-0. After an effort of only 174-6Friday, Gary Carlsen shows he belongs with the big boys with a toss of 206-0 edging Compton's winner, Rink Babka, who takes third with 205-1.
    Paul Nash overcomes OJ Simpson's early lead to win the 100 in 9.4 for both. Nash also takes the 200 by a tenth over Jim Kemp in 20.9.

Ed Burke
    As full as this week is, the next is even busier. It isn't often that a hammer thrower receives attention, but such is the case at the SPAAU meet in Los Angeles on June 9 when Ed Burke throws 221-0 to share outstanding performer mention with another big guy, Ludvik Danek, who drops the discus 205-6 from the circle.
Vince Matthews
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota may not be Los Angeles, but there are some pretty good marks put up there this weekend in the NAIA meet. The feature event is the 440 where Vince Matthews of JC Smith blasts a 45.4, the sixth fastest ever run. He needs to be that fast as Thurman Boggess of Praire View is just two tenths behind. His 45.6 is a freshman record. As good as these marks are, perhaps the most impressive aspect of this race is that finishers 3-4-5-6 are all wearing the green and white of Arkansas A&M (now Arkansas Monticello). Their times – Elbert Stinson 45.9, Harold Francis, Henry Smothers 46.0 each and Walter Smith 47.0 – put them in pretty good position to win the mile relay and indeed they do in 3:05.4. Wonder what they might do fresh?
Van Nelson
    As well as Matthews runs, he gets no love from those picking the athlete of the meet who have a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude. Apparently you have to double to take home this trophy. 
Van Nelson takes the 3 and 6 mile races while Jim Hines works the other end of the spectrum. He runs a pedestrian (for him) 9.6 100 but makes up for it by clipping a tenth from his 220 best with a 20.3 effort. There is no mention of how the hardware is dispensed. One went home with the trophy, the other with a promise. Was there a coin flip? Did they play rock-scissors-paper? Arm wrestle? This information has been lost to history.
    With next year's Olympics being held at altitude in Mexico City, Jim Ryun spends a week at the 7800 foot elevation of Alamosa, Colorado before dropping down to mile high Albuquerque where he clocks the fastest 880 of the year, 1:47.2, in the USTFF meet.

Charlie Greene

Jim Hines in Mexico a year later.

Lee Evans
    As if this isn't enough for one weekend, Saturday the aristocracy of the track world split their efforts between Sacramento and San Diego. The third annual Sacramento Invitational held in conjunction with the Pacific Association Amateur Athletic Union Championships – how's that for a snappy title? - sees 18 year old Oregon State freshman Willie Turner become “the greatest combination 100 - 220 sprinter in history” according to the Portuguese table. His 20.2 second place behind WR holder Tommie Smith's 20.1, combined with his 10.0 in the California Relays, gives him 2046 points, ahead such notables as Smith 2043, Bob Hayes 2040, Harry Jerome 2025 and Henry Carr 2019. It also ties him with Carr for second on the all time 200 list behind Smith.
    Smith's San Jose State buddy, Lee Evans, also has a pretty good day. He is third in the 200 at 20.7 and takes the 400 in 45.7, a double bettered by only Adolph Plummer four years ago.
    Apparently those big guys who were the outstanding performers of yesterday's SPAAU meet hopped the overnight Greyhound from LA because here they are again. Ed Burke positions himself #1 in the hammer world list with a throw of 229-4. Ludvik Danek wins one of the best discus competitions ever with a toss of 212-6 to edge Rink Babka by four feet. Dave Weill adds nearly six feet to his PR, finishing third in 206-8 and taking sixth on the all time list.
    The guy that passed you that evening heading north on 101 with the radio full blast, joyously singing along with Sonny and Cher, might have been USC coach Verne Wolfe returning from the San Diego Invitational. He has good reason to be happy. His kids have just had a pretty damn good evening.
Bob Seagren
    Bob Seagren started things off vaulting 17-7 to reclaim the world record from John Pennel by ¾ inch. Seagren may have barely achieved his WR but Trojan 440 relay team CRUSHED the world mark in their event, clocking 39.0 and taking six tenths off the record set by Southern University last year and tied by Texas Southern, UCLA and themselves this season. Earl McCullough and Fred Kuller make a perfect pass. So do Kuller and OJ Simpson.
O.J. Simpson
The pass to Lennox Miller is just okay leaving room for improvement down the line. To the uninitiated, six tenths may not seem like much but it is seven yards. Historical note: As far as the general public is concerned, OJ is the third leg on the relay, nothing more. He is months away from wearing the red and gold on a football field.
Tim Danielson

Trivia Question:  What do Danielson and Simpson have in common?
    The distances provided evidence of the current regime and the one that is to come. Ron Clarke throws in a 59.5 fourth quarter to discourage the two mile field and finishes in 8:25.2, the third fastest ever and only four tenths off his PR.
    The mile is a race among Villanova's ICAAAA champ, Dave Patrick, local hero Tim Danielson who became the only the second high schooler to break four minutes exactly a year ago and New Jersey's Marty Liquori who hopes to become the third member of that exclusive club tonight. In fairness to Patrick, it must be said that he hasn't been well for the last month, yet here he is. Liquori shows his amazing potential, passing Danielson on the backstretch and winning by 10 yards but missing the four minute fraternity by two tenths in 4:00.1. To clearly illustrate how long two tenths of a second is, listen to the beep of your microwave. The “b” in beep is two tenths. Danielson is second in 4:01.4 and Patrick third in 4:02.5.
Randy Matson
    Randy Matson has an up and down evening. He wins the shot at 67-10¾. The discus is another story. His 213-9 is number one on the world list yet he hasn't thrown 190 in the last four meets. Make that five. He can do no better than 181-0 and finishes third behind Al Oerter's 194-0 and Gary Carlsen's 192-5 and says he'll stick to the shot the rest of the year.
Bud Winter and John Carlos

San Jose State coach Bud Winter has always had a unique way of expressing himself. He doesn't disappoint when effusing over Tommie Smith's world record 440. “How can you put a limit on him? Can you put a limit on Superman or the Green Hornet?”.
.....SC coach Vern Wolf has confidence in one of his lads. “Earl McCullough will run 13.2 before he is finished next year.” He laments the loss of Rupert Hoilett, “We miss him badly in the 440 and mile relays.” Verne, your 440 team just crushed the world record by six tenths of a second and you missed this guy? Who would you drop from that squad? Verne isn't done praising his guys. “Gary Carlsen is a real gentleman, a fine student who is going to dental school and look how he throws that discus.” 
Dr. Gary Carlson
Sort of Carlsen holds doors for women, can do root canals left handed and, oh, yeah, he's on the track team. Incidentally, if you need oral surgery, Dr. Carlsen's office is 17822 Beach Boulevard suite 342, Huntington Beach, CA......A man with a goal: Edwin Roberts, Trinidad's bronze medalist in the 200 says, “I want to teach in this least for awhile – until I find a girl.”.......
Leon Coleman

 Coleman working out on his 'home track'

Our “Making Do With What You Have” award goes to Leon Coleman (he would finish 4th at Mexico in 1968 in the 110HH)   of Winston-Salem University, as of this writing the third fastest hurdler in the world. Winston-Salem doesn't have a track. Leon does his training on a grass surface. “Our school finally expects to get a track. We sometimes workout on Duke's track.”.......The credo that success is based on hard work may be true to an extent, but having a genetic leg up is definitely an advantage as per Ron Clarke.
Ron Clarke
 “My pulse rate has been as low as 28, but usually it is 32 or 34. The 28 count would have worried me, but I heard of a miner somewhere as low.” A miner? That has to be the epitome of a misspent career.

Here is some more on Willie Turner from the Yakima, WA School District Website.

Willie Turner

Davis logo Davis High School
Graduated from Davis High school in 1966
  • State Champion both Junior and Senior years in the 100 and 220 yd dashs.
  • As a Senior while running the 4th leg of the 4 by 200 yard relay, Willie sprinted his team from last to 2nd recording a 19.8 split time that at that time was the fasted recorded in history for a high school student.
  • To this day, Willie holds three school records at Davis in 100 meter at 10.5 sec, 200 meter at 21.2 seconds and long jump at 23 ft 9.5 inches
  • While at Davis High School, Willie won 55 of 57 races.
  • Attended Oregon State University on a full track scholarship.
  • Immediately broke OSU freshman records in the 100 and 220 yard dashes.
  • Tied the word record in the 100 yr Dash at 9.1 seconds
  • NCAA Champion 220 yd dash
  • Pan Am Games - Gold medal in 4 x 100 meter relay, silver medal in 100 m dash
  • World Games in Europe was 200 meter Champion and 400 meter Relay Champion
  • American Record 4 by 100 yard relay
  • Injured in 1968 of all things a PE trampoline accident that prevented him from competing in the 1968 Olympics.
  • In 1970 Willie worked hard to return to form and won Pac 8 Champion 220 yd dash setting a Pac 8 record of 20.4 seconds
  • Tied Word Record 50 yd Dash and 100 yard dash
  • From lane 8, Willie won the 1970 NCAA 220 yard Dash
  • In 1970 ranked the top 200/220 Runner in the World
Long Sprint Coach for Davis Track and Field and student guidance counselor at Davis High School and currently at Wilson Middle still inspiring our youth.
Influential Persons in Life
  • College Roommate – Dick Fosbury (of Fosbury Flop fame)
  • Olympic Camp Roommate – Bob Beamon (1968 world record Olympic long jumper )
  • Longtime Friend – Tommy “the Jet” Smith (1968 200 meter Olympic Champion)
  • Muhamad Ali
  • Mother and Father

And finally this road sign from Florida, coming to us from Bruce Kritzler and Geoff Pietsch

Symbiotic Relationship?

Jack Bacheler noted:  
"I'm glad the shore of Lake Alice along the 3-mile warmup loop was more runner friendly (flatter). On occasion, one could step over the back of a sunning gator and tap it with one's trail leg. Sometimes the gator would arch it's "back".  

George: " I loved this edition.  My first year of high school coaching.  Had the privilege of knowing several of these guys in later years.  Of course Batch was a college classmate at Miami."

Joe Rogers

"Thanks Joe,  Roy is the one who writes these T&FN synopses.  I just find pictures, add some color like the Willie Turner piece and edit."  George

No comments:

V 9 N. 9 The Peerless Four by Victoria Patterson, a book review

The Peerless Four a novel by Victoria Patterson Counterpoint Berkeley, CA 2013  212 pages The Peerless Four   is a fictiona...