Sunday, February 18, 2018

V 8 N. 13 Pan Am Trials and Games 1967


    “That cat has had my number.” That's high hurdler Earl McCullough talking about Willie Davenport. Indeed that seems to be the case. Willie holds a 6-0 advantage. The end of that streak comes on Sunday, July 16 in the Pan Am Trials.          
Earl McCullough
    There is a false start charged to McCullough. This doesn't seem to lessen his explosiveness the next time. Earl, as quick as starter as God has put on this earth, is out well, though he comments later, “It was not a good start”. The writer of this story reports that “Davenport was gaining at the end”.
    If those facts are true, McCullough was doing some real good hurdling in between, for Earl the Pearl* wins by four yards and ties the world-record of 13.2 in the doing. Davenport is second at 13.6 and Ron Copeland third in 13.9.
Willie Davenport
Ron Copeland

    Many of you are undoubtedly wondering whether this is a metric or yard record....or is it both? This leads to the question which is longer, 110 meters or 120 yards and by how much? Thoroughness is the watchword at Once Upon a Time in the Vest. The research department on floors eight and nine here at the OUTV Building have been investigating this question for several days now. I have been assured that the answer will appear at the conclusion of this report.
    Other results are less spectacular as many of the top level guys are skipping the Pan Am Games in favor of the European tour. Notable marks are Ron Whitney's 49.6 400IH, Ed Caruthers' 7-2 HJ and John Carlos' 20.4 200.

PAN AMERICAN GAMES Winnipeg, Canada July 29 – August 5

    When roll is called, the missing include Jim Hines, Charlie Greene, Jim Ryun, Art Walker, Tommie Smith, Gerry Lindgren and Ed Burke. Still, our boys sweep 200, 400, 1500, 5000, steeplechase, both hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin, discus and both relays. Of the 35 events in the men's and women's competition, the US takes 30 gold medals. Canada wins three and Cuba two. Spectators tire of hearing the Star Spangled Banner.  
Pan Am Medal

University of Manitoba stadium, home of the track meet
on the Plains

      Extra Credit:  Name the River flowing beside the Pan Am Games track.
      Answer at bottom of page.

Lee Evans
    Between 11,000 and 18,000 Winnipegians deserve medals for showing up each day and enduring weather which varies between heat and wind-blown rain with temps that vary 30 degrees.
Prince Philip, honorary Winnipegian , enduring the weather.
    The 400 is delayed 20 minutes by a flash storm, but wind and sun help dry the track and a pretty good race follows. Lee Evans and Vince Matthews are even coming into the straight where Evans pulls away for a 44.9 PR, two tenths up on Matthews. Canada's Don Domansky takes third in a PR equalling 45.1.
    Van Nelson is doing his St. Cloud State classmates proud. He spots Canada's Dave Ellis 25 yards in the last lap of the 10,000 but runs him down with a 59.8 finish to win in 29:17.4 in 85 degree weather. Four days later in the 5000 he is blessed with temps in the mid 50's. He follows Lou Scott's pace through two miles in 8:55 before moving away for an easy 13:47.4 win. Scott just edges Mexico's Juan Martinez for second, 13:54.0 for both. Scott arrived late for the meet and hasn't been training recently. Instead he has been staying inside, out of harm's way, specifically the riots in his hometown of Detroit. Okay, Lou, we'll let you slide this time.
    Bill Toomey wins the decathlon by 700 points with 8044, his third time over 8000.
Bill Toomey at Winnepeg
    The 400 relay has to present a moral dilemma for Earl McCullough. He is leading off a team composed of Jerry Bright, Ron Copeland and Willie Turner that had bettering the world record of 38.6 as its goal. Alright, go get 'em Earl. But wait a minute, that record was just set by McCullough's USC team of Fred Kuller, OJ Simpson and Lennox Miller. As Earl is settling into the blocks, he is facing the conundrum of erasing his buddies from the list of world record holders. These are the guys with whom he runs the Coliseum steps, has towel snapping exchanges in the locker room, trains with in the off season and jokes with on bus rides. The instant the gun is fired, Earl will be attempting to deprive his pals of their place at the top of the track and field world.
    Familial integrity be damned. Earl's start indicates that he hasn't been silently humming “Fight On” (for old SC) during the starter's commands. His pass to Bright is crisp but the second pass to Copeland is slow. Willie Turner holds off a surprising Cuban team 39.0 to 39.2. An awkward greeting when OJ picks Earl up at LAX has been averted.
Not the first time Jerome and Turner have met
    In the 100 Harry Jerome is out early but is caught at the tape by Willie Turner. The judges examine the Omega Phototimer for 20 minutes before declaring Jerome the winner by .001.

    John Carlos is out early in the 200 and breezes to a 20.5 win, four tenths ahead of Jerry Bright.

    Alert readers (we have no other kind) may be asking where the usual Caribbean sprint talent is. Wendell Motley and George Kerr have retired and Lennox Miller and Edwin Roberts have deemed summer school more important.  Oh really!  ed. 

    Now it is the high hurdles. McCullough false starts once, putting the first match with Willie Davenport since Earl's world record in doubt. The second time Earl is out early and leads by four feet at the fifth hurdle. Willie closes but Earl picks up the win 13.4 to 13.5.

    Ron Whitney is disappointed with his 50.7 in the intermediates. He thought he had broken 50 “but was misled by the springiness of the Tartan track” . Hey, we just report. We don't 'splain. Russ Rogers runs 51.3.

    The middle distances are tactical. Wade Bell holds off Bill Crothers in the 800 1:49.2 to 1:49.9. In the 1500, Canadian Dave Bailey, who ran a 3:57.7 mile just two weeks earlier, leads the field through two laps in 2:05.0. He picks up the pace to 3:04.7 but succumbs to the finish of Tom Von Ruden and Sam Bair who go 1-2 in 3:43.4 and 3:44.1 with Bailey eight tenths back.

    Big Eight rivals Chris McCubbins of Oklahoma State and Conrad Nightengale of Kansas State are the class of the steeplechase field. After a fast early pace, Nightengale succumbs to the heat and McCubbins pulls away to win in a PR and collegiate record of 8:38.2, a clocking that ranks him second in US history. Nightengale is 13 seconds behind.

Of note.   Chris McCubbins would meet the girl of his dreams, a Canadian by birth , and he too would become a Canadian and represent Canada at the next Pan Am meet and in Montreal in 1976. Today there is a cross country trail in Winnipeg bearing his name.  ed.

    Ed Caruthers outjumps Otis Burrell 7-2¼ to 7-1. Bob Seagren survives the hampering wind to vault 16-1. Ralph Boston scores his second 27 foot jump of the year by 2½ inches. Randy Matson and Neil Steinhauer place the expected first and second but their marks are sub-par (for them), 65-3¾ and 63-9¾. Charlie Craig rides an aiding wind to a 54-3¼ triple jump win. The wind also effects the discus but Gary Carlsen once again handles Rink Babka 188-7 to 187-7.

AMERICAS vs. EUROPE Montreal August 9-10
    As proved by the success of the USSR – USA series, if you want a crowd, you need a national rivalry enhanced by nuclear weapons. Americas versus Europe doesn't light the competitive fire in the Quebecois. Only 8000 attend the two days.

    Not to lessen Europe's 109-100 victory, but this is a meet best described as forgettable. Yes, there is some good competition but most of it is between teammates.

    Vince Matthews can finally hang Lee Evan's scalp from his belt. He is out well and leads by seven yards at the 200. Evans closes the margin to two yards as they enter the stretch. This time Matthews runs through the tape and wins by a tenth in 45.0.

    Earl McCullough's recent dominance of Willie Davenport ends at two meets. He doesn't get his usual rocket start and Davenport wins by a tenth in 13.6. Italy's Eddie Ottoz is third with 13.7 as well.

    US steeplechase duo of McCubbins and Nightengale faces a real test in Hungary's Istvan Joni and England's Maurice Harriott, both sub 8:33 guys. Not to worry as far as McCubbins is concerned. He leaves the Europeans 10 seconds in his wake in 8:44.8. Nightengale falls on a water jump and  finishes in 9:01.2 .
Roger Bambuck

    Roger Bambuck of France runs 10.2 to drop Willie Turner in the 100 but is handled easily in the 200 by John Carlos 20.5 to 20.8.

    This meet is one Ralph Boston won't forget for a long time. For the first time since 1961 he finishes worse than second. His 26-0 is bettered by Bob Beamon's 26-4½ and Lynn Davies' 26-3½ . Former world record holder Bob Seagren doesn't fair even that well. He misses three times at the opening height of 16-0¾. France's Herve D'Encausse wins at 17-0¾.
Herve D'Encausse
    Intense investigation by our crack team of researchers reveals the following: Jim Ryun's mom works at the Sears and Roebuck store in Wichita where she is often asked for her autograph........As long as we are on the subject, the world record holder whose name Ryun erased from the record book is doing quite well without track. Herb Elliot is only 29 but he has been busy since retiring. He is married with five children, is an oil company executive and confines his athletic endeavors to golf where he shoots in the low 90s.....At an all comers meet July 19 one entrant in the novice 880 drew good natured cat calls. Derision turned to amazement in two minutes and half a second, the time it took Bob Seagren to complete two laps. When asked if he had run before, Seagren replied, “Yes, I ran four miles this morning.” Is 2:00.5 the record for a pole vaulter? No. Jim Eshelman holds the PV/880 record of 1:59.8. The mentally acute among us are probably wondering whether Bob could have bettered Jim's time if he had skipped the morning run...…..We always try to have a tidbit for our technically inclined readers. This one is in the form of a question. The NCAA requires a two second interval between “set” and the firing of the gun. What is the prescribed interval in AAU and IAAF meets? You don't know? Don't feel bad. No one else does either. All either organization requires is that all athletes must be motionless before the gun is fired. Now you are armed in case this comes up at the dinner table tonight.

    Now to our question of the relative length of the 120 yard and 110 meter hurdles. Which is longer and by how much?.....Yes, you in the blue bathrobe sitting in the recliner with a cup of coffee......That's right, 110 meters is longer by 10¾ inches. Therefore McCullough's metric record also counts for yards.

Answer:  110 meters  = 120.297 yards      or 120 yards 10.7 inches

    Don't want to give anything away, but those tidbits just mentioned about the relative length of the hurdle races and the interval after “set” just might come up Friday in our meeting at the Dew Drop Inn. Six o'clock. Come prepared.

* And now re the McCullouch reference early in our report.
    Q: Has there ever been an Earl who wasn't referenced as Earl the Pearl?
    (Even the fat kid in the fourth grade was Earl the Pearl).

Geography Question:   River flowing through Winnipeg?        The Red River

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