Friday, February 23, 2018

V8 N. 14 August 1967


      In keeping with our chronological format we need to report on an obscure meet in Southern California before addressing the US team's whirlwind tour of Europe. The Southern Pacific Association of the Amateur Athletic Union decathlon, held on Aug. 11-12 in Culver City, has produced the country's newest young multi-event star.                  
Anaheim HS

    UCLA pole vaulter Rick Sloan decides to take a shot at the decathlon and hits the bullseye with 7869 points to rank #5 in the world, #2 in the US and #5 on the all time US list. His 16-5 vault ties the best ever in a decathlon. He also high jumps 6-9½. As good as these marks are, it is his poorest event that is the most encouraging, a javelin throw of only 115-9, the result of an elbow injury. He has thrown 175 in practice. On today's scoring table that would represent a difference of 250 points. We'll keep an eye on Rick.

Rick Sloan was runner-up in the 1969 AAU decathlon. He competed for UCLA and the Southern Cal Striders. Sloan was the first UCLA athlete to clear 7-0 in the high jump and was also an All-American in the pole vault. He captained the Bruin track team as a senior and was the fourth American to surpass 8,000 points in the decathlon. He was ranked second in the United States in 1968 and 1969 in the decathlon, and ranked 10th in the world in 1969.
After college Sloan became a track coach, starting at the California Institute of Technology and Pasadena City College in 1972. He later coached at Mt. San Antonio Junior College (Mt. SAC) before moving to Washington State University in 1973 as an assistant coach. He was made associate head coach at WSU in 1982 and head coach of the men's team in 1994. In 1995, Sloan was named head coach of the men's and women's teams for the Cougars, holding those positions for almost 20 years, before retiring in 2014.  
Personal Bests: 100  10.7 (1967); 400  48.6 (1967); 110H 15.2 (1967); HJ  2.14 (7-0½) (1968); LJ 6.93 (22-9) (1967); PV 5.08 (16-8) (1967); DT  47.34 (155-4) (1967); JT  63.50 (208-4) (1969); Dec  7951 (1969).
Sports Reference


    On the day that Sloan is finishing his first decathlon, the US vs. Great Britain meet is taking place in London's famed White City Stadium. The crowd of 35,000, the largest to attend a track meet in England since 1958, witnesses the US administer the worst defeat ever suffered by a British national team, 130-84.* The severity is better emphasized by the Americans winning 19 of 21 events.

US v Great Britain 1967 and Emsley Carr Mile  Clik Here

    The feature event is the Emsley Carr Invitational Mile matching Jim Ryun and Kip Keino. This pairing produced a world record last month in Los Angeles. This time however, a slow early pace dooms any hope of a repeat. Recent evidence would indicate that Keino has no chance of out-kicking Ryun in a tactical race, yet the Kenyan appears to think otherwise, allowing the first lap to be run in 60.7. The second lap passes in 62.3 (2:03.0) with Ryun taking the lead. The pace picks up to 59.2 and three laps go by in 3:02.2. Entering the final lap Ryun leads. Britian's John Whetton is second with Keino a couple yards back. Keino moves up on Ryun's elbow on the backstretch but that is only the signal for the Kansan to take off, essentially ending the race. His 53.8 final lap produces a ten yard victory in 3:56.0. Keino is second in 3:57.4.

    Keino demonstrates naivete in his post race comments. “I had no plan. I didn't want to go to the front and was hoping to come through very fast, but I was a bit too far behind at the start of the last lap.” Don't feel bad, Kip, there is no plan that will beat Ryun.

Keino obviously went back to the drawing board and came up with a different plan at the altitude influenced Olympic Games the following year.  ed.

    The long jump matches world-record holder and Olympic champion Ralph Boston against Olympic champion Lynn Davies and the man who beat them both three days ago, Bob Beamon. The wind produces erratic results. Beamon has trouble getting his step and has only one legal jump, a 26-0¼. Davies opens with 26-2 which Boston immediately tops by half an inch. There things stand until the fifth round in which Boston adds an inch.  (see video above)

    The crowd exhorts Davies as the Welshman prepares for his final jump. Showing the resolve that earned Olympic gold, Davies pops a 26-7¼ to end his day in first place. Unfortunately for him and the majority of the crowd, Boston has one jump remaining. It is not wasted. Ralph hits the board perfectly and lands with a measurement of 26-10¾. Not that it matters this day, but now the Olympic champions' rivalry stands Boston 7, Davies 3. We look forward to their next get together.

    The 800 is a much anticipated race. Wade Bell has been dominant this year but he is up against European 880 record holder John Boulter. The pace dawdles early, resulting in a 55.5 400. Bell's m.o. this season has been a long kick home started midpoint on the backstretch. Today is no different. Once the Oregon Duck shifts gears it is all over. Boulter has no chance. Bell wins by half a second in 1:49.6.

    Steeplechaser Pat Traynor has developed an affinity for international competition. His competition this day is Olympic silver medalist Maurice Herriott. No knee knocking for Pat. He moves courageously on the penultimate lap to open a 50 yard gap and win easily in a PR of 8:38.2.
Maurice Herriott
Pat Traynor

Herriott and Basil Heatley

Herriott , a motor cycle fitter who had to fit in his three training sessions a day while working a 45-hour week was technically superb in his clearance of hurdles and the water jump. Consistency personified, he came very close to his UK record in 1966  and 1967. One record that has remained intact, and may for eternity, is his collection of eight AAA steeplechase titles between 1959 and 1967. He retired following the 1968 Olympics and has for many years lived on the beautiful Isle of Man.

What?  Herriott was assembling motorcycles and in his spare time worked out three times a day to be world class in the steeplechase?  Definitely not the playing fields of Eton.
Van Nelson continues to impress. His 57.2 last go round gives him a six second 10.000 victory over England's Mike Freary in a collegiate record 28:48.2. He is now #2 on the all time US list, trailing only Billy Mills. Tom Laris also PRs with 28:59.8 in third.
  Last month in Los Angeles Hans Joachim Walde handled Bill Toomey easily in the decathlon. Today Lee Evans felt a muscle twinge and is opting out of the 4 x 4. Who wants to volunteer? We can picture an “Oooh, oooh, pick me, pick me” moment as Toomey raises his hand and jumps up and down. His 46.7 lead off leg gives indication that Bill is ready for Hans when they meet in Dusseldorf four days hence. Stay tuned.
Toomey with Kurt Bendlin?

* The opening paragraph of this T&FNews report, written by Brit Mel Watman contains the following sentence. “A superb US squad rolled up 130 points against the hosts' 84, a whopping 55 point margin.” 130 - 84 = 55? Hmmm. Once again our research department is on the job. After a week of intensive study, they've nailed it. It's a British thing. If the following apply, loo = bathroom, bonnet = hood, lift = elevator, lorry = truck, solicitor = lawyer, windscreen = windshield, chips = french fries, telly = TV, then certainly 55 = 46. The director of research earned a generous bonus for his department's work.

We are not going to get into debating the merits of a British 'public' school education vs. an American public school education.  One must remember that Roy was for many years a middle school teacher and stickler for punctuality, precision, and the importance of the three R's.  His uncanny knowledge of track stats is to be admired and provides an insight into his passion for this blog. ed.


    Pat Traynor and Tom Laris ran impressive, but short lived, PRs against Great Britain only five days ago. No one expects another breakthrough in Dusseldorf.

    Not only does Traynor win and drop his PR again, he takes George Young's national record in the doing. Traynor is unpressed in winning the steeplechase in 8:32.8.
Tom Laris

    A lot is asked of Laris. His third place PR earlier in the week, gives no indication of today's 10K performance. As he toes the starting line, he has not won a major race all year. Twenty-eight minutes, thirty-three and four tenths seconds later this has changed. His remarkable 26.4 second improvement is too much for Gerry Lindgren who has to settle for clipping 8 seconds off Van Nelson's five day old collegiate record with a 28.40.2 effort. Laris and Lindgren are now #3 and #7 on this season's world list.

Dartmouth College  Tom Laris ’62 was IC4A and Heptagonal champion in track and cross country. In 1967 he was second in the Boston marathon, ranked ninth in the world in the 10,000 meters with the fourth fastest time. He was an Olympian in the 10,000 meters in the 1968 games. He majored in history and lives in Los Altos Hills, Calif. He is currently an independent licensed security broker and trader.

    Bill Toomey does indeed gain revenge from West German rival Hans Joachim Walde, winning the decathlon with 7939 points.
Ryun Leading Tummler

    Highly regarded Bodo Tummler is no match for Jim Ryun. The Kansas star leaves the pack behind at 800 and coasts to an unpressed 3:38.2 1500 win over Tummler 3:42.3, Harold Norpoth 3:42.5 and Jim Grelle 3:42.8.

    Vince Matthews' 400 win over Lee Evans can no longer be classified as an upset. Both run 45.3, Matthews' third in a row over Evans.

    Yes, there were upsets along the way. Russ Rogers ends teammate Ron Whitney's 11 meet win streak in the 400 hurdles, edging the national champ 50.5 to 50.6. Wade Bell has been unbeatable this season, but today when he shifts gears on the backstretch, instead of overdrive he finds neutral and finishes fourth in 1:48.8 well behind Franz-Josef Kemper's 1:46.2.
Kemper at another meet running 1:44.9
    New world record holder Earl McCullough has step troubles and “abandons the chase at the seventh barrier”. Willie Davenport wins in 13.6.


    The bright lights in the background are those of Viareggio, Italy. Our lads are winding up the European tour with a two day double duel with Italy and Spain.

    There are ups and downs. John Carlos experiences both, winning the 100 in a personal best of 10.2 then finishing last in the 200 in 22.3. The latter is an “oh, shit” moment for big John. He thinks Livio Berruti will be called back for a false start. He isn't. Belatedly Carlos takes off after the field but can only get fourth. Jerry Bright wins in 20.7.

    Conrad Nightengale PRs with a 8:40.0 steeplechase win but Pat Traynor has gone to the well once too often. After consecutive PRs, he drags in last in 9:10.8.

    The top field event mark belongs to Dick Railsback who vaults 17-0¾, only a quarter inch shy of his third place ranking on the world list.

    Randy Matson is firmly ensconced in the “down” category. He throws only 65-5¾ and is topped by three inches by teammate Neil Steinhauer. Determined to end the trip on a positive note, the next day he competes in the discus but his 186-1 falls two feet short of that of Italy's Silvano Simeon. Considering that he started the year at 213-9, Randy isn't likely to be in a jovial mood on the plane trip home.

Joining Pat and Randy in the down in the dumps club are Charlie Craig who can only triple jump 48-4¾ for last and Wade Bell who produces a disappointing 1:50.4 for fourth in the 800.
Ron Whitney (L)

    Two streaks end in the 400 hurdles. Ron Whitney puts the misery of his one meet losing streak behind him, defeating European champ Roberto Frinolli 49.6 to 50.7, thus terminating the Italian's three year winning streak.

    Jim Ryun sticks his toe in the 5000 meter water with mixed results. Tracy Smith beats him 13:41.0 to 13:44.8. The sting of losing his first race of the year is lessened by the fact that he is now #15 on the world list. Only seven Americans have run faster. Not bad for an initial effort.

    Oh, yeah, our boys win both meets, Italy 130-90 and Spain 136-76. How big those margins are in British score keeping we're not sure.
Gary Gubner

    The following gems have been gleaned from the last couple pages of this issue....Gary Gubner, now retired from shot putting to concentrate on weight lifting, has just set the American lifting record of 444 pounds. The detail left out by Dick Drake is the event.…...When he isn't busy being the world record holder in six events, Ron Clarke is a party animal. He works out three times a day and has an exercycle with an odometer and speedometer at home for those days he needs just a touch more. You know the feeling. If you are invited to a party at Ron's home, come well trained. Ron's idea of fun is breaking out the bike to see which guests ride the fastest. A couple more scotch & sodas, Ron, I'll have a go........There is no doubt Ralph Boston is a great long jumper but he isn't exactly on the JV squad in the other jumps where his bests are 13-9, 6-8½ and 52-1½ which, combined with his 27-4¾ LJ, make him the world's best all around jumper. Throw in a 9.6 100 and 13.7 hurdles marks and he could pretty much win a dual meet by himself.....Hum along with John Denver's “Thank God I'm a Country Boy” as you read the following comment by New Zealand discus thrower Les Mills.
Les Mills
“Gary Carlsen has country-boy strength". Country-boy strength is possessed by athletes like Jay Silvester and Randy Matson who are strong without lifting weights. Gary is liable to throw 220 feet next year........Russ Hodge provides an example of the dedication needed to compete at the world class level. On July 8 he underwent surgery to repair a ripped tendon below his right patella. Despite wearing a full length leg cast, he is swimming by early August. He plans to change his take off leg in the long jump and high jump from right to left and expects to compete next year.......Ron Clarke and his new best friend, Jim Ryun, have agreed to meet at a distance between their specialties. They will race at two miles in next year's Kansas Relays.....Speaking of Ron, he is the poster boy for genetic advantage. Older brother Jack gave indication that there might be some athletic talent in the Clarke family when, without training, he won the Victorian junior 880 in 2:00.1 in 1948. Oh, he was 14. Third in that race was 18 year old John Landy.

The next year Jack won the Victorian junior triple jump championship then never competed in track again. This is not to say he hung 'em up. He just found Australian rules football more to his liking. He enjoyed long playing and coaching careers and in 1996 was voted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.........If Bill Toomey invites you to join him for breakfast or dinner, you might want to ask what's on the menu. It seems that Bill's every breakfast and many dinners are smoothies composed of liver tablets mixed up with eggs beaten up with skim milk, brewers yeast, bananas, salad oil and ice cream. Next time in Starbucks, ask for a Toomey.

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