Sunday, May 31, 2020

V 10 N. 43 Bobby Morrow R.I.P.

May 31, 2020



Bobby Joe Morrow, the San Benito, Texas and Abilene Christian College legend who led the American sprinters to incredible success at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics,  passed away yesterday of natural causes at the age of 84.  He was a triple gold medal winner in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and anchored the 4x100 meters relay.  He was a quiet personality who  merited the praise and adulation that he received after his brilliant Olympics.  He also learned that fame is fast fleeting when in 1960 he was expecting to be the fifth man among the American sprinters, a stable influence, who would lend his experience to and inexperienced crew.  He was told to report to the L.A. airport to accompany the American team to Rome, and when he showed up there with his bags packed, he was told at the airport that he was being left behind, while dozens of 'officials' who would be doing little more than attending banquets in Rome were more important than he was.  It left a bad taste in his mouth that he would carry the rest of his life.  The sprint crew at Rome would perform poorly.  Some even say they partied themselves out of medals after arriving in Europe, attending a few meets on their was to Rome, and carousing on a train taking them on the final leg of the journey.   Dave Sime (Duke University)  and Les Carney (Ohio University)  would retain some of the honor with their silver medals in the 100 meters and 200 meters.  Armin Hary, the German 'thief of starts' took the 100 home, and Livio Berutti, the hometown favorite prevailed in the 200.   The U.S.  relay won the 4x100 but were DQ'd for passing out of the zone.
Taking the hand off from Thane Baker
note the screwed hand off of the Germans

William Martin in his story  'The Nicest Christian Boy in the World' published in Texas Quarterly, in 1984 describes in Bobby's own words that shunning by the Olympic officials in 1960.

“I really got screwed on that deal. After the trials, when I came in fourth in the two hundred, they talked me into going out and training with the Olympic team. They said if I’d train with them and show improvement, they’d take me to the games. So I left my job in Abilene and stayed in California for about six weeks. My leg was healing, and I was beating the ones who had made the team, so the coaches and officials had a meeting; they were supposed to leave for the Olympics the next morning. I called and they said, ‘We haven’t made a decision yet. Come to the plane in the morning and we’ll tell you then.’ So I got out to the airport, and they said, ‘Nope, you’re not going.’ Later, I found out it was the eastern coaches who didn’t want me to go, because of the athletes from the eastern schools. As it wound up, they really screwed up the Olympics. Ray Norton came in last in the hundred. Same way in the two hundred, and they were disqualified in the four-hundred-meter relay.”

Fastest Nice Christian Boy in the World by William Martin

Martin who claims to be a close friend of Morrow, gives a very revealing insight into Bobby Morrow's life and character in this article.

The following segment of The Fastest Men on Earth  covers Bobby Morrow's career and is well worth watching.  Reading the article and watching the film you will see some contrasting interpretations of Morrow's being left at the L.A. airport.   Bobby blames some 'eastern coaches', but the film blames Avery Brundage because of a speech Morrow gave after Melbourne that there were too many officials on the trip to Aussieland.  Brundage got back at him in 1960.  Who knows the real story?  That 's the blurred line between fact, fiction, and imagination.

Bobby Morrow from The Fastest Men on Earth

Thanks to Walt Murphy for finding these two links.


I'm adding a number of rarely seen photos of Bobby Morrow that I acquired a few years ago from the Dayton Daily News  archives held at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.



Bobby with his twins


In the Lab







Enjoyed the article on Bobby Morrow. I hate that he was treated that way. He was one of my heros as a young high school sprinter.   Frank Deramus
FYI  Frank was a 9.5 sprinter at Oklahoma in the mid 60s.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

V 10 N. 42 The Future of Non Revenue Sports in the NCAA

Since the writing of the article below, Central Michigan University, a mid sized DI school in the Mid American Conference (MAC) has announced they are dropping men's track. 

With the rising cost of fielding teams, we may see some changes in collegiate sports all down the line. Maybe a return to the days of the boys meeting after class with a faculty 
“advisor” on site to break up fights and pass out tee shirts with the schools name and the village pizza shop printed on each garment. Car pool it to meets, share gas money 
and no scholarships or heavy duty recruiting......what say you. I would fit right in !

Steve Price


But,  but,  but...... track coaches would have to find real jobs.    In thirty years the 
system will probably  evolve right back to where we were 3 months ago.     Actually 
many, many DIII coaches and even minor sports coaches in DII and D I have other 
jobs.  Remember Jumbo Elliott in all his great
years coaching at Villanova was also president of a construction company?
I suppose they will survive.  We just went through this post  wars (WWII, Korea, 
Viet Nam, Gulf War, Afghanistan)  phase of prosperity 
and thinking nothing could keep us from getting bigger and better, and all of a sudden
 a little invisible protoplasm caused the world to change drastically.  We'll see how 
bright man is in his/her ability to adapt.

A recent press release from Bowling Green State University announced the dropping of their baseball program, even though the A.D. at that university was a scholarship baseball player when he attended the same school.   The University of Akron dropped men's cross country along with men's golf and tennis.   All this seems to have been the result of projected lost revenues due to the world health crisis.  If medium sized schools are being forced in this direction,  the smaller schools may soon be taking even more draconian measures.  And the big schools, the major conferences we are certain are shuffling pages, talking to their accountants and business managers,  looking at projected budgets and making huge revisions as you are reading this.  When Major League Baseball is looking at total losses of  $640K  per game played before an empty stadium, we know our sport  is in dire straits or is it straights?  Multiply that $640K by 41 home games in this abbreviated season,  you are talking about $26,000,000 of unsold tickets per team this year.   Admittedly college track is but a microcosm of these numbers, yet still, a sport exists on its budget large or small.  These facts stimulated some talk amongst old coaches recently which I share with you and hope that you will not be too depressed to think about and perhaps share your own thoughts. You can post comments at the bottom of this  page.  I'll screen them when they come in before putting them on the blog. Or you can write directly to the email listed at the top of the page.  If you send an opinion we will consider that you have given permission for us to post it here.



Sad times for many in many fields.   George

 That's a shame about BGSU baseball, but at least the AD really wanted to do anything but that, being a former Falcon baseball player himself.  They are now down to 6 men's sports, the minimum to be Div. I NCAA.  The other sports are asked to cut 25% from their budgets which I think is the better idea.  There can be many cuts along the line such as eliminating one meet each season, staying in cheaper hotels, vans rather than busses, no airplanes, salaries of coaches curtailed, no major equipment purchases this year, etc.  It can be done.  I know at a lot of schools the costs have gotten out of control, but not in the MAC (Mid American Conference).  Unfortunately, MAC sports are at risk because they derive so much of their funding from the general fund.
   Bill


We can always tighten the budget belts and keep any program going.  But everyone is worried about image and not finishing in the lower half of the conference.  In the 60's track rarely had a paid assistant coach.  There was one trainer for the whole sports program, no strength coaches, no psychologists, a few academic counselors (grad students who worked in the study hall), and a dining hall that fed the football players steak every night and other sports steak for a pregame meal including the distance runners, and dare I say it? No women's sports.    In the 1930s the NCAA was dominated by a few wealthier schools or ones that dumped the majority of their budgets into football.  Oh yeah we still do, but today we have to support an incredibly long list of sports programs.  Football is still king in the minds of alums and basketball the pretender to the throne.  The  rest get the table scraps.  I'm sure there are some exceptions and contradictions here, it's just what is coming off the top of my head at the moment.  Bill, you and Steve are probably the last of an era of coaches who can coach more than one event.  You can probably make your way through all  the running events, the jumps and most of the throws.  Even I know that you don't throw the discus off your little finger.  George

   Lee Labadie did some very good work at Akron including coaching up the bronze medalist in the 800 meters.  Div. II or III?  That will not happen.  Sports other than football are so much under the radar that they really don't greatly affect most schools in enhancing their profile or in the life of the average student.  They are just there and little more.  Dropping to II or III would indicate failure in the eyes of most people and that is probably true.

   BGSU is in a almost impossible position of raising revenue with sports.  They are surrounded by OSU and UofM, to the point where even the students do not pay close attention to Falcon football and basketball.  In the MAC the student fee funds sports to a great extent, over 50% I believe, so when times are tough and that fragile student fee goes to athletics, there is an outcry.  Hence the dropping of baseball and coaches in other sports.  These are tough times and I'm glad to be retired.
   I believe there will be a reset with college athletics to the point where they will start to do intelligent things rather than "wish list" things.  For instance the MAC just decided to do away with staying at hotels the night before home games.  Decisions like that make a lot of sense.  UC basketball usually plays only Xavier among Ohio teams but yet they play all over the country against teams who are not as good as these Ohio teams.  They need to look at scheduling too.
   Bill
  The NCAA always talks about the student-athlete experience.  I know that the most important aspect of the S-A experience is being on a team, and without a team there is no such experience.  That is why I consider dropping teams a last resort.  Also, all of us have spent time saving as much money as possible on trips, except for Steve with dining at expensive restaurants on away trips, so we are experts at saving money.  For instance, a kid asked me once why we always stay at a Motel 6, and so I answered that I could not find a Motel 5.  We need to speak with other coaches to let them know it is possible to have a team and also save money. 
   Do we have too many teams these days?  Possibly.  Do you remember when the Big Four were football, basketball, baseball, and track?  Well, there would be a different Big Four today if there were such a thing.  With the proliferation of women's sports, everything has gotten more expensive, but then they can't cut women's sports so the men's Olympic sports take it on the chin.  They probably cut baseball at BGSU because it was the largest of the teams under consideration and also a sport which doesn't fare well in northern climates, especially a windy place like BG.  Furthermore, all baseball teams head south all the time, not only for spring break but also on other occasions.  To make a long story short, having a good program which attracts recruits by going south and staying in good hotels seems like a positive thing -- until there is a virus.  For that reason I think men's T&F teams at some schools is  very much at risk because they spend a lot of money, are a men's sport, and are not a team sport.
   Bill

Checked the web page of my  old school.   Their track and xc coaching staff is
1. Head coach
2. Assistant (Women's sprints, hurdles, relays)
3. Assistant (Vertical Jumps)
4. Assistant Throws)
5. Assistant (horizontal jumps)
6. Assistant (distances) and Head XC
7. Volunteer Assistant (throws)
8. Volunteer Assistant (Distances)
9. Volunteer Assistant (Men's Sprints)
10. Volunteer Assistant (Men's Sprints)
11. Strength and Conditioning coach
12. Director of Operations
13. Grad assistant
I assume these numbers relate to keeping up with the Joneses in their conference.
In the 60's as I mention above we had a head coach and a retired former head coach to assist, and a secretary.  We haven't even mentioned compliance people on the athletic staff.   In those days I remember when European coaches looked at the way we ran things in those days, they asked how a full time coach could be expected to coach more than 6-8 athletes total.  I think we have arrived at that point now in American universities.  And we don't even know if we'll have a season next year in Fall sports.  Obviously some room for belt tightening.
Reminds me of the old Willie Nelson or Kris Kristofferson song,  "Mothers Don't Let Your Little Boys Grow Up to Be Cowboys".
George


T&F future—comments

Adams State in 1990s had a grad asst in CC and three coaches and two GAs in track. 

At Dana College, NAIA, I coached all events (1994-2003)and built the program from seven to thirty athletes. Got an Asst coach my last three years. We were top three of ten conference teams every season. Only expensive trip was CC, indoor, and outdoor Nationals. 

My prediction? Most sports will become “club”, like most of Europe. Football and basketball will remain at colleges. Student-athletes a thing of the past unless we go back to 1960’s approach to collegiate sports. 
Jay Birmingham
25 yrs HS CC and track
12 yrs Collegiate CC and track


I'm reminded when my son went to a DIII college.  He was a good high school baseball player, but didn't want to devote all the time to team practice and the cold weather season in Chicago.  I suggested he try throwing the javelin.  Nope.   Next thing I know he is playing rugby.  It's not an NCAA sport, but instead was a club.  When I asked him why the choice, his response was,  "Dad, can you name an NCAA sport where you are allowed to have a keg of beer on the sideline during practice?"   The University gave the club a few dollars for some trips around the midwest.  One Spring they went to North Carolina to play in a tournament including playing against the London School of Economics.   The next year they went to Las Vegas, played a tournament there.  I think they had to pay their plane ticket for that trip.  I doubt they went to bed the three or four days they were out there.   He had a great team experience with a great bunch of very intelligent young men.  George

Hello George, Steve - 

What an interesting topic One that I have no experience or true commentary to add but found the commentary to this subject most interesting. Just when soccer started to gain momentum and support in the US, looks like that program would also be highly at risk.  I guess the only team that can survive this are the new e-Sports teams popping up at Universities. https://www.gamedesigning.org/schools/varsity-esports/

I wonder if track clubs will make a come back?  Susan

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

V10 N. 41 Artsakh? Wanna Go There and Run? Jay Birmingham Does!

   
The Artsakh flag



Here at OUTV offices we're guessing that  99% of our readers, admittedly a well educated lot, have no idea what an Artsakh is or where one can be found.  No, it is not some new exotic product you'll find in your sock drawer.
                                                           
      Okay, now maybe you've done a computer search,  and you have a clue.  Artsakh is one of the newest states in the world.  It is so new that most nations do not officially recognize its sovereignty.   It is east of Armenia and Turkey; it is north of Iran; it is west of Azerbaijan.  It is a Christian enclave hemmed in by ancient conflict and animosities that go back well over one thousand years.  Azerbaijan thinks Artsakh should belong to them.  Armenia looks on Artsakh as kissing cousins.  And Mother Russia sheds a tear for a lost child who left the fold.   More than half the Artsakh army is made up of Armenian soldiers.  A century ago, Turkey thought that a genocide was the answer to an Armenian problem.  Iran must  also have some interest in that area, though what it is, we have no clue.  For much of the 20th century the old Soviet Union brought a form of peace to the region with its own version of colonialism.

     As  recently as 1994, the Atsakhs and Azerbaijanis were duking it out militarily. Azerbaijan would like access to some gold and copper deposits across the border that they had already been exploiting for years when many of these central Asian  nations had been part of the USSR.  And well, darnit, it just seems like a good idea from the Azebaijani point of view.  One of the concerning things about the region was the land mining of the area during latest conflict.   Mines were laid in the region from 1991 to 1994 by both conflicting parties in the Nagorno-Karabakh War. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) claims that 123 people have been killed and over 300 injured by landmines near the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh)  since a 1994 truce ended a six-year conflict between ethnic Armenian and Azerbaijani forces.
The HALO Trust, a UK-based demining NGO, is the only international organisation conducting demining in Nagorno Karabakh. They have destroyed 180,858 small arms ammunition, 48,572 units of “other explosive items,” 12,423 cluster bombs, 8,733 anti-personnel landmines, and 2,584 anti-tank landmines between 2000–2016.[49] By 2018, they had cleared 88% of the territory's minefields, with a target to clear the rest by 2020. The main cities of Stepanakert and Shushi, as well as the main north–south highway, have been cleared and are safe for travel. The demining effort has been largely funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

      Why do we at OUTV even care about these things?  We're a track and field blog.  The reason we care is because Jay Birmingham wants to run a six day stage race in that hemmed in country and return to tell about it.   A stage race would mainly be on old trails used by shepherds, caravans, and smugglers  to move between remote mountain villages.   Some are no wider than a tire track.  The organizer of the event is Chris Kostman, the founder of AdventureCORPS.  He was inspired by Telma Ghazarian Altoon, an Armenian ultra runner who has participated in many other ultra events.   She introduced Kris to the region.

Wikipedia says this about the state "Since no UN member or observer currently recognizes Artsakh, none of its foreign relations are of an official diplomatic nature. However, the Republic of Artsakh operates five permanent Missions and one Bureau of Social-Politic Information in France. Artsakh's Permanent Missions exist in Armenia, Australia, France, Germany, Russia, the United States, and one for Middle East countries based in Beirut.The goals of the offices are to present the Republic's positions on various issues, to provide information and to facilitate the peace process."

 
     But let us digress and turn to Jay Birmingham and see why a 74 year old man with a lot of experience in long distance running would like at this time in life, and we might add, during a time of pandemic,  to go to a distant country in the southern Caucasus to run a 6 day stage race.

     Jay, as some of you may know, has an incredible resume when it comes to long distance running.   If there is one more mountain range to cross, one more desert to traverse, one more trail or road to be run, Jay is up for the task.  He has soloed across America from west to east.  He has run from Maine to Key West.  He has completed the Badwater run from Death Valley to the top of Mt. Whitney, and at age 74 is currently participating in the Great Virtual Run Across Tennessee (GVRAT) averaging about 17 miles a day.   Many of these runs he has done solo, unsupported by a fifth wheel and a team of dieticians, physiotherapists, masseuses, and pacers.  Jay is originally from Wilmington, Ohio.  He was a half miler in high school, never ran over a mile in training.  When he started in college, he went to the University of Dayton, a school without a track or cross country program at the time.  There he met some high school runners training on the roads.  He trained with them that summer and eventually went up to Worthington High School outside of Columbus and ran his first road race and liked it.  The organizers there suggested he go down to Monroe, Ohio where regular road races were being held. 

     After that first year in Dayton Jay transferred  to Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio, but  they too didn't have a cross country team.  He started one, but since he couldn't be a student and a coach, he got a faculty member to sign off as the coach.  NCAA rules being what they were and still  are, he also had to sit out a year due to transferring, even though neither school had a team.  From there he got into road running around the Southwest Ohio bluegrass and rust belt as a young man.   He ran for the Ohio Valley Track Club and learned that old guys in their mid twenties could still be running like 25 year old Steve Price, one of our OUTV research and editorial team.  Jay started getting savvy to longer running.

     Grad school found him at Michigan State University where he helped organize the Mid Michigan TC.  They just contacted the Road Runners Club of America and followed their instructions for forming a club.  That club is still functioning.  Jay stayed there one year.

He then returned to Ohio and co-founded the Ohio River Road Runners Club with Steve Price.  That club is also still functioning, just as Jay Birmingham still is functioning.

     As a junior in college Jay ran his first marathon, the Heart of America Marathon in St. Louis, MO.  He did so well, 10th overall in 2:51.57, that it was a shock.  He has now done 72 marathons, twenty of them in the 2:40's.  His best was Boston running for the Jacksonville (FL) Track Club placing 441st in 1978 in 2:39.13.  That's his favorite course.

     He has run Boston 4 times, NYC 6.  His second marathon was Pikes Peak.  With his graduate degree he found himself teaching Anatomy and Physiology in Blair, Nebraska as well as Omaha where he ran another 4-6 marathons.  He also worked at a local hospital as an ER aid and helped with autopsies.

      In 1973 he got into two a day trainings and eventually longer races including the JFK 50 miler in Hagerstown, MD where he finished 20th out of 1200 runners.  He managed to squeeze in another master's degree in  exercise physiology  at Adams State in Alamosa, CO.

Jay in his coaching days in Florida

     He eventually settled in Jacksonville, Florida and taught school and coached his school's cross country and  track teams while going on these incredible running adventures in the summers.

     In 1977 he attempted his first Transamerica run.  He actually tried twice that year and broke down both times.   Then Ted Corbitt suggested that he try it like Don Shepherd did in 1964, unaccompanied.  Bruce Tulloh, attempted and completed the run, but was accompanied by a support team.  And of course, the Bunion Derbies in the 1920s had been done with support, but still under very primitive conditions.    In 1978, Jay followed Bruce Tulloh's route and made it in 71 days 22 hours and 59 minutes.  His longest day was 59 miles in Ohio.  The shortest day was 0 miles in Amarillo due to a sore shin.    Six to eight times he had to hitchhike to a place where he could sleep in a motel, then hitchhike back the next morning to recommence from where he had left off.

Here is a five minute video about Jay's Trans America done by an Oklahoma news station.
                       Jay Birmingham Runs Across America

     Jay mentioned there is a website for USA Crossers up to 2014.  John Wallace III is blog master.  There are 32 crossers since 1978 though over 300 others  have claimed to have done it.  Go to  usacrossers.com   There are numerous different routes, so it is not easy to compare results.  Jay is listed as the 106th crosser.  How many have done it unassisted is not mentioned.

     With all the incredible feats in running, the most he has received financially were a couple of pair of running shoes.  One of his more interesting efforts was a solo run geared to go through every state in the lower 48.   That is one of the few things he did not complete, not because of lack of ability, but mainly out of boredom.  In his words, "In 1988 I attempted to run through every state on the lower 48.   I lasted 147 days and got overwhelmed by the tedium and the constant interviews at every stopping point and decided to end it.  Got through 26 states trying to run at least one day in each one.  Totalled 4, 526 miles.  Two key dates I had to deal with were the Women's Olympic Trials  in Pittsburgh, because I had several athletes competing there, and then there was my high school class reunion in Wilmington where I had been class president."

      If you have a lot of free time on your hands,  in this period of pandemic, try mapping the shortest route through all the lower 48 states.  It would also depend on what you select as a starting point.


     Jay had come into an inheritance that enabled him to devote the time to the 48 state run.  He obviously had to miss some of the school year.  To complete the whole run would have taken about 12,000 miles.  He travelled with a backpack, and that was it.  He had already tried it once in 1984  and dropped out after 1700 miles. 

      I met Jay briefly on that run in west central Ohio between the towns of New Bremen and St. Marys on State Route 66.  We had a brief chat and he and his old friend Steve Price continued on that leg.  There is speculation that Steve went 20 miles with Jay that day, but that is the stuff of legends.

     These days Jay says he prefers stage running, a race run over several days over a fixed course and distance which may vary each day.  But the whole spectrum of racing appeals to him.  Today he would be lucky to break 10 minutes for a mile.  He trains at 12/13 minute pace.  He always trained slower than he raced.

     Since retiring from teaching in December, 2018, Jay has started increasing from his 20-30 miles per week.  He had an eye injury, detached retina, and had to reduce his  pace from 10 minute miles to the slower 12/13 min./mile.  He can drop into a 50Km race one month and a 5Km the next.
                                               


    So how did Jay get the idea to go to Artsakh and compete in this six day race?  Well,  Chris Kostman who founded AdventureCORPS that promotes the Badwater race every year, made contact with someone in Artsakh about promoting tourism in the country by staging an international event.  They sponsor several heavy duty endurance runs including a three race series, the Badwater Ultra Cup each year. Jay is a member of the Badwater Hall of Fame, so I imagine he reads their newsletter and was inspired by this new event.
His answer to me on that question was:   " I first heard about the country of Artsakh two years ago at the  2018 Badwater Cape Fear race in North Carolina.  Then, in October 2019, race promoter Chris Kostman posted the information about the 6-day, 160-mile event.  I was immediately captivated: A remote, little-known country, mountainous, rich religious tradition, stage-race format.  Turns out, I was the first person to enter! "

You can learn all about the Artsakh Ultra at  https://www.badwater.com/blog/2020-artsakh-pr/

 Artzakh barely has a sport history with only a few cross border soccer matches in the area.  This is going to be something new for the populace.  It will make them feel more a part of the world instead of apart from the world.  Least that's how we read it here on the 14th floor at OUTV.

Below are some stock photos of the Artsakh landscape.  It is a mountainous country and there will be a lot elevation changes (26,000 feet)  in the Artsakh Ultra event.  Distances will vary each day from 16-34  miles.  Much of the run will be along the Jananpur Trail.  About 10 miles will be on pavement.   By the way the entry fee is $3200 and the cheapest flight from Miami Beach to Yerevan,  the capital of Armenia is $1500.  I think the entry fee covers your ground transport, food and accomodation during the event, but don't quote me on that.  The organizers are hoping for at least 30 international runners to come to the race.  In light of the current pandemic, on June 1, the organizers will make an announcement about whether  the event will be taking place this year.  It is scheduled to run from August 29 to September 4.

Yes, it's going to be hilly






"This is the kind of great stuff that the ave person doesn’t get to experience."   Mike W.

"Some day in the next 30 years Jay will no longer be with us, but he can absolutely say he got the most out of his time on Earth."  Bill Schnier


"George,
Loved the story about Jay.  Here its something I wrote about him 3-4 years ago."
Bob Roncker


(If you are interested in a much more detailed account of Jay's TransAmerica run, check out the link above.  Much of it is in his own words.  Thanks, Bob. ed.)



Thursday, May 7, 2020

V 10 N. 40 Last Survivor in Bannister's first 4 minute mile is an American

George Dole of state of Maine takes the field out from the pole in the
first sub four minute mile.
from L to R  Tom Hulat, Christopher Chataway, Roger Bannister, Alan Gordon,Oxford U. runner, Chris Brasher, and George Dole.



From Newscentermaine.com
May 6, 1954 was the 66th anniversary of Roger Bannister's first sub four minute mile.
I first saw this article on Earl Young's Facebook page yesterday.  Originated from Ollan Cassell.


In George Dole's Own Words  see this video from a live interview with George Dole.  from 'Everest on the Track'.   Jeremy Mosher one of our readers was instrumental in the production of that film.  Thanks to Russ Ebbets for bringing this to our attention.   Furthermore, Walt Murphy provided the name of the sixth runner on the track, Alan Gordon.

The actual story appears to have come from  Newscentermaine.com

Maine man is last survivor of Bannister's famous sub four-minute mile race:

((George Dole)) of Bath, Maine, was fifth in the May 1954 race at Iffley Road track in Oxford in which Roger Bannister became the first person ever to break the four-minute mile barrier.
On May 6, 1954, a young man from Maine became part of sports history.
That was the day in England when Roger Bannister became the first racer to run a mile in less than four minutes. The four-minute mile had been one of those seemingly impossible barriers in sports for a number of years, until Bannister broke it by just six-tenths of a second.
Running the race with him was George Dole, from Bath. Dole had started running as a student at Morse High School, then was on the Yale University track team. He was a graduate student at Oxford University in England, and a member of that school's track team at the time of the record-setting race.
Dole told NEWS CENTER there was great anticipation of breaking the four-minute mile, as well as some doubt it would ever happen. He says that day's race was between Oxford and the Britain AAU, and that Bannister and two other runners (ed. Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway) entered with the goal of beating the four-minute mark.
Dole started on the pole. He ran hard for the first hundred yards. At that point, three elite runners moved to the front and Dole faded out of the screen and into a happy and productive life. (ed. From the film, Dole appears to have led the first six steps of the race.)
He had run 4:10 before, but on that day he started too fast, and ended up in fifth place at 4:25.
Dole said he was so interested in what was happening in front of him, that he didn't pay too much attention to what he was doing. He was just past halfway through the final lap when Bannister finished. Dole said he could not see the finish because of all the people on the infield.
He says he still remembers the announcer giving the time for the race, and when he started saying the time as "three minutes…" Dole says people started cheering so loudly they couldn't hear the rest of the number.
It was a milestone moment in sports, although Bannister's record would be broken by an Australian runner a month and a half later.
"I always said I was last in the first," Dole told NEWS CENTER. However, at the 40th anniversary of the run, he learned that he had actually passed one of the "rabbits" in the race who had pulled to the outside and jogged to the finish.  (Ed. That would have been Chris Brasher who led the race through the half mile.  He quickly dropped off the pace, but because there was no rule allowing for rabbits then, and it might have cost Bannister the record had Brasher not finished.   Last for Brasher, but incredible redemption if that is even the correct word, as he became an Olympic gold medallist in the Steeplechase at the Melbourne Olympics.  No one else in that race achieved an Olympic medal in their careers.)

Dole was born in Fryeburg and grew up in Bath. He was the valedictorian of his class at Morse High School and did his undergraduate work at Yale.
He says the race is "a nice memory", but less important than the rest of his life. He ran only a couple of weeks after that famous day. Dole returned to the United States and went on to become the Reverend Doctor George Dole, earn a doctorate from Harvard University and have a career as a highly respected theologian.
Dole returned to Bath in 1999 to become pastor of a church. He is a highly respected leader of the Swedenborgian Church. Dole said he was still running regularly at age of 82, and said a few people know about his role in sports history but many do not.

The third place runner that day was Tom Hulat whose story we posted several years ago.  See link: Tom Hulat the third man in the Iffley Road Mile

Can someone help us with who was the sixth man in the race?

 If you haven’t heard by now, Alan Gordon finished 4th in Bannister’s race.
Walt Murphy

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

V 10 Nn. 39 Dave Wottle Tells Us About that Race in Rochester, NY

May 6, 2020

A few weeks ago we published a piece on a mile race between Dave Wottle, Dick Buerkle, and Barry Brown.  A number of questions came up about the circumstances of the event in Rochester, NY in 1973 as stated on the picture in the article.  But we knew very little about the actual race and what led up to that event.  Normally we don't look to Rochester to see a world class track and field event.  Apologies to anyone from Western NY or Rochester.  In fact I was born there.  To get the answers to questions that were generated, I went to the best available source for this story, Dave Wottle who won that race by a whisker.   Here is Dave's very authoritative response with an incredible amount of detail.  If ever there was an argument for keeping a good running log, Dave's story is a shining example.    Dave indicates it was a hot afternoon.  I checked the weather on that date in Rochester.  It reached a high of 86 degrees with humidity at 72%, a scorcher.   The willingness of those runners to go at each other at the end of a long track season and to produce a near sub 4, is a tribute to their competitive natures, not just their abilities.   At the end of this article is a link to the original article.
George Brose

George, good to hear from you again.  I believe I can help.  The race pictured took place on Sunday, August 12, 1973 at the RIT track in Rochester, NY.  I remember it well not necessarily for the race itself but how horrible I felt during and after the race!  

A little background.  After the end of a rather long indoor and outdoor track season, Steve Prefontaine and I ran against one another in a mile in Eugene on June 20 trying to break the world record.  We both came up short but my 3:53.3 and his 3:54.6 made us the number three and number nine fastest milers of all time.  (John Hartnett of Villanova was third with 3:54.9, making him the 11th fastest miler ever and the Irish record holder).  A pretty good race.

Three days later, Steve and I were in Helsinki for the start of a month long race tour (along with silver medalist intermediate hurdler Ralph Mann) around Scandinavia, Belgium and Italy.  Pre went home shortly after our race in Italy around July 20.  I stuck around for another 10 days with races in Russia, Turku, Finland and Helsinki.  My last race was on July 30 in Helsinki.   

The reason I am telling you all this is to set the stage for the August 12 race.  After returning to the US after the Helsinki race, I was so tired I trained very little prior to the Rochester race.  In fact, in the 13 days prior to the race I only logged in 36.5 miles and had only one workout on the track…a very light 4 x 220 @ 30 sec. stride through two days before the race.  A long way from the 70-75 mile weeks I would normally do during track.  So the bottom line, I was not prepared to race against a couple of elite runners like Dick Buerkle and Barry Brown.  If my memory serves me right, the only reason I agree to race was because it would give my wife Jan and I an opportunity to visit with some friends we had in Rochester, Henry and Charlotte Clune.  We met the Clune’s on our flight to Oslo in 1972 prior to going to Munich.  Henry was an author and journalist and was about 80 years old at the time but just a wonderful man.  We loved visiting him and Charlotte (who was a Olympic swimmer back in the 1920’s).  Henry had attended every Olympic Games since the 1920’s and was in love with the mile.  So it was a treat for him to have me run the mile in his hometown.

There was a huge crowd for the race.  I think around 3,500 people standing right up to the edge of the track.  The race itself was brutal for me, and I’m sure for the others.  We were probably all tired after being on tour in Europe.  I remember it being very hot as well.  The finish of the race was a nail biter.  Dick and I came down the last straightaway neck and neck the whole way.  Neither one of us wanted to give in.  And they may have given me the win, but I can tell you, it was a dead heat.  And it was the toughest finish I can ever remember during my track career.  In my training log where I write down a one word descriptor of how I felt in the race, I wrote down HORRIBLE!!!.  In fact, I almost never wrote down much more than that in the comment section (when I won the Olympic 800 in “72 my comment was only FAIR, because that’s how I felt).  But at the bottom of my workout log in August 1973, I wrote, “8/12 Took me 1 1/2 hours to recover from race.  I’m mentally and physically exhausted.  Time to rest.”  I can remember after the race going away from the crowd and just sitting by myself for at least an hour trying to recover.  And I can remember that I was hallucinating!  That was my last race in the ’73 season.

Marty Liquori was not in the race and Rick Wolhuter, who was slated to run, did not.  It was a six person field.  I have attached three articles about the race I had in my scapebook.  A little long winded, but I hope it adds some perspective to the photo.



https://onceuponatimeinthevest.blogspot.com/2020/04/v-10-n33-track-story-coming-in-via-back.html     This piece generated today's article.

Barry was tough. To be able to hang with truly elite milers like Wottle and Buerkle. It always impressed me that he broke 4 minutes - something that Shorter and Bacheler never did. (I wonder if either of them ever gave it a serious try.)   Geoff Pietsch


I can attest about the weather in upstate NY in the hot months.  There was an Odd Fellows race in Hornell, NY on Memorial Day.  Great race (except for the weather): 7 miles (2x the town), free t-shirts, all our names in the paper the day before the race, free buffet, and complete results in the paper the day after.  Well, I felt like Dave Wottle after the race, and it took me an hour or hour and a half to recover.  I never felt that bad after a race before or after.  HOT and HUMID!!!

Don Betowski

Sunday, May 3, 2020

V 10 N. 38 Mondo and Renaud 36 Henricks 26 in PV Jump Off

No sooner did we ask how world class athletes are maintaining some kind of competitive mental state than the pole vaulters went at it in a modified
backyard contest seeing who could get the most 16' clearances in 30 minutes.
Renaud Lavillenie and Mondo Duplantis tied at 36 clearances and Sam Kendricks hit 26.  Now other events are talking about something similar in the Jumps and Throws.    Here is the story from The Guardian.


https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/may/03/duplantis-and-lavillenie-scale-the-heights-in-ultimate-garden-clash

Yes, once competition can resume, I think performances will soon return to normal marks.
Bruce Kritzler

Saturday, May 2, 2020

V 10 N. 37 Some Thoughts on Sport, Olympics, the Virus, and Pandemic Problem Solving


Some Thoughts on the Virus, the Olympics, and History of Pandemic Problem Solving

          Since the March 17 initial lockdown and social distancing regulations went into widespread effect, we’ve had time to try adapting to this new lifestyle and figuring out how to manage our extra time and take care of ourselves and our loved ones and even to think about others who are not so fortunate to have everything at hand to make life manageable.    As this is a blog about Track and Field it is also relevant to wonder how high performance athletes are managing their time and emotions and how they may be looking at their futures. 

          It would seem to be incredibly difficult to have trained for the past four years getting ready for the Olympics this year only to see them postponed for another year.   How do you adjust your long term goals and training?  How do you maintain a competitive edge when there is no head to head competition, no crowd to cheer you on, no financial reward to help pay your rent, mortgage, or you next payment on that Mercedes in the driveway?  How do you face getting up in the morning to go to train when there is nothing on your schedule to put those training hours in to action?  What do you do to get that rush from a short performance event like polevaulting where all your timing, coordination, speed, strength and courage go into a 4 or 5 second performance?  Same for a sprinter or a high jumper.  A thrower though often spurred on by his or her fellow competitors might have it a bit easier imagining oneself in a competition.  The easiest event that can be put into the current reality is most likely the middle distance and distance runner who can just go out the front door and hit the roads.  No worries about social distancing unless you are a person who prefers running with partners through the forests or on the roads.   Sometimes an interval workout can be helped a lot with a running partner pushing you along, but it can also be an elevating event just doing it alone.  Personally, I’ve generally been a loner in my training.  On occasion I have gone the route of meeting and training with others, but I hated scheduling that or gluing down my day to having to be in a certain place at a certain time to run. 

All these factors must be taken into consideration by high performance athletes.  Will certain ones thrive on this reality and others crumble?  Most likely.  New ones may come along who see this as a golden opportunity to move up the rankings once competitions re-open.  Already some sports are talking about re-opening with limited or no spectators.  Without big crowds we may have to go to pay per view to see live sports in the near future.  But we were doing that before the virus disrupted  our lives.  The sports channels will probably start sending out notices of  events schedules in the near future and telling us what we have to do to see them.  Personally I’m tired watching ‘plays of the decade’.  Even though we reminisce in this blog, the live stuff still gets my attention at least for a bit of viewing. 

For the sports starting up first, there will be new rules of distancing.  How close can you sit on a bench next to your teammates?  Will sprinters be in alternating lanes?  Will baseball players be allowed to spit as they all seem to do?   Smokeless tobacco was ruled out of the sport a few years ago, but the habit of spitting doesn’t seem to have been affected.  But, bad habits can be broken.  Swarming a pitcher after a no hitter or a batter after a walk off home run may no longer be considered the order of the day.  Stadium sellouts may become one third of capacity.  Two seats between every spectator, maybe even less if you go to two empty rows between seated spectators.  Where then will the extra revenue come from?  Advertising and pay per view of course.  We might not even be able to get results without ponying up some dough. 

We are a fragile species, are we not?  In seven weeks we’ve gone from a robust, vibrant nation with a strong economy, to one of beggars asking for free food and being given it as they wait patiently in their cars to keep the masses from stealing and looting to feed themselves.  There are not enough policemen nor enough bullets to contain the masses if they are hungry.  And in the US those masses would not just be hungry, they would be armed with automatic weapons.  So right now we are living on a lot of trust and belief in the promises our politicians are spouting about a cure in the near future, a testing process to help decide who should stay home and who should return to their former lifestyle.  We also live with a sense of responsibility and caring for others that comes from somewhere other than a system based on greed and selfishness. 

Getting back to my original opening  about training for an Olympics we don’t even know will occur,  my colleague Roy Mason remarked, that we managed with cancellations in 1940 and 1944.   Actually there was a cancellation in 1916 as well.  Those three were because of World Wars.  The 2020 cancellation is the first that is not war related.  I looked a bit more closely into the 1920 Olympics held in Antwerp, because they were held less than two years after the 1918-1919 pandemic.  Belgium suffered invasion and occupation as the Germans marched through their country to get at the French.  They resisted and paid dearly, then had to confront the Spanish influenza pandemic two years later.  Yet nations, perhaps less informed about pandemics and public health went head long into the Games.  The Allied Forces in Europe in 1919 put on a big sporting event in Paris called the Inter-Allied Games, sort of a precursor to the Antwerp Olympics.  We'll talk more about that event near the end of this piece.

The 1918-1919 pandemic came in three waves starting in the Spring of 1918.  No one knows the exact numbers who died but estimates range from 50 to 100 million world wide.  Right now we are at 250,000 dead with the 2020 pandemic.  England in 1918-1919 had 225,000 dead, the US 675,000 dead, about 2% of their populations.   At the same time, India had 18.5 million dead or 6% of their population. 

The Black Death in the 14th century in Europe took between 30% and 60% of the population.  In the early 17th century, the vibrant theater life in London was shut down because of  plague.  Shakespeare got sidelined in his heyday. 

In recent times  the world AID’s pandemic took 35 million lives
The dreaded Ebola outbreak in Africa was only about 12, 000.  Foreign nations fought hard to keep it from coming to their shores.  But the Covid -19 seems to have caught us with our pants down. 

Competition in sport seems not to have been as affected then as now.  You can see pictures of major league baseball teams wearing face masks, but I doubt this was universal.  The 1919 Stanley Cup in Hockey was deadlocked in matches 3-3 when it was cancelled out in Seattle (yes Seattle) when several members of the Montreal Canadians were stricken.  One of them died.   There was a lot of misinformation or no information during 1918 because of WW I.  People were forbidden to write or talk much in public about it, because the government didn’t want the Germans to know that the US population and especially the military was full of sick people.  Measures to combat the flu were very local.  Philadelphia had a public health director, Wilmer Krusen,  whodeclared that he would “confine this disease to its present limits, and in this we are sure to be successful. No fatalities have been recorded. No concern whatever is felt.”  He rejected the idea that the flu existed, then when it increased, pronounced that it was under control.  He allowed a war bond parade to go ahead against medical advice as well as a St. Patricks Day parade.  The city got hit hard, 200,000 sick, 12,000 dead in a ten day period.  Public services shut down and businesses closed for a lack of workers.  Children were left to fend for themselves, with corpses in their homes and tenements.  "Volunteers" could not be found to help them.  Yet we all but forgot about these statistics one hundred years later, because we thought our modern health care system could manage such emergencies.  Other cities passed more stringent regulations in 1918.  San Francisco, only 12 years after the 1906 earthquake catastrophe, had a $5 fine if you were caught not wearing a mask.  That was several days’  wages for the average citizen.  Chewing and spitting tobacco was a common habit then.  An anti-spitting ordinance was imposed on the city by the bay.  Boy Scouts passed out leaflets to spitters to remind them of their transgressions. 

By the Spring of 1919 the third wave of the pandemic hit.  It was not as bad as the second wave because a large portion of the population had survived and developed immunity by then.  Also the virus had mutated and didn’t present such a serous threat.  Originally the virus affected the bronchial tubes going to  the lungs, weakening them and allowing bacterial infections to get down into the lungs producing a pneumonia that was deadly.  After the mutation, the bronchioles were no longer affected even though the virus could still infect the lungs in some cases and kill, most people could resist because the undamaged bronchioles could stop the infection from descending into the lungs. 

The press was muzzled by the Sedition Act that Congress passed to keep information carefully controlled.  Again this was to keep the enemy from knowing the levels of infection in the military.  The US Navy had a 40% infection rate and the Army had 36%.  It was American and British POW’s who spread the infection to the Germans.  The penalty for publicizing the disease or speaking in a manner contrary to the war effort was a 20 year jail rap.

I can remember my mother speaking occasionally about those days saying that they were sometimes quarantined as a family as several of the kids came down with the flu.  Her older sister Florence died from it a week before another sister was born.  I had another great uncle who was in the Army and died of the flu on his way to Europe.  He was buried at sea.  Yet these things were never mentioned as a history of tragedy in my family.  It was over and done. 

We have vaccines for the older strains of flu but still average between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths every year in the US.  We’ve well exceeded that number with about 65,000 in seven weeks this year.  We could just not come to grips with the situation and it got away from us.  I’m not blaming anyone though there is a lot of blaming going on.

One other interesting bit of information that I picked up in this minimal research was that a therapy was strongly suggested by the medical profession in 1918.  Aspirin had been discovered by Bayer in 1899 and patented.  The patent ran out in 1916 and so it was on the market and cheap.  There being no vaccines, the medical profession recommended taking aspirin up to 30 grams per day.  Today  4 grams is considered the maximum dosage to take in one day.  This high rate of intake for a patient  caused hyperventilation and pulmonary edema speeding the way to death.  So looking for miracle drugs without proper investigation and experimenting was done then and today is  not recommended as a pathway to confront the virus.

Last little bit on the 1918-1919 pandemic.

The post war negotiations resulting in the Treaty of Versailles went on in 1919.  Woodrow Wilson, the American president, went to Europe.  During the negotiations he became very incoherent.  It was thought that he had had a stroke, but later study of his symptoms indicated that he had gotten  sick from the third wave of the flu.  His bargaining position became moot.  The French and the British punished the Germans heavily in the treaty thus leading to very difficult economic times in Germany in the 1920’s setting the stage for the Nazis to come to power in the 1930s. Perhaps Wilson may have made a difference had he been healthy.  We'll never be sure.

  Young healthy men who had survived life in the trenches were no longer at risk of getting seriously ill if exposed to another flu virus.  Life went on, the hard times were forgotten, perhaps they were never written about because of the censorship rules.  This time will we remember?




The Inter-Allied Games
1919 Paris

By 1919 the Allied nations had a preliminary Olympics called the Inter Allied Games.   The competitors were mainly the military men still stationed in Europe. 
Wikipedia reports below:
The Inter-Allied Games was a one-off multi-sport event held from 22 June to 6 July 1919 at the newly constructed Pershing Stadium just outside ParisFrance following the end of World War I. The host stadium had been built near the Bois de Vincennes by the U.S. Military in cooperation with the YMCA. The event was only open to participation by military personnel who were currently serving or had formerly served in the armed forces during the War. Around 1500 athletes from a total of eighteen nations participated in the proceedings which featured nineteen sports. Following the conclusion of the games, Pershing Stadium was presented as a gift to the people of France from the United States of America. The area, still known as Le Stade Pershing, continues to be used as an open air recreation park to this day.


A total of nineteen sports were contested at the games. A number of military-oriented events was initially planned, but only hand-grenade throwing and shooting made it on to the final programme.

Participating nations

A total of twenty-eight nations from the Allies of World War I were invited to the competition and eighteen nations accepted the invite. China aimed to compete, but ultimately was unable to send any athletes to the games within the timescale. It did, however, provide medals and trophies in support of the games. The Kingdom of Hejaz sent a delegation but with no athletes, choosing to demonstrate the skills of their Arabian horsemen instead. A full list of participants was made by the organisers.

Gold medalists

Daniel Mason (NZL) and Earl Eby (USA)
first and second in 800 meters.

These American athletes competed in and won gold medals at the 1919 Inter-Allied Games:
  • Ralph Parcaut - Gold Medal, Light Heavyweight Division, Catch as Catch Can Wrestling
  • Paul Prehn - Gold Medal, Middleweight Division, Catch as Catch Can Wrestling
  • Gene Tunney - Gold Medal, Boxing
  • Max Friedman - Gold medal, Basketball
  • Norman Ross - 5 Gold Medals, Swimming
  • Carl F. Haas, William Clinton Gray, Floyd F. Campbell, and Lawrence M. Shields - Medley Relay Race
  • United States of America, First Place, Rifle Shooting Team, Team Members include - Brigadier General Paul A. Wolf
The athletics competition at the Inter-Allied Games was held at the Stade Pershing from 22 June to 6 July 1919 in Paris, France. The event was open to all military personnel from countries that were among the Allies of World War I.[1]
The athletics competition consisted of 24 men's events, 20 of which counted towards the team scores. The standard international judging rules were applied, with field event results measured in metres, and the winner of the track event being timed by three judges separately. The 10-kilometre cross country running competition (not a medal event here) covered natural landscapes around the Joinville-le-Pont with a start and finishing point within the stadium. The reduced-distance 16,000 m marathon was organised similarly, except the extra-stadium course were the local streets in the area.[2]
The Americans, headed by team captain and Olympic medallist Richard Byrd and featuring a number of college-level athletes, clearly topped the points table with 92 compared to runner-up France with 12. Points were assigned on a by-event basis of one point for third, two points for second, and three points for first. The gathering marked a key development of the sport of track and field within France, as American personnel and YMCA sports coaches both coached and exhibited the various common American events at that time.[2]
The foremost track athletes at the games were Charley Paddock, who won a 100 metres/200 metres sprint double, and Robert Simpson, who completed a similar feat in the hurdles. Frenchman Jean Vermeulen won a long-distance running double by taking the cross country and modified marathon titles, despite having a crippled arm from the war. The 200 metres hurdles event was won by Simpson in a time just one fifth of a second short of the world record at that time, even though the athletes had the disadvantage of one of the hurdles being misplaced by a margin of two metres. The American's winning time of 1:30.8 in the 4×200 metres relay was declared a new world record at the time, but was later discovered to be inferior to a time run at the Penn Relays one month earlier.[2]
An unorthodox addition to the track and field events was the hand grenade throwing competition. This non-point-scoring event consisted of throwing for distance rather than accuracy and the winning distance of 245 feet and 11 inches, set by American military chaplain Fred Thomson, was declared a new world record. Two other non-point-scoring events were reserved for men who had served as part of an Army of Occupation during the war: a long jump contest and a 4×200 metres relay race. In that relay race the Italian team protested the victory, but a subsequent run-off resulted in the same outcome, with France first and Italy second. The hammer throw was absent from the programme, but two Americans—Pat Ryan and William McCormick—gave a demonstration of their speciality e

Men

EventGoldSilverBronze
100 metres Charley Paddock (USA)10.8 Edward Teschner (USA) John Howard (CAN)
200 metres Charley Paddock (USA)21.6 Edward Teschner (USA) John Lindsay (NZL)
400 metres Earl Eby (USA)50.0 Phil Spink (USA) James Wilton (NZL)
800 metres Daniel Mason (NZL)1:55.4 Earl Eby (USA) Phil Spink (USA)
1500 metres Clyde Stout (USA)4:05.6 Henri Arnaud (FRA) H.E. Lapierre (CAN)
Modified marathon
(16,000 metres)
 Jean Vermeulen (FRA)55:11.8 Fred Faller (USA) Danton Heuet (FRA)
110 metres hurdles Robert Simpson (USA)15.2 Fred Kelly (USA) Harry Wilson (NZL)
200 metres hurdles Robert Simpson (USA)25.8 William Sylvester (USA) Meredith House (USA)
4×200 metres relay United States (USA)
Charley Paddock
Marshall Haddock
Howard Torkelson
Edward Teschner
1:30.8 Canada (CAN)
John Howard
LeRoy Haliburton
Fred Zoellin
O. P. Johnson
 Australia (AUS)
Ernest Carter
Leslie Hume
William Johnson
Harold Carroll
4×200 metres relay
(Armies of Occupation)
 France (FRA)
René Laubertrand
Rene Girard
Raoul Labanaot
Pierre Rault
1:33.6 Italy (ITA)
Arturo Nespoli
Giorgio Crool
Gio Orlandi
Giuseppe Alberti
 United States (USA)
Thomas Fields
Roy Pedan
Harry Leon
John Osbourne
4×400 metres relay United States (USA)
Thomas Campbell
Verle Campbell
Edward Meehan
Edward Teschner
3:28.8 Australia (AUS)
Robert Chalmers
William Johnson
Leslie Hume
Thomas Fraser
 France (FRA)
André Devaux
Henri Delvart
Raoul Dumont
René Laubertrand
Medley relay United States (USA)
Carl Haas
William Gray
Floyd Campbell
Lawrence Shields
7:43.4 Australia (AUS)
Leslie Hume
Ernest Carter
Chris Bergmeier
Clifford Manley
 France (FRA)
Jean Seurin
Charles Poulenard
Georges Dandelot
Hamed Lakary
Cross country
(10,000 metres)
 Jean Vermeulen (FRA)31:38.8 Auguste Broos (BEL) Gaston Heuet (FRA)
High jump Clinton Larsen (USA)1.864 m André Labat (FRA)

 Carl Rice (USA)

 Dink Templeton (USA)
1.827 mNot awarded
Pole vault Florin Floyd (USA)3.675 m Lucius Ervin (USA)3.575 m Robert Harwood (USA)3.45 m
Long jump Solomon Butler (USA)7.56 m Harry Worthington (USA)7.26 m Leo Johnson (USA)6.62 m
Long jump
(Armies of Occupation)
 John Madden (USA)6.615 m Arturo Nespoli (ITA)6.466 m Eugène Coulon (FRA)6.237 m
Standing long jump William Taylor (USA)3.40 m James Humphreys (USA)3.27 m Émile Moureau (FRA)3.10 m
Triple jump Herbert Prem (USA)14.08 m Charles Bender (USA)13.54 m John Madden (USA)13.48 m
Shot put Edward Caughey (USA)13.78 m Harry Liversedge (USA)13.58 m Wallace Maxfield (USA)12.87 m
Discus throw Charles Higgins (USA)40.88 m Richard Byrd (USA)40.04 m James Duncan (USA)36.11 m
Javelin throw George Bronder (USA)55.82 m Harry Liversedge (USA)53.87 m Eustathios Zirganos (GRE)48.69 m
Grenade throw Fred Thomson (USA)74.93 m Harrison Thomson (USA)73.91 m Dominic Wycavage (USA)66.55 m
Pentathlon Robert LeGendre (USA)461.0 pts Eugene Vidal (USA)431.2 pts Géo André (FRA)398.4 pts

Team points standing


Daniel Mason and Early Eby, the top two in the 800 m, at the Stade Pershing
  Host nation (France)
RankNationWinnersRunner-up3rd-placersPoints total
1 United States1817792
2 France12512
3 New Zealand1036
4 Australia0215
5 Canada0124
6 Greece0011
Total17171549
  • NB: Cross country, grenade throwing, and the Army of Occupation events did not count towards the team standings.

 This was one of your best and most timely productions which I enjoyed from front to back.  I was especially intrigued by two things:  (1) the suppression of the press because it was war time and (2) the idea that President Wilson might have contracted the flu rather than a stroke as is usually reported.  If the press could be suppressed today, it would surely happen but that is one of the safeguards of the US that keeps people in power honest, or at least unable to get away with murder, just manslaughter.  Wilson's inability at the Treaty of Versailles was tragic no matter what the cause because the unusually harsh terms placed on the Germans are usually given as one of the biggest reasons for WW II.  Could it have been the flu?  Maybe it was a stroke then the flu.  In any case he was not himself.
   Not many people are examining the 1918-19 pandemic these days, and if they are they are usually intellectual left-wingers who seldom get much of an audience other than on NPR or in track blogs.  Nevertheless, your words really made me think about things and not want to repeat the tragedy of the Black Plague and the Spanish Influenza.  I see this becoming one of the most emotional and politicized events of our lifetime, maybe equal to the Vietnam War or Civil Rights.  The two camps have chosen sides, armed themselves with righteousness, and will start marching on each other very soon.  What we have seen is the tip of the iceberg.

   Bill

V 10 N. 72 Remembering Charlie Moore Olympic Gold 1952 400IH R.I.P.

Walt Murphy brought this news to our attention on his blog This Day in Track and Field. The notes below are from Olympedia....