I'm here in Palermo rehearsing SALOME, discovered that a tenor colleague is also a track fan. He ran middle distances at Rancho Alamitos under coach Darrell Taylor, who he remembers as a world-class middle-distance man himself. Ring any bells?
So here we are in sunny Italy, arguing about the new false start rule, whether Hart would have beaten Borzov, etc...
I know that this is WAY TOO LATE but I saw this post and I wanted to set the record straight. Coach Darryl Taylor WAS a World Class runner in the early 1960's. I know this because he was my Track & Field coach at Rancho Alamitos High School, in Garden Grove, CA, between 1964 & 1968. He ended up coaching there a total of 47 yrs. Before & during coaching at Rancho, he ran for Long Beach State and also for the 49er Track Club. He once ran a sub 1:47 half-mile indoors and he was excellent on relays, especially indoor relays. He and his 49er relay teammates, at one time, held the World Record for the 2 mile relay indoors on the old, smaller 160 yd track. Coach Taylor was a short guy like me, about 5' 7", and he could really run those tight turns well. Coach Taylor was also a great person and role model. His work ethic and attitude of encouragement influenced my life more than he could ever know, as I am sure he has done for so many other young athletes. Coach Taylor was an all-around great guy with a GREAT laugh that I remember vividly. I heard that he finally retired (for the 2nd time) in 2011. I'm sure he will be sorely missed by the Rancho Alamitos staff but especially by the kids who were lucky enough to have the best track coach a kid could ever hope to have.
My coach, Jack Rose, was not in attendance as he had traveled to Fresno for the NCAA Regional Championships where team mate Bill Crowley, former CIF Champion for Compton HS, lowered the LBSC mile record to 4:07 while winning that event. Through Tom Jennings, a T&F News correspondent, I had met both Corder and Bert Nelson and I knew where they were seated in the Coliseum, taking notes and taking splits throughout the competition. I nervously made my way up to their perch and asked if they had taken splits in the 2MR for the 5th place team. Both seemed genuinely pleased to read off their official splits for LBSC, including my 2nd leg of 1:48.6.
The lie is that there was never a sub-1:47 relay leg for Taylor.
The truth is that the LB 49er TC did win the indoor AAU 2 Mile relay title in 1966. The team was Jim Kemp, Taylor, Mellady, and Dave Perry seta meet record 7:27.4, with Perry running the fastest leg in 1:50.1
In January 67, Taylor was part of a squad which ran the #3 mark of all-time [7:25.6] in a squad of Harry McCalla 1:52.9, Taylor 1:51.4, Von Ruden 1:49.2, Preston Davis 1:52.1.
Again the 49erTC team won the AAU - this time in 7:37.0, with Taylor leading off with 1:55.2
So, a quite good club athlete, but NOT an athlete of international class.
Sorry guys. I was just going on memory. Guess it lost a bit aftr 45 yrs. Still, coach Taylor was a World Class person to me and he always will be. You couldn't meet a nicer, more encouraging or humbler person. I never once heard him yell at any of us guys. If he wasn't challenging us, he was laughing at something one of the guys said. You couldn't help but be in a good mood when you were around him. I think that's more important than any time he might have run.
mdfield1 wrote:Sorry guys. I was just going on memory. Guess it lost a bit aftr 45 yrs. Still, coach Taylor was a World Class person to me and he always will be. You couldn't meet a nicer, more encouraging or humbler person. I never once heard him yell at any of us guys. If he wasn't challenging us, he was laughing at something one of the guys said. You couldn't help but be in a good mood when you were around him. I think that's more important than any time he might have run.
Well, I think rhymans was a little over the top when he said it was a "Lie". It was just inaccurate. Mr. Taylor sounds like a great guy.
Yes he was a great guy and he was there when I needed him. I had a mean alcoholic for a father who never even once went to ANY sporting event that I competed in. Coach Taylor may not have known it but he was the one who kept me focused on what was important in life. He expected us to work, study and train hard and he rewarded us for our efforts with encouragement and praise, regardless of how we did. He knew that we gave it our all and that's all he expected from us. I will be forever in his debt because he taught me how to be a better person.
I sat next to him during a Cal runners reunion. He had wonderful stories about relays he had run. hAd a very comprehensive and informative scrap book. I had commented to Carl Trentadue and Mike Solomon that there was a guy who had run 1:55.xx in HS in 1955 or so. They had posters with all time HS bests - his jumped out at me. Turns out I was standing next to him. He deadpanned "That was me". That started about a 30 min conversation. He had stayed in the track world and coached some of the guys I knew and ran with some of the coaches I had rubbed shoulders with. Ever the small world
As an indicator of how "bad" HS times used to be not all that long ago, the national leader in 1955 ran 1:54.3, and No. 15 on the list was 1:56.8. Only 8 broke 1:56. (Taylor not among them, but he may have in another year)