Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person


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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Jon » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:34 am

I've seen Gatlin's 6.46 from 2003 WICh and Mo Greene's 6.47 from the 2000 Birmingham GP.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby 5k Guy » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:51 pm

At top speed, Carl Lewis was as fast as I've ever seen. I seriuosly doubt that at top speed anyone has ever run faster than Lewis. Many had better starts or could hold speed longer but at top speed Carl was the MAN.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby trackstar » Tue Mar 16, 2004 3:40 pm

I got to see Carl Lewis and Donovan Bailey go head-to-head on 4x1 anchor legs at Texas Relays in 1997. Lewis won, Bailey cramped up. (Funny how, a few weeks later in that infamous 150 against Michael Johnson, everyone accused MJ of faking a cramp, but no one accused DB of the same when it was obvious he was going to lose to CL. Not that I'm accusing him of anything, I was just bothered by the hypocrisy and/or short memory of the accusing fans.)

And speaking of MJ, I assume I saw him run the 200 at the Texas high school state champs in 1986, since I was there, but I don't remember him -- I'm sure I was distracted by Derrick Florence, who whipped him by 0.8. (20.5 vs. 21.3.) In fact, if my memory of the schedule is accurate, I may have taken the track in the class 3A mile immediately after his class 5A race finished.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby gh » Tue Mar 16, 2004 4:28 pm

Three thoughts about fastest person you THINK you ever saw.

1. Size matters. Think of a 747 in the glide path to landing. Say it's going about 250mph; it looks like it's just hanging there in the sky. If a P-51 was descending at 250mph it would look like a bat outta hell. (Why Houston McTear looked so incredibly fast even though bigger guys were running faster.)

2. It depends on how close to the track (maybe even specific lane) you are. The closer you are to somebody, the faster they look. (Using this criterion, I've never seen anything faster than Maurice Greene from a few meters away)

3. It depends on what part of the race you look at. Almost impossible to accelerate after 60m or so, but judgments about top-end speed are almost always made at the finish, where it's all about who's slowing down the least, not who's still getting faster or "kicking it into top gear."
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby oldvaulter » Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:32 pm

I saw Bobby Morrow, Dave Sime, Ray Norton, Bob Hayes, Tommy Smith, Henry Carr, and Carl Lewis -- some pretty fast guys, so this one wasn't the fastest, but perhaps the most exciting sprint I ever saw was:

Forrest Beaty running 220 yards (longer than 200m by about .1 second) in 20.2 in high school. This was a mind-blowing performance when it was accomplished on a slow (by today's standards) dirt track in 1962. Beaty never improved much in college, but he was lightning in HS.

The fast time over the longer distance and on a slow track is very impressive. However, there are a couple caveats: It was a straightaway 220 (no turn), and it was hand timed. Still, Beaty was MOVING and it was extremely exciting to everyone present. Probably because I was close to the action (down on the infield next to the track), as gh points out above, but Beaty just LOOKED faster than anyone I'd seen.
Last edited by oldvaulter on Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:31 am

I've seen Carl Lewis wining the 200 m in 19"92 (+1.3) here in Madrid, Spain (04/6/1987). Believe me, that outdoor track called Vallehermoso has very sharp curves
Last edited by Diego Sahagún on Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Mel » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:37 am

I watched Donovan Bailey run 9.91 standing right beside lane 8 in 1995, with Bruny Surin chasing him in 9.97. Being at trackside makes it look faster than it ever does from the stands or on television. Track suffers because television cannot convey the true ability of these athletes. The closest they have come is with the little roll-along cameras beside the track.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby marknhj » Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:56 am

What is really astounding is when you actually run against a world class sprinter. I thought I was pretty quick over 30-40m, but when I trained with Mike McFarlane (5th 1984 OG 100m) it was amazing how fast he moved and how much distance he opened up on me within 20m.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby 79. » Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:14 pm

...I was lucky to watch Tim MONTGOMERY's 9"78
WR in Paris, September 2002.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby tandfman » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:26 pm

Last edited by tandfman on Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby jhc68 » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:56 pm

30 years ago I was lucky to be at the track during some training sessions when Jean Louis Ravelomanantsoa was practicing starts. He was an NAIA sprinter at Westmont College far from his home in Madagascar. Short, thick, stubby and incredibly quick. He was a 10 flat world class sprinter for a decade mostly on the basis a blinding start. I've seen Carl and Hayes and others run faster at top end speed, but, sheesh, JL's acceleration was something to behold.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:07 pm

Herb Washington in indoor races.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby DentyCracker » Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:03 pm

Seen Percy Spencer's 9.98 and Frankie Fredericks' 9.97 at the National Stadium. Many Ray Stewart races. He Stewart grew up in the same area of Kingston that I lived and still live, and went to the grade school that my Mom still teaches at.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby dupontred » Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:22 am

I guess I've never been to a big time meet in person.

But the one performance I really remember was back in the mid-80s at the Empire State Games tryouts. There were some amazing female sprinters from the Rochester area, including one youngster in the 100. Went by the name of Kim Batten, current world record holder in the Women's 400H.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby hijumpsteve » Thu Mar 18, 2004 6:51 am

>I guess I've never been to a big time meet in person.

But the one
>performance I really remember was back in the mid-80s at the Empire State Games
>tryouts. There were some amazing female sprinters from the Rochester area,
>including one youngster in the 100. Went by the name of Kim Batten, current
>world record holder in the Women's 400H.



I had a similar experience with a 7th grade girl. I went to my son's first 7th grade track meet, and there was a girl that won the girl's 400 by about 150 meters, I kid you not. I immediately said to the coach, "this is a blue, blue, chipper that can go to the very, very, top."

Her name ? Maicel Malone.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby 79. » Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:48 am

I deeply remember Calvin SMITH's incredibly
smooth strides in 1987 at the Jean-BOUIN Paris
meeting. That day he ran a 20"29 200m.
"Style is man." the French writer BUFFON said.
Calvin SMITH remains to me as a virtuoso who
was always giving the extraordinary visual
impression that he was flying on burning tracks.
My hero when I was a kid.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Diego Sahagún » Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:41 am

I've also seen Andre Cason and Irina Privalova beating the 60 m WRs in Madrid, Spain
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby CookyMonzta » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:21 am

Leroy Burrell at the 1991 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Randall's Island, NYC; 9.90, with Carl Lewis 2nd in 9.93.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby combatmix » Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:39 am

Clancy Edwards of USC at the NCAA Championships in Eugene. Think it was 1979?
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby warp10 » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:43 am

• Herchel Walker running the 60 in the NCAA indoors, litterally busting out of his spikes after every race.

• Steve Williams running the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 at Penn (sub 20 and sub 45 sec splits)

• Skeets running a 300m workout; I drafted along behind him and got toasted by 20 meters.

• Getting the stick in a 4x200 behind Brady Crain at the National Relays at Randalls Island.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Halfmiler2 » Tue Mar 23, 2004 12:18 pm

Up close and personal:

My last race in open track & field was when I agreed to fill in the second 200 leg of a Sprint Medley team for my track club at Penn Relays and found myself lined up next to Steve Riddick running for the Philadelphia Pioneers. After that, I waited to become a submaster.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby bf » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:15 pm

Not THE fastest, but as far as 'speediest' (amazing turnover),Billy Gaines at '66 National indoor, winning in 5.9(60y). He was the real thing - lightning quick, and accomplishing something pretty unreal for a HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby buckeye II » Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:51 pm

halfmiler, My experience was similar. Also a halfmiler, I ran my first collegiate indoor race in a 4 X 400. On a 300 meter track, each leg was waiting at a different area. Running 2nd, I look over and Harvey Glance was standing there. Being young and obviously dumb, I was into it, and planned to latch on to Harvey like a bulldog on the mailman. It's pretty hard to grab on to something you can barely see. Luckily he got the baton long before me. Riddick was so fun to watch. One of my all time favorites.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby hijumpsteve » Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:00 pm

not a sprinter certainly, but a year or so ago I was out "running" on a rail-trail at about a 9 minute pace here in Indy when I was passed by a guy named Bob Kennedy. Of course it was like a jet plane passing a camel !
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Diego Sahagún » Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:54 pm

Someone said that the fastest sprinter he ever saw in person is his cousin running ahead of a mad dog ;-)
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Track fan » Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:59 pm

Privilova was a distaff Ben Johnson, almost freakily fast over 50 metres to 60 metres. She may still have the world record?
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby The King » Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:52 am

>Privilova was a distaff Ben Johnson, almost freakily fast over 50 metres to 60
>metres. She may still have the world record?

Yes she does. Indoor 50m - 5.96s & 60m - 6.92s (x2)
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby berkeley » Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:41 pm

I was a few feet from Mo Greene when he won the '99 Pre Classic 100m in a slightly windy 9.84 (a week or so before he set his 9.79 WR in Athens).

For depth, I was right at the rail at the '85 Jenner Classic. I think the 100m lineup included Lewis, Baptiste, Smith (then WR holder), Johnson and Glance.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby JohnnyA » Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:09 pm

This post should be "Faster Sprinter You Ever Lost To".

Henry Thomas. CIF 1984. I was one lane outside of him in the 200. Hoped to hold him off until we left the turn. It took him about 50 yards to blow by me.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby buckeye II » Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:08 pm

200 meters: Thomas Jefferson, the bronze medalist, not the former president.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby fg » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:52 pm

I've seen some phenominal sprinters at the Texas Relays. Ive seen Mo Green run great 200m legs and loose. I've seen Carl Lewis run a leg against Donavan Bailey and cause him to cramp up in both legs. Kim Collins at the texas relays run 9.9's two years in a row. I saw Tre Gardner run a leg against Jon Drummond in the 4 x 200 that was fantastic (19.4 split). I've seen Brenden Christian as a high Schooler run the best anchor 4x400 I've ever seen. He overcame a 20m defecit to win the event.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby big mac » Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:46 pm

Shawn Crawford running 200m in South Africa. Also Leigh Julius whos running the 200m at WJ, 20.36 @ age 19.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby marathonman » Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:23 am

Donovan Bailey at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby mrbowie » Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:39 am

Mel Patton. My dad took me to see him when I was very young.

I have the best memory, though, of Bob Hayes.

The most beautiful sprinter I ever saw was Leamon King.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Slowrunner » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:42 am

Well, I was in the stands for the 100 Meter final in Atlanta, so I guess I would have to say Donovan Bailey.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby 79. » Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:30 pm

Harry Butch REYNOLDS was certainly the most impressive quarter-miler I have ever seen in person. A very rare and fabulous visual impression.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Ten Bears » Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:44 pm

At the 1988 Olympic Trials I was walking behind the start of the first round of the women's 100 featuring Florence Griffith Joyner. I stopped to watch--must not distract the sprinters with movement. The race went off and Flojo became a small dot in the distance surprisingly fast. There was a big noise from the crowd. I could not see the clock and I remember thinking "Gee, she disappeared awfully fast." She had run 10.60W.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Brutal » Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:27 pm

There I sat on the hard bleachers at Radcliff Stadium in Fresno sometime in the 60's. I was just a kid.

New Mexico had a crack 4x2 team with 9.3/20.3 speedster Bernie Rivers on anchor.I was into it even then or so I thought.It was going to be all about NM with Rene Matison a 20.5 type also on their team.

At the final exchange it was all NM.Rivers had a solid 10 meters on some skinny kid from San Jose State.

Need I go on?

Tommie ate him alive as the crowd..WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!..that was my introduction to Tommie Smith. In my opinion the greatest ever.
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby marathonman » Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:09 pm

For the women it would have to be Evelyn Ashford
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Re: Fastest Sprinter you Ever Saw in Person

Postby Larry » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:39 am

The fastest guy I ever saw was back in high school, a cat by the name of Leroy Russell. This dude was a bad ass pot smokin, bear drinkin bad boy who once challenged the school 100yards champ to a race for a dollar. The school sprint champ also happened to be the national junior champ.
Well, I remember this race as clear as crystal to this day. The sprint champ was in his track gear and Leroy was dressed in regular street wear. The guy who started the race had them line up at the start of the 100 yards dash. The sprint champ went into a crouch start from blocks and Leroy went from a standing start. When they were ready, the starter yelled set and then clapped his hands loudly. The sprint champ reacted the fastest, but Leroy took off with the most explosiveness I have ever seen. He absolutely dominated the entire 100 yards to win by a good 6-7 meters! I have never seen anything like it before and I wish someone had timed him because it would have been blindingly fast! I never did see Leroy race officially. He just wasn't interested in sports at all. Last time I heard he was living in some shelter in LA.
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