Here was a great sprinter and broad jumper Ii seldom see credited in these threads:
EULACE PEACOCK SPRINTS-LONG JUMP
Born August 27, 1914, Dothan, Ala. Died December 13, 1996.
One of the world's top sprinters and long jumpers during a 15-year span in the 1930s and 1940s, Eulace Peacock achieved his greatest fame just prior to World War II. His speed and jumping ability rivaled that of Jesse Owens, one of his top rivals during that period.
While at Temple University, he staked his claim to track and field stardom with two major upsets in 1935. He won the AAU 100 that year in a wind-aided 10.2, defeating a field that included Hall of Famers Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. He followed that with a long jump victory over Owens, leaping 26-3 for a career best. During the next several days, he defeated Owens twice more in the sprints and overall, he bested Owens seven of 10 times in the sprints and long jump. His chance for Olympic glory in 1936 was dashed when a pulled thigh muscle kept him off the Olympic team. World War II followed and by the time of the next Olympics (1948) Peacock was past his prime. A versatile athlete, he also won the AAU pentathlon title six times between 1933 and 1945. Once a co-holder of the world 100-meter record at 10.3, he remained active in the sport as a certified official
He was indeed a great sprinter. If he hadn't started in that late season race in Italy 1935 the "legend of Owens" migh have looked quite different.
Ever after he was however plagued by frequent injuries.
He had a nice start to 1937, beating that years number one, Ben Johnson (!!), at the Penn relays.
It is interesting to note that in 1935 (the year he set five world records in one day at Ann Arbor), Jesse Owens failed to win a single title at the AAU. As stated above, Eulace Peacock beat him in the 100y and long jump, and Ralph Metcalfe won the 220y. Yes, Eulace Peacock was a great sprinter (athlete) who never received his full due - much like Jim Golliday some 15-20 years later.
I am making this post under this thread rather than as a separate one as I fear a storm of protest but let me say it:
Jesse Owens is overrated. Forgetting his unquestioned symbolism for debunking Hitler's racism, and forgetting his shining example as a human being for all his life, his sprinting/jumping career was very short, and except for 1936, he was not the dominant sprinter. Yes he had one very, very fabulous day in Ann Arbor in 1935, and he did just great in the Berlin Olympics but how can that be enough for people to put him in the same category with the likes of Paavo Nurmi or Carl Lewis ?
Tough to say that JO was over-rated... he was certainly legendary. And deservedly so. I was fortunate enough to be in the stands watching Ralph Boston break JO's long jump WR in the Oly warm up meet at Mt.Sac in 1960 (what a fabulous meet, by the way!) By my reckoning, the record was 11 years older than I was at the time and 4 years older than Ralph. Maybe you don't need a long career if you win 4 golds in the heart of Nazi Germany and set a WR that lasts 25 years?
>I am making this post under this thread rather
>than as a separate one as I fear a storm of
>protest but let me say it:
Jesse Owens is
I think he is overrated as a 100 sprinter, forgotten as a 200 sprinter, and underrated as a long jumper. Based on the information I have, he would have ranked #1 in the 100 only in 1936, in the 200 both in 1935 and '36, and he was the top long jumper every year from 1933 to '36. Maxwell Stiles agreed with me on the rankings, at least.
As far as records go, the issue was cloudier in trhe 30s than now. Owens ran the first official 10.2, but ATFS credits Charley Paddock with the same time in 1921. He ran the best official 200 around a curve at the '36 OG, but four years earlier an Aussie whose name escapes me ran a legit but unratified 20.6y. In the long jump, however, he's head and shoulders above the rest for more than a generation.
Talents? Long. Accomplishments? Short, except for the LJ (and the oft-mentioned ability to compete at a high level in many events).
I think it's also tough to compare Jesse to Carl Lewis and others due to the fact that Jesse competed in a different era.
In the 1930s, runners couldn't make careers out of track like you can now. The AAU and the rules regarding amateurism precluded that from happening.
I think there were a lot of great runners during Jesse's era that had one great Olympics and then quit running to do other things (because they had to). In Jesse's sad case, he ended up running against horses.