Last day, while watching some archives on video
about the mythical MEXICO Olympics, something
attracted my attention:
Larry JAMES's incredible finish at the 400m final
won in 43"86 by Lee Edward EVANS.
This long-limbed young quarter-miler was second
in a sensational 43"97.
His flying 43"2 leg at the 4x400m relay had made
him definitively enter the legend of 400m.
Very strangely, I have never found any article
specifically written about this meteorit.
Did he stop his career just after Mexico?
Of course, we all know the political context in
1968, that didn't allow his fantastic US
generation -the best ever?- to become track
Is he still sharing his experience of track
with the younger generations, nowadays?
His career didn't end after Mexico City. If you check out the archived World Rankings on the front page of this site you can easily discover that he was No. 6 in the world in both 1969 and 1970. Now coaches at some college in New Jersey I believe.
Larry is the Athletic Director of Stockton State College outside Atlantic City and serves as the Chairman of the Budget Committee of USATF. I believe he is up for the Track & Field Hall of Fame this year along with Mexico City teammate John Carlos.
A truly undeserving Hall of Famer if ever there was one: a single silver medal gets in while there are countless gold medalists who haven't? A guy who never won a single national title and who won the NCAA only once?
The old-boy network strikes again.
(A nice-nice guy who was a valuable member of the '68 team, but a hall of famer he's not)
"A truly undeserving Hall of Famer if ever there was one: a single silver medal gets in while there are countless gold medalists who haven't? A guy who never won a single national title and who won the NCAA only once?
The old-boy network strikes again.
(A nice-nice guy who was a valuable member of the '68 team, but a hall of famer he's not)"
Well, there's more to it than his medal count. He did run 43.97, in 1968 no less. Last I checked, nobody is running that time now, 35 years later.
''Born November 6, 1947. A double medalist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Larry James also set world records and won NCAA titles during his track career. James won the silver medal in the 400 meters with his time of 43.97 seconds at the 1968 Olympics, bettering the existing world record but placing him second behind teammate Lee Evans (43.86). James added a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics by running the third leg on Team USA's winning 4x400m relay team, which set the world record of 2 minutes, 56.16 seconds, which lasted until 1992. James set the 400m world record of 44.1 seconds in placing second to Lee Evans at the 1968 Olympic Trials at Echo Summit, Calif., when Evans' winning time of 44.0 was disallowed by the IAAF because he wore illegal brush spike shoes. James was the 400m hurdles gold medalist at the 1970 World University Games, where he ran the anchor leg on Team USA's gold medal winning 4x400m relay team (3:03.33). As a collegian at Villanova, James won the NCAA 440 title in 1970 and NCAA indoor crowns at that distance in 1968-1969 and 1970.''
The USATF website say this about Larry James after Track & Field,
''James is currently the Dean of Athletics and Recreational Programs and Services at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey''
I am sorry that you think that Larry " The Mighty Burner" James is an unknown sub 44s 400m star. Because he was amegastar from 1968 thru 1972. although he narrowly missed the 1972 Olmpic team. The burner was recruited by Jumbo Elliot in !966 as probably the third fastest 400m man on his White Plains New York high school team. Possibly the smoothest quartemiler ever. He was the 1969 and 1971 440 yard outdoor champion. He helped Villanova win six Championship of America Relay titles at the Penn Relays. All of this was at a time when freshman were not eligible. Probably the most memorable of these was the 68 Mile relay demolishing of Rice's Dale Bernauer while the Owl anhor was running avery credible 45.9 leg. Heis the most beautiful runner I've seen in my 40 years of watching T & F.
and # 1 coach, it's difficult to downgrade anyone like Larry. He was a great athlete. But again, if every athlete with accomplishments equal to his was admitted to the Hall of Fame, they would have to double its membership. And again please, not a knock on him one bit. I too saw him run many times.
I take that to mean accomplishments that are exactly the same as his.
If you meant "athletes with equivalent accomplishments in other events," you should have said that. However, if that's what you meant I am not sure how we would figure out the exact equivalent of a 43.97 at other distances. I'd bet that there aren't too many athletes that would qualify.
Bottom line: he was clearly ahead of his era, and he would have beaten everyone handily in 2003 with a 43.97.
However, I will try to keep my "stupid" comments to myself in the future.
no name, I apologize for the "stupid", that was uncalled for. Sorry.
Yes, I meant "equivalent, etc." Sure his 43.97 was great, as was his 44.1h, but the fact remains that they were altitude assisted, which had to help about.3 or .4, who knows ? And he never won national championships except for 2 NCAA titles. Sure he might have been more dominant if he wads around today, but he has to be avaluated on his actual accomplishments, and I think you are giving too much weight to his 43.97. As good as it was, he lost, it was at altitude, and too my knowlege, other than the 43.97 and the 44.1 h( altitude too) he never ran in the low 44's subsequently, and won no titles other than the 2 NCAA titles mentioned above. That's not up to snuff for the HPOF IMHO. Peace.
TO ALL OUT THERE LARRY JAMES WAS GREAT&MAJOR HALL OF FAME MATERIAL.HE STILL HOLDS THE 2 FASTEST INDOOR 500YDS. TIMES EVER 53.9 NEVER EVER APPROACHED LEE EVEANS RAN 54.4 TWICE.UP ON THE BOARDS THAT WAS INCREDIBLE.YOU NEED TO ALSO GET THE VIDEO OF JAMES AT PENN RELAYS HIS LEGG BY SOME IN THE STANDS WAS 42.9//42.9//43.1 IT ALSO WAS INCREDIBLE&YES HE&TOMMIE SMITH LEE EVANS-JOHN SMITH--&SEVERAL OTHERS WERE ALL MICHAEL JOHNSON TYPES.
ONE FINAL NOTE:-LARRY JAMES,BECAUSE OF NO MONEY IN TRACK,POLITICS,,WAS RUMORED TO HAVE THOUGHTS ABOUT MONTREAL IN 76-800.HE ALSO RAN 1:08 FLAT FOR 600YDS.--HE ONCE THOUGHT MAYBEE JUST MAYBEE
1:39 WAS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Larry James is the atletic director at Richard Stockton College in Pomona, NJ. Larry has been at Stockton since the early 70's. For years he ran "The Mighty Burner Track Camp" during the summer at the college. The camp stressed success in life not just athletics. Larry just returned from Paris where he was the manager for the men's team. He continues to have an active role in USATF.
as Jeff Hollobaugh said last year when they put in Torrence and Earl Bell, there are three people in history who have won the 400 and 4x400 gold medals while setting world records in both events.
Lee Evans is one, and he's in the HOF. Otis Davis and William Carr are not. I'm not saying Larry James wasn't a stud here, but before placing Larrabee and James, you might want to look at these other guys too.
Larry James was one of the greatest 400 meters runnes of all time. In 1968 at the Penn Relays he was clocked in under 43 seconds on his great anchor leg running down a 45 second Rice University 400 man. Larry ran the fastest ever 500 yards and won numerous NCAA titles. He is well deserving of the T&F Hall of Fame. More importantly Larry is a great Husband, Father, son, friend and a great administrator. He has my love and respect.
No sub-43: he ran 43.9 for 440y (=43.6). But he's not "one of the great 400m runners of all-time." Very-very good, and perhaps worthy of the Hall of Fame at some point in time, but while there are so many far superior candidates who havent' been inducted, his choice should be viewed as premature, at best.
44.9 (converted 45.2 for 440y), not making him among the 50 (maybe even 60) fastest Americans ever. The guys lucky enough to run at Mexico in 1968 have been deified WAY beyond their true stature.
Otis Davis ran 44.9 when it was a World Record (on dirt I might add) and won the gold medal in doing so (after setting new Olympic Records in both his quarterfinal and semifinal). Eight years later James, another 44.9 guy, wins silver and he beats Davis into the HOF? Sorry, does not compute.
Is Herb McKenley historys first sub 46 quarter miler and the first man to split sub 45 on a relay leg in the Hall of Fame ?
He doesn't have an individual gold medal either but his credentials are impressive. Three Olympic silvers in individual events, world records, fastest relay split for years and numerous collegiate honours won plus.......
well, I am just assuming that it's for US citizens only; can't imagine otherwise. I think I'd bet the farm on it. Otherwise a raft of foreign athletes who competed for US schools would be in such as Henry Rono, Herb McKenley, etc. Maybe they are looser on coaches ? Who in particular are you thinking of ?