track History


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Re: track History

Postby Guest » Wed May 14, 2003 9:56 pm

Rich K, that's an apt observation regarding Lee Evans. Very hard worker with talent, but not unreal talent like so many other WR holders. In one of the other threads, someone mentioned that Evans ran XC in the off season with the distance guys. Imagine some of the 400's big guns of the last 10 years doing that. Evans was a tough guy. MJ had all the earmarks of a freak of nature like few others.
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Re: track History

Postby Guest » Thu May 15, 2003 5:19 pm

Exactly why Lee Evans tops my list of personal favorites: Maximum Guts.
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Re: track History

Postby Cannon » Thu May 15, 2003 5:50 pm

MJ is great, with no one to approach him in actual performance but I have no doubt that Tommie Smith could have also run low 43's if he had trained for/concentrated on the 400.
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Re: track History

Postby Arnie » Thu May 15, 2003 8:23 pm

Does anyone think Gunder Hagg fits in as one of the all time greats? Maybe give Arne Andersson honorable mention.
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Re: track History

Postby Guest » Thu May 15, 2003 9:11 pm

Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden was the only major practioner of track--no?--that didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)

Who knows what the "real" WRs might have been had the Americans and the rest of Europe not been busy killing each other.
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Re: track History

Postby jsquire » Fri May 16, 2003 5:15 am

>Hard to judge Hägg and Andersson in that Sweden
>was the only major practioner of track--no?--that
>didn't have the fruit of its manhood (see Rufolf
>Harbig) off getting chopped up in WWII. (That, my
>being a pacifist, not a slam at all.)

Who
>knows what the "real" WRs might have been had
>the Americans and the rest of Europe not been
>busy killing each other.

Although times only mean so much, Andersson was the world leader in 1939, a few months before the war really began. He was already one of the world's top milers before his competiton was distraction by death and destruction. Hagg, of course, mostly got the better of Andersson. So it's hard to get a real idea of how the war affected Hagg and Andersson -- they still had each other to compete against, even if there wasn't much else.

In 1942, 5 of the top 10 on the combined 1500/mile list were Swedes. In 1943, it was 6 out of 10, in 1944 8 out of 10, in 1945 8 out of 10 again. While South America also continued to compete unaffected by the war, only Sweden had much impact at the highest levels of distance running. (Some Finns continued to race, but mostly in Sweden.) The USA, however, continued to dominate the sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws, just not as much as before and after the war.
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Re: track History

Postby billthedog » Fri May 16, 2003 5:06 pm

Bannister beat Landy in the Miracle Mile (3:58.8) and won the European Championships 1500 that same year (1954). Maybe just a single year but not just a single performance.


>I wouldn't include Bannister or Beamon -
>take away their respective great performances and
>they aren't strong candidates
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Re: track History

Postby billthedog » Fri May 16, 2003 5:24 pm

>My Men's All Time Top Ten

100-1.Bob Hayes
>2.Carl Lewis 3.Jim Hines 4.Jessie
Owens 5.Bobby
>Morrow 6.Maurice Greene 7.Donovan
Bailey 8.Armin
>Hary 9.Valeriy Boroz 10.Eddie
Tolan
200-
>1.Michael Johnson 2.Tommie Smith 3.Pietro
Mennea
>4.Henry Carr 5.Don Quarrie 6.Jessie Owens
7.Mel
>Patton 8.Frankie Frederichs 9.Carl
>Lewis
10.Calvin Smith
400- 1.Michael Johnson
>2.Lee Evans 3.Herb McKinley 4.Butch Reynolds
>5.Alberto Juantornea
6.Steve Lewis 7.Otis Dav is
>8.Larry James 9.Bill
Carr 10.Lou
>Jones

Your list is well-founded and great fun. But you have to find a place in one or both of the sprints for Metcalfe. True, Tolan beat him in both in 1932 and Owens beat him in 1936, but nobody -- nobody -- will ever equal his triple double double of 1932, 1933 and 1934. That achievement will stand longer than DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. (Anybody remember what DiMaggio's streak was for the San Francisco Seals before he went up to the Yankees? More than 60 games, I recall.)
And in the 400, McKenley was a great all-around sprinter, but Wint beat him in 1948 and Rhoden (whom I would place fourth) in 1952.
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Re: track History

Postby Guest » Sat May 17, 2003 11:27 am

Your list is
>well-founded and great fun. But you have to find
>a place in one or both of the sprints for
>Metcalfe.

In the 50's, Maxwell Stiles of the LA Times ranked the all-time great sprinters. Metcalfe was #2 behind Bobby Morrow and ahead of Owens. Stiles didn't think it was odd, and he actually saw all of them run.
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