Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?


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

Postby Avante » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:41 am

gh wrote:
Avante wrote:...
Not that they were number one ranked, just adding to the list....

Howard Drew...1912
George Simpson...1932
Eulace Peacock...1936
Rey Robinson...1972


Robinson has a one-time 9.9 from a place known for dodgy timing and a second-best career mark of 10.3, with no international credentials. He doesn't remotely belong on a list of this caliber.


Robinson took second in our 72 Olympic trials. He was world ranked..5th...in 72 and had PRs of 9.2/10.26 to go with his 9.9. I think he belongs.
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Postby Avante » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:00 am

Conor Dary wrote:Since we are talking about 'dubious times', we should mention Southern Illinois University's Ivory Crockett in those who didn't win a medal. The first 9.0 100y.

I saw him run down at MacAndrew's Stadium back in the early '70s.


I think his 9.0 is legit, he did beat Reggie Jones in that race. As we can see from the below, he was the real deal.

1970 Nationals

1. Ivory Crockett 9.3
2. Ben Vaughan 9.3
3. Charles Greene 9.3
4. Eddie Hart 9.3
5. Robert J. Taylor 9.3
6. Bobby Turner 9.5

1969

1. Ivory Crockett 9.3
2. John Carlos 9.3
3. Charles Greene 9.4
4. Mel Gray 9.4
5. Robert J. Taylor 9.4
6. Eddie Hart 9.4
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Postby gh » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:15 pm

Avante wrote:
gh wrote:
Avante wrote:...
Not that they were number one ranked, just adding to the list....

Howard Drew...1912
George Simpson...1932
Eulace Peacock...1936
Rey Robinson...1972


Robinson has a one-time 9.9 from a place known for dodgy timing and a second-best career mark of 10.3, with no international credentials. He doesn't remotely belong on a list of this caliber.


Robinson took second in our 72 Olympic trials. He was world ranked..5th...in 72 and had PRs of 9.2/10.26 to go with his 9.9. I think he belongs.


If a No. 5 ranking is credential enough, we need to expand the list by a couple of dozen. Citing meaningless hand times means nothing.
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Postby Avante » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:21 pm

gh wrote:
Avante wrote:
gh wrote:
Avante wrote:...
Not that they were number one ranked, just adding to the list....

Howard Drew...1912
George Simpson...1932
Eulace Peacock...1936
Rey Robinson...1972


Robinson has a one-time 9.9 from a place known for dodgy timing and a second-best career mark of 10.3, with no international credentials. He doesn't remotely belong on a list of this caliber.


Robinson took second in our 72 Olympic trials. He was world ranked..5th...in 72 and had PRs of 9.2/10.26 to go with his 9.9. I think he belongs.




If a No. 5 ranking is credential enough, we need to expand the list by a couple of dozen. Citing meaningless hand times means nothing.


A world record 100m holder, a 9.2 guy which is just a tick away from what greats Hayes, Hines and Greene ran, a second place finish at out Oly trials beating the to be Oly silver medalist, a number 5 world ranking. That's enought for me.
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Postby gh » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:27 am

Wow, talk about lowering the bar.

Your faith in bad hand timing is astounding.
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Postby Avante » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:08 am

gh wrote:Wow, talk about lowering the bar.

Your faith in bad hand timing is astounding.


I can only go with the info I have. I can't assume a time is wrong, hell we could do that for any of those pre electro races. Robinson ran the second fastest time in the world in 72 with a 9.3. He ran a 9.2w in high school. He was the third ranked American in 1972, the fifth ranked in the world. He took second in our Olympic trials beating Taylor who would win the Oly silver medal. If you recall he came within a whisker of beating Hart at those trials.


So we have an Olympian who ran a world record. Those are the facts. A guy who did run 9.3 and a 9.2. Nobody is lowering the bar, he accomplished enought to belong in this conversation. He also had a 10.26.

1972 USA 100 yards

1 Harold Porter 9.2
1 Herb Washington 9.2
1 Ivory Crockett 9.2
1 Joseph Sincere 9.2
5 Rey Robinson 9.3
5 Gus Brisco USA 9.3
5 William Holloway 9.3
5 Steve Williams 9.3
5 Cliff Branch 9.3
5 William Lide 9.3

100 m

1 Eddie Hart 9.9
1 Rey Robinson 9.9
3 Warren Edmonson 10.0
3 Steve Riddick 10.0
3 Cliff Branch 10.0
3 Henry Jackson 10.0
3 Robert Taylor 10.0
8 Willie Deckard 10.1
8 Lennox Miller 10.1
8 Dennis Walker 10.1

As we see he ran about as fast as anyone in 72 and when it came time to go for an Olympics spot he barely lost to Hart. So he rose to the occasion. There is no reason to think he couldn't have beaten Taylor again at the Olympics.
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Postby no one » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:20 am

Thats the difference between:

1. being there and knowing context (gh)... and
2. reading numbers on a piece of paper (avante)

One is knowledge
the other -
merely perpetuation of misleading, perfunctory and self serving

mmm - a pattern? no, easily predictable

will happen again
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Postby Avante » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:29 am

no one wrote:Thats the difference between:

1. being there and knowing context (gh)... and
2. reading numbers on a piece of paper (avante)

One is knowledge
the other -
merely perpetuation of misleading, perfunctory and self serving

mmm - a pattern? no, easily predictable

will happen again


You try way too hard no one....really!

Rey Robinson did beat everyone but Hart with an Olympic berth on the line. He did get credit for 9.3, 9.2, 9.9. He was ranked 3 USA, 5 World. Those are the facts. You disagree with that? Prove those facts wrong?
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Postby no one » Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:49 am

yawn - you don't know what 'prove' is
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Postby Avante » Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:01 am

no one wrote:yawn - you don't know what 'prove' is


Just as I thought. Not a clue!
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby user4 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 2:23 pm

Regarding Rey Robinson, 2nd at the 72 OT; Why was he not selected to run a leg on the 4X1 relay squad in Munich ? ... Why did the coaches overlook Rey Robinson ? He was only 20 years old, was it the case that the coach did not have enough confidence in the young Rey ?
Last edited by user4 on Fri May 03, 2013 3:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Kim Collins

Postby Sprints_and_XC » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:27 pm

I'll go with Kim Collins
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby fasttrack85 » Mon May 06, 2013 8:36 pm

Carmelita Jeter.....before London I would have to say Allyson Felix would have been a good class act candidate without an individual gold.

I second Ottey and Powell as well though.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby rhymans » Mon May 06, 2013 9:08 pm

Yes, but Felix had won medals, even if they weren't individual golds.

As to Rey Robinson, he had run on the US relay team in Oslo at the beginning of August [with Taylor, Tinker and Hart], and was 5th in the 100 well behind Taylor and Tinker. A week later he improved to 10.3 (from 10.5) to edge Taylor in Viareggio, but didn't run on the relay team, which ran 38.8 (as compared to 39.1 in Oslo). On August 24 Payton Jordan announced that Robinson had been dropped from the relay team. On the day after the timetable debacle in Munich, at was noted in some papers that Robinson had run 10.55 in his first round heat, while injured. That crumb of information suggests that Robinson had been carrying an injury in Europe, and the coach had decided not to risk the Gold medal by including an injured athlete

As to the original question, I'd nominate

Howard Drew (1912 - injured in Stockholm)
Roland Locke (Terrific in 1926)
Frank Wykoff (3 relay golds, but individually - 2 OG final 4th places)
Hal Davis (World's best in 1940, 1942-43)
Jim Golliday (injured in 52/56 - world's best in 51/55)
Ray Norton (world's best in 59, overcome with a bad stomach + nerves in 1960)
Charlie Tidwell (Best American in 1960, injured in OT while leading)
Steve Williams (Best American in 76, and possibly the best in the world - missed out on 3 Olympics!)

And of the above, I'd rate Davis ahead of Williams and Golliday (who would have been a winner in 52)
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby dj » Tue May 07, 2013 6:27 am

Richard's list is missing one that I'd add immediately: Arthur Duffey (1900-injured in Paris)
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby DoubleRBar » Tue May 07, 2013 7:11 am

Good choice, dj. I would say Arthur Duffey was just about the best sprinter (in the world) at the turn-of-the-century. He would have easily won the 1900 Paris 100 meters, however he pulled up in that race with an injury.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby user4 » Tue May 07, 2013 8:35 am

DoubleRBar wrote:Good choice, dj. I would say Arthur Duffey was just about the best sprinter (in the world) at the turn-of-the-century. He would have easily won the 1900 Paris 100 meters, however he pulled up in that race with an injury.


I dont think it is wise to value the injury as a handicap in this discussion. Both Duffey and Golliday had their chance to compete and came up short due to injury and injury is part of the game, a fundamental part. Training wisely and staying uninjured is the meat and potatoes of the sport. While both Duffey and Golliday were immensely talented they blew it on their own and have no one to blame but themselves. They are not champions and the responsibility rests with them. It is no different than under training and blowing it ... Juxtapose that to guys like Davis who lost their chance due to no fault of their own.

and thanks to rhymans for the inside story on Rey Robinson.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby dj » Tue May 07, 2013 8:52 am

user4 wrote:
DoubleRBar wrote:Good choice, dj. I would say Arthur Duffey was just about the best sprinter (in the world) at the turn-of-the-century. He would have easily won the 1900 Paris 100 meters, however he pulled up in that race with an injury.


I dont think it is wise to value the injury as a handicap in this discussion. Both Duffey and Golliday had their chance to compete and came up short due to injury and injury is part of the game, a fundamental part. Training wisely and staying uninjured is the meat and potatoes of the sport. While both Duffey and Golliday were immensely talented they blew it on their own and have no one to blame but themselves. They are not champions and the responsibility rests with them. It is no different than under training and blowing it ... Juxtapose that to guys like Davis who lost their chance due to no fault of their own.


This is a bit rough on Duffey. The 1900 "track" in Paris was an uneven grass surface. Duffey was leading the final by one meter half-way through when he stepped in a low spot and couldn't finish with a tendon injury. This wasn't a matter of his training gone wrong.

Here's a question for the MDs and other physios on the board: In the first two or three decades of the 1900s, virtually all leg injuries are referred to in the sporting press as tendon injuries. Was this truly the case, or was "tendon" a simple one-word-fits-all description of leg injuries at the time? I'm guessing the latter, but I'd love to know for sure.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby user4 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:07 am

dj wrote:
user4 wrote:
DoubleRBar wrote:Good choice, dj. I would say Arthur Duffey was just about the best sprinter (in the world) at the turn-of-the-century. He would have easily won the 1900 Paris 100 meters, however he pulled up in that race with an injury.


I dont think it is wise to value the injury as a handicap in this discussion. Both Duffey and Golliday had their chance to compete and came up short due to injury and injury is part of the game, a fundamental part. Training wisely and staying uninjured is the meat and potatoes of the sport. While both Duffey and Golliday were immensely talented they blew it on their own and have no one to blame but themselves. They are not champions and the responsibility rests with them. It is no different than under training and blowing it ... Juxtapose that to guys like Davis who lost their chance due to no fault of their own.


This is a bit rough on Duffey. The 1900 "track" in Paris was an uneven grass surface. Duffey was leading the final by one meter half-way through when he stepped in a low spot and couldn't finish with a tendon injury. This wasn't a matter of his training gone wrong.

Here's a question for the MDs and other physios on the board: In the first two or three decades of the 1900s, virtually all leg injuries are referred to in the sporting press as tendon injuries. Was this truly the case, or was "tendon" a simple one-word-fits-all description of leg injuries at the time? I'm guessing the latter, but I'd love to know for sure.


dj, you are the gift that keeps giving, thanks for the context. I can imagine that the very early 1900 sprinters, upon first stepping onto a graded and groomed cinder track must have wondered if this was not akin to cheating the past.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby dj » Tue May 07, 2013 9:37 am

user4 wrote: I can imagine that the very early 1900 sprinters, upon first stepping onto a graded and groomed cinder track must have wondered if this was not akin to cheating the past.


Many tracks in the early 1900s were pretty good, at least at the upper ends of the sport. The Brits and North Americans who ran at the Paris Olympics generally regarded the physical conditions as deplorable.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby Per Andersen » Tue May 07, 2013 1:46 pm

dj wrote:
Many tracks in the early 1900s were pretty good, at least at the upper ends of the sport. The Brits and North Americans who ran at the Paris Olympics generally regarded the physical conditions as deplorable.

Worse than Antwerp or Amsterdam? Hard to see that from times recorded.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby Per Andersen » Tue May 07, 2013 8:30 pm

Per Andersen wrote:
dj wrote:
Many tracks in the early 1900s were pretty good, at least at the upper ends of the sport. The Brits and North Americans who ran at the Paris Olympics generally regarded the physical conditions as deplorable.

Worse than Antwerp or Amsterdam? Hard to see that from times recorded.

Disregard my last post. Don't know what the hell I was thinking :oops:
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby bambam » Wed May 08, 2013 2:01 pm

dj wrote:
user4 wrote:
DoubleRBar wrote:While both Duffey and Golliday were immensely talented they blew it on their own and have no one to blame but themselves. They are not champions and the responsibility rests with them. It is no different than under training and blowing it ... Juxtapose that to guys like Davis who lost their chance due to no fault of their own.

Here's a question for the MDs and other physios on the board: In the first two or three decades of the 1900s, virtually all leg injuries are referred to in the sporting press as tendon injuries. Was this truly the case, or was "tendon" a simple one-word-fits-all description of leg injuries at the time? I'm guessing the latter, but I'd love to know for sure.


I don't think they knew - a lot of generic terms back then - periarthritis, neuresthenia - we never use them now and don't know what they mean.

I also think user4 is too tough in guys with injuries in general. Greg Oden and Sam Bowie in basketball - is that their fault? Their bodies gave in. The guy I did my fellowship with (who for years took of care of the Broncos and Rockies) said at major level sports its just Darwinian. We push bodies to their extremes to achieve extremes and sometimes they just don't make it. Herb Score was injured - was that his fault?
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby catson52 » Wed May 08, 2013 3:11 pm

rhymans wrote:Yes, but Felix had won medals, even if they weren't individual golds.

As to Rey Robinson, he had run on the US relay team in Oslo at the beginning of August [with Taylor, Tinker and Hart], and was 5th in the 100 well behind Taylor and Tinker. A week later he improved to 10.3 (from 10.5) to edge Taylor in Viareggio, but didn't run on the relay team, which ran 38.8 (as compared to 39.1 in Oslo). On August 24 Payton Jordan announced that Robinson had been dropped from the relay team. On the day after the timetable debacle in Munich, at was noted in some papers that Robinson had run 10.55 in his first round heat, while injured. That crumb of information suggests that Robinson had been carrying an injury in Europe, and the coach had decided not to risk the Gold medal by including an injured athlete

As to the original question, I'd nominate

Howard Drew (1912 - injured in Stockholm)
Roland Locke (Terrific in 1926)
Frank Wykoff (3 relay golds, but individually - 2 OG final 4th places)
Hal Davis (World's best in 1940, 1942-43)
Jim Golliday (injured in 52/56 - world's best in 51/55)
Ray Norton (world's best in 59, overcome with a bad stomach + nerves in 1960)
Charlie Tidwell (Best American in 1960, injured in OT while leading)
Steve Williams (Best American in 76, and possibly the best in the world - missed out on 3 Olympics!)

And of the above, I'd rate Davis ahead of Williams and Golliday (who would have been a winner in 52)


An obvious candidate missing is Eulace Peacock in 1936. Without injury he had three chances to win a medal in Berlin, 100/200/LJ. His record of 1935 puts him way up on this list.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby cullman » Wed May 08, 2013 4:26 pm

Willie Williams was listed earlier which brought to mind the1955 Pan American Games triple gold medalist in the sprints, Rod Richard. How good was he?
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby Per Andersen » Wed May 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Rod Richard? He beat work. Bob Work :) Don't know what happened to him in '56 but I'll rank him behind Frank Budd and Art Bragg.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby dj » Thu May 09, 2013 4:51 am

catson52 wrote:An obvious candidate missing is Eulace Peacock in 1936. Without injury he had three chances to win a medal in Berlin, 100/200/LJ. His record of 1935 puts him way up on this list.


Yes, good addition. But his triple would have been 100/LJ/4x1. During his collegiate career at Temple (1934-1937) he ran the 200/220 only in collegiate duals and the AAU pentathlon with a best of 22.1 for the 220y on a turn. He was nearly a full second away form competing for a spot on the '36 team.
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Re:

Postby user4 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:03 am

Avante wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Since we are talking about 'dubious times', we should mention Southern Illinois University's Ivory Crockett in those who didn't win a medal. The first 9.0 100y.

I saw him run down at MacAndrew's Stadium back in the early '70s.


I think his 9.0 is legit, he did beat Reggie Jones in that race. As we can see from the below, he was the real deal.

1970 Nationals

1. Ivory Crockett 9.3
2. Ben Vaughan 9.3
3. Charles Greene 9.3
4. Eddie Hart 9.3
5. Robert J. Taylor 9.3

1969

1. Ivory Crockett 9.3
2. John Carlos 9.3
3. Charles Greene 9.4
4. Mel Gray 9.4
5. Robert J. Taylor 9.4
6. Eddie Hart 9.4



We should be careful to discriminate between cinder and synthetic for the 100yd dash. I may sound overly skeptical but I dont believe Crockett's hand timed 9.0 .... If I use Bob Hayes' 9.1 (not even sure how many 9.1s Hayes registered) as a benchmark I would hazard to guess that Crockett was a 9.3 on cinder at the very best. Of course 100yds is not an OG standard so Crockett never makes an OG final in 1968, 1972 or 1976. ... and then there was Houston McTear another 100 yard wonder snatching defeat from the jaws of victory every time he got within 10 yards of the finish line.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby user4 » Thu May 09, 2013 7:51 am

The US sprinters from 1980, starting with Stanley Floyd. It is impossible to imagine that they would not have come home with more than a few medals.
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby Jackaloupe » Thu May 09, 2013 10:12 am

Late to the party here, but olden day Sprinters (and ballplayers) often suffered a "Charley Horse". Dunno why, but my image from back then refers that to the Calf muscle.

Glad someone upthread finally came up with Eulace Peacock, the NJ Sprinter/Long Jumper who was an arch rival to Jesse Owens. Many considered him better, but he got....(drum roll 4 'User4'...) injured. I first learned of Peacock in 1953, perusing the NJ State Champs program; he held the Broad Jump record.

BTW, they didn't have the Hop, Step & Jump in HS back then;~). Whenever some hapless kid would call it the Hop, Skip & Jump, we'd demonstrate how that'd be like 2 Hops before jumping; or more correctly, simply call the event the Skip & Jump...
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Re:

Postby Gebrucilassie » Mon May 13, 2013 7:03 pm

Conor Dary wrote:Since we are going that far back, what about Laurence Myers or Harry Hutchins?


Not quite as long ago but Eulace Peacock comes to mind...
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Re: Best sprinter to never win an Olympic medal?

Postby user4 » Tue May 14, 2013 5:39 am

Frank Budd and Ray Norton are somewhere in the top 40 list.
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