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.
Last edited by Ten Bears on Wed Jul 14, 2004 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.
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.
Michael Johnson at Penn
Maurice Green in NY
Leroy Burrell in Huston
Jon Drummond NY
Crawford in NY
John Capel at 1999 Ncaa champs
Michael Mash in Huston
Deji Aliu in Nairobi engen meet
Justin Gatlin in Tenn.
Obadele Thompson in Boston
Innocent ebunike 1987All African Games (44.17)
Samson Kitur In Nairobi (RIP)(44.18)
Terrence Trammell 1999 Ncaa
Alan Johnson in Johnson City Tenn.
Ato Boldon in NY
Davidson Ezinwa at Penn
Tim Montgomery in NY
Christopher Williams running a 500m at Seton Hall
>let's be serious here - tommie smith at full stride - case closed
In 1968 in Victoria B.C. Canada I saw Tommie Smith run anchor on a US B 4 X100 team against the US team that would go on to win at Mexico. The A team had a bad first exchange, and in the result Smith was within a couple of yards of Hines when he took the baton. He easily ran down Hines and beat him by a couple of yards. Smith, at full speed, was simply in a different league than Hines. I've seen lots of sprinters, but I've never seen anyone as fast as Smith that day.
Tommie Smith. It was at the 1966 "International Games" in Los Angeles -- you know, the meet they created on the fly when the Russians chickened-out of their scheduled dual meet with the US.
I was a twerp, but I audaciously counted myself among the cognoscenti who were anticipating the possibility of a world record in the 1600 meter relay, and I insinuated myself into the front row to watch. The team delivered, running 2:59.6. The first time under 3 minutes. Tommie Smith ran the third leg in 43.6 or 43.8, something like that, and was just flying down the backstretch. The Coliseum is a great venue for track, and for that meet and that race in particular the fans were wild - the whole scene was something of godlike magnificence (or at least I thought so then). I think it was probably the most exciting race I ever saw, even though it wasn't close: Australia, or somebody, took second in around 3:13.
>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.
Sounds like John Carlos!
I stood right behind Valeriy Borzov's starting blocks at an indoor meet in the mid-70's. I just walked right up there as they were called into the blocks and nobody told me to get lost. I was a college freshman and somewhat agaw at the reigning double Olympic champion.
I found out that he took off his sweats just like everybody else, and if I remember right he got beat in that race.
Calvin Smith 1979 International Prep
Butch Wolfolk 1981 Big Ten Championship 200M finals (was in the race...kinda)
Calvin Smith 1981 Indiana Relays 60yd
Rodger Kingdom 1981 Illinois Relays 300m WR (I ran in that race...for a few seconds)
Mel Latteney 1981 Drake Relays 100m (I watched him hit gears that I did not know existed from the lane next to him)
Albert Robinson 1984 Indianapolis 200M 20.07 (I watched the race from lane 8! I ran a good turn but...)
Robert Hacket 1984 Wisconsin, unbeleivable sprint endurance
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Angela Williams - from age group track club to present!
Also have been in races with past California High School greats Bryan Howard, Marques Holiwell & Pat Johnson(who now plays pro football). Plus,a few other pro football players Chris McAlister,Darrell Rideaux,
Daylon McCutcheon & Lawrence Phillips.
I saw Curtis Mills set a 440 yd. world record at Knoxville in 1969 at NCAA championships. Same meet had Richmond Flowers win high hurdles and Frank Shorter place 2nd in 3 mile after winning 6 mile (in his first ever race at the distance!).
Also saw indoor professional track meet in 70's with John Smith winning 400 and Ben Jipcho running and winning a distance race.
Smith was probably the fastest person I ever saw live, but the thrill of Mills WR run is one I still remember.
Also saw Harvey Glance at an indoor meet, as well as several Georgia High School sprinters who went on to fame later (Mel Lattany, Hershel Walker, Lorenzo Daniels, Roger Kingdom, Antonio Mckay, among others).
Fastest woman-saw Evelyn Ashford at an indoor meet. I think it was in San Diego at one of the meets where Eamon Coghlan set a WR in mile, but my memory fails to pull up the details for the moment.
1969 at NCAA
>championships. Same meet had Richmond Flowers win high hurdles and . . .
Your memory has slipped. Flowers never won an NCAA outdoor title. Erv Hall (Villanova) won the race you're thinking of. In fact, Flowers wasn't the first Vol in the race. Flowers was 3rd, with 2nd going to a Tennessee freshman. Name him.
Hall tied the WR of 13.2 for the 120y hurdles in the first heat--probably because the timers weren't ready. The auto time was 13.67!
It was indeed Erv Hall. RF was in race, but didn't do well. He just stuck in my memory because all the surrounding fans were rooting for him and the other Vol runners that day.
Thanks for the memory jog/correction.
>1969 at NCAA
>championships. Same meet had Richmond Flowers win high hurdles
>and . . .
Your memory has slipped. Flowers never won an NCAA outdoor title.
>Erv Hall (Villanova) won the race you're thinking of. In fact, Flowers wasn't
>the first Vol in the race. Flowers was 3rd, with 2nd going to a Tennessee
>freshman. Name him.
Just a complete guess, was it Bill High?
And looking back on the net, apparently John Carlos was in the meet. If so he definitely would be the fastest runner I ever saw, but darned if I remember him!! Curtis Mills is the one who sticks out in my mind.
Guess that's because I was a 440 man...
>>1969 at NCAA
>championships. Same meet had Richmond Flowers win high
>and . . .
Your memory has slipped. Flowers never won an NCAA
>Erv Hall (Villanova) won the race you're thinking of. In
>fact, Flowers wasn't
>the first Vol in the race. Flowers was 3rd, with 2nd
>going to a Tennessee
>freshman. Name him.
Just a complete guess, was it
Bill High it was. He ran 13.5 that day. I thought he was going to be a killer, but he never scored again.
I noticed that Forrest Beaty's mind-boggling 20.2 220 at the CIF Southern Section Finals in 1961 was the subject of comment. I would like to add that when he ran the race he was a 16-year-old junior and was flirting with the world record. Know anybody doing that today? Beaty did not have a great start but was like a runaway locomotive from 50 yards on. Somebody might be able to come up with the time but he ran a 220 split in the 880 relay that was the fastest in the national--high school or college. He ran 9.5s in the 100 as a junior and then 9.4 as a senior. He was CIF 220 champ three years in a row and won the state 100 twice and the 220 once. He was on his way to running a world record 19.7 or 19.8 220 in the State Finals as a 17-year-old senior when his hamstring ripped. He was nearly ten yards ahead of Richard Stebbins of Fremont High (and later a star at Grambling)and pulling away (as he always did) when the hamstring went. He was never the same again. He went to UC Berkeley and moved up to the 440 because every time he tried to sprint his hamstring went. Nonetheless, he ran sub 46 quarters and was ranked fourth or fifth in the nation in the mid-60s. As Steve Caminiti (who tied the prep high hurdle record--13.7--and set the low hurdle record--18.1)said, "There was fast. There was f . . . ing fast. And there was Forest Beaty." In 1961 and 1962 there was no one who could beat him or even come close. He ruled high school tracks in California. He tied Jesse Owens 9.4 high school record (Owens was 19 when he set it) and he set the 220 record with his 20.2. I might add that Beaty, unlike these sprinters today (and probably for the last 30 years or more) did it without steroids or human growth hormone.
In 1948 (or 1949?) I went to a dual track meet in Westwood between USC and UCLA and saw Mel Patton run 9.1 in the 100 yard dash, smashing the existing world record!! Immediately after the race, we knew something great had happened, because I vividly remember all the official timers running around and waving their arms and smiling, pointing at their stopwatches, before the official time was annnounced. Unfortunately, there was a slight following wind, so it could not be submitted as an official record, but it remains the most exciting moment I have ever experienced at a track meet