Centenial High School -late 50's


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

Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 28, 2003 11:35 am

Centenial High School has three great track stars. First and foremost was Charley Dumas, next was Paul Lowe in the 180 hurdles-later of San Diego Charger fame but at the time I thought the very best was an imposing sprinter named Preston Griffin. He was truly a man among boys. Have never heard about him since. Anybody know what happened to him?
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:23 pm

I just came across this old thread.
Centennial of Compton was a powerhouse that won the 1955 California State H.S. team championship. Individual winners in addition to Dumas HJ and Lowe LH were Ken Thompson HH, Ken Dennis 100yd dash and a long jumper, whose name I don't recall. I believe Dennis also placed in the 220yd dash, Thompson in the LH and Lowe in the HH. Their 4X220yd. relay team may have won or placed also. The 4X220yd relay was the only relay contested in the State HS championships for decades although the LA City championships had a 8X220yd relay for years.

Preston Griffin won the 100yd and 220yd dashes for Centennial in the Southern Section CIF Championships in 1957 in windblown times of 9.4 and 20.3 at Chaffey Junior College. I don't recall if he won the State Championships in both events the next week in Chico. After that Preston was seldom again heard from in track.

Centennial and Compton had tremendous track teams into the 60's with such record holders as Ulis Williams, 46.1 440yd dash and Reynaldo Brown,7'3" HJ. I don't recall if both went to Centennial or just one of them. Perhaps Garry Hill can shed some light on it.

I recently talked to a friend who graduated from Centennial in the mid 60's. I asked him why I hadn't heard much about their sports teams (except basketball) lately, especially track. His answer was a simple "the demographics changed".
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:03 pm

<<I recently talked to a friend who
>graduated from Centennial in the mid 60's. I
>asked him why I hadn't heard much about their
>sports teams (except basketball) lately,
>especially track. His answer was a simple "the
>demographics changed".>>

Omigod, you mean the unthinkable happened?! An inferior minority over-ran the school? You know, white people.
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 07, 2003 4:32 pm

I believe the demographic change he meant had more to do with many former residents of the area leaving for suburban locations or areas outside of California and being replaced with new area residents emagrating from foreign countries not noted for sprinters, hurdlers or jumpers.
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:41 am

The demographic changes described by jwetter are correct.

In 1955, Centennial's 29 points came from Ken Dennis (1st 100, 2nd 220), Ken Thompson (1st 120HH), Paul Lowe (1st 180LH), Charles Dumas (1st HJ), John Blaylock (5th LJ) and the 880 Relay - Scott, Blaylock, Lowe, Dennis- which finished 2nd. Centennial had other entrants in the HH, LH and HJ who did not score. This was a good team.

Preston Griffin won the state 100 and 220 in 1957 at Berkeley (9.6, 21.3) but was injured on his first long jump and did not place. His injury also knocked out Centennial's 880 relay team. A projected 3rd in the LJ and a win in the relay still would not have been good enough to beat Berkeley HS for the team title. Griffin did compete effectively in 1959: He ran a 9.5 (legal) at the West Coast Relays.

Ulis Williams and Reynaldo Brown both attended Compton HS.
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:24 pm

Tom Casacky wrote:
"
In 1955, Centennial's 29 points came from Ken Dennis (1st 100, 2nd 220), Ken Thompson (1st 120HH), Paul Lowe (1st 180LH), Charles Dumas (1st HJ), John Blaylock (5th LJ) and the 880 Relay - Scott, Blaylock, Lowe, Dennis- which finished 2nd. Centennial had other entrants in the HH, LH and HJ who did not score. This was a good team.

Preston Griffin won the state 100 and 220 in 1957 at Berkeley (9.6, 21.3) but was injured on his first long jump and did not place. His injury also knocked out Centennial's 880 relay team. A projected 3rd in the LJ and a win in the relay still would not have been good enough to beat Berkeley HS for the team title. Griffin did compete effectively in 1959: He ran a 9.5 (legal) at the West Coast Relays.

Ulis Williams and Reynaldo Brown both attended Compton HS."

Reply: Thanks Tom it's obvious your knowledge of the '55 and '57 events is vast and mine is only half vast (pun intended). I had forgotten that the Cal State H.S. Championships rotated in those days: North, South, Central. i.e.: '54 Cal Berkeley, '55 L.A. Coliseum, '56 Chico State, '57 Cal Berkeley, '58 (Cerritos CC or Long Beach CC?), '59 Bakersfield JC, '60 Stanford - Palo Alto , '61 East L.A. JC, etc. I got to all of these except '54 (I was too young to drive) and '57 (My high school graduation day). With that background I should have had better recollection of the details.

Lastly what year did Williams and Brown graduate from Compton?
My recollection was Williams in '61 and Brown in '63.
Guest
 

Re: Centenial High School -late 50's

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:18 am

Somewhat related--this discussion brought to mind another Southern California athlete of those days: Jerome Walters. A little googling found this:

http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/slv/exhibitio ... y/073.html
Guest
 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests