I've been a track & field fan since 1956 and I find myself wondering what happened to noted athletes of the past. Here are a few I'd like to know what their life is like now: Don Bowden (first American sub 4 mile in 1957, 3:58.7), Lou Jones (ran WR 400, 45.2 in '56 trials then failed to medal in OG final won by Charlie Jenkins @ 46.7), Jerry Smartt (alternate on 10K team for '56 OG team) and Glenn Davis (set WR in '56 OG trials @ 49.5 in 400m hurdles and won gold in Melbourne).
I'd like to know what happened to these and a hundred other stars of the 50"s--can anyone out there fill me in?
Sorry I don't have any "where are they now" update for you, but I remember well all the athletes you mentioned and saw them all compete, some several times. I'd also like to know what the following athletes from the same era are up to now: Parry O'Brien, Charlie Dumas, Bob Richards, Eddie Southern, the Styron twins, Bobby Morrow, Dave Sime, Rex Cawley, Dyrol Burleson, Jim Grelle, Greg Bell, and so many others...
I saw Dave Sime at a Duke track reunion in 2000 when the NCAA meet was at Duke. He lives in Miami, and I think still practicing medicine as an Ophthalmologist; after graduating from Duke in 1958 he went to Duke Medical school. His great 1960 comeback was right in the middle of his medical schooling, that's quite a double !
His daughter was a star soccer player and I believe is married to the Denver Broncos' Ed McCaffrey.
Dave looked very, very fit. Grey hair but lean and lanky as ever, he's probably 67 by now. Can probably break 25 in a 220.
And I think he did run a seniors track meet when he was about 50 and ran VERY fast.
>I've been a track & field fan since 1956 and I
>find myself wondering what happened to noted
>athletes of the past. Here are a few I'd like to
>know what their life is like now: Don Bowden
>(first American sub 4 mile in 1957, 3:58.7)>>
The October '97 issue of T&FN had a story on the 40th annviersary of Bowden's race and at that time he was cited as being owner of a sports-surfacing company and living in San José.
Regarding Dave Sime. Can anyone out there tell me in what race he got injured at the '56 N.C.A.A.
Was it at the end of the 100 or in the 200? Also what was it with him and turn running? (I did not have T&F News until 1957).
I was a huge fan of Sime and when he and Shelton failed to make the Oly team it just about ruined my whole summer.
Dave got hurt in the 200. w/o some research documents ( my T&FN's are at home , and I am at work now ) do not know if it was a heat or the final. I think he earlier just got flat out beaten in the 100 by Morrow.
Most of Dave's 220's were on the straight, as was common in those days, both the flat and the hurdles. ( His 20 flat and his 22.2 ) This might have been his first ever turn race. How much had he practiced turn running ? I do not know that.
and after that 1956 injury in the 200 on the turn NCAA, I believe he avoided the turn 200 like the plague thereafter, and maybe the 200 entirely even on the straight. Have to do some research on that.
His career itself was strange. His 1957 junior year, he played BASEBALL all year, showing up for a few meets ( like the Dayton AAU ) prely as a lark.
His senior year, 1958, do not know what he did during the regular dual meet season ( see Penn relays below ) , then ACC meet, but he pulled a muscle at the Carolinas AAU meet the very next week ( prior to NCAA or national AAU meets ) in the hundred and that was pretty much it until his 1960 comeback, which I believe was completely in the 100.
Have a vague memory of him picking up a dropped baton before the 2nd 220 leg of the Sprint Medley at Penn Relays in 1958, and then running a 220 around the bend, eating up LOTS of yards and guys before handoff to the half mile anchor guy, and sending the end zone fans nuts. So there is a 200 on the turn in 1958 if I am right. I think he won an invitational 100 in the same meet.
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I have been thinking about this off and on for close to 50 years and again after T&F News ran the picture from the 100 in a recent "Remember When" where we can also see Agostini and King.
But Sime actually ran a couple of turn 200s in France during the summer of '57. I think he had 21.0 or 21.1. Unfortunately I did not get to see him as his group never made it up to Scandinavia. However, I got to see King, Courtney, Jenkins, and Babka in Oslo. Well, a couple of more meters and Sime would have had Hary at Rome and I don't even want to think about that Relay.
During Sime's "baseball" year (1957), he ran 9.3 (=WR) and 20.4 (straight) at the Carolina AAU at Raleigh on 18 May, finished 2nd in the 100 (9.7) at the AAU at Dayton on 21 June, then ran 10.3 and 21.0 (half-turn) at Bordeaux on 30 June, 21.1 (half-turn) at Paris four days later, and another 10.3 at Nancy on 6 July. Not a bad season; T&FN ranked him 5th in the 100 and 4th in the 200.
His best-ever 200 around a full turn occurred at Philadelphia on 30 April 1960: a 20.8 in a losing effort to Ray Norton's 20.6.
thanks, tc, I did some checking at home myself with old T&FN's and found a lot of that. As you said, he actually ran a bit more than I had thought that year. The reason he did not run the NCAA was that Duke was still alive in the NCAA baseball tournament !
And as you might have seen, his injury at the 1956 NCAA in the 200 was in the final. He ran 21.1 in his heat. All this was after the 100 where beat him and Agostini.
The issue of T&FN describing the meet also said he had never run a 200/220 even in practice until the week befroe the NCAA.
Regarding Don Bowden, America's first sub-four minute miler from the University of California, he is still alive and well in the San Jose area. Although his wife has passed away, he is living comfortably with his three dogs, -- two Great Pyrenees and a Border Collie. As noted by Garry Hill [above], Don still runs a business exporting Tech-Tone tennis court surfacing along with lighting and accessory items for sports fields. This keeps him involved with travel and the sports world.
At the 2002 USATF Championships at Stanford, USATF CEO and fellow-miler Craig Masback recognized Bowden on the field by awarding him a plaque recognizing Don's historic run at Stockton 45 years previously. Stockton still remembers him, and will hold the "Don Bowden Mile" on May 24th this year.
Don says he remains in contact with fellow Olympians such as Lon Spurrier (former world record holder in the 880), 1960 shot put Olympic gold medal winner Bill Nieder, and his former Cal teammate Monte Upshaw. Don enjoys Cal track, his dogs, and spends a lot of time at his cabin in Aptos, California.
Ben Jipcho? Unless this thread is only focused on Americans, then I apologize for bringing him up. He sticks in my mind because as a jr. highschool kid, the first track meet I ever witnessed was one of the ITA events at the Sports Arena in L.A.. Anyway, having run a blazing 6:20 mile in PE class, I realized the mile was a long way, tougher than the 600y we had to run for the President's Physical Fitness Test (We could use that these days, eh?). So, here's this guy that runs and wins the two mile, I think he ran 8;28, but it could have been 8:38, then he comes back a while later and wins the mile in 3:56 and change! I couldn't believe a guy could run like that. After the meet we ran into Jipcho walking through the crowd and we (myself and a few other 12 - 14 year olds) tried to grab his attention right away. It didn't take much, he stood there and talked with us for 15 minutes at least. He wasn't putting on act of friendliness, you could see he got a kick out of talking with kids.
So what ever happened to this late bloomer that set steeple records and scared Ryun's mile record in the latter stages of his career? Based on that one incident, I think he was a hell of a nice fella.