>Do whatever you like I'm merely stating "my" opinion. If it's cool with you, go for it! I prefer to pass on it.
Is that ok with you?
Of course it's okay. No one is questioning your right to express your opinion; we just happen to think your opinion is stupid. That's what democracy and debate (and message boards like this) are about. Feel free to express your opinion, just don't be surprised (which you seem to be) when others offer a rebuttal and call you a dork. Heck, it happens to me all the time.
Brutal's silence on the Nurmi question made him unwttingly correct -- no one ever beat Nurmi in the 10k.
I'll admit that I'm flying by the seat of my pants on the Central Collegiates question -- my answer was current as of 15 or so years ago, but these individuals may have been eclipsed by now. (If anyone corrects me, I'll welcome it with open arms.) My info says Jesse Owens and Sid Sink.
When I ran at Bowling Green, the team was waiting for a meeting with Sid, our coach, and someone noticed that his picture in the hallway had ONLY THREE cross-country All-American certificates. Someone asked, "Hey, what's this? You weren't All-American when you were a freshman? What a wimp!" He told us freshmen weren't eligible at the time, or he would have been. Our team captain said Sid was dead serious, and absolutely right.
I'll get to work on all those sprint questions -- like a good lawyer, the most important thing is knowing where to look something up. I still say that the men's sprints and relays make up less than 12% of the Olympic events.
But not all of your questions were men's sprints. The Haiti question is easy -- Silvio Cator, LJ, September 9 1928 in Paris' Colombes stadium.
sid sink - one of the steeple 'breakthru' guys for usa, jerome liebenberg (sp), and seems like some others (one or two) from early 70s. i remember reading from somewhere (t&fn?) that liebenberg considered playing basketball an integral part of his training regimen. I don't recall sink or liebenburg ever beating nurmi either - a select group, as jsquire has pointed out
Sid was a prime example of how talent can remain unknown. Sid loved (and still loves) basketball above any other activity. He was Fairview H.S.'s MVP as a senior and a conference all-star. He ran only because the coach said that all basketball players who weren't out for football must run cross country. So he did and became a state champion.
Despite the fact that he became the best steeple/5k guy from Ohio until Croghan and Kennedy came along, his high school times were no better or worse than other state champions of his era. A high school teammate of his (who himself became an 8:57 steepler) told us that their cross country training was three miles a day followed by a basketball "open gym". If you can be a state champ off of training like that, you're obviously talented.
He is faithfully represented in "Without Limitts". The writers really went to great lengths for realism -- they have a runner in the '72 Oly Trials 5k who wore the correct orange Bowling Green jersey and white shorts, had the right bad 70s mustache, and aped Sid's running form perfectly, all for less than five seconds of screen time. Recently deceased former BG coach Mel Brodt broke his hand beating on the seat next to him while yelling at Sid that day, who made his move too late and took fourth at the trials.
The first time I met Sid, on a recruiting trip (for academics, not track), I said to him "Hey, weren't you in the Olympics?" His reply was a simple but short "no". Years later I found out that George Young couldn't run in Munich due to an injury, and Sid could have taken his place -- but didn't find out soon enough to get there on time.
sid was (at least per my take), as you say, much the gentleman - I was a 'B' level guy then w longshot at oly trials and ? - training indicated but injuries took care of that. never a steeple guy but sink was one guy i liked to watch, at any distance.
i appreciated his 'presence'. a quiet giant - it seemed. I'm almost sure T&F had a pic of sid and lieb arm in arm after one of their duels. sink w mustach and liegenberg w his headband and hair.
>The first time I met Sid, on a
>recruiting trip (for academics, not track), I
>said to him "Hey, weren't you in the
>Olympics?" His reply was a simple but short
>"no". Years later I found out that George
>Young couldn't run in Munich due to an injury,
>and Sid could have taken his place -- but didn't
>find out soon enough to get there on time.>>
George Young would be surprised to learn that. He ran 13:41.2 (probably faster than Sink's PR) in his heat in Munich.
>I am quite wrong then -- was it the steeplechase
>instead where Young did not compete? I know Sid
>got fourth in either the 5k or steeple at the
>trials, and totally bombed in the other event.>>
Sink was 4th in the 5K, bombed the steeple.
Interesting note about Young's performance in Munich. He injured his hip shortly before arrival and couldn't run a 70-second lap a few days before the race,but he was one of the gutsiest guys ever, and just missed advancing to the final by one place.
But if we're going to talk "what might have been," should also note that his heat was the one where Miruts Yifter went to the wrong gate and ended up not running.
Last time I write something here without doing my fact-checking first. The old-timer in this town that told me that story obviously made it up.
My original point was that talented athletes can compete well in a wide variety of activities, and the USA's long-standing weakness in distance racing is probably due to the low popularity of the sport as much as any shortcomings in training methods or the collegiate system. Distance racing was popular from the early 60s up to the early 80s, and that was the only time our men were consistently competitive on a world level. I noted on another thread that almost all of the USA's most successful marathoners (DeMar, Kelley, Shorter, Galloway, Rodgers, Salazar, Benoit) either went to high school or college in New England, and probably chose to become marathoners because of the Boston Marathon's status as a major sporting event. I'm sure Sid's experience of being forced in cross-country by his basketball coach was not unusual in the 1960s, but it would be now.