I deeply remember Calvin SMITH's incredibly
smooth strides in 1987 at the Jean-BOUIN Paris
meeting. That day he ran a 20"29 200m.
"Style is man." the French writer BUFFON said.
Calvin SMITH remains to me as a virtuoso who
was always giving the extraordinary visual
impression that he was flying on burning tracks.
My hero when I was a kid.
My last race in open track & field was when I agreed to fill in the second 200 leg of a Sprint Medley team for my track club at Penn Relays and found myself lined up next to Steve Riddick running for the Philadelphia Pioneers. After that, I waited to become a submaster.
Not THE fastest, but as far as 'speediest' (amazing turnover),Billy Gaines at '66 National indoor, winning in 5.9(60y). He was the real thing - lightning quick, and accomplishing something pretty unreal for a HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR.
halfmiler, My experience was similar. Also a halfmiler, I ran my first collegiate indoor race in a 4 X 400. On a 300 meter track, each leg was waiting at a different area. Running 2nd, I look over and Harvey Glance was standing there. Being young and obviously dumb, I was into it, and planned to latch on to Harvey like a bulldog on the mailman. It's pretty hard to grab on to something you can barely see. Luckily he got the baton long before me. Riddick was so fun to watch. One of my all time favorites.
not a sprinter certainly, but a year or so ago I was out "running" on a rail-trail at about a 9 minute pace here in Indy when I was passed by a guy named Bob Kennedy. Of course it was like a jet plane passing a camel !
I've seen some phenominal sprinters at the Texas Relays. Ive seen Mo Green run great 200m legs and loose. I've seen Carl Lewis run a leg against Donavan Bailey and cause him to cramp up in both legs. Kim Collins at the texas relays run 9.9's two years in a row. I saw Tre Gardner run a leg against Jon Drummond in the 4 x 200 that was fantastic (19.4 split). I've seen Brenden Christian as a high Schooler run the best anchor 4x400 I've ever seen. He overcame a 20m defecit to win the event.
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
Last edited by capconsys on Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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.