I watched Donovan Bailey run 9.91 standing right beside lane 8 in 1995, with Bruny Surin chasing him in 9.97. Being at trackside makes it look faster than it ever does from the stands or on television. Track suffers because television cannot convey the true ability of these athletes. The closest they have come is with the little roll-along cameras beside the track.
What is really astounding is when you actually run against a world class sprinter. I thought I was pretty quick over 30-40m, but when I trained with Mike McFarlane (5th 1984 OG 100m) it was amazing how fast he moved and how much distance he opened up on me within 20m.
30 years ago I was lucky to be at the track during some training sessions when Jean Louis Ravelomanantsoa was practicing starts. He was an NAIA sprinter at Westmont College far from his home in Madagascar. Short, thick, stubby and incredibly quick. He was a 10 flat world class sprinter for a decade mostly on the basis a blinding start. I've seen Carl and Hayes and others run faster at top end speed, but, sheesh, JL's acceleration was something to behold.
Seen Percy Spencer's 9.98 and Frankie Fredericks' 9.97 at the National Stadium. Many Ray Stewart races. He Stewart grew up in the same area of Kingston that I lived and still live, and went to the grade school that my Mom still teaches at.
I guess I've never been to a big time meet in person.
But the one performance I really remember was back in the mid-80s at the Empire State Games tryouts. There were some amazing female sprinters from the Rochester area, including one youngster in the 100. Went by the name of Kim Batten, current world record holder in the Women's 400H.
>I guess I've never been to a big time meet in person.
But the one
>performance I really remember was back in the mid-80s at the Empire State Games
>tryouts. There were some amazing female sprinters from the Rochester area,
>including one youngster in the 100. Went by the name of Kim Batten, current
>world record holder in the Women's 400H.
I had a similar experience with a 7th grade girl. I went to my son's first 7th grade track meet, and there was a girl that won the girl's 400 by about 150 meters, I kid you not. I immediately said to the coach, "this is a blue, blue, chipper that can go to the very, very, top."
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.