Eddie Southern


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Eddie Southern

Postby user4 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:35 pm

As an 18 year old this texas youth sets the OR (50.1) in the semifinals in 1956 at Melbourne on his way to taking second to Glenn Davis in the final. Then in just a few years he is nowhere to be found at 22 years of age in 1960. Did he just get tired of being second to Davis and decided to try something different? A shame, he could have had two silvers.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby dukehjsteve » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:40 pm

user4 wrote:As an 18 year old this texas youth sets the OR (50.1) in the semifinals in 1956 at Melbourne on his way to taking second to Glenn Davis in the final. Then in just a few years he is nowhere to be found at 22 years of age in 1960. Did he just get tired of being second to Davis and decided to try something different? A shame, he could have had two silvers.


He wasn't "nowhere" in 1960... he ran at the FOT and finished 4th behind Davis, Clif Cushman and Dickie Howard.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby Per Andersen » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:27 pm

Steve is right.
I think Southern should have focused on the 400 in 1960. He was ranked #1 in the world in the 400 in 1959. I don't think ran much hurdles after the '56 Olympics.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby gh » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:34 pm

The key thing to remember is the era. Southern was a senior in '59, which meant in '60 he was cast adrift. Like many/most in that era, that meant his truly competitive days were gone.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby rhymans » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:54 am

Except that of the top 5 in the Trials that year, only Cushman was still a collegian - in other words graduation didn't hurt Davis or Dickie Howard. I suspect that while Southern, who was in the USAF in 60-61, had plenty of time to train he didn't necessarily have specialist guidance as far as coaching was concerned.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby KDFINE » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:15 am

I think it was '63 that he last made the yearly lists. Although he certainly was young enough he wasn't around for '64. I think by then he may have been in air force pilot training. Culbreath turned 28 a few months after he finished 5th in the '60 trials running as fast as he ever did. But his military service with the marines was "long past." Cushman's last top notch year was '61. The timing of their military training seems to have been a factor. I think Dellinger was also an air force pilot but his time in service was long over by the time he won bronze in '64.
Hypotheis: Prior to Viet Nam heating up, top notch athletes could do very well while they were in the military with the exception of pilots.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby dukehjsteve » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:14 pm

Post script to the above, sadly, is that all 3 of those 1960 Olympians are gone, 2 under tragic circumstances. Cushman I believe is/was MIA in Viet Nam, and Howard, I believe died of a suicide. Davis went from natural causes a few years ago.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby KDFINE » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:45 pm

When Howard died it was reported in the papers as a heroin OD.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby dukehjsteve » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:21 pm

KDFINE wrote:When Howard died it was reported in the papers as a heroin OD.


That's even worse.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby KDFINE » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:49 am

As I recall from the account of the '60 trials race Southern was in it until some trouble at the last hurdle. He didn't miss by much. Of course if Southern had stuck with the flat 400 and ran to his potential and made the team, the guy who finished third would have lost out - and that was Otis Davis!
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby user4 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:54 am

KDFINE wrote:As I recall from the account of the '60 trials race Southern was in it until some trouble at the last hurdle. He didn't miss by much. Of course if Southern had stuck with the flat 400 and ran to his potential and made the team, the guy who finished third would have lost out - and that was Otis Davis!


... wow, that is amazing. As I look at 400m men throughout the ages, not one of them has looked nearly as talented at Otis Davis.
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Re: Eddie Southern

Postby nunusguy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:00 am

dukehjsteve wrote:Cushman I believe is/was MIA in Viet Nam

On September 25, 1966 Captain Clifton E. Cushman was the pilot of the #2 F-105D in a flight of three that was conducting an afternoon combat mission to bomb a railroad bridge.
After pulling off the target, Capt. Cushman radioed that he had been hit by anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire and he had a fire warning light. Devil 3 asked if he could steer, Cliff Cushman replied he had "lost his stability, augmentation and aircraft power."
Devil Lead observed 37 mm AAA fire bursting to the left and rear of Devil 2 (Cushman), and told Capt. Cushman to break right. Lead then saw his afterburner light and simultaneous torch of flames coming from the right aft section of Devil 2 (Cushman)'s aircraft. Devil Lead then observed Cushman's aircraft break into several burning parts. He also saw Cliff Cushman's ejection seat arcing up and to the front of the falling wreckage. They could not find the body of Cliff Cushman anywhere. Because of the rough landscape it was nearly impossible for anyone to gain radio control. Cliff Cushman was immediately listed Missing in Action.
On November 6, 1975, Cliff Cushman was officially declared dead.
Surviving family members were spouse Carolyn Cushman and son Colin Cushman.
**
Grand Forks Central High School named its football stadium after him, Cushman Field.
His wife said after being informed of her husband's status: "Somewhere in Vietnam he's running the biggest race of his life. It's like watching a race in which Cliff is running - only you can't see the finish tape. He's in excellent physical condition. Cliff also has a very deep faith in God. What better combination could there be?"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clifton_Cushman
*******************************************
Here's some more detail on Cushman, who was an AF aviator who lost his life and was declared MIA while serving his country in VN. An American hero to be sure.
I attended the Big Eight Indoor in KC in 1960 and remember seeing Cushman compete. Tall and lanky, he was so towheaded that his hair looked almost perfectly white. So Cushman's primary
event was the 440/400 M intermediate hurdles, but of course that wasn't an indoor event
so as I recall he may have been running either the 600 or 1000 yard event indoors in KC that year ? And I'm thinking outdoors that year in the Big Eight meet he ran the flat 440 finishing
second to Colorado's sensational sophomore football guy Ted Woods and just ahead of another sophomore, my guy Jim Baker from Missouri who came in third.
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