high jump history questions


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high jump history questions

Postby nielsalofsen » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:16 am

Hi,

I'm collecting video material about the high jump to teach athletes and coaches a little bit of history (mostly olympic events). I have found a lot on youtube, but not everything.
Is there somebody who has high jump footage of the 1924 olympics?

Tnx in advance!
Last edited by nielsalofsen on Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby paw » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:26 am

I've downloaded this myself on YOUTUBE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxwqGa1u ... e=youtu.be

there are some footage from the 1924 Olympics from 1:07
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby Master Po » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:50 am

Just watched this interesting video -- thanks for posting it. I know little of the history of HJ, and nothing of the history of technique. Here's one small question that I hope a real afficionado of the history of the HJ can answer: In the clips here from the '36 OG (about 3:15 into the video), there's a glimpse of one of the USA jumpers making an attempt, and it looks like there is a small bit of cloth draped over the bar. Assuming I'm seeing this right, what's the purpose of that bit of cloth?
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby runforlife » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:21 am

Master Po wrote:Just watched this interesting video -- thanks for posting it.

Yes, It is great! Why don't more HJ'ers run straight at the bar instead of curving so much. I would think more speed would translate into a higher jump with a straighter line. Actually Fosbury was fairly straight and but not as much as Morgenburg. Why don't more HJ'ers take this approach?
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby Per Andersen » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:00 pm

Master Po wrote:Just watched this interesting video -- thanks for posting it. I know little of the history of HJ, and nothing of the history of technique. Here's one small question that I hope a real afficionado of the history of the HJ can answer: In the clips here from the '36 OG (about 3:15 into the video), there's a glimpse of one of the USA jumpers making an attempt, and it looks like there is a small bit of cloth draped over the bar. Assuming I'm seeing this right, what's the purpose of that bit of cloth?

It's a excellent video, only too bad that the commentary is so bad and borderline ridiculous at times. The Eastern Cutoff technique is called a "judo kick' and the word straddle is never used.

Interesting to see Albritton's straddle jump in 1936. He was likely the first straddler.

It would not be possible to achieve a close to vertical take-off in the Flop with a fast, straight run-up. High jumpers don't use an equally sharp curve in their run-ups but they all use a curve, including Mogenburg.

Leif, Thanks for posting this video :D
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby runforlife » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:31 pm

Per Andersen wrote: High jumpers don't use an equally sharp curve in their run-ups but they all use a curve, including Mogenburg.

After watching most again, Moganbourg did have a straighter line than any, IMHO. Although almost all used a much straighter line at the bar than HS'ers, which I'm more used to watching.
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby marknhj » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:49 am

What a fabulous video (crap commentary aside), thanks for posting it!

I'd also like to know what that cloth is doing on the bar. And, how about the guy doing a standing flop in 1905? I've never seen that before and can only imagine the state of his back after landing in a sandpit numerous times.
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby jhc68 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:25 pm

I've seen other photos with cloth hanging from the crossbar.
Could be a visual marker if the crossbar was tough to see against the background field?
Or maybe a target marker for the place the jumper wants to clear?
Or even a stablizing weight to off-set a wobbly bar motion?
Old-timey balsa wood bars used to shimmy all over the place in the slightest breeze.
Gotta ask Lonewolf, the oldest and best all-around athlete who frequents this place!

As for the video, I really enjoyed the completely random background music!
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby Per Andersen » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:41 pm

jhc68 wrote:
Could be a visual marker if the crossbar was tough to see against the background field?
Or maybe a target marker for the place the jumper wants to clear?



Yes, both of those. When I was a kid I saw it all the time. Sometimes hard to see the bar against light background.

About the video. According to HJ history George Horine was the inventor of the Western Roll but in the glimpses from the 1912 Games it's clear that the winner, Alma Richards, also jumped in a Western Roll fashion, Taking off on the inside foot and a more or less side clearance. Both Horine and Richards can be seen in the video. But there were also others who where shown jumping with a similar technique. So maybe the the answer to the question of who was first to use that technique is not so clear.
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby nielsalofsen » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:52 am

Paw, thanks for posting this video. It is exactly what I was looking for! Great!
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby lonewolf » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:09 pm

jhc68 wrote:Gotta ask Lonewolf, the oldest and best all-around athlete who frequents this place!

I will stipulate to being the (probably) oldest ex-jock frequenting this forum but modesty and reality precludes pretending to the latter accolade.

Hanky on the cross-bar precedes my personal experience but I had heard of it and was prompted to research it. Apparently it was common practice as a visual "aiming point" in late 19th Century (when the HJ record was 5-6 to 5-9) and the jumpers were landing on spaded ground or on a "well placed mattress".

Humorously, my HS HJ facility was apparently modeled on the design recommended in an 1864 Athletics Manual:.... vertical standards, eight feet apart with holes drilled at 1" intervals on reverse side, centered on an approximately 6' x 6' plot of spaded ground. We used a bamboo bar. Our aiming point, obviously, was the inevitable lowest point in the sag.

Officials at the turn of the century complained that the incessant re-positioning of the cloth and mattress to accomodate the various styles of the jumpers, although "not refusable by a courteous judge", was causing interminable delays in competition.

I cannot find specific mention of this practice in any rule book but I would not allow it under the rule forbidding any mark within two meters of the bar. Failing that, I would fall back on my precedent of refusing to allow a jumper to use starting blocks on the long jump runway. .. it may not be in the rules but it ain't gonna happen.

Visibility was also a factor. As recently as 1948 OT Alice Coachman tied a white hankerchief to the cross bar for her winning jump in the fading light of the unlit LA Colesium.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby nielsalofsen » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:28 pm

There is a lot more to learn about the history of high jump, so I have changed the subject of this thread. I hope that's ok?

I'm writing an article about the history of modern high jump and I have just finished the 1936 Olympics (tnx for the tip Per Andersen on the straddle version of Allbritton!).
Now I'm looking into the period between 1936 and 1952. But, strangely, or maybe I just did not search well enough, I can't find a lot of information about this period.

Did the second world war had a huge negative effect on track and field and the high jump?

Melvin Walker and Lester Steers both had the world record in their possession. Of the latter I can find some information, but not a lot. The first... nothing. :(
And does somebody know if there is video footage of one of these athletes?

And who are other great high jumpers of this period?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:23 pm

Per is your man!

I'd still like to know more about that guy doing standing flops into a sandpit in 1905 - unless he ended up a quadriplegic :shock:
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby nielsalofsen » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:46 pm

paw wrote:I've downloaded this myself on YOUTUBE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxwqGa1u ... e=youtu.be

there are some footage from the 1924 Olympics from 1:07


Wow! You are on uploading mode, Leif Bugge! This is some great footage you have there!
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMDi4PK ... &flow=grid
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby nielsalofsen » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:47 pm

marknhj wrote:Per is your man!


Can't wait! :)
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby kuha » Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:21 pm

marknhj wrote:I'd still like to know more about that guy doing standing flops into a sandpit in 1905 - unless he ended up a quadriplegic :shock:


Really. The proto-Fosbury, for real.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby paw » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:57 am

nielsalofsen wrote:Melvin Walker and Lester Steers both had the world record in their possession. Of the latter I can find some information, but not a lot. The first... nothing. :(


here are some footage of Melvin Walker:


1938 AAU Buffalo 3/7– 100m-BenJohnson 10.7-HJ Mel Walker 2.007 – LJ Bill Lacefield 7.62 – 110mHH Wolcott 14.3, Allan Tolmich - PV Warmerdam 4.40-Cunningham 3:52,5-Charles Fenske 3.52.6 .
http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=18975

to nielsalofsen:
I've send you a message about Les Steers!
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Re: video material 1924 high jump olympics

Postby bambam » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:58 am

paw wrote:I've downloaded this myself on YOUTUBE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxwqGa1u ... e=youtu.be

there are some footage from the 1924 Olympics from 1:07


This was awesome. Thanx for letting us see it
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:22 pm

The video from the 1938 AAU in Buffalo is excellent.
It's the only video or picture I have seen of Mel Walker. He was supposed to be a straddler, at least on high heights. But this jump looks like a cross between the Western Roll and the straddle. Very ineffective technique in that jump. Upper body sky high over, no real lay-out+ he's landing almost on his feet. It leads me to think he is jumping on a lower height. Don't know how tall he was.

Walker had a tremendous year in '37 with 2 WRs ending up with 2.09 in Sweden. The next great record year was 1941 when William Stewart jumped 2.09,2 and Steers jumped 2.10 on the same day in Seattle. Steers final WR was 6-11 (2.10.8) later in '41. After 1941 the standard in the HJ declined for many years until about 1952. The US dominance continued after the war despite a bad year in 1948. The Olympics in London was the last time medallists used the Eastern Cut-off with the gold and silver medalists, John Winter of Australia and Bjørn Paulson of Norway jumping Eastern. Bronze medallist, the multi talented (basket ball & Baseball) 19 year old American George Stanich used the straddle. The highest mark with the "Eastern" was Finland's Kalevi Kotkas's, 2.04 from 1936. That result was a Euro record until 1954.

The last medallists using the Western Roll in the Olympics were Walt (Buddy) Davis and da Conceicao of Brazil in 1952, gold and bronze. Ken Wiesner of the US, another exellent jumper of that era took the silver using the straddle. Davis beat Steers's WR the following year clearing 2.12.2 (6-11 1/2) at the AAU in Dayton. That was pretty much it for the Western Roll, with a few exceptions. After that the straddle reigned supreme until Fosbury in 1968.

During the 1938-1941 2 of the most interesting jumpers for me were Les Steers and Gilbert Cruter. Cruter jumped 2.05 in 1938 but he jumped in a dive straddle fashion with his head and upper body leading over the bar, bent lead knee and landing on his hands. He was one of the top Americans but his technique did not catch on in the states.

Steers used a faster run-up than any roller or straddler before him. (the run-up in the Eastern was generally much faster than the roll or straddle run-up).
Steers also jumped in practice more than anybody and according to Ken Doherty in the "Track & Field Omnibook" he also jumped twice a day, taking 20-30 jumps on meet days. There was no strength training in those days but Steers sought to gain strength by jumping repeatedly on higher heights. After Steers the leading jumpers again reverted to the slower run-up. Shelton, top jumper in 1954-55 used a slow run-up and Charles Dumas slowed the run even more, almost walking in the run-up before accelerating sharply in the last 3 steps. John Thomas speeded it up a bit.
Last edited by Per Andersen on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:52 pm

However, Swedish legendary coach Gosta Holmer had paid close attention to Cruter's dive straddle. In his book, "Vagen til Rekorden" (the Way to the Record) from 1942-43 he has photo series of both Steers and Cruter. He describes Cruter's jump and comments that the dive straddle with a faster run is the correct way to high jump. In Swedish the term for the straddle is "dykk stil" (diving style). The top Swedish dive straddlers of the early and mid 50's, Bengt Nilsson, Euro record 2.11 in 1954 and #2 in the world in 54 and '55 + Richard Dahl, 2.12 in 1958 were both dive straddlers with a long, fast run-ups. They also used a double arm lift in the take-off striving to stem the forward motion of the body.

This was the technique the Soviets adopted and improved upon with added strength and and weight training. The Soviets speeded up the run even more. Both Stepanov and Kashkarov were fast dive straddlers. Brumel was faster than any straddler until then. However, Yashchenko "WR", 2.35 with the straddle was even faster.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:39 am

Great stuff Per, it's always a pleasure reading your descriptions of the event's development. I'm not sure everyone appreciates how fantastic it was to clear bars up to 2.11m using the old techniques, on cinders, and into sandpits.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby kuha » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:01 am

marknhj wrote:Great stuff Per, it's always a pleasure reading your descriptions of the event's development. I'm not sure everyone appreciates how fantastic it was to clear bars up to 2.11m using the old techniques, on cinders, and into sandpits.


Totally agree, this is great stuff.

As for your last line, some of us here definitely DO appreciate these early achievements. I was lousy, but I was part of the generation that jumped off of grass and dirt surfaces, into sandpits (literally: in a few cases, the HJ standards were simply placed alongside the long jump pit!), mounds of dirt, and (finally) big net bags of square chunks of foam.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dj » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:30 am

Per Andersen wrote:Walker had a tremendous year in '37 with 2 WRs ending up with 2.09 in Sweden.


As great as Walker's 1937 was on marks (best six of 2.09, 2.09, 2.076i, 2.064, 2.04, 2.04), he was inconsistent, particularly in the most important meets.

He beat Ohio State teammate Dave Albritton, 7-5-1, but here are the results of their three most important meets in the U.S.:

NCAA, Albritton & Cruter 1.988/6-6 1/4), 3. Delos Thurber 1.988/6-6 1/4, 4. Walker 1.937/6-4 1/4.
AAU, Albritton 2.048/6-8 5/8 MR; 2. Walker & Corny Johnson 1.997/6-6 5/8.
PanAmG, Albritton 2.007/6-7; 2. Johnson 2.007/6-7; 3. Walker 1.981/6-6.

The biggest U.S. meets in which Walker defeated Albritton were the Big10-PCC dual, the outdoor and indoor Big10s and the Millrose and Chicago indoor meets. The two didn't meet overseas as Walker jumped in the Nordic countries while Albritton went to Japan.

It's a tough decision as to which would rank #1 in the world as reasonable cases can be made in both directions.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:39 pm

kuha wrote:
marknhj wrote:Great stuff Per, it's always a pleasure reading your descriptions of the event's development. I'm not sure everyone appreciates how fantastic it was to clear bars up to 2.11m using the old techniques, on cinders, and into sandpits.


Totally agree, this is great stuff.

As for your last line, some of us here definitely DO appreciate these early achievements. I was lousy, but I was part of the generation that jumped off of grass and dirt surfaces, into sandpits (literally: in a few cases, the HJ standards were simply placed alongside the long jump pit!), mounds of dirt, and (finally) big net bags of square chunks of foam.



As someone mentioned a few years ago, kuha and I were probably separated at birth, particularly now that I find out he too was a HJ'er !

His description of sand pits, dirt takeoffs, etc. is right on the mark. From age 15 in 1958 to age 22 in 1965 I competed through the total makeover of pits and takeoffs, from sand to foam rubber, and dirt to "all-weather."
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:42 pm

RE: lonewolf's description of saggy crossbars and of odd widths for landing pits.

In 1965 I watched my Santa Ana JC teammate Ed Caruthers set a new national JC record - seven-one and some fraction - at Cerritos College. But the mark was never ratified because it was found that standards were placed too far apart to comport with the rules (which I assume was intended to prevent too much saggy-ness.) Thus, Joe Faust's national JC record persisted for another few years.

Interesting, too, that Steers and Faust both seemed to jump an awful lot in practice. As a HS kid I read a long magazine article (was it in Sport mag?) about Faust, who was semi-famous at the time as the youngest jumper ever to clear 7 feet and as an all-around whacky character. Anyway, the article described how Faust would have marathon workouts wherein his goal was to clear 6'6" fifty times without missing. Somehow he had decided that if he could do that then he should be able to jump 7'6" once (the logic of this equation was never clear to me, nor probably anyone else beyond Joe Faust.)
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dj » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:26 am

jhc68 wrote:Anyway, the article described how Faust would have marathon workouts wherein his goal was to clear 6'6" fifty times without missing. Somehow he had decided that if he could do that then he should be able to jump 7'6" once (the logic of this equation was never clear to me, nor probably anyone else beyond Joe Faust.)


the jumper's equivalent of LSD (long slow distance)?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:13 am

Yeah, the logic is the same: Practice jumping/running at low/slow levels of ht./pace and expect to jump/run much higher/faster in a competition... I could never quite grasp the rationale.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby kuha » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:54 am

jhc68 wrote:Yeah, the logic is the same: Practice jumping/running at low/slow levels of ht./pace and expect to jump/run much higher/faster in a competition... I could never quite grasp the rationale.


Yes. Lots of practice jumps definitely increased strength, but the danger was that repetition would encourage bad (or lazy) habits rather than the best ones. And, pretty obviously, repeatedly clearing a bar 6" (or whatever) below your best did nothing for the massive psychological barrier of PR-type heights.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby JayIsMe » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:44 pm

I was looking through the Penn Relays historical gallery link on the front page and came across this from the 1910 high jump- exactly what style was this guy using? Oh, and note the hanky tied to the bar.

http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/arc ... 0100706022
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Jackaloupe » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:31 pm

It's possible he's using the now ancient Eastern Roll[(Corr, per Per below, Cut Off, which I misstated thinking of Western Roll, a "tuck"], where you end up a bit like PV as your body turns around. However, that Right Arm cocked at the hip is reminiscent of Ernie Shelton's classic Straddle: I picked up that nuance from one of the old Loops TFN sold in the 50s. It keeps the torso turning. Were this the case, it would've been a right leg takeoff, from the right side; that is, from the "inside" leg, as opposed to the outside leg TO currently employed.

As for the speculation above, from much earlier, that they would've spaced the Standards wider to counteract bar sag: It's the opposite! Think about it: the more unsupported weight (of the bar) the more it sags. Now that I think of it, a turning style like the Eastern Roll could take advantage of sag in the middle, as the body need not stretch out full length.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:47 pm

JayIsMe wrote:I was looking through the Penn Relays historical gallery link on the front page and came across this from the 1910 high jump- exactly what style was this guy using? Oh, and note the hanky tied to the bar.

http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/arc ... 0100706022

It seems like a rather ragged version of the Eastern cut-off. He is jumping away from us.

As Jackaloupe says it can almost remind one of a Pole Vault clearance. But it would not have looked like that had we seen him earlier in the jump. In the photo he is just about clear of the bar.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Fri May 03, 2013 8:26 pm

Stumbled on this tonight, a fabulous sequence of stills showing Bob Avant jumping somewhere with an LA Striders singlet. Anyone who curious about Avant's unique (but, I think, probably very efficient) technique will want to see this.
You can see why people who saw Avant jump have such a difficult time describing what he was doing. But you can also see that with the bent-leg dive-straddle he was able to get off the ground very quickly off a very fast run-up. The mystery to me was always how Avant got his lead leg toe over the bar; it seems from these pix that he did it by that seemingly life threatening straight down, head toward the sawdust dive.

http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uo-athletics&CISOPTR=2583&DMSCALE=50&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMMODE=viewer&DMTEXT=&REC=1&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0

Found on a site called Trove which is part of the National LIbrary of Australia. Lots of cool stuff there... including links to the University of Oregon Library where the link above is located and the really cool one of Les Steers below:
http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uo-athletics&CISOPTR=1905&CISOBOX=1&REC=3
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby rhymans » Mon May 06, 2013 3:08 am

I think the Avant sequence is from the 1961 AAU, where Avant became the first American to beat John Thomas with a 7 ft jump [they both cleared 7'0"]
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon May 06, 2013 3:55 am

rhymans wrote:I think the Avant sequence is from the 1961 AAU, where Avant became the first American to beat John Thomas with a 7 ft jump [they both cleared 7'0"]



I think you are right... I was there that day at age 18, and went home and started practicing his technique !
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby KDFINE » Mon May 06, 2013 5:30 am

The 1961 sequence of Avant appeared in Sports Illustrated. Their coverage of the 1961 AAU meet was up there with their coverage of the 1959 USA - USSR meet. Ah nostalgia!
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 7:18 am

I don't believe I've seen that sequence of Avant before. What a strange technique, what on earth was it called? It looks like an incredibly athletic feat.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Mon May 06, 2013 8:05 am

Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon May 06, 2013 8:30 am

Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?



Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Mon May 06, 2013 8:46 am

dukehjsteve wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?



Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.


Yea, I guess so. Break an arm instead of your neck. I sure wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. Or even worse coaching someone who did.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 9:24 am

Conor Dary wrote:
dukehjsteve wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?

Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.

Yea, I guess so. Break an arm instead of your neck. I sure wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. Or even worse coaching someone who did.


I was thinking the same. I wouldn't want to be heading straight down into a sand box from that height on any part of my body (apart from my feet).
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