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Faster, ever faster
Tex Maule
May 12, 1958
The outdoor track season heads for its climax in a dual meet between the U.S. and Russia in Moscow this July, but many records will be shattered before these giants collide
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May 12, 1958

Faster, Ever Faster

The outdoor track season heads for its climax in a dual meet between the U.S. and Russia in Moscow this July, but many records will be shattered before these giants collide

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MAY 10

Fresno Relays, Fresno, Calif.

MAY 16

Coliseum Relays, Los Angeles

MAY 18

AAU Marathon, Yonkers, N.Y.

MAY 30-31

IC4A Championships, Villanova, Pa.
California Relays, Modesto, Calif.

JUNE 6-7

NAIA Championships, San Diego, Calif.

JUNE 13-14

NCAA Championships, Berkeley, Calif.

JUNE 20-21

National AAU Championships, Bakersfield, Calif.

JULY 4-5

U.S. Decathlon, Palmyra, N.J.

JULY 27-28

United States-Russia, Moscow, U.S.S.R.

The lean, short-haired youngster was still breathing deeply, but he had recovered very quickly. Although he had just set an American collegiate record in the two-mile run, he was not happy about it.

"It was a little cold," he said. "I had trouble warming up. I wanted to run 8 minutes 45 seconds."

He did run an 8:51.3, well under the 8:55 record set by Southern California's Max Truex in 1957.

"It's a case of mind over body," said Alex Henderson. "My body is capable of a world record in the two-mile [8:33.4]. I hope my mind is."

Henderson set his two-mile record at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, the last of three big outdoor meets which usher spring into the midlands of the U.S. At the other two—the Texas Relays and the Kansas Relays—other notable performances gave promise of a great outdoor season. The University of Texas mile relay team, anchored by Eddie Southern, a junior who may be the finest runner of his generation, broke the intercollegiate record (3:09.1); the University of California and Oklahoma University sprint medley relay teams, each anchored by great half-milers who double in the mile, took turns breaking the record in their event.

As the season turned into May and headed for its annual climax in the NCAA and AAU championships in California in June, it became increasingly apparent that the United States will field a stronger track team in the dual meet with Russia at Moscow in late July than the strong team which represented this country in the 1956 Olympics at Melbourne. Between now and June there are, of course, other meets of national importance in which new stars may crop up (see box page 47).

As usual in this country, the sprint field is crowded with exceptional talent. Duke's Dave Sime, who has given up baseball for good to concentrate on his medical studies and on track, beat Olympic Champion Bobby Morrow in a wind-lashed 100 at, of all obscure places, Big Spring, Texas; Morrow, handicapped by a pulled groin muscle, has not yet reached peak condition. Bill Woodhouse, a stocky, bespectacled Iowan who starts with the instant acceleration of a jet-assisted rabbit, is a bare half step behind Sime and has beaten Teammate Morrow consistently this year. Dee Givens of Oklahoma, a good sprinter who will get faster as the summer ages, is the prototype of several hopefuls who could upset the favorites. Eddie Southern has run 9.4 in the 100 and 20.6 in the 220 already and he might win either of these events, in addition to the 440-yard dash.

The development of Southern is probably the most remarkable aspect of the early outdoor season. It began with a 46.2 quarter in Fort Worth in middle March, but probably the turning point in Southern's career came at the Texas Relays in Austin. Running the anchor leg on the Texas mile relay team, Southern had a comfortable edge over an old nemesis of his, Ohio State's Glenn Davis, who beat him consistently in the 400-meter hurdles in 1956. Davis, who will probably be one of Southern's strongest rivals in the 440, set a blistering pace in the first 220 yards of his anchor leg, but he gained nothing on Southern. In the last 220, Southern pulled away easily, running his lap in 45.3 seconds, which is one-half second under the world's standing start record. More important, he gained a strong measure of confidence; since that race, he has improved steadily, running a 44.6 quarter in Texas' 3:09.1 record-setting mile relay, which is faster than anyone has ever run a quarter mile since the invention of the stop watch. Last week Southern set a new collegiate record with a 46.1 in Austin.

In the half mile, Don Bowden of the University of California and Ron Delany, Villanova's brilliant Irish miler, may have unexpectedly strong competition from rapidly improving Norm Lloyd of Stanford. Since both Bowden and Delany are primarily milers, Lloyd, should he continue to improve, may be the best bet in the half for both the NCAA and AAU meets. Tom Murphy, the powerful Manhattan runner, Dave Scurlock of North Carolina and a pair of USC stars, Wayne Lemons and Tom Anderson, are strong dark horses. Tom Courtney, who has been catching up on his studies at Harvard Business School, and Arnie Sowell, now in service, may have time to reach peak condition by late June. Sowell and Courtney dueled magnificently last year.

The mile boils down to Bowden and Delany, the only two sub-four-minute performers now running in this country. Delany, tuning up for the outdoor season with a long string of victories indoors, set a world indoor record at Chicago. The race between Bowden and Delany matches a runner and a racer; Bowden runs with a stop watch in his mind while Delany runs to beat the competition.

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