Bobby Morrow, the Olympic champion who has used up his NCAA eligibility, tuned up for the AAU with a 9.4 100 and a 20.9 220 around a curve in a regional meet last week. Although Ed Collymore, Ira Murchison and young Ray Norton of San Jose State all looked impressive in the NCAA, none of them, so far, can be rated with Morrow. After a slow start, Bobby is running with all the effortless power of his Olympic period. Dave Sime, who might have offered Morrow strongest competition, is again out with a leg injury at a critical time.
THE 440-YARD DASH
With nemesis Glenn Davis retiring gracefully to the 440-yard hurdles, Eddie Southern should win the quarter mile in a canter. Jack Yerman, a very promising sophomore from California, was closing fast on Southern at the end of the NCAA 440 and ran a creditable 46.6, but Southern, seeing himself well beaten by Davis, had pulled up. Without Davis to worry about, Southern can run his own race and that is good enough to beat anyone in the country—or the world—but Davis. Should Charlie Jenkins enter, he would be a strong darkhorse.
THE MILE RUN
Although Don Bowden finished a badly beaten fourth in the NCAA mile, he is still the fastest American miler, and he has been working carefully toward a peak for the AAU meet. Jim Grelle of Oregon and Gail Hodgson of Oklahoma beat him in the NCAA, when he was concentrating too much on licking Ron Delany, but although Australians Herb Elliott and Merv Lincoln should finish one-two, Bowden is a good bet to finish third ahead of Grelle. The Oregon runner has improved mightily this season, though, and may be ready by now.
THE THREE-MILE RUN
America has always been well below world standards in distances from the mile on; this year is no exception. Alex Henderson, who won the NCAA two-mile as he pleased, is an Australian under an Arizona State shirt. Deacon Jones of Iowa, who finished second to him—albeit a distant second—is apparently back in form after a midseason lapse, and little Max Truex of USC may find the three-mile better fitted to his measured pace. Jerry Smartt, the long-legged Houston runner, is improving, but not enough to cope with this company.
THE HIGH HURDLES
Elias Gilbert of Winston-Salem and Teammate Francis Washington, who has pushed Gilbert to tremendous times this season, could finish one-two in this event, especially since Keith Gardner, the Jamaican who competes for Nebraska and finished second in the NCAA, will not be at the AAU. Willie May of Indiana and Bob Lawson of USC finished strong at the NCAA, both of them a half step ahead of Washington, who was off balance over two hurdles. Gilbert ran with a taped leg to relieve a muscle strain, but on form should win easily.
THE LOW HURDLES
Gilbert set a new world's record of 22.1 seconds in this event in May at the Carolinas AAU meet and beat Washington by less than a step. Washington and Gilbert were even over the last hurdle, which Washington tip-flicked with a knee. Kansas' Charlie Tidwell must be rated even with the two Winston-Salem hurdlers off his great performance in the NCAA. If Gilbert's leg is ready, any one of the three could again lower his American record of 22.8 seconds around a turn, particularly with the trip to Russia as a reward. Best bet: Tidwell on an outside lane.
Parry O'Brien and Bill Nieder, until the last three weeks the only shotputters in the world who had been over the magic 60-foot mark, will struggle with a high school boy for the two places open on the U.S. track team which will be chosen from the AAU winners. Dallas Long, who turned 18 last week, a 250-pound junior whale from North Phoenix High School, hit 61 feet� inch to place second to O'Brien's 62 feet 4� at the Compton Invitational June 6. His coach says he'll reach 70 feet—but not at the AAU. So powerful O'Brien is again the choice.
The flying saucer brigade is headed by two young men who have sailed the discus 200 feet. Unfortunately, Rink Babka of USC overshot the range and dropped his discus into a drainage ditch and Al Oerter of Kansas was throwing downhill, so neither throw can be recognized as a record. Oerter and Babka wound up in a rare tie at the NCAA, both marking 186 feet 2 inches, well shy of their best. There is strong likelihood of a new world record in this event, and it should stand up this time. On consistent performance, Al Oerter should win again.
THE BROAD JUMP
Greg Bell of Indiana and Kansas' Ernie Shelby have both been over 26 feet this year; Shelby, in a tremendous exhibition of consistent length and consistent fouling, was over 26 feet on five of seven jumps at the Texas Relays. Once he soared 26 feet 9 inches, three-quarters of an inch over the world record held by Jesse Owens—but he stepped a quarter inch over the edge of the take-off board. Bell failed to qualify for the finals at the NCAA, favoring an injured leg; with a week's rest he may be better at the AAU, but the erratic Mr. Shelby is the favorite.
THE HIGH JUMP
Charlie Dumas, who has jumped higher than any man in recorded track history with flat shoes, may have to match his world record of 7 feet� inch to beat SMU's Don Stewart and Phil Reavis of Villanova. All three have been over 6 feet 10 this year; Dumas cleared 6 feet 11� in a USC-Occidental dual meet in April. Stewart started slowly enough but hit 6 feet 10� and barely missed 7 feet� inch in the Houston Meet of Champions. Reavis, at 5 feet 9�, is probably the strongest jumper for his height in the world and he is consistent. Olympian Dumas is the pick.