TRACK: ON TOP OF MT. SAC
There are many track buffs here on the West Coast who take issue with SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that the "core of U.S. strength lies in the heart of the country" (High Focus on High Hopes, SI, May 4) meaning the Midwest and Southwest. Track buffs hereabouts, a fanatic element, point to the Drake and Penn relay performances with disdain, feeling that West Coast athletes whipped them both in nine events held at the Mt. San Antonio Relays, and that's even giving them the benefit of the doubt in the wind-blown 9.4 hundred.
For the record, marks at Mt. SAC were superior to Drake and Penn in the broad jump, 25 feet 6� inches by Joel Wiley of Los Angeles State; in the two-mile relay by USC in 7:31.8; in the discus throw of 189 feet 4 inches by Rink Babka, formerly of USC, now of the Striders; in the hop, step and jump at 50 feet by Herman Stokes of the Striders; in the 440-yard relay by San Jose State in 40.4, anchored by Ray Norton; in the shotput at 61 feet 10� inches by Dallas Long of USC; in the two-mile run by Bill Dellinger, formerly of Oregon, now in the Air Force at Oxnard, Calif., in 8:48.2, which is a new American citizen's record; in the high jump at 6 feet 9� inches by Charlie Dumas of USC; and in the distance medley at 9:55.5 by USC.
Drake was superior in the high hurdles, 13.7 by Hayes Jones; in the pole vault at 15 feet� inch by Jim Graham; the mile relay in 3:11.3 by Texas; in the 880 relay by Texas in 1:23.9; in the javelin at 253 feet 5 inches by Bill Alley; and in the 100 in 9.4 by Ira Murchison. The latter was wind-blown, and if you discount it then Norton (Mt. SAC) and Bill Wood-house (Penn) tied in 9.5.
Prestige may rest at Drake and Penn, but performance honors must go to the Mt. San Antonio relays, making their debut in adverse weather—cold on Friday night and rain on Saturday.
Furthermore, we claim that the Far West, specifically California, will put more men on the U.S. team for the Russian meet and with more top marks than the rest of the nation combined.
When are the editors and writers of your publication going to get their heads out of the muck of the East River long enough to take a look at the records?
If the Midwest is so hot in track and field how is it that the winning marks in nine out of 15 events at the Mt. San Antonio Relays were superior to the Drake Relays?
Further, at least three winning marks at the Drake Relays were posted by West Coast performers. There is no doubt that the Drake and Penn meets are fine events. There is no doubt that there are many wonderful athletes in the Midwest and Southwest. But I doubt that the "bulk of the U.S. national team...will come from the Midwest and Southwest."
W. L. MELLENTIN
La Canada, Calif.
?Let all doubters turn to page 61.—ED.
BASEBALL: WHERE'S THE PITCHER?
The article about the shortage of top-line pitchers and their sore arms was interesting (The Aching, Aching Arms, SI, May 4). However, one thing of importance was not mentioned. This is the fact that under the present over-all organization of baseball it is impossible for the situation to improve.