Still another clear-cut AAU favorite is Bill Alley, the javelin thrower from Kansas, who won his event with a towering throw of 268 feet 9 inches. In one of his warmups he threw well over 270 feet, the javelin sailing clear over the prescribed range and landing on the track.
The tremendous warmup throw was a part of the psychological battle Alley and his Kansas teammate, Terry Beucher, waged against Bob Sbordone of the University of Southern California, who had thrown more than 250 feet previously but who managed only 234 feet 5 inches in this meet. Whether Alley's pre-meet heroics "psyched him out" or not, Sbordone was far off form and finished sixth.
"We got tired of hearing about how great USC is," Alley said after he had won and Beucher had placed third. "We got a good track team at Kansas. They said we won the NCAA championship last year because USC was ineligible. I'll clue you—we'll win this year, with them in the meet." Alley was right; Kansas won with 50 points to second-place USC's 37.
A prime factor in the Kansas victory was Charlie Tidwell, a tall, slender sprinter who may challenge Ray Norton successfully in the national championships. Tidwell has an amazing lift in the last half of a race, much as Norton has, and he has the endurance to run at top form through heats and semifinals and finals. Both Norton and Tidwell appear better able to stand the grind of repeat races than Dave Sime, the other strong contender in the AAU dashes.
"I've been sore-legged for the last four weeks," Tidwell said after his victories. "Maybe it's because the weather has been cold in Kansas. Maybe I'll skip the AAU meet."
Dallas Long, USC's powerful young shotputter, set an NCAA record in the shot (61 feet 9 inches) but he may skip the AAU meet, too. "I need to work on my form," he said. "I'm up too high. I think I need the practice." Bill Nieder, Parry O'Brien and Dave Davis are entered in the AAU. Nieder, who is recovering rapidly from a pulled hamstring muscle, and O'Brien, who did 62 feet 11� inches Saturday night in a meet at Albuquerque, should decide the championship between them.
The rest of the NCAA winners face a difficult challenge. A typical example is Cliff Cushman of Kansas, who won the 400-meter hurdles in 50.8 seconds. Among the oldsters aiming for the Olympics is a man whose best efforts make Cushman's good time look ordinary.
Glenn Davis (see cover), who won the Olympic 400-meter hurdles at Melbourne in 1956 and who holds the world record of 49.2 seconds, did 49.9 in Albuquerque last Saturday in preparation for the AAU meet. For Davis, as for most of the veteran U.S. competitors, the road to fitness has been a long and often discouraging one. Davis teaches industrial arts in a junior high school in Columbus, Ohio, and he only began to reach his peak a couple of weeks ago. "He was worried about his speed," said his coach, Larry Snyder of Ohio State, who is also the U.S. Olympic coach. "So he worked on nothing but sprints for the last few weeks. He's all right now. He'll be as sharp as he was in 1956 next week."
Eddie Southern, who finished second to Davis in the 1956 Olympics, will probably switch to the 400-meter dash at Bakersfield. Southern, too, seems to be ready after a long, slow preparation. He has in his career run the equivalent of Ted Woods's 45.7; if he is fit, he may beat Woods at the AAU meet.