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Skeeter will not say whether she plans to marry Ray Norton, her opposite number on the U.S. men's team, but she does say that she plans to be married within a year. Theirs has been a warm friendship for longer than the press seems to realize: when Skeeter pulled up lame in Philadelphia it was Ray who comforted her amidst the cracked ice, and at the Pan American games in Chicago it was Ray who came asking Temple, "May I take Skeeter to the movies?" "He's a real gentleman, a fine boy," Temple says. "If she decides to marry him, I wouldn't put anything in her way."
Skeeter, home with her family, seeing her friends, answering Ray Norton's letters, is utterly unidentifiable as "Little Miss Queen of All the World." This is the girl, though, of whom Temple said, not so much for the broken records in Rome as for the exhausting later tour, " 'She's done more for her country than what the United States could pay her for."
"But she couldn't have done it alone," he adds. "She's had tremendous competition, the three fastest girls in the country. Take Jones. She ran a world record 10.3 hundred yards at Randall's Island in 1958, although it wasn't official because she ran it against a girl with a handicap. She didn't have no handicap, but she ran with someone out in front. Jones would sometimes beat Rudolph, Williams beat Rudolph, even Hudson was competition right up to the last 25 yards when her little legs give out. Every time trial we had was like a track meet. Rudolph ran the hundred meters in 11.1 in a time trial because of that competition. Without it she wouldn't have won no three gold medals."
This unity and teamwork are Temple's passion. He has instituted a summer clinic so that he can begin work with his girls, and they can begin work with each other, while they are still in the 10th grade in high school. Rudolph, Williams and Hudson, Temple reminds the listener, had been worked together since 1955: last summer's matchless relay team was no stray bit of good fortune. "I want the girls all at once. Jones come down, warm up, Hudson come, she have to warm up. If I got to fool with Hudson, what is Jones going to do? We all got to do the same thing, and keep right together." This means among other things getting to practice on time, about which Temple is a bear. "I make the girls run a extra lap for every minute they're late. Time for practice, they come out, I tell you, T-shirt half on, one shoe off, but they get there. Rudolph overslept 9 o'clock practice one day a whole half hour. The alarm clock don't go off, and at 9:30 she and the manager of the team up there sleepin'. I sat down there at the track with a watch in my hand, and I gave them 30 laps. Rudolph, she went around in pretty good style, but it like to kill that girl Shirbey. Next day they out there sittin' at 8:30. I don't like to come down on accidents, but you let one go, another one is going to come up, and pretty soon everything is going to be disrupted altogether."
Temple runs his seniors against each other and against the juniors, with and without handicaps. It gives the girls coming up experience and poise in their early competitions—nothing that turns up for a junior Tigerbelle is going to rattle her when she has run against Wilma Rudolph. And it keeps a Wilma Rudolph awake because "them young girls is hungry." Both divisions run cross-country, up and down hill, and both go through the same daily calisthenics.
Before the Olympics, Temple had the team out running at 5 in the morning, at 9 in the morning and at 2 in the afternoon, to prepare them for a range of temperature. It was a useful preparation. On the post-Olympic tour they ran in Athens, London, Amsterdam, Cologne, Wuppertal, Frankfurt and Berlin. They ran in rain and cold, sometimes sick from strange food, often on four hours' sleep. They ran against teams which had been resting at home, in meets scheduled for the day their plane came in. "We keep running and we keep winning, I don't know how," Temple wrote to Charlie B. In Cologne the girls ran against the team which had been their closest competition in the Olympics. The Germans were rested and waiting, and so confident that they had scheduled the relay first, to get on with their triumph. "Ed, we're going to lose this one," Team Manager Frances Kaszubski said. "What are we going to do?"
"I got the girls together," Temple says, "and I told them, 'We've got nothing to gain and everything to lose. But you are the champions.' And Hudson got off those starting blocks, and we beat them worse than we did in Rome."
Tennessee State is not this good because it is geographically located in some pocket of natural track talent. It is this good because of Ed Temple. Graduate Tigerbelle Margaret Matthews, for example, broad-jumped for several years with a Chicago club—and the Chicago clubs, strongly supported as they are by Mayor Daley's youth foundation, are excellent—without registering a single AAU mark. With Temple she became the first woman in the U.S. to jump 20 feet, and in the same meet won the 100 meters and anchored the winning 440 relay team.
Rome was Temple's fourth straight appointment as coach of the American women's team (no other coach has been appointed for four consecutive international meets). Besides holding world and Olympic records, his girls have not lost an AAU National meet since 1954. The State Department has asked him to go to Ghana, giving him his choice of a six-month, one-year, two-year or four-year term and, thoughtful about U.S. showings in Rome, reportedly has a considerable interest in his coaching methods.
One might think all this would gladden the heart of Tennessee State. It does, but only to a point. Tennessee is a school where everyone has too much to do, but even by their standards Ed Temple has been working uphill. He conducts two sociology classes six days a week, with attendant planning, test-giving and counseling. He is not paid for his coaching or for the job of running the Tennessee State University post office, and he virtually does not have a track. The TSU track is an oval ribbon of dirt, unmarked and unsurfaced. Skeeter knows it from more than just running. Before the Olympics, Temple got her and the girls out at dawn to line it and himself paid to have it done when the Games got too close and pressure became too great. "He goes down there with a shovel and a rake," Charlie B. says, "and works on it. Then the football team comes out with those cleats—'They've been on it again,' he'll come home and say. One day he went down and somebody was trotting a horse around it. I've never seen him so mad." The track is located cozily by the pigs maintained by the agriculture contingent of Tennessee A&I. "You ought to be down here when the temperature is 105�," Temple says morosely. "Between the rocks on the track and them pigs, let me tell you, it is rough around here."