EAST AND WEST
I'm glad to finally see a sports magazine recognizing the true greatness of Dave Patrick and the Villanova track team (A Real Shot at Mexico City, June 3). Both the U.S. and the Irish Olympic teams will have a number of Villanova runners on them, and this, I'm sure, will greatly help their causes.
At the recent IC4A track meet held in Philadelphia, Patrick ran against some of the best milers in the country and won by six yards in 3:56.8. The Villanova team collected 63 points to second-place Maryland's 43. Erv Hall and Larry James won every event they entered. This includes Hall's upset victory over Roland Merritt in the 100 and the relays. Practically every time a Villanova victory came about, it broke an East or a meet record. Villanova acquired eight first-place finishes, five meet records and its ninth IC4A title in 12 years. Surely a tribute to the great coaching of Jumbo Elliott.
Look out, Jim Ryun, Earl McCullouch, Charlie Greene, Lee Evans and the great West track teams.
As an avid track fan I enjoyed your article on Dave Patrick. With or without a healthy Jim Ryun, Patrick is definitely a threat at 1,500 meters. However, I feel that there are four trackmen from the University of Oregon who pose just as large a threat. The runners and their times for the mile are: Dave Wilborn (3:56.2), Roscoe Divine (3:57.2), Arne Kvalheim (3:58.5) and Wade Bell (3:59.8).
In addition, there are four other runners on the Oregon team with times under 4:05. I am quite sure no other college can boast such a field. All but Kvalheim will be eligible for the U.S. Olympic Team. Bell, a graduate student, will go in the 800 meters with a best of 1:46.1 in the 880.
This year the University of Oregon swept every mile event in which it was entered, including the first four places in the conference meet, without Kvalheim or Divine, who had to sit out the college season because of injury.
If one outstanding runner from Villanova rates a feature article in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, should not four outstanding runners from the University of Oregon be given the same consideration, not to mention their coach, Bill Bowerman, who has developed more sub-four-minute milers than any other coach in the world?
MISSING THE BOAT
It is always heartwarming to note mention of the Coast Guard Academy in a national magazine (Won't Somebody Buy a Yacht? May 27). Too often, the Academy is forced to beg, not only for its physical needs but for recognition. Thanks for the space devoted to a most worthy institution.
Lieut. Commander, USCG
FPO San Francisco
TOO OLD AND TOO NEW
While the turbine-piston controversy was taking the headlines at Indianapolis (Rude Setback for the Jet Age, June 10), an equally monumental battle was going on between the ubiquitous rear-engine cars and one traditional Indy roadster. While the rear-engine boys chased themselves trying to find at least 162 mph to earn their way into the starting field, Jim Hurtubise set out to qualify his home-built roadster, turning a lap over 166 mph in the process. Unfortunately, as Herk's famous hard luck would have it, that lap won't go into the record books as one of the fastest laps ever turned by a roadster at Indy—a brush with the wall cut off that qualification attempt. Two blown engines later, and running on a third engine built from salvaged parts, Herk got into the race. But then the baling-wire engine failed on an early lap.
It was a beautiful, sad sight seeing that roadster roll into the pits, smoke billowing from the front end. Without the support of a Granatelli-style circus or a Colin Chapman engineering team, this one man, driver-builder-mechanic-promoter, had run with the best of them—but not long enough.
PAUL B. ABBOTT