One veteran who showed sure signs of a return to former ability was 27-year-old Madeline Manning Jackson. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, she won the 800-meter gold medal. She married, had a son, Little John, and was a disappointing fifth in the 800 semifinals at Munich. Now divorced, she works for the Salvation Army in Cleveland and began running again last October. "I've been surprised one race after the other," she said after breaking her own U.S. record with a 2:00.5 in the AAU. "This is about the 20th race I've won since I started running last fall. In this race I was boxed in on the first turn and had to go around four people, which slowed my time. I'm looking for something like a 1:55 at Montreal. The more meets I have, the stronger I get. I'll keep on reaching. I make a lot of sacrifices. Everything I do is for the Ministry of Christ. It's time for me to give my talent to the Lord again. I've reached thousands of young people with the Gospel, and I've seen that it has done good. In the ghettos I see people struggling for happiness and peace of mind. I see drug addicts and prostitutes, but I know that you can be somebody with the help of God."
Some celebrated male athletes were spectators at White Plains, among them John Thomas, Ralph Boston and Wilt Chamberlain, who was on hand to watch Wilt's Wonder Women compete. As a team, the Wonder Women finished eighth behind the victorious LA Track Club, but some sort of prize should have gone to Chamberlain. Suddenly confronted with a chain link fence almost 4� feet high near the press box, Wilt simply stepped over the fence with barely a break in stride.