- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The President leads the bird, swinging the gun along its flight path, then fires.
On this trip he used No. 7� and No. 8 shot but not No. 9 because toward the end of the hunting season the birds are experienced. They get up and away faster than first-of-the-season birds, so heavier, more effective shot is indicated. The shells were standard, not high speed.
In addition to the 20, which is a side-by-side double, Ike brought along his .410 over-and-under. The 20 is equipped with two sets of barrels but he left the long-barrel, full-choke set in Washington. The short-barrel set is bored with an open right barrel, left barrel modified—same setup as on the .410. Both guns were gifts and of foreign make. Engraved on the 20 are a turkey, a five-star emblem and the name " Dwight D. Eisenhower."
In the last three weeks a curious sort of fame has descended upon a tall, dark-haired young man named Dick Ollen, and with it a nickname that could stick to him for life. As the pace setter in the last three indoor mile contests between Wes Santee and Gunnar Nielsen and Freddy Dwyer he has contributed directly to two world records, and has become as familiar to track addicts as the famous principals themselves. But the glare of the limelight in Madison Square Garden has almost burned away his identity. Few spectators in this winter's huge indoor crowds know or remember that he was last year's intercollegiate champion at the mile. He is now far more widely known as The Mechanical Rabbit.
The whole thing has happened to him so quickly that Ollen still speaks of it in rather bemused tones—something like a sleepwalker who has just been awakened and informed that he holds the world record for swallowing goldfish. The Rabbit hails from Cranston, R.I. and is a fifth-year business student at Boston's Northeastern University. As such he is ineligible this year for college competition. And although he enjoys running and trained hard this winter (mostly in the evening or during his lunch hour) he had scant hope of competing in the big indoor meets.
"Let's face it," he says with a grin. "I did run a 4:13 mile last spring and I've managed to cut five or six seconds off my time every year. But even if I did that I wouldn't be competing with these four-minute fellows. I was invited to run against Nielsen and Dwyer in the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus meet but I only did 4:14 and they told me that they didn't think they'd want me in the Boston Athletic Association meet, where they'd have Santee in the race."
As the winter season developed, however, it became obvious to the promoters that a fast early pace was going to have to be stirred into the Santee-Nielsen competition to produce anything like record time. Santee won in Philadelphia in a lamentable 4:10.5. Nielsen won in Washington with a tremendous finish, but did well to get home in 4:09.5. Pacemakers for the Santees, the Bannisters, the Nielsens, however, do not grow on trees. Like playing a good piano accompaniment, pacing takes talent—speed, strength and an exquisite ability to estimate the time for each early lap, and stick to it rigidly, thus giving the record-breaker-to-be a sort of human clock to guide by.
In the light of all this Ollen suddenly seemed like an extremely attractive commodity, and a few days before the big meet in Boston Garden, he received a belated invitation to compete in the mile—provided he was willing to run the first quarter in something like 57 seconds and the half in two minutes flat. He agreed. He ran the first quarter in 56.7 and the half in exactly two minutes and Santee, with this jet assist, broke the world's indoor record with 4:03.8. Ollen had hardly caught his breath before officials of New York's Millrose A.A. had him by the elbow and were inviting him to pace the Wanamaker Mile in Madison Square Garden. This time his half was 2:00.6 and Nielsen broke San tee's week-old mark.
By the time last week's Baxter Mile was run in New York Ollen seemed almost as much a functionary as the starter and the timers. And the race dramatized his usefulness; instead of following Ollen's pace, Santee burst ahead in the first quarter towing Nielsen with him and both men ran themselves so thoroughly out of steam that Freddy Dwyer led them to the tape by more than 60 yards. Ollen, all things considered, didn't mind Wes Santee having taken over The Rabbit's role.