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Historic Black Milers Panel 2: The 1970s


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  • Historic Black Milers Panel 2: The 1970s

    Historic Black Milers Panel 2: The 1970s
    November 15, 2022

    Dedicated to Theodore Stanley “Ted” Richardson Wheeler
    (January 30, 1931 – November 17, 2022)

    Byron Dyce
    Denis Cochran-Fikes
    Clifton “Cliff” West
    Michael Wyatt

    View Panel Here:

    Black Historic Milers Panel Highlights:
    Each of these HistoryMakers were inspired by others.

    Byron Dyce was inspired to become a track athlete by his older brothers Dennis and Trevor both Jamaican Olympians. Byron was considered New York City running royalty as he would be introduced at meets as Dr. Dyce. At NYU he won what was considered the triple crown at 800 Meters with wins at the IC4A, NCAA, and New York Metropolitan College championships.

    Cliff West invited Jesse Owens to meet his family over dinner. The encouragement he received from Mr. Owens inspired Cliff to raise his level of dedication to the sport to new heights. Learn about Cliff’s amazing range of excellence from a 29:22 six miler to becoming a 10.3 sprinter. Also hear about his younger brother Dr. Cornel West the political activist, educator, and author who at the age of 15 ran a 4:29.5 mile.

    Denis Cochran-Fikes in 1966 was unaware on any Black distance runners until his brother told him about his Erasmus Hall High School teammate named Byron Dyce. As he learned more about Byron; this is who he wanted to become. Denis also wanted his career to serve as a role model to inspire other younger Black distance runners. Denis has produced an E-Scrapbook called “My Running Moments & Times” on YouTube that’s well worth viewing.

    Mike Wyatt was a football player who used track to get in shape for the gridiron. He was profoundly inspired as a high school senior at the Penn Relays watching Denis run his 3:55 mile in 1974. Mike would go on to become the fifth African American to break the 4 minute barrier in 1980.

    Panel Guest Audience Members:
    Harry McCalla
    Suzuko Morikawa
    Bill Schnier
    Tracy Sundlun
    Ben Tucker

    Panelists Presentation Times:
    Introduction – Gary Corbitt
    (1:34) – Byron Dyce
    (24:36) – Cliff West
    (46:10) – Bill Schnier discusses Reggie McAfee
    (57:05) – Denis Cochran-Fikes
    (1:18:04) – Tracy Sundlun
    (1:22:18) – Mike Wyatt
    (1:37:57) – Questions from Suzuko Morikawa
    (1:50:12) - Closing Remarks by Gary Corbitt
    Panel ends – 1:57:20

    Gary Corbitt
    Curator: Ted Corbitt Archives
    Historian: National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA)

  • #2
    Thanks GaryC for your 1950-60 panel discussion episode. Some familiar faces and names to me. I referenced my acquaintance earlier with Ted Wheeler. I also saw Ron Gregory run in Chicago and would read about him from ND ( my first choice in scholarships).
    Best memories, however, was to see Ben Tucker and Harry McCalla again and talk about the SJS and Stanford days of friendly competition. I saw Harry at a Penn Relays awhile back and we gave him a ride after the meet to where he was staying and it was a great time to reminisce of the “ good old days” of competing” and where we all went after running days were over.
    Another great runner(mostly 880yd than miler but ran great XC times) from Loyola U was Ernie Billups. I believe he passed away recently (?) he continued his running and held some Master 800m records.