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Which track in Stockton, CA.....

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  • Which track in Stockton, CA.....

    I am going on vacation in October from Utah to California and will be visiting friends in Stockton. I plan to take a run on the same track that Don Bowden ran the first American sub 4 (3:58.7) in 1957. Does anyone out there
    KNOW which track that is? I am assuming it is the track at the college but I don't know...

  • #2
    Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

    Am also interested in the details of that race i.e. split times, other competitors, second place time etc. I assume it was a solo effort by Bowden--no rabbits in that day....

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    • #3
      Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

      T&FN story never specifically says, but based on some slightly obscure references, I would say it was at UOP (then COP).

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      • #4
        Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

        Univ of Pacific
        from
        http://www.runningnetwork.com/news/29592.html

        "The date is June 1, 1957.
        Imagine this, you are in the middle of finals at
        Cal, just having finished your Economics final.
        Your coach, Brutus Hamilton, tells you that you
        have a good chance to break four minutes for the
        mile when no American has yet done this feat--and
        less than ten runners worldwide have broken four
        minutes at this time.
        Driving seventy five miles to a small AAU meet
        at the University of the Pacific in Stockton,
        junior Don Bowden, a 1956 Olympian at 800
        meters, felt " Lousy. I didn't feel much
        like running: I hadn't been sleeping."

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        • #5
          Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

          Since you might be in the mood for nostalgic track runs after visiting UOP's track, take highway 50 back to Utah instead of 80. You'll pass by a highway maintenance station at Echo Summit (7330 ft. elev.) that once had a track that was the training facility for the '68 Olympics and I believe also the location of the '68 Olympic trials for track. The synthetic surface of the track was moved to S. Lake Tahoe Middle School and is still there. You can jog where Jim Ryun, Tommie Smith, Bob Beamon, John Carlos among others trained and competed.

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          • #6
            Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

            Baxter Stadium it was called in 1953 when I attended the Pacific Association AAU meet there, the same meet where Bowden ran 3:58.7 four years later. TFN has four finishers, a man named Wilcox second in 4:13.4, a man named Napier third in 4:14.8 (I recognize neither of these names), and Maury Graves of Stanford fourth in 4:16.7. Cordner Nelson's story gives times of 59.7, 2:00.8 and 3:00.6. "The announcement of the time [at three quarters] brought a roar of excitement from the crowd, which had been quickly educated by H.D. Thoreau's expert announcing [you see, there really were announcers before Hersh, Hill, Conning and Davis]." Thoreau counted down the time in the homs stretch and "the spectators rose and roared Bowden home."

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            • #7
              Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

              Cordner Nelson, a Pacific alum, has clarified for me that the spot where the track used to stand now has buildings on it. The school's track now (even though it has no track program) is on the grounds of what was Stockton JC.

              So, unfortunately, you can't run on the same track, or even on what was part fo the campus at the time.

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              • #8
                Re: Which track in Stockton, CA.....

                I was confident that people who frequent this board would answer these questions ...but I didn't expect they would be so complete and be personally connected with Cordner Nelson via gh at T&FN. Thanks for the info...the only dissapointment is that what I want to do isn't possible.And regarding Don Bowden's 3:58.7--what unlikely conditions to do it in! In a relatively small meet with no competition...it was virtually a time trial!

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