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  • Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

    As a new track fan, age 12 ,I was able to get to the 1956 pre-Olympic meet at Santa Ana College in Southern California.It was thrilling to me to see real Olympians in person. I remember Leamon King zipping a 10.1 100m on the fast Santa Ana College track and Hal Connolly throwing about 224-10. It seems that most of the other performances were rather mediocre. Did anyone else out there attend the meet? I'd like to hear your impressions and also if anyone can post the meet results.... I'd like to see if my memory is any good!

  • #2
    Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

    Lynn, I just dug out my November 1956 T&FN.. on page 6 there's a full article on this meet. It's headlined "224'8" & 62'8 1/2" Illegal". Connolly's Hammer was light and the landing area for the SP were downhill negating O'Brien's effort. Here's the results they have listed:

    100 King 10.1, Baker 10.2, Murchison 10.4, Morrow 10.4
    200 (t)Baker 20.6, Stanfield 21.0, Calhoun 21.5e
    400 Jenkins 47.6,Mashburn 47.7,Jones 47.8
    800 Coutney 1:49.7,Spurrier 1:50.5, Stanley 1:50.6, Sowell 1:51.0e
    1500 Wheeler 3:48.5, Dwyer 3:48.9,Walters 3:50.5, Seaman 3:50.9
    3000SC Coleman 9:05.1, Jones 9:05.2
    5000 Dellinger 14:46.7 only finisher
    10,000 McKenzie 31:10.4 Hart 31:35.2( Truex dropped out at 5 miles despite a large lead)
    1500 Walk Hewson 6:34.7, McDonald
    400 R Murchison,King, Baker, Morrow 40.2
    110 H Calhoun 13.8, Davis 14.0, Shankle 14.1, Campbell 14.3
    400H Davis 51.9, Culbreath 52.2
    HJ Dumas 6'8",Reavis,Allard, Shelton 6'6"
    BJ Bell 25'7 1/2", Bennett 25' 2 1/2", Andrews 23' 9 1/4", Lawson 22'8"
    PV Gutowski and Richards 15' 5", Mattos 14'8", Graham 14'0"
    SP O'Brien 62' 8 1/2", Nieder 59'5", Vick 56' 1/2"
    DT Gordien 183'4 1/2", Oeter 183' 3 1/2", O'Brien 175'7",Koch 171'3 1/2"
    HT Connolly 224'8",Hall 205'1", Engle 186' 3/4",Blair 179' 1o 1/4"
    JT Held 258'5", Young 241'2", Connolly ( ????!) 240' 7 1/2", Garcia 235' 1"


    Hope this rekindles sopme memories Lynn !

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    • #3
      Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

      JT Held 258'5", Young 241'2", Connolly ( ????!) 240' 7 1/2", Garcia
      >235' 1"


      The javelin mark belongs to Phil Conley of Cal Tech, the No. 2 member of our JT team that year, along with Cy Young and Benny Garcia.

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      • #4
        Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

        Steve, thank you! It was fun looking over the results--brought back some memories. I'm surprized that I didn't remember O'Brien's toss, and some of the other good marks (Baker's 20.6, Bell's 25-7, and 2 vaulting 15-5) but then 1956 was almost 50 years ago....

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        • #5
          Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

          Thanks also from me Steve. All I knew from that meet was the 100m times of King and Baker.
          That meeet probably helped put Gutowski on the team as he finished 4th in the Trials. I can see now that Drummond probably was injured as he was third at the Trials in the Disc. ahead of Des Koch who ended up getting bronze in Melbourne. It is also interesting to see again that Gordien was clearly the best in the world that year, before Melbourne. It is still a little painful for me to see that Shelton was still out there struggling in vain to make that Oly team. Why did he never get it going in that long ago season after being so great in '54 and '55?

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          • #6
            Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

            One more reply from me:Like Gordien, Bud Held also showed he was the class of our javelin throwers,and probably would have medaled in Melbourne. And I wish a healthy Leamon King could have contested the 100m in Melbourne--I think he was the fastest man in the world in 1956...as good as Morrow was.Then ,finally, I remember Truex going out hard in the 10,000m. He built up a huge lead...it was like he was running a time trial all by himself. But he stopped at 5 miles (I think the time was about 24:15) and I never understood why. He didn't look tired, wasn't injured and was on pace to shatter the American record.

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            • #7
              Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

              Morrow only 4th at this meet in the 100. I guess there is substance to the theory that he was fortunate that King and even Dave Sime wern't healthy that year. Any thoughts?

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              • #8
                Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

                > Any thoughts?
                Are you kidding? I wasted years of my youth pondering excactly that question.
                Yes, King ran 10.1 also the previous week-end in Ontario, Calif. Morrow was 2nd in 10.2.
                Sime caught a flier and beat Morrow in the Drake Relays but Morrow hammered him in the N.C.A.A.
                But Morrow was sick with virus all that Fall and recovered just in time for Melbourne.
                As an older and more "mature" individual I have resigned myself to the fact that Morrow was the best and by far the most dominant sprinter of that era.
                Even to-day on Christmas Eve, the holiest day in the Norwegian calendar I take time out to consider these things.
                But seriously you should absolutely read on this site the excellent "Back Track" series that Track& Field News just completed. Read what Maxwell Stiles wrote about Morrow&King in Melbourne.

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                • #9
                  1956 meet at Santa Ana

                  At that meet in Santa Ana, Connolly's hammer was found to be 5/8 oz light, Stanfield finished 5th in the 100 and Truex ran an AR 24:15.7 for 5 miles, went another lap and then stopped.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

                    Originally posted by Per Andersen
                    >
                    Yes, King ran 10.1 also the previous week-end in Ontario, Calif. Morrow was 2nd in 10.2.
                    Sime caught a flier and beat Morrow in the Drake Relays but Morrow hammered him in the N.C.A.A.
                    But Morrow was sick with virus all that Fall and recovered just in time for Melbourne.
                    .

                    Was Sime healthy at the NCAA?

                    Recall that Murchison ran a 10.1 in europe and Baker was in 10.2 form in Melbourne. Morrow ran by them like King Carl running by Ben Johnson in 84... ok maybe not quite that fast ..

                    As great as Morrow was, one has to regard King as a mega talent of the highest caliber and his relay leg at Melbourne proves it. We can only guess what might have been had everything aligned for him in '56, likewise Sime.
                    ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

                      Originally posted by Per Andersen
                      But seriously you should absolutely read on this site the excellent "Back Track" series that Track& Field News just completed. Read what Maxwell Stiles wrote about Morrow&King in Melbourne.
                      Where is that to be found, Per?

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                      • #12
                        I'm not Per, but:

                        http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/genera ... 54_55.html

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                        • #13
                          Re: Santa Ana Pre-Olympic meet, 1956.

                          Originally posted by Per Andersen
                          Even to-day on Christmas Eve, the holiest day in the Norwegian calendar I take time out to consider these things...but seriously.
                          you have a great sense of humor, seriously!
                          ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tandfman
                            I found the last sentence particularly interesting:

                            "One interesting innovation here is a loud-speaker opposite each man for all races that are started from staggered lanes on a curve. They did it that way for the 400-meter hurdles."

                            Had not known that separate speakers had been used as far back as 1956.

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                            • #15
                              and they still don't have it right!

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