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What would Steve Prefonaine have acomplished if he had lived

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  • #31
    With the Trials in Eugene in '76 it would have been strange for a healthy Prefontaine not to be running. I suspect that he would have beaten Foster for bronze in '76 over 10k. Foster had an attack of stomach cramps, necessitating a toilet visit 5 minutes before the race, and he (Foster) was not nearly as sharp as he had been in 74. In 1980 Pre would have been slaughtered by Yifter, and would have been lucky to get in the top-6 (including Kenyans). Over 5k in Montreal he would have been buried by Viren and the Kiwis

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    • #32
      Originally posted by rhymans
      With the Trials in Eugene in '76 it would have been strange for a healthy Prefontaine not to be running. I suspect that he would have beaten Foster for bronze in '76 over 10k.
      If he chose to run that rather than, or in addition to, the 5. That's a big if.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by rhymans
        W... Over 5k in Montreal he would have been buried by Viren and the Kiwis
        Not to mention that German guy who buried one of the Kiwis!

        (and, of course, if you're reinventing history, there's no African boycott and Yifter is also in the race)

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        • #34
          Originally posted by gh
          Originally posted by rhymans
          W... Over 5k in Montreal he would have been buried by Viren and the Kiwis
          Not to mention that German guy who buried one of the Kiwis!

          (and, of course, if you're reinventing history, there's no African boycott and Yifter is also in the race)
          If we are going to really rewrite history...Yifter gets to the right gate in Munich in the 5000 and is also in the race....Bedford and Co. decide from the start that they can't jog with the 'Shifter' in the race...

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Conor Dary
            Originally posted by gh
            Originally posted by rhymans
            W... Over 5k in Montreal he would have been buried by Viren and the Kiwis
            Not to mention that German guy who buried one of the Kiwis!

            (and, of course, if you're reinventing history, there's no African boycott and Yifter is also in the race)
            If we are going to rewrite history...Yifter gets to the right gate in Munich in the 5000 and is also in the race....
            Good point. In hindsight, I REALLY would have liked to see that...

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            • #36
              Don't think they called him "the shifter" till later in his career.

              He was still a relative unknown in 1972.

              Bedford was shot mentally & there were no other pace pushers in the field.

              76 with the Africans would have certainly been interesting.

              Moscow 80 800 would have been Paige over Maina.

              Cheers

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              • #37
                Originally posted by gh
                Where you say USOC came two years after Montréal I assume you mean TAC (great acronym, but The Athletics Congress was a ludicrous name), in '79.
                I hope you mean TAC, as USOC has been around since 1905, although it has had about 5 different names - AOC, AOA, USSF, USOA, USOC.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by collector
                  Don't think they called him "the shifter" till later in his career.

                  He was still a relative unknown in 1972.

                  Bedford was shot mentally & there were no other pace pushers in the field.

                  76 with the Africans would have certainly been interesting.

                  Moscow 80 800 would have been Paige over Maina.

                  Cheers
                  1. Actually, his parents nicknamed him 'Shifter'. It had such a nice ring to it.

                  2. Since he won the bronze in the 10, I think he was pretty well known by the 5.

                  3. Bedford was shot before he got to Munich. However, if he had run the 5 like he ran the 10, they probably would have run 13:05.

                  Actually I can imagine a scenario where Bedford can't run the 10, but runs the 5 with 59, 4:15 for the first mile. Meanwhile, Yifter who found the right gate, is battling Pre with a lap to go. However, he miscounts the laps again, only thinking this time the race still has a lap to go. Pre wins! Retires from track. Becomes vice president for....Adidas... Because of Pre's defection...Phil Knight can't sell any shoes. Mrs. Bowerman's waffle iron continues to make waffles for the next 20
                  years....PK opens coffee shop in Fifth Street Market called NIke....Oregon football team hasn't had a winning season in 30 years, because of lack of funding...Nike Coffee Shop now sells muffins....on May 30, 1975, hours after watching meet at Hayward, Pre hits rock on Skyline....totals his Mercedes 330, but sustains only minor injuries...

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by tandfman
                    Originally posted by EPelle
                    Could the AAU have sanctioned him and kept him from competing in its meet in 1976? Was the AAU meet the Olympic qualifying meet?
                    There were no qualifying meets in 1976. You just had to meet a qualifying standard in order to get into the Trials, and the Trials were separate from the AAU National Championships. 1968 was the last year when the AAU meet was a qualifying meet for the Trials.
                    Thank you. I actually learned something new today.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by tandfman
                      [.... 1968 was the last year when the AAU meet was a qualifying meet for the Trials.....
                      Are you saying that in '68 you had to compete in the AAU to qualify for the OT? That's not true (see Jim Ryun and Larry James, for two quick examples off the top).

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                      • #41
                        I think he won have medalled at the 10k in 1976, even if all the Kenyans and Kiwis on the planet were in the race. He was still learning his trade in 1972.

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                        • #42
                          Hey Conor,

                          Don't bogart that joint.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by gh
                            Originally posted by tandfman
                            [.... 1968 was the last year when the AAU meet was a qualifying meet for the Trials.....
                            Are you saying that in '68 you had to compete in the AAU to qualify for the OT? That's not true (see Jim Ryun and Larry James, for two quick examples off the top).
                            No, not saying that at all. But IIRC, placing high in the AAU meet was one way to qualify for the OT that year (as in previous years). rhymans can probably be more specific about this. It is not entirely clear from his book.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by tandfman
                              Originally posted by gh
                              Originally posted by tandfman
                              [.... 1968 was the last year when the AAU meet was a qualifying meet for the Trials.....
                              Are you saying that in '68 you had to compete in the AAU to qualify for the OT? That's not true (see Jim Ryun and Larry James, for two quick examples off the top).
                              No, not saying that at all. But IIRC, placing high in the AAU meet was one way to qualify for the OT that year (as in previous years). rhymans can probably be more specific about this. It is not entirely clear from his book.
                              From the New York Times of June 13, 1968, in an article abouth the NCAA championships at Berkeley, by Frank Litsky:

                              "The first six Americans in each final here will advance to the trials June 29 and 30 at Los Angeles. So will six from each event in next week's [AAU] at Sacramento, Calif.; two from each event in the recent [NAIA], and the winners in the interservice championships, which began today at nearby San Jose, Calif."

                              As of April, the USOC had announced that the first three finishers in the June 29/30 LA meet along with selected others (including the first three finishers in the Dec, Walk and Marathon trials) would be taken to Echo Summit for altitude training.

                              Obviously, the LA meet became a less significant meet than originally intended, as the USOC was making things up as they went along.

                              A sign of the Times: none of the stories mention the women's team and their selection procedures.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by unclezadok
                                I think he won have medalled at the 10k in 1976, even if all the Kenyans and Kiwis on the planet were in the race. He was still learning his trade in 1972.
                                I don't think there was anyone who was a threat in the 10,000m other than Yifter affected by the boycott.

                                I think Pre was a bronze medalist in that race although I agree with the sentiment that he may not have run the 10,000m in preferring to stay with the 5,000m where he would have probably finished 6th or 7th.

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