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Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

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  • Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

    Here are two reports detailing the supposed 7-foot jump by Les Steers on February 27, 1941.

    1st, from the Portland Oregonian

    headline

    Steers Jumps Over 7 Feet

    copy

    Eugene, Feb. 27 (A--Les Steers, University of Oregon sophomore, cleared a standard set at 7 feet 1/2 inch in an exhibition hugh jump between the halves of the Oregon-Oregon State college basketball game thursday night.

    Distance of the middle of the bar frm the floor was not measured, and observers estimated there migth have been a sag of an inch. The leap, which wll not enter official record books, bettered the world indoor high jump mark of 6 feet 9 1/4 inches.

    2nd, from the Register-Guard

    headline
    Steers Makes 7-Foot Jump

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    "That will be all for tonight, Les," Colonel Bill Hayward told his ace high-humper between the halves of the Oregon-OSC basketball game at McArthur court thursday night.

    Steers, former Palo Alto, Cal., high school sensation, has just rolled over the black-and-white striped cross bar, soaring almost a foot over his head.

    Seven-feet, one-half inch.

    Had the performance been at Maidson Square Garden, the Bost Gardens or Brooklyn armory, goodness knows what the height might have been--what the advantage of spiked shoes, regulation takeoff and jumping pit.

    A seven-foot high jump has been classed along with a nine-seconds hundred--impossible. But Steers did it Thursday night, and with apparent ease. There might have been a sag of a half or three-quarters of an inch, but it still eclipsed the accepted world record of 6-9 1/4.

    But it was only an exhibition.

    -30-

    End of stories. End of story. End of mysterly.

  • #2
    Re: Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

    Intersting and informative ; thank you ! Are you really Les Steers, Jr. ?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

      Cool, thanks for the posting.
      Mr. Steers, have you been in touch with Geoff Nelson? He has been writing a book about straddle high jumpers for years now and if he has not contacted you I am sure he would be eager to do so.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

        Of course I am NOT Les Steers Jr.

        I am Barry Irwin. I forgot my password, so I opened a new account and used this name.

        I researched this info by contacting the library in Portland, Oregon, which mailed me the two newspaper clippings.

        I think the most interesting aspect of this tale is the apocraphyl nature of how the story grew over the year.

        Had this been published today, can you imagine all of the jesting over the Internet about why the bar was never measured, etc?

        Hopefully this puts to rest who was the first high jumper to clear 7 feet. I was there the night Charley Dumas cleared 7 feet at the L. A. Coluseum. I was 13yo. It was and remained the most exciting thing I ever witnessed in sports.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Steers 7-Foot High Jump Explained

          Well, just trying to piece together some oral history. I know that Steers did have a son and that Nelson was, at one time, trying to get in touch with him! :-)
          Yeah, imagine the cynicism and uproar that a report like that would generate today. Simpler times and happier people, I would say. Of course we appreciate having such stuff to challenge our imaginations... just think how much fun it must have been to have seen that whole half-time circus!

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