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Oldest Living Sullivan Award Winner?


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  • Oldest Living Sullivan Award Winner?

    Back when track guys won, like Les MacMitchell in '41: ... 5JQHI1.DTL

    (Hard to believe story about winning margin in Penn Relays)

  • #2
    Re: Oldest Living Sullivan Award Winner?

    Fun story...but, yes, the idea of gaining 50 yards in the last 200 is a bit questionable.


    • #3
      Re: Oldest Living Sullivan Award Winner?

      MacMitchell had quite a Penn Relays in '41.

      On Friday he anchored NYU to a 10:05.5 (3, x Penn) win in the DMR with a 4:13.8. Seventy-five minutes later, he ran a 1:54.1 to anchor the SMR to a 3:28.4 win.

      On Saturday he started the day by anchoring the 4MR (17:29.8), running the fastest split ever at Penn, a 4:09.4, coming back from a 20y deficit. He then anchored the 2MR, but started in 7th place, 100y behind the leaders. His coach, Emil von Elling, waved him off the track after MacMitchell got around the first turn. MacMitchell ended the day by anchoring the MR (3:17.3) with a 48.3.

      In the 4MR, here is the report from the New York Times: "MacMitchell really had to pour it on to win the four-mile relay for the Violet. He was twenty yards behind Tolliver of Indiana with a scant lap to go and then blasted him right off the track with a final quarter of 57.2 for a 4:09.4 mile.
      "That he could win at all seemed inconceivable, because the Hoosier had taken off twenty yards in front of his violet foeman [sic], had held his margin for the first lap, lengthened it to twenty-three yards on the second tour of the track and then was back to twenty again at the gun.
      "But MacMitchell had not started to run. He rocketed off the turn and galloped down the backstretch so rapidly that Tolliver appeared to have dropped anchor. At the final bend the boy wonder had cut the margin in half, racing around the last turn until he hit the head of the final straightaway in front.
      "Tolliver called it a day then, jogged the rest of the way and was twelve yards behind at the wire."

      I've not heard of a faster last 440 in a sub-4:10 mile back then, so it must have been awfully impressive. Obviously, MacMitchell's comment about gaining 50 yards in the last 220 is a fanciful but of hyperbole, but the sense of overpowering speed must have been amazing.


      • #4
        Re: Oldest Living Sullivan Award Winner?

        that's one cool and interesting posting, Dave, thank you !!!