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1960 Compton Invitational

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  • 1960 Compton Invitational

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U_-pBgDNwc...can anyone identify winning runner?

  • #2
    If you hit the little down arrow on YouTube, details of the races drop down. The winner of the 5000 was Jim Beatty in an AR, then Herb Elliot won the mile.
    Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants

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    • #3
      If it was the 880y it was Lew Merriman (Wichita) in 1:50.7

      If it was the mile, it was Herb Elliott (Australia) in 3:59.2

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 1runner1 View Post
        Winner of second race is Elliott, so that was the mile according to gm's post.

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        • #5
          1runner1: Great video of Compton 1960 with Herb Elliott's only sub 4:00 on American soil.
          I had to go back to Alan Trengove's biography of Herb Elliott to find that at that Compton's race Elliott had been injured and had received two steroid injections into his knee days before the Compton race. He had withdrawn from the Modesto race the week before because he could not train or run due to severe "patellaritis" When he arrived to run at Compton he left his running bag back at the home he was staying at and had to borrow the white singlet and pants you see in the video from two other runners and a pair of spikes from a "hurdler".
          Does anyone know who that hurdler could have been? What a treasure to have in your trophy case the spikes that Herb Elliott wore breaking four minute mile three months before his gold medal performance at Rome.

          Grelle finished second to Elliot's 3:59.2 but I don't think he broke 4:00 that evening.
          The following year the 1961 Compton saw Grelle won and Elliott's World Jr. Mile Record got broken. Does anyone have information on the video of that 1961 Compton race?

          Would like to know if T&FN has information on where and who has those famous borrowed singlet, shorts and spikes

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          • #6
            Grelle didn't break 4:00.0 until Mt. SAC in 1962 (3:59.9). His best previous mile was 4:00.1 in 1960.

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            • #7
              Don't believe that Compton trace race was Elliott's only sub-4:00 on U.S. soil. When I was 12 years old I saw Elliott run 3:57.9 to beat Merv Lincoln for 1958 AAU title at Bakersfield.

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              • #8
                The Compton Invitational was my favorite meet on the circuit. I remember getting Bobby Morrow's autograph there as a kid.

                One thing I remember was how exciting and amazing it was to go out for a snack in a restaurant after the meet and being able to buy a late evening newspaper right outside from a live human being and being able to read the results of the meet I had just seen.

                Even with the Internet today, those results were quicker than some results you can find today for our dwindling sport.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J Rorick View Post
                  Don't believe that Compton trace race was Elliott's only sub-4:00 on U.S. soil. When I was 12 years old I saw Elliott run 3:57.9 to beat Merv Lincoln for 1958 AAU title at Bakersfield.
                  Here is the 4 races sub-4 Elliott had on U.S. soil:

                  • 3:57.8 1 Los Angeles 16.05.1958
                  • 3:57.9 1 Bakersfield 21.06.1958
                  • 3:58.1 1 Compton 06.06.1958
                  • 3:59.2 1 Compton 03.06.1960

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, pela2 for update on Elliott's sub four races. Looks like he had two USA tours to the West Coast May-June race series that were so great in the 50's and 60's.

                    I recall that California had four successive invitation meets where great runners came and competed at the top level every weekend. West Coast Relays were in Fresno first, than California Relays in Modesto was next, followed by Coliseum Relays in LA and finally the Compton Invitational in little Jr. College track at Compton in first weekend of June.
                    The latter brought probably the great mile races and world class runners from early 1930's through 60's. I would say Compton was the Bislett Games or "Pre" Games that are raced today. Santee ran 4:00.6 in 1954 at Compton, Delany ran 3:59.0 in 1956, and Merv Lincoln won Compton mile in 1957 in 4:05.0.
                    The 60's produced high school records with San Romani, Dale Story, Tom Sullivan, and Jim Ryun. Not sure in Liquori or Danielson ran Compton after there sub 4:00's??

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr. Bowie View Post
                      One thing I remember was how exciting and amazing it was to go out for a snack in a restaurant ....
                      Did someone mention snacks ?

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