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The day I saw Houston McTear run


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  • The day I saw Houston McTear run

    It was sorta weird the way it went down.

    There I was in Fresno sometime in the 70's.The next event the JC 4x2 relay. I'm looking around at all the pretty girls thru my binoc......"uh???" "what the....." I'll be damn that's Houston McTear! I wanted to tell somebody...."LOOK LOOK HOUSTON MCTEAR!"...he was just another obshcure JC guy. I was stunned!

    I can't remember if he was with Cerritos or Santa Monica at that time I do however remember this...........

    ...... at the final exchange McTear was way back and out of it. Then it started to happen! With each stride here came a world class speedster vs 21.5 types. Yep that old......WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! was loud and clear as he picked them off one by one. With 10 meters to go he eased up as he won in a look all around "ho hum ain't nothing to it"......hahaha!!!

    All thru the crowd it was..."who in the hell was that?"


  • #2
    Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

    This is the beauty of track...
    I envy you to have watched this phenomenon's
    race then.


    • #3
      Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

      Ahhrr yes. Houston McTear! What can ya say about the cat! I was there on that day too and share Brutal's sentiments. McTear actually reminded me of a dude I saw back in high school by the name of Leroy Russell. This guy was a bad ass pot smokin, bear drinkin bad boy who once challenged the school 100 yards champ to a race for a dollar. The school sprint champ also happened to be the US junior champ.
      Well, I remember this race as clear as crystal to this day. The sprint champ was in his track gear and Leroy was dressed in regular street wear. The guy who started the race had them line up at the start of the 100 yards dash. The sprint champ went into a crouch start from blocks and Leroy went from a standing start. When they were ready, the starter yelled set and then clapped his hands loudly. The sprint champ reacted the fastest, but Leroy took off with the most explosiveness I have ever seen. He absolutely dominated the entire 100 yards to win by a good 6-7 meters! I have never seen anything like it before and I wish someone had timed him because it would have been blindingly fast! I would have loved to see Leroy Russell and Houston McTear go head to head under race conditions.
      I never did see Leroy race officially. He just wasn't interested in sports at all. Last time I heard he was living in some shelter for the homeless in LA.


      • #4
        Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

        After that race, did Leroy go load 16 tons of #9 coal and beat the steam driver hammering railroad spikes by hand ?


        • #5
          Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

          I thought Leroy BURRELL was coaching in Houston.
          The day he impressed me the most was in 1989,
          at the Saint-Denis meeting, 4x200m.
          He was just a young growing star(9"94), and his
          leg to say it...he was running in the
          zone...technically perfect... a superstar one
          day I thought...
          More recently, Darvis PATTON gave me this same
          extraordinary visual impression...
          Don't forget this supertalent too fast!!!
          He will be back...


          • #6
            Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run





            • #7
              Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

              Boots Garland recruited Houston McTear when I was a wee maverick at LSU--I played football and my roommate was a pole vaulter (my original football roomie got kicked off of the team as did my vaulter's roomie, so we were paired up). We were in the weight room late one afternoon and Boots walked in and--I will never forget these exact words: "Stephen, Robert, I just met with Houston McTear. That boy is totally unable to communicate in the English language." Suffice it to say that Boots, one of the greatest sprint coaches in NCAA history, and Houston, one of only two people ever to run a 9 flat 100 (Ivory Crockett had hit the mark a year earlier, but it was a questioned confirmation by the clearinghouse), could have benefitted from each other like no two others. It was a shame that we couldn't get him to LSU, where he would always have been part of the family and never abandoned [that was added because of the sad reports later in this string]. Trust me, if he had a shot of making it on campus,as a student, we would have signed him and given him a lifetime commitment. Hell, even Revey Scott (check 1980 for his records), who admitted, in starkly brave fashion, that [despite his degree "earned" after six years in Baton Rouge], that he could not read or write at anything approaching an acceptable level, was welcomed home and actually taught LSU and himself life long lessons. If we could keep Revey in school, we certainly could have kept McTear (if his Florida high school had taught him anything approaching basic reading and writing), and changed his life for the better.
              Wherever he is, I hope that he is doing fine.
              P.S. He could whip Harvey Glance like a dog with his wind shear.


              • #8
                Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                'This guy was a bad ass pot smokin, bear drinkin bad boy"

                well, anyone that can drink a bear has MY total respect.

                and yes, jhc, that was a good 'story', wasn't it?


                • #9
                  Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                  can someone give me a quick-facts run-down of Houston McTear? i was born in the late 70s and don't know who he is really..


                  • #10
                    Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                    bump, please someone indulge me?


                    • #11
                      Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                      <<"Stephen, Robert, I just met with Houston McTear. That boy is totally unable to communicate in the English language."

                      In the mid/late 70's I got to volunteer at the Sunkist meet as a high schooler. My job was to round up athletes after their races and bring them to the interview area.

                      Dwight Stones was early in his broadcast career and had a habit of speaking quickly and in very long sentences. I'll never forget Dwight asking Houston a three part, multiple answer and open-ended question in one long breath. Houston, gazing intently, answered, "yes". That was it.

                      I really wonder what Houston could have done with some guidance? LA was definitely the wrong place for him to go as a teenager.


                      • #12
                        Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                        I was in the grandstand and saw McTear tie the WR in the 100y at the Florida State Meet in '75 as a high school junior.
                        Rumors were pretty wild at the time that he rarely did any kind of workout, and had never lifted any weights in his entire life. The SI story that included a picture of him in front of his family's "shack" next to the railroad tracks, where he supposedly sprinted on the gravel next the passing freight trains, only added to the mythology. Many of us wondered if this raw talent was the U.S. best hope against the "invincible" Russkie robot, Borzov (we tended to think a lot in terms of cold war rivalries in those days).
                        He'd have done better if he hadn't been taken under the wing of one 'Harold Smith' who turned out to be the biggest bamboozler this side of boxing promoter Don King. A few years later and McTear could have made a living as a professional, but he was a few years too early. There was no support system at the time for any kind of non-college development track (a la Webb, Felix, etc.)
                        Last I heard McTear's Swedish born wife left him to take their kid back to Europe, having given up on his long term ability to support a family, and he was pushing a cart through office buildings in L.A's west side selling sandwiches, always talking about 'making his big comeback'. That was in the late 80's.


                        • #13
                          Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run



                          • #14
                            Re: The day I saw Houston McTear run

                            Are you the LSU swimmer?