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Track and Field

E. Garry Hill
Spring 2018

Running up the competition

If you want the facts about track and field records, ask a statistics junkie like E. Garry Hill ’69. But he might throw you with another fact, this one culled from long experience as editor of Track & Field News, announcer at the Olympics and World championships, and expert on the sport: Track and field as a spectator sport is struggling mightily.

Rows and rows of empty seats faced runners and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics. And where can you watch big track events on TV? Hill calls it like he sees it, and he’s seen a lot since he competed for Washington … » More …

Mooberry Field
Spring 2018

WSU Track & Field favorites

I didn’t realize until I compiled this favorite-moments list just how much the dictum of “no cheering in the pressbox” has come to dominate how I watch/enjoy the sport. Unfortunately, I’ve done a good job—too good, in fact—of learning how to be dispassionate. It makes me a better journalist and broadcaster, but it saps some of the vitality out of being a fan. So as you’ll see, my list is very much front-loaded.

Chronologically, these self-centered moments stick with me (noting that I’ve restricted individuals to a single appearance apiece, or it would run the risk of being all Gerry Lindgren and Henry Rono):

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The most prolific scorJeanne (Eggart) Helfer. Photo Bruce Andre
Spring 2017

How you play the game

It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.

Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.

That girl can shoot. And pass. And rebound.

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Fall 2016

Staying a jump ahead

Long before he was elected to the New Zealand Parliament, served as immigration minister, and held other national cabinet positions, Tuariki “John” Delamere ’74 was a long jumper with an attention-grabbing technique.

Delamere, a fixture on Washington State’s track team in the early 1970s, didn’t invent The Flip. But he so excelled at the leaping mid-air forward somersault it sometimes seemed as if he had.

His style was so gravity-defyingly smooth that when Sports Illustrated wanted to learn more about The Flip, and the debate that would eventually lead to the technique’s prohibition, the magazine sent a crew to the 1974 national qualifiers to … » More …

Olympian and WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr
Summer 2016

Racing into history

The Olympic moment of WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr

As rain fell in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1936, Lee Orr, a Washington State College student not yet 20 years old, didn’t realize the magnitude of the events surrounding him.

“I was pretty young and didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

It had been over seven decades since Orr raced against Jesse Owens at the ’36 Olympic Games when, in 2008, the soft-spoken Orr recalled his Olympic experience in Germany.

A year after the interview, Orr passed away; however, the story he told lives in sports lore.

Owens’s four gold medals and his … » More …