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 …
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):
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.
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 …