Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ryun Project - 5

I remember picking up my oldest sister's Abilene High School yearbook in the summer of 1965.  It was in the early days of my growing obsession with sports.  I went through the sports section likely looking for pictures of my two Cowboy basketball heroes, Mark Norton and Mike Wood.  I noticed Norton's picture in the cross country section.  It turned out that Mark could not shoot hoops but was an outstanding distance runner.  Then I noticed a picture of Jim Ryun.  The AHS annual found Ryun's smashing victory at the state cross country meet noteworthy coming as it did just a month after his return from the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The abbreviated cross country schedule came under the tutelage of Jim Ryun's new coach, J.D. Edmiston.  Bob Timmons had left Wichita East to become an assistant coach at the University of Kansas under the legendary Bill Easton.  J.D. turned out to be a heck of a high school track and field coach in his own right.

Besides handling Ryun's senior campaign Edmiston would later coach East distance great Randy Smith.  Smith ended up setting the state record for 2 miles and later win the AAU National Championship in the 3000 meter steeplechase after finishing up his career at Wichita State.  When I interviewed Edmiston for the Ryun documentary, almost as an afterthought, I realized that J.D. felt that his contributions had been long overlooked.

J.D. and I talked for about an hour and as we finished the interview he began to tear up.  I was stunned and thought I had done something to hurt his feelings.  J.D. explained the rush of emotions this way, "Nobody's ever asked me these questions before, nobody ever thought to ask me."  Of all the things that went into making the documentary, that moment made everything worthwhile.

J.D. passed away a few years ago.  He went to his grave knowing that he is the only prep coach to guide an American high school athlete to an American record in the mile.  Along with that victorious record run in San Diego, Jim Ryun took the scalp of 3 time Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Snell.

Fall of 1964/Spring-Summer 1965

10-31-64   2 Mile     9:31        1st          Wichita, KS       Echo Hills Golf Course   Regional
11-7-64     2 Mile      9:08.2     1st        Wamego, KS     Wamego Country Club    State Championships
Date        Event       Time        Place       Splits
3-18-65   880          1:53.5      1st            56.0-1:53.5
South Invitational   South High School  Wichita, KS
3-27-65   1 Mile      4:07.2      1st            61.5-2:06.0-3:10.0-4:07.2
State Indoor Championships  Ahearn Field House                Manhattan, KS
3-30-65   Mile         4:04.4      1st            59.6-2:04.7-3:07.7-4:04.4
              220          21.6         1st            880 relay
East Invitational      East High School     Wichita, KS
4-3-65     Mile         4:30.4      1st            65.0-2:16.0-3:24.0-40:30.4
Washington Invitational         Washington High School       Kansas City, KS
4-10-65   Mile         4:15.9      1st            62.1-2:09.5-3:16.4-4:15.9
Wichita State Invitational      Wichita State          Wichita, KS
4-16-65   Mile         4:04.8      1st            59.5-2:05.0-3:09.3-4:04.8
Kansas Relays                         University of Kansas               Lawrence, KS
4-17-65   880          1:47.7      1st            55.8-1:47.7 (2 mile relay/anchor leg)
Kansas Relays                         University of Kansas               Lawrence, KS
4-24-65   Mile         4:02.0      1st            57.0-2:010-3:04.0-4:02.0
Hutchinson Relays  Hutchinson High School         Hutchinson, KS
5-1-65     880          1:51.5      1st            27.1-55.9-1:25.1-151.5
City League Championship     Wichita State          Wichita, KS
5-7-65     Mile         4:08.2      1st            NA
Regional  Hutchinson, KS
5-15-65   Mile         3:58.3      1st            58.0-2:00.8-3:02.6-3:58.3
State Championship               Wichita State          Wichita, KS
5-29-65   Mile         3:58.1      1st            NA
Modesto Relays      Modesto, CA
6-4-65     Mile         3:56.8      3rd            NA
Compton Relays      Compton High School             Compton, CA
6-13-65   3  Mile     13:54.0    1st            66.2-2:17.0-3:27.0-4:38.0-5:48.0-6:59.0-8:11.0-9:21.5-10:31.0-11:42.0-12:52.0-13:54.0
All Comers              East High School     Wichita, KS
6-19-65  2 Mile      9:04.0      1st            NA
Mile         4:04.3      1st            NA
Golden West Invitational       Sacramento, CA
6-26-65   Mile         4:11.4      1st            prelim NA
AAU National Championship  Balboa Stadium      San Diego, CA
6-27-65   Mile         3:55.3      1st            59.5-2:00.3-3:01.3-3:55.3 (American Record)
AAU National Championship Balboa Stadium        San Diego, CA
7-16-65   Mile         4:04.3      1st            NA          
               880          1:50.5     1st            NA
               3 Mile      14:04.8   3rd            NA
Carreras Invitational               Kingston, Jamaica
7-23-65   Mile         4:10.4      3rd            NA
U.S. Team Exhibition              Wichita State          Wichita, KS
8-1-65     1500        3:40.4      2nd           NA
U.S.A. vs. U.S.S.R.   Kiev, Ukraine U.S.S.R.
8-7-65     1500        3:49.6      1st            NA
U.S.A. vs. Poland     Warsaw, Poland
8-13-65   1500        3:41.6      1st            NA
U.S.A. vs. West Germany       Augsburg, Germany

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