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June 12, 1975 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily, 1975-06-12

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Thursday, June 12, 1975


Page Eleven

Thursday. June 12. 1975 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Eleven

By DOC KRALIK pace. And they used to goad vertised his plans for the left his eyes looked up and to
"'the wind is old and still at play him on as he circled the track 5,000 meter run so that the the right as if inquiring after
While I must hurry upon my way, all alone, pulling farther and other runners would know just a a m e unanswerable question.
For I am running to Paradise; farther away from the field what to expect: 'Right now After you punish your bdy that
Yet never have I lit on a friend through the exhuberant final I'd say we'd go out in world much it reaches a point where
To ak myfacy ik th wndlaps. "I am an entertainer," he record pace for the first co- it will not take orders anymore,
To ak myfacy ik th wndsaid. "t like people to apprec- pe of miles-and then I'll the muscles tighten and the
that nohody can buy or ind: iate the way I run." turn it on, start destroying steps become slow and painful
And there the king is ut as the beggar.- As the 1972 Olympics drew- people. If anyone wants to and you feel like you're caught
-W. B. Yeats near it became apparent that eat me, let them run a in somebody else's body because
VHRASES like 'The sports world was saddened today by the although Prefontaine was far world record." it will not obey your commands.
death of . .." have always seemed like a lot of b - - - to me. and away the best distance run- I remember watching the fi- And two more runners passed
Until Steve Prefontaine died. ner in America there were still nals on TV. The pace was fast, Pre in those last yards and he
I was in the office making up headlines when it came over a lot of runners in the world but not world record. I kept did not get a medal.
the wire. I went and looked at the photograph that had been who could beat him. There was remembering what Pre had said For a while, the Olympics de-
wired in - the inking on it was still wet - a "small foreign nothing to be ashamed about. about the last four laps. With stroyed Prefontaine's confi-
spots ar upidedon o th pvemntwith long, thick streams lHe was only 22 years old and four laps left the field was still dence. In one race he was so
spotsca" usie ownonth paemntfive and 10,000 meter runners fairly close. And then with three disheartened that he waved the
of blood flowing from it.do'usalmaueutlter lp tog Prknwtahe rnebhidimogoha.
I was pretty cool then. I walked ack home through the do'usalmaueutlter lp tog Poknw hthe unrbhidimogoha.
arcade. The old lonely man who sells magazines there was -:- sts a . ...-*... .".*~"**' >...
see preotiewsm.dl he a unn h w On the day that Steve Prefontaine died, that part of me that emu-
nmile in high school he was the one we all looked up to. Jim Ryun lated him died too. Though I had long since given, up running, I had
was always too unstable, and Frank Shorter too skinny. Pre was still dreamed about it But not anymore. Because it seemed that Pre,
good looking, confident and fast-all the things that t wanted to be tegets fal a utbe unn ncrlslk h eto s
first read about Prefontaine -hratsflhaut enrnnn n iceslk tersto s
isJn f17,when he made ity of the rcadteand ';s~ .. . . -
the cover of Sports Illustrated in a mad dash for the tape late twenties*But Prefontaine would have to go or the field "If you Wknow me, you know
as a freshman at Oregon. lie Prefontaine, however, liked to didn't concede anything. e would leave him behind on the I don't do that"
looked very young and innocent force the pace right from the trained harder than ever, set- last lap So he started his kick Then in January of 1973 he
on the cover, running on a ill beginning, forcing the other run- ting an American record in the At first they let him o. Every- whipped Viren na ido
overlooking an Oregon river. I ners to run with him if they trasg eor htrceh e o y ostatigsinaet ml ae an icnfdence2
read about how he took up track wanted to win. Through the ear- tmal.frke fipatyce"BekI'm dkiknfosthe apsitsips- wasleacke dwi onfhencAA
when he discovered he was too lv art of his career he ran hredtoirunanAm"ercan re- ibkle.rthren las ts ien i- wthreecmile run frthe fourt
frail for football, but what hit without strategy, always tak-rac o rna rcnrd." isl.hpoiem aern, a n o- traightmie nd weonrthi
me most of all was the way he ing the lead and refusing to re- cr. ihplcmn ea o£l tagttm n o i
made himself into a goed ath- linquish it For the first time in his low, afraid perha that this third NCAA cross country
lets simply by deciding that it Drn h is he er life Prefontaine developed a stupid kid was acually going chipionship.
woldh s. esad," ud- ifcolg tefrsPret arnes r- rc taey efg dh to do it. By the beginning of the When Prefontaine was 19, his
-ouddbd that e if dI I wasofgoingg, tofocon-e'putation grewg. Heandurdwhth nit thisifwould oineed conepoiniotheewanym-thlastislapldntheonfielde had- aalmostth coachadaBill cBowerman Boe set s atgoala
tinme in track, that t didn't ego. "t feel my potential is pic. He worked to develop a caughtobiu hte Prefontaine; ildt bae See PE, Page 12
want to lose, that I wasn't unlimited," he asserted mod- different kind of kick, one that bvi ousthhol f e wun o bespr o rlki eua
going to lose." That fall t decid- saly in his sophomore year would sustain itself over the al ohl f ie.Dse- DcKa ki eua
ed that I too was too frail for e began to taunt his oppon last four laps of the race ate and tired, Prefontaine kept contributor to the Michigan
football and went out for cross eats to disconcert them. le Supremely confident, he ad- up. And then, with 10 yards Daily's Editorial Page.
country. dramatized his injuries, often
Pre was a different kind of explaining to his opponent
athlete. e survived mainly how much his sciatic nerve
on the strength of his guts. was othering him, and then r .. . . . .
While preparing for the Mun- "demolishing" the confused
ich Olympics he said, "A lot runner. e would often wave
of people run a race to see and smile before he reached . . . .
who is the fastest. I run to the tape, and instead of jog-
see who has the most guts, ging through his victory lap
who can punish himself into he would spin another 67 sec-
an exhausting pace, and then nd quarter.
at the end who can punish
himself even more." Certain- All of this cockiness tended te
ly Prefontaine had natural irritate other runners. Krry ,
talent. HIs coach was fond O'Brien, an Australian distance g
of discoursing on the w.onders runner once remarked after he
of Pre's circulatory system had been insulted by Prefon-
But he lacked the kick and tamne, "I'd like to run his cocky
the bnzlug speed that a dis- ottom into the bleeding , , -
lance runner needs in the oards."
last lap. Prefontaine was alwaysa
Traditionally, long races are crowd pleaser. Crowds loved
run fairly even for the major the way he would- force the
~ For
Bargain e
_ Hunters
make .. . . . . . . . ..a~t .~

reading I rom oeberlvr t iother,

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