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September 20, 1950 - Image 23

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1950-09-20

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Coach CanhamC
Team Balance Gives Good Dual Record,
But Team Not Strong Enough for Title,

Z)li nes Building



r> --

MeEwen Smashes Distance Records


Still in a rebuilding process with
the goal of regaining its lost na-
tional prominence, Michigan's
track team went through a suc-
cessful 1949-50 season featured by
ups and downs all the way.
Foremost in the ups was the
magnificent showing by Don Mc-
Ewen, who as a sophomore dis-
tance runner gave brilliant record-
breaking performances from the
beginning of the year to the end.
IN ONE SHORT year McEwen
vaulted to national fame and all-
time Michigan stardom with his
numerous record breaking runs,
ranging from the varsity mile to
the Western Conference Cross
CountryeRace of four miles. Most
of his records were made in his
favorite'- the two-mile race.
Among the downs was the
passing out of the Michigan.
sport picture of one of its best
athletes ever - Charles Fon-
ville. F
Chuckin' Charlie, once the best
shotputter in the world with a
mark of 58'%", took the hard way
of leaving. Hampered by a back
injury which prevented him from
competing in the 1948 Olympics,
and a sore wrist suffered early
this year, Charlie left as an ath-
lete with just courage and only a
shade of his former brilliant self.
* * *
HOWEVER, HE ended his career
with one of the highest honors he
could receive, that of being voted
unanimously the best shotputter
in the fifty-year history of West-
ern Conference Track and Field
Also high on the list of the
season "ups" was the unexpect-
ed showing by the Maize and
Blue in the Big Ten Indoor
ehampionships, in which they
placed a very close second to
winner Ohio State.
Giving their all, the Wolverine
cindermen led until the final
event, the mile relay, which threw
the decision to the Buckeyes. Top
among Michigan entrants was Mc-
Ewen who set a new two-mile re-
cord of 9:07.2.

Repeatedly the cinder team
came through with convincing
wins in dual competition only to
be outdone by the same teams
in the big meets.
Thus after a successful outdoor
season which saw Michigan take
its first dual win from OSU since
1941, and an uphill win over Wis-
consin and Northwestern in a tri-
angular meet, Michigan faltered
in the tightest Western Conference
outdoor champion race in years
and finished sixth.
HAMPERED BY A cold, wet
spring, Wolverine relay teams had
a hard time getting into shape
but nevertheless hung up record
breaking times in the distance
medley relay races at the South-
ern Relays and the Kansas relays.
In the latter meet the four-
some of Art Henrie, Chuck Whi-
teaker, Jus Williams, and Mc-
Ewen ran the two and one half
mile distance in 10:09.7, break-
ing the meet and varsity record.
Also outstanding was the in-

door distance medley quartet
which sped to a meet record of
10:11.6 in the Illinois Tech Re-
lays. The time was just one and
three-tenths seconds slower than
the American indoor record.
* * *
THE FOUR MILE relay team of
McEwen, Aaron Gordon, Williams,
and Whiteaker had the potential-
ities of breaking the American as
well as varsity record, but repeat-
ed injuries and inclement meet
weather hindered the great four-
some, one of the few in the coun-
try to bast of four runners able

to run the mile in 4:20 or less.
Don Hoover's rapid improve-
ment in hurdle competition bol-
stered the Maize'and Blue im-
measurably. He ran the 220
yard low hurdles in 23 seconds
flat in, the Western Conference
Outdoor Championships, the
third fastest time in the meet's
fifty year history, and only four-
tenths of a second slower than
Jesse Owen's record of 22.6.
His good work helped lessen the

DISTANCE DEMON-Don McEwen, sensational two-miler on the
Wolverine squad last season, set records almost every time he went
out. This year, as a junior, McEwen will be one of the mainstays
on Coach Don Canham's crew.

All rabid track fans, especial-
ly loyal Michigan followers, owe
their undying gratitude to an, un-
known Canadian Army captain,
who won a three-mile race while
running bare-footed in Ottawa,
Canada, in 1945.
Strange as it may seem, this
blithe captain in such an odd in-
cident is one of the main reasons
why Don McEwen is now one of
the top distance runners in com-
petition today.
* * *
JUST A YOUNG high school
student at the time, McEwen first
became interested in running long
races while watching the tall Ca-
nadian soldier clown all the way
and run his opposition into the
"The big man made distance
running seem just a lark," said
McEwen. "His shoes didn't fit,
so he ran bare-footed, and he
made it so easy I figure it would
be fun for me, too."
Not only does he provide fun
for himself now, buteEwen al-
so gives plenty of enjoyment to
his coach, Don Canham, and a
host of track fans with his con-
tinual record breaking perform-
* * *
Don was known primarily as a
miler, and running for Gleeb high
school in Ottawa set a high school
mark of 4:22.4. It was not until
he joined the freshman squad
here that he began running and
concentrating on the longer two-
mile race.
McEwen first gained national
prominence in the United States
with his stunning upset in the
Western Conference Cross Coun-
try Race wgen he defeated Wis-
consin's great Don Gerhmann.
He won by 200 yards from Gerh-
mann, a winner of the event

three years in a row previously,
in the record time of 19:44.5.
The the assault began on varsity
indoor distance marks. First the
two mile record of Ralph Schwarz-
kopf fell, as McEwen had a 9:06.9
timing in the Wisconsin dual meet.
* , * *
IN THE ILLINOIS dual meet the
slim Canadian put -on one of the
most spectacular performances in
Western Conference history as he
set a new varsity mile mark of
4:11.7 and came back a little later
to run a 9:18.8 two mile effort.
Facing the best two mile field
in many years at the conference
indoor meet, McEwen set a new
record time of 9:07.2 to eclipse
Schwarzkopf's ten-year-old re-
A terrific worker, Don is an un-
canny pace judge and tends to-
wards the European style in which
his second mile is faster than his
first. He runs with an easy, de-
ceptive stride that eats up the
yards and miles and belies his
true speed.
* * *
ham McEwen is an ideal athlete
for a coach to work with, consci-
entious, an excellent trainer with
an even temperament. Above all
is his uncanny sense of pace,
which helped him set numerous
records even with the absence of
pressing competition.
Thus in his two mile effort
against Illinois, the agreed time1
between he and Canham was
9:07, just enough to break the
varsity record. His actual time
was 9:06:9.
Making use of a strict, pre-l
arranged pace, the records con-l
tinued to fall under the onslaught
of the five foot nine inch speed-
ster. In the Chicago Relays Invi-
tational two mile run, the varsity1
record was lowered to 9:05.5. 1
* * *

tumble was the varsity mile which
McEwen lowered to 4:12 in the
McEwen lowered to 4:12 in
the Northwestern, Illinois triangle
Pressing closer and closer to
a nine minute flat two mile, the
determined Canadian set a new
outdoor* varsity two mile clock-
ing of 9:02 in a triangular meet
with Northwestern and Wiscon-
.sin. Then early this summer
came his top effort of the year
--a 9:0-1.9 two mile run in the
NCAA track and field chanpion-
ships. This shaved seven-tenths
of a second off the mark set in
1939 by the great Greg.Rice.
Running seventeen of the best
college two milers into the dust,
McEwen won by the huge margin
of 100 yards. He ran the first
mile in 4:32, and finished with
a slightly faster 4:29.9 second mile
for a truly top exhibition of Euro-
pean style distance running plus
excellent pacing.
* * ~
BECAUSE OF his fast and con-
tinuing improvement, it is quite
probable that McEwen will run a
two mile race somewhat under the
coveted nine minute mark.
His present plans naturally
call for continual racing for
Michigan, and repeated efforts
at breaking college records.
The future plans span out to
touring Europe with travelling
American track stars to meet the
best of distance aces in the world.
And then there is also the 1952.
Olympics coming up - a chance
to make his name known foiever
in track annals. Oddly enough,
he will be representing Canada,
his home country, and not the
United States.
However, what matters is that
he will be running with all he has,,
trying to win and yet in his sports-,
manlike manner. Thus he defines
his running in a few words, "It's
all a lot of fun."

- I

loss of Jim Mitchell, star Wolver-
ine hurdler, who was out of com-
petition most of the year because
of recurring leg injuries.
FOR THE FIRST time in twen-
ty years the Wolverine cross coun-
try squad competed in a recogniz-
ed meet. Taking part in the West-
ern Conference Cross Country
championships they did well, Mc-
Ewen taking first and setting a
new record.
Shel Capp finished twenty-
fifth in the only meet of the'
harriers. Because of the com-
ing indoor track season all other
meet engagements were cancel-
Although losing Captain Wil-
liams, Fonville, pole vaulter Ed
Ulvestad, weightman Pete Den-
drinos, and Rod Warren by grad-
uation, Coach Canham still has
high hopes for next year.
* * *
Elmer Swanson's well-balanced
squad is expected to bolster the
varsity greatly. Especially impor-
tant is the mile relay quartet
See TRACK, Page 7
Whether they are flat, round or
square for a Collegiate hair
style at
Liberty off State

C'mon Over-!
With one of the largest sports
staffs of any daily newspaper in
the country the Michigan Daily
is always ready to provide the
best coverage of the local ath-
letic scene which its readers can
obtain anywhere.
Sports editor Bill Connolly
heads the staff and is ssisted
by associate editors Bill Bren-
ton and Bob Sandell. All are
veterans of three years exper-
ience in following the ever-
changing fates of Wolverine
Watch The Daily for official
announcement of when and
where to come over to the Stu-
dent Publications Building and
join the staff.

maI inr o h vn TH I S udo ak-o alalto u.




ed the ignomious fate of having
a track squad that was one of the
tops in the conference in dual
meets but one that just was not
strong enough to capture a con-
ference championship.

TIMBER-TOPPER -Don Hoover, Michigan's track captain for
this season, showed the greatest improvement on the team last
year. He climaxed his efforts by taking the 220-yard low hurdles
in the Conference meet in 23 seconds flat.

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