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September 15, 1954 - Image 39

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-09-15

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Illinois Captures Fourth
Straight Track Crown





, _

NEW AT1LETIC PLANT-This diagram points out the location of the new athletic administration
building and varsity pool which are under construction on Ferry Field. Included in the map are the
proposed positions of the new fieldhouse and the Ferry Field track.

Captained by weightman Fritz
Nilsson, the Michigan track squad
finished the 1954 outdoor season
by placing second behind Leo John-
son's Illinois powerhouse.
For the last four years now the
only thing standing between the
Wolverines and Big Ten title has
been the Fighting Illini of Cham-
Even though Michigan possesses
some of the greatest track talent
in the nation and is rated as one
of the top three collegiate teams.
Don Canham's thinclads have been
unable to wrestle the coveted crown
from the Illini.
During the last year Michigan
possesed one of the best track
squads in the history of the school.
The " Wolverine tracksters under
the able, coaching of ex-Michigan
star Canham went on to set rec-
ords in both their dual meets and
numerous invitationals.t
In the first meets of the 1954
indoor season the Wolverines gave
some of the nation's top cinder
stars a run for their money in a
pair of invitational meets at Bos-
ton and Washington, completely
outclassed Western Michigan and
Michigan State Normal in a tri-
angular meet, and dominated the1
Michgian AAU relays held at Yost
Field House.
In the Knights of Columbus meet
at the Boston Gardens a two-mile
relay team made up of Roy, Chris-
tiansen, Al Lubina, John Moule
and John Ross finished a close sec-
ond to the quartet from Fordham.
Then in the Washington Evening
Star Games this same team placed
third behind Fordham and George-
Five Meet Records
Then in the triangular meet the
Wolverine thinclads set five meet
records as they won ten of the
twelve events and shared in one
other. Grant Scruggs recorded the
third best time in Yost Field House
history as he took the 440 from
teammate and Big Ten titlist Jack
Carroll in 49:3.
In other events sophomores pac-
ed the way as Tom Hendricks leap-
ed 22'6" to crack the recrod set in
1952 and Ron Wallingford sent
teammate and Big Ten champ
George Lynch down to defeat in

the two mile by running

The AAU meet saw two other
sophomores come to the fore as
Pete Gray won the 1000-yard run,
a new event, with a record 2:14.5
and fellow Canadian Pete Sutton
took the 440 in :51.3.
With such individual stars as
Wes Santee of Kansas, John Ben-
nett of Marquette and Ralph Fes-
senden competing, the Michigan
tracksters could only garner two
first places in the Michigan State
Relays held two weeks later. These
victories came in the one mile re-
lay with Sutton, Carroll, Scruggs
and Bob Brown running and the
two mile relay composed of Lynch,
Christiansen, Moule and Gray.
Illini-Michigan Meet
Then the big meet of the year
followed a week later when the
Maize and Blue of Michigan came
face to face with the Orange and
Blue of Illinois in a dual mee.t The
Wolverines gave their all and could
never lose a closer one to Illinois
than this with the final score read-
ing 581/2-551.
The victor was decided in the
final mile relay event when Illi-
nois anchorman Fessenden lunged
across the tape a half step ahead
of Wolverine Scruggs. The time of
3:17.7 set a new record but that
event had to take a back seat to
the performance of Gray and Illi-
nois conference titlist Gene May-
nard in the 880 when the two
sprawled across the finish line in
a dead heat to break nearly every
record in the book.
Their time of 1:52.4 broke the
Illinois armory and dual meet rec-
ords and was three-tenths of a
second faster than the Big Ten
mark set the year previous by Dli-
nois' Stacey Siders.
In the rest of the events things
went pretty much as expected with
the two teams splitting the field
events; Junior Stielstra winning
the broad jump for the Wolverines

(Continued from Page 5Y
matches Nalan turned in the
amazing feat of pinning all three
of his opponents. Then for the
third time this season he faced
State's Sinandinos in the semi-
final match and beat him by a
very decisive 7-3 score.
Nalan Defends Crown
In the finals Nalan successfully
defended his 130-pound title by
defeating Ithaca College's Jim
Howard, 7-2, as the Wolverines
tied for seventh place with the
host team, Oklahoma, in the
team standings with 10 points.
Kail was also entered in this
match and he defeated Bill Turner
of Illinois, 9-1, in his preliminary
match and then Pitt's George Mat-
thews, 6-3. However in his semi-
final match Kaul was decisioned
by Fd Eichelberger of Lehigh, 6-2,
and therefore finished in fourth
place in the 137-pound division of
the NCAA.
Of the two other men entered
McMahon was defeated in the pre-
liminaries and Haney was not able

It in

to make the trip due to a slight
neck injury which he suffered in
the Big Ten meet.
Also at this tournament, Coach
Keen received a high honor when
he was elected President of the
National Coaches Association. The
genial coach, who has directed his
teams to five Big Ten Champion-
ships since coming to Michigan
in 1925, also served as manager
of the 1948 United States Olym-
pic wrestling squad and has been

active in affairs of the National
Association since its inception in
Keen's able assistant is former
Wolverine mat star Bob Betzig,
who captained the wrestling team
during both his junior and senior
year and. competed from 1946 to
1949. Wrestling in the 157-pound
class Betzig holds the enviable
record of 21 victories against three
losses in three years of varsity

.. . sets record in 1000-yd. run
with a jump of 23' 4%1" and Nilsson
taking the shot put.
A week later the Michigan track-
men participated in a meet with
Ohio State and Michigan Normal
and this turned out to be merely
a warm-up for the conference meet
which was to come the next week.
The Wolverines won this triangu-
lar affair easily as they scored
1031/ points to Normal's second-
place effort of 30/2 and Ohio
State's 25.
In this meet John Vallortigara,
wearing the Maize and Blue of Mi-
chigan, set a new record in the ini-
tial running of the 300 yard dash
as he stepped it in :31.6.
Conference Meet
Then in the big conference meet
at Champaign on March 5 and 6
the Wolverines finished behind the
strong Illini, which was expected,
and behind the Hoosiers of Indi-
ana, which wasn't expected. Michi-
gan finished with a.point total of
42%, which was one-fourth of a
point behind Indiana, and Illinois
won handily from both teams with
55 points.
Only two Michigan thinclads
managed to cop first places as Ross
defeated Indiana's Lowell Zellers
in the one-mile run with a time of
4:11.2 and Captain Nilsson won
the shot put with a heave of 52'
7"% . Each man captured his third

straight title with Ross running
the indoor mile the second fastest
of his life.
The Wolverines made their pre-
sence known two weeks later when
the two-mile relay team composed
of Christiansen, Moule, Ross, and
Gray ran the university relay in
the fastest time of the indoor sea-
son, 7:39.3, to defeat national
champion Fordham in the 14th an-
nual Knights of Columbus meet at
What made thel time, which was
a new meet and Big Ten record,
even more unusual was because it
was run on a very small track-
one that has 12 laps to the mile.
Also all of the teams entered,
Michigan State, Fordham, and
Pitt had' defeated the Michigan
quartet earlier in the season.
It became apparent that this
quartet was out to break records
when the following week they won
the Chicago Daily News Relays
event in the -record time of 7:35.
This time set a new Varsity record
and clipped 4.2 seconds off the old
Relays mark.
West Coast Triumph
Then in one of the most impres-
sive performances of all season
Canham's thinclads journeyed to
the West coast during the spring
recess to face Stanford, UCLA and
Edwards Air Force Base in- dual
meets. None of the meets proved
to be much of a contest for the
Wolverines, even though this was
their first outdoor competition of
1945, as they trampled the Stan-
ford Indians, 86-35, and the Uclans,
The Michigan aggregation won
all but three events from the In-
dians and completely out-classed
the squad from UCLA. The most
encouraging performance was that
of Vallortigara, who was out all
last season with an injury, as he
swept to double victories in the 100
and 220-yard dashes.
Sophomores Wallingford and
Gray continued on their winning
ways as they scorea wins in the
two mile and 880-yard runs res-
pectively. Other Maize and Blue
entrants who took their respective
events were Ross in the mile and
hurdler Jim Love who marked up
a double victory in the 120-yard

highs and the 220-yard lows
against UCLA.
Immediately after returning from
the West the Michigan squad be-
gan to condition themselves for the
coming Ohio Relays at Columbus.
In this meet Captain Nilsson scor-
ed a double victory in his special-
ties, the discus and shot put, and
the distance and two-mile relay
teams took firsts in their events.
Nilsson Scores Sweep
A week later at the biggest track
event of the year, the Penn Relays,
Nilsson again swept his events to
become the first athlete to ever
win both weight events for three
straight years. The other Michigan
crown went to the sprint medley
team of Scruggs, Brown, Carroll
and Gray.
On the first day of May the Mar-
quette and Western Michigan
squads proved no match for the
Ann Arbor squad as it took 10 first
places out of a possible fourteen.
This meet merely served as a
warm-up for the first annual Big
Ten Relays whicl4 were to follow a
week later. In this meet seven Illi-
nois Memorial Stadium records fell
as Michigan dominated the field.
This time the Maize and Blue out-
shone the host, Illinois, as the Wol-
verines grabbed five titles to the
Illini's three.
The 1954 outdoor season was
capped by the Big Ten meet held
at Purdueand the NCAA meet held
two weeks later at Ann Arbor onh
Michigan's, Ferry Field. In the Big
Ten meet Michigan assumed its
usual second place role as Illinois
won their fourth straight meet
with 57 points to Michigan's second
place effort of 40 1/7 points.



Gym Squad Finishes Third
(Continued from Page 4) 1

Johnson, who aggravated his in-
jury in the preliminaries, was un-
able to put in more than a token
appearance in the finals. He in-
sisted on performing however, and
was able to garner two points de-
spite his injured wrist, enabling the
Wolverines to edge MSC for third
Several bright spots did show up
for the Wolverines in the title meet

at Columbus, Ohio, however. Three
Maize-and-Blue trampoline men,
all returning this season, reached
the finals. San Antonio, participat-
ing in his first semester of Big
Ten competition, finished sixth in
the side horse and eighth in the
parallel bars.
Winkler will captain a squad this
season which should be strong, al-
though not up to the potential of
the previous team.


Ii ii






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