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August 18, 1946 - Image 12

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1946-08-18

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Michigan Stripped of Indoor Track Crown
By Record-Breakig Illinois Cinder Squad

Place Second, Third
In Conference Meets

Small as it is, "2/3" is a figure that
will live in the minds of Coach Ken
Doherty's track squad for many years
as the most vivid memory of the
1946 indoor season.
By this margin, the Wolverine ag-
gregation suffered its only two losses
of the season, one a dual meet de-
feat at the hands of a powerful Illi-
nois outfit, and the other an un-
successful attempt to defend the in-
door Big Ten title. against the same
Illini team.
In the Conference championships
at Chicago, the final result of the
meet hung in the air until the finish
of the last event, the mile relay. Hugh
Short, transfer quarter-miler from
Georgetown, where he set the world's
record for 600 yards, was matched
against Herb McKenley, who earlier
in the evening had tied the world in-.
door 440 mark of 48.1 seconds held
by the former Wolverine star, Bob
The Wolverines partially avenged
this defeat by swamping Illinois in.
the Purdue Relays at Lafayette, a
fitting going-away present to two of
Michigan's all-time greats, the Hume
twins, Ross and Bob, who wound up
their careers with another excellent
performance. Running together on
the distance medley relay, they turned
in their last victory under the Maize
and Blue colors.
Doherty's thinclads took two out of
three meets here at Ann Arbor,
swaning Ohio State and Purdue in
one triangular affair, and taking
Notre Dame and Michigan State into
camp in another. The only loss was
that 2/3-point heart-breaker to Illi-
After losing men who scored 23
of the 55 2/3 points which the Michi-
gan track team racked up at the in-
door Conference meet, the Wolver-
ine thinclads had to be satisfied with
third place in the Big Ten outdoor
meet this year behind the power-lad-
en Illinois squad and a surprising
Ohio State team.
Paced by Herb McKenley, who
sliced the world's record for the quar-
ter-mile by two-tenths of a second,
the Illini more than doubled the
score on Ohio State, piling up 66%
points. The Buckeyes snatched sec-
ond plate from Michigan by 6 '/2
points, repeating their previous dual
meet victory over the Wolverines.
In its three other dual meets of the
outdoor campaign, Michigan's track
squad swept to impressive victories
over Purdue and Notre Dame, but
was upset by a fast-improving Ohio
State squad 67-55.

track squad battled the powerful
Illinois cinder team down the final
stretch before losing by 1/3 point.
Fonville's Shot
Put Feats Cost
Coach a Watch
When 18-year-old Wolverine Char-
ley Fonville stepped into the shot
put circle in the Illinois Field House
during last Spring's dual meet with
the Illini, he heaved the iron ball
52 ft. 6 5/8 in., breaking the fresh-
man record for the fourth time of
the season.
There is an interesting sidelight on
Fonville's career last season. When
Bill Watson, the former Wolverine
shot-put great, was a freshman,
Coach Ken Doherty promised him a
wrist watch if he could break 50 ft.
with the shot during his first in-
door season. Watson, however, could
never quite make the grade.
One day last indoor season, Fon-
ville was doing particularly well, al-
though he had not yet hit the 50-
foot mark. He cut loose with one that
vent 49 ft. 11 in. At that point, Do-
herty came over, and with a sly
smile, told Fonville about the offer
he had made to Watson.
The tall freshman walked into the
shot put ring, reared back, and let
fly a put that burrowed itself in
the dirt at the 50 ft. 3/4 mark. Fon-
ville glanced down at his own right
wrist, smiled at the coach, and walk-
ed to the locker room. They say that
Coach Doherty has a little errand
to do at the jeweler's one of these

Thinclad Memorial to
Mason in Field House
At one end of Yost Field House
hangs the Stevens T. Mason Memor-
ial Plaque, dedicated by the track
teams of 1936, 1937, and 1938 to the
memory of the captain-elect of the
1938 thinclads, who did not live to
lead his teammates to both the in-
door and outdoor Big Ten titles they
annexed that year.
Inscribed on this plaque are the
names of the Michigan track cap-
tains, beginning with Steve Mason.
Reading down the list of"Wolverine
leaders, one finds the names of some
of Michigan's greatest tbhinclads, Bill
Watson, Ralph Schwarzkopf, Don
Canham, now assistant track coach,
Al Piel, Dave Mathews, Bob Hume,
Ross Hume and Dick Forrestel.
Seldom Made Headlines
Unlike those who followed him as
leaders of Wolverine track squads,
Mason never had a chance to reach
his peak and his name seldom made
the headlines. He reported to Coach
Charlie Hoyt as a sprinter, but lack-
ing the necessary speed, was moved
to the quarter-mile. In the spring
of his sophomore year, Mason finally
found his best event, when Hoyt be-
gan working him on the low hurdles,
where both his speed and endurance
could be used'to advantage.
Concentrated on Lows
When the outdoor season began,
Mason concentrated on the 220-yard
low hurdles, but in all of the Wolver-
ine meets that year he had to be sat-
isfied with the runner-up spot behind
his teammate, Osgood. Although he
showed his ability by beating Osgood
in their practice sessions, he was un-
able to break the tape first until their
last collegiate meet.
After Osgood had set a new world's
record of 14 seconds flat in the 120-
yard highs, he could do no better
than take second to his determined
teammate in the lows, as Mason
skimmed over the hurdles to win his
first and last Conference title.
Elected 1938 Captain
In recognition of his achievements
and qualities of leadership, Mason's
teammates elected 'him captain for
the 1938 season; but he .did not live
to enjoy his hard-earned honor and
prestige. That summer he fell vic-
tim to pneumonia suddenly, and died
within 24 hours.
Although Mason was only an aver-
age runner, his outstanding personal-
ity and excellent attitude marked
him as a leader. He worked long and
hard to become a Conference cham-
pion and set an example which
trackmen, whose names follow his
on the list of Michigan track cap-
tains, would do well to follow.

Sixth Place Cagers Play
Winning Ball at Home
Displaying a championship brand
of ball on their home court, but fail-
ing to win more than one-third of
their games on the road, Michigan's
cage squad concluded the 1945-46
season with a total record of 12 wins
and seven losses, and a Big Ten rec-
ord of six victories balanced byran
equal number of defeats, good for a
sixth place Conference finish.
The Wolverines were invincible in
pre-Conference tuneups, taking the
measure of Michigan Central, Romu-
lus Air Base, Michigan State, Great
Lakes and Utah before opening their
Big Ten, slate
Coach Bennie Oosterbaan decided'
on a starting quintet of John Mul-
laney and Glen Selbo at forwards,
Dave Strack, back from the 1942
squad, and Toledo freshman Bob
Harrison at the guard posts, and
sparkplug Pete Elliott at center.

Rain washed out Michigan's hopes
for a third straight Big Ten base-
ball championship but it couldn't
keep the Wolverines from racking
up a neat 18-3 record for the season
and taking second behind Wisconsin
in the Conference race.
The Maize and Blue nine had
chalked up two Big Ten titles in a
row in 1944 and 1945 but the ele-
ments repeated their performance
of 1943 and forced the canceling of
four of Michigan's key Big Ten
games, two each with Purdue and
Indiana. The Wolverines' Big Ten
record read six wins against a pair
of setbacks compared to Wisconsin's
nine and two mark.
The Michigan nine's two defeats
came at the hands of Illinois and

Rain Edges Baseball Team
Out of Conference Top Spot

Minnesota, each of whom caught the
Maize and Blue in nightcaps of twin
bills to trip them. Again rain played
a decisive role for the Michigan
schedule had originally slated no
doubleheaders. Yet the weather

Natators Second in Conference

Big Ten Starts
51st Season
Of Competition
The Western Conference, generally
conceded to be the top athletic as-
sociation in America, is celebrating
its 51st anniversary this season, cli-
maxing a constant upward struggle
for supremacy in football and in all
other sports.
It was back in 1896, in the days of
moleskin-clad giants, of the flying
wedge, and of "crowds" of 2,000 spec-
tators, that representatives of seven
mid-western universities met in Chi-
cago to establish what eventually
grew into the Big Ten.
Schools represented in that historic
first meeting were the universities of
Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minne-
sota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wis-
consin. Representatives of these insti-
tutions drew up rules governing com-
petition and eligibility that serve as
a ba: As for today's play.
1897 saw Indiana and Iowa join the
embryo Conference to form the Big
Nine. Michigan withdrew in 1905,
but came back in 1917. Meanwhile,
Ohio State had been added in 1913
to bring the Conference to its pre-
sent membership. Last Spring Chi-
cago withdrew completely from the
loop to reduce membership to nine.
At the time the Conference was
formed, football was lightly regarded
vest of the Alleghenies. Harvard,
Yale, and the rest of the big Eastern
schools ruled the grid world.
But under the guidance of coaches
like Amos Alonzo Stagg of Chicago,
Harry Williams of Minnesota, Bob
Zupke of Illinois, and Michigan's own
Fielding H. Yost, the fame of the
Western Conference grew rapidly.

"Playing second fiddle" was the
role of Michigan's swimming team
during the 1945-6 season as the Wol-
verines wound up snapping at Ohio
State's heels in dual competition and
at the Conference and NCAA meets.
With a well-balanced lineup studd-
ed with promising freshmen, Coach
Matt Mann's charges churned to se-
ven triumphs in nine dual meets and
completely dominated the Michigan
State AAU meets.
The two Maize and Blue setbacks
came at the hands of Great Lakes
and Ohio State. The Great Lakes ag-
gregation coached by former Wolver-

ine, Dobby Burton, sank Mann's
crew in their opener, 43-41. A week
later the Wolverines turned the tables
on Burton's squad at the Lakes, 46-
Ohio State was the class of the na-
tion. The Bucks drowned Michigan,
57-27,*at Columbus and went on to
score overwhelming triumphs in the
Big ,Ten, NCAA and AAU meets. In
the Conference meet the Buckeyes
outscored Michigan, their nearest ri-
val, 75-38. Their margin over the
Wolverines' in the NCAA meet was
61-37. Michigan did not compete in
the AAU meet.

ELMER SWANSON... star back-
stop on the Wolverine nine last
spring, who led his mates to an
18-3 record for the campaign.
forced the Maize and Blue to play a
trio of double bills with two more
being, rained out.
The third defeat suffered by the
Michigan nine was a 6-1 defeat at
at the hands of the Detroit Tigers
in an exhibition game May 20.




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