Warsaw Times Union, Wed. Mar 31, 1954
Warsaw Coach Ken Norris said officials of the three schools were slated to confer by telephone today and with snow covering the track, postponement or cancellation of the meet is considered a surety.
It is hoped that the meet can be re-scheduled because much interest has developed over an impending clash between Warsaw's Max Truex and Concordia's Tom Linnemaier, two of the state's finest milers.
The main strength will probably be found in
the distance runs and the shot put. Max Truex, state cross-country
champion, should be a consistent five point winner in the mile
run, and his brother, Don, is concentrating his efforts on the
880. Coach Norris said Max will receive help in the mile from
Gordon Thompson and freshman Larry Kogin. Elwood Troy joins Don
as the best bet in the half-mile.
Most of the interest Tuesday will be centered
on Max Truex in the mile run. The Warsaw senior holds the school
record by virtue of a 4:32.1 performance at Elkhart last season.
However, he has never been able to break Bob Chambers' 16-year-old
Warsaw track record of 4:40.2, and Tuesday will mark his first
of only three chances to break the mark. Warsaw, as per usual
custom, will see very little action at Fisher Field this year,
scheduling only three home meets..
Truex' time was the best of his career and the best in the state of this young track season. It bettered his own previous school record of 4:32.1, set last year in the sectional meet at Huntington and knocked nearly 10 full seconds off the Warsaw track record of 4:40.2 established back in 1938 by Bob Chambers. Ironically Chambers was on hand yesterday to see his mark broken.
The quarter-mile track at Fisher Field was in excellent condition, having been rolled in the afternoon after an early-morning rain, and there was little wind to hamper the runners. A good-sized crowd was on hand for this first of only three home meets on the Warsaw schedule. On Friday afternoon, at 4 o'clock, the Tigers face, Huntington in a dual meet at Huntington.
Truex in Spotlight
Max Truex' great performance in the medley
relay gave rise to speculation as to why he does not run the
half-mile in regular track meets. Many observers believe he could
run a two-minute half mile, and since it comes after the mile
event they reason that it would not affect his mile run effort.
Max's reasoning was that running both the mile and half-mile in a single meet would be too much of a physical strain and leave him weak for the mile on the following week. He also figured that should he have to train for both events, it might throw his timing off in the mile run.
At Kokomo next Saturday, Truex plans to run the mile in the medley relay and then come back for a record attempt in the special 1,000 yard race. However, Max said that would be his final fling at two events in a single meet.
Many local observers have been hopeful that Truex would try both events in the conference meet at Peru on April 30 and in the section at Huntington on May 7. These observers reasoned that running the half, which comes later in the meet, could not possibly affect his mile run. They pointed out that in past years, several high school standouts have "doubled" up in the two events and placed in both at the state meet. Ashley Hawk, of Fort Wayne North, and others in past years have accomplished this feat. Max, however, points out in rebuke that his friend, Jim Lambert, of Muncie Central, stuck to just the mile event in state competition a few years ago and that North Side's Jim Griswold, of two years ago, failed dismally in the half-mile run after winning the mile event at the state meet. Max also contends that Kansas' great distance ace, Wes Santee, is content to run only one event in his college meets. However, this can be argued. Santee, for example, will run Friday at the Drake Relays in the two-mile, four-mile, sprint medley and distance medley relay, according to a United Press story today.
Truex has his heart set on winning that state
championship in the mile run, and if he believes the half-mile
effort would hurt his chances in the mile, then we say "okay"
Max, whatever you think best, your fans will be behind you 100
Truex's best mark, set last week in the Central conference meet at Peru, is full 10 seconds faster than any other miler in the state has turned in this year. Providing he wins Friday at Huntington and then on the following Friday, May 14, at the Fort Wayne regional, as he is expected to do, Max will be an overwhelming favorite to win the mile run at the state meet on Saturday, May 22.
The state mile run championship has eluded Truex for the past two years, although he placed among the first five both as a sophomore and junior.
Max won both the mile and half-mile runs at the conference meet last Friday at Peru. However the two races will be scheduled only 20 to 30 minutes apart at Huntington, with only the 100 yd. dash finals and 440 yd. race in between.
Local and statewide observers believe that
Truex may be within reach of the existing state record of 4:22.3,
set by Jim Lambert, of Muncie Central, at the 1951 state meet
Bannister said that such a meeting might lower
still further the fantastic 3:59.4 record he set at the Ifley
Road Track Thursday in smashing forever the four-minute "time
barrier" in mile racing.
A year ago Max was favored to win at Fort
Wayne, but had to settle for third place behind Concordia's Tom
Linnmaeir and North Side's Chuck Snyder. due to a series of unexpected
events, Max will not have to face either of these boys next Saturday.
Linnmaeir, who won the event last year in 4:31.3, was unable
to compete in the Fort Wayne sectional last weekend due to being
ill with influenza, and thus is not eligible to compete in the
regional. Snyder has given up the mile in favor of the 880 yd.
One or two of the new marks could be registered
at the Fort Wayne regional, where 182 boys from 48 schools, including
Warsaw, Atwood, Pierceton and North Webster from Kosciusko county,
will be seeking a berth in the state finals at Indianapolis on
Max won the mile run in 4:26 equaling the
all-time Indiana regional record established in 1951 by Jim Lambert,
of Muncie Central, who holds the state record of 4:22.3 which
Truex will be shooting at next week. Max' effort yesterday also
bettered the old northeastern regional record of 4:30.5 set by
Neil Pendergrass of Kokomo in 1951, and bettered his own previous
school record of 4.26.7, set two weeks ago in the conference
meet at Peru.
"For effort and determination he's worked
harder than anyone I've ever seen," Gardner said. He said
Truex, who stands only five feet six inches and scales about
125 pounds, is a cinch to capture his specialty. His best in
competition this spring was 4:26.
The largest local delegation ever to attend a state meet is expected to be in the stands, mainly to see whether or not senior miler Max Truex can become Warsaw's first individual state champion in 16 years and whether or not he can break the existing state record of 4:20.3 set in 1951 by Jim Lambert, of Muncie Central.
Truex, who holds by far the fastest time in the state this season--4:26--is a clear cut favorite to win his speciality. In fact, there has been much discussion and much newsprint throughout the state this week regarding the possibility of his not only breaking the state mark, but possibly the national interscholastic mile record, which is listed in the 1954 almanac as 4:21.2 set in 1934 by the great Lou Zamperini while he was at Torrence high school in California. Zamperini later became one of the great collegiate milers before being killed in World War II.
Needs Best Effort
There will be 15 other boys in the race, and although none of them have been under 4:33 this season, several are capable of pushing Truex to the limit and perhaps pulling the major upset of the meet. Max is conscious of this fact, and his main effort, of course, will be to win the event.
The last time Warsaw produced a state champion was in 1938, when Bob Chambers won his heat of the mile race in 4:38. However, at that time there were two races in the mile, and the other race was six seconds faster.
Others Have Chance
Max's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Truex, of North Bay drive are shown flanking Max in the back seat of the convertible while his brother, Don, and coach Ken Norris sat in the front seat with the driver, Louis H. Breading.
Hundreds of persons and many cars joined in the parade, which included the city police cars and fire truck. The Warsaw school "pep" band was on hand to furnish the music, and Gary Miller who competed in the pole vault, rod atop the fire truck. The parade and celebration in Max's honor were quickly arranged by officials of the Chamber of Commerce when they learned late in the afternoon that Max had run the fastest mile ever recorded by a high school boy in this nation.
L. V. Phillips, commissioner of the Indiana High school Athletic association, said the record will be certified to the national federation within a few days. The former record, set last year, was 4:21.
Truex, who won the state cross country title last fall and has gone undefeated in the mile all year, will soon have his name placed alongside such all-time greats as Jesse Owens and many others in the list of national scholastic track and field records.
By Curtis Garber, Times-Union Sports Editor
Much has been said and written about Max Truex since he became the fastest high school miler in this nation's history last Saturday. many questions have been asked concerning his training, his pace for the various laps, his trip last December to Denmark, and many other phases.
However, I heard one question that was rather interesting. "To whom does Truex attribute his success?" The answer I gave was this: Max Truex deserves all the credit himself. He has worked harder towards this goal than anyone could possibly conceive. Max began taking running seriously when he was in the seventh grad and he has never stopped. Every day, morning and evening, he has kept a rigorous schedule, running along the fairgrounds or along roads and highways, this in addition to his practice schedule at Fisher Field.
Behind the scene, perhaps, lies his deep convictions in keeping himself in condition the year around. "Early to bed and early to rise" is one of Max's most valuable assets. He gets plenty of sleep. He would frown upon anyone, with an athletic ambition, breaking training rules. In fact, it is known from a good source that one college will not get him next fall because in his frequent visits there, members of the track squad stayed up until past midnight, having a good time at their fraternity house.
The crowd at Indianapolis last Saturday, and of course his coaches and friends, also played a part in Max's ultimate success. Their faith in his ability, as well as his own, helped him cross the finish line in 4:20.4. Ideal track and weather conditions - 80 degree temperatures and practically no wind --played an important part. So did the fact, I think, that Max is at least two inches taller than he was a year ago, when he placed fourth at the state meet. Truex says he is now five-feet, five-inches tall. At the start of this past basketball season, yours truly personally measured him at just a notch under five-feet, four-inches.
Max has achieved his greatest goal, but his running will continue. Tonight, for example, he will be the feature attraction in a special exhibition mile run during the inter-conference track and field meet between the Northern Indiana and North Central conferences at Kokomo. Running against Max will be his brother, Don, Ross Dwiggins, of Kokomo, and Naverne Wille of Columbus. Wille is the boy who won the mile run in 4:33 at the Bloomington regional on May 14, but was disqualified and thus prevented from competing at the state meet. Max will undoubtedly compete at Indianapolis in the AAU track meet, where he will bump up against a friend, Jim Lambert, of Indiana university, whose state record was broken last Saturday by Truex. Lambert, now an ace collegiate miler, was recently timed in 4:09.
There is a great future in store for Max, one which all of us will be following with interest. Whether he is running for Michigan, Notre Dame or some other college, Warsaw high school's mighty mite will always be striving for improvement. The crowd will love him, and he will give them something to cheer about. Max Truex is a picture runner, a gentleman, and a great competitor. "To whom should he attribute his success?" No one except himself.
Max Truex - College Career
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