Wednesday, 22 December 2010


My obit of Wes Santee, the middle of the three great Kansas milers who disappointed on the international stage (Glenn Cunningham and Jim Ryun were the others) is in today's Independent, you can link to it here. Santee's an interesting story: he must have irritated somebody in the AAU pretty seriously, and those were the kind of boffins in blazers who were never shy about cutting off their nation's nose to spite their authoritarian face (this is known as the Brundage Syndrome). Between his abuse in childhood and his seeming abuse by the AAU, there would appear to be a story in there.

That Santee never did crack the four-minute barrier says something to me about his marching to his own drummer, but I could be reading too much into that. It would have been interesting to see what his career, and the history of the US mile, would have been like had he broken the 4 minute mark.

There's a small error in the text, an extra 0 got added to his time when he crushed the Olympic champion Josy Barthel (whose name also becomes Bartel in the next reference); it was 4:00.7, not .07, which means 4:00.5 was indeed his fastest time. They didn't clock to hundreths of a second in those days.

No comments :