Thursday, November 3

In the "It's About Time" department, it was announced today that Razorback track coach John McDonnell has been named to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame. For those of you not familiar with Coach McDonnell, he is the most successful coach of any sport in NCAA history. His teams have won 41 NCAA national team championships. Dozens of his athletes have won national championships and competed in the Olympic games. He has proven himself to be a master of developing the under-developed and under-rated athlete. Many of his national champions and Olympians first came to Arkansas from other schools (where they struggled) or without scholarships. He has the ability to recruit the right kind of athletes and prepare them to perform at their best in the most important meets. He is also a very humble and personable man. For more on John and this award, check out this article.


A little over a year ago, I was sitting in the stands at the Springdale High football stadium, waiting for the Fayetteville/Springdale game to start. Sitting next to me was an older gentleman who, obviously, wasn't from the area. He had come from Kansas to watch his grandson in the band (and SHS has a great band), so he was quizzing me about the teams. As we chatted about the game and about Kansas, I somehow discovered that the gentleman next to me was Wes Santee. There probably weren't a handful of people in that stadium (or reading this blog) who knew Wes Santee. But I did. In the 1950's, he, John Landy, and Roger Bannister were literally racing to see who would be the first man to run a four minute mile. Growing up in Kansas, I was very familiar with the legendary Kansas Jayhawk distance runners - Glenn Cunningham, Wes Santee, Billy Mills, and Jim Ryun. So I was thrilled to be sitting with Wes Santee! A few weeks later, he sent me an autographed copy of The Perfect Mile - a book about those three runners and their efforts to run four minutes. (It really is a good book!)

Why do I mention that? Wes Santee is being inducted into the Track and Field Hall of Fame with Coach McDonnell.

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