LANDMARKS — May/June

Died: Francisco Aritmendi, 81
On April 12, in Guadalajara, Spain. The ’64 winner of the International Cross County Championships, the forerunner of the IAAF/WA World Cross.

May 5, 1956: 38,543 spectators were in the LA Coliseum as Jim Bailey beat John Landy, recording the first sub-4:00 mile ever on U.S. soil. (MIKE OLIVEAU)

Died: Jim Bailey, 90
On March 31, in Bellingham, Washington. The Australian miler won the ’55 NCAA title for Oregon. He World-Ranked once, in ’56, at No. 3. His 3:58.6 that year was the first sub-4:00 mile on U.S. soil. Considered a strong bet in the 800 and 1500 at the Melbourne Olympics, he skipped the 1500 after allergy problems dogged him in the 800 heats.

Died: Dalton Ebanks, 68
On April 25, in Connecticut, of COVID-19. Ebanks coached at George Mason for 19 years, and was head coach 1997–05. He had been working as a medical assistant prior to his death.

Died: Hartwig Gauder, 65
On April 22, in Erfurt, Germany; of a heart attack. The East German 50K walk specialist won gold at the ’80 Games and bronze in ’88. He also won World gold in ’87, with a bronze in ’91. The highest point-scorer in World Rankings history, he appeared 12 times from ’80 to ’92, with No. 1s in ’80, ’85 ’86 & ’87. He also Ranked twice at 20K, in ’78 and ’86 (No. 3).

Died: David Giralt, 60
On April 13, in Havana; of complications from diabetes. The Cuban long jump star won the Pan-Am silver in ’79. The ’80 Olympian World Ranked twice, with a No. 4 in ‘79.

Died: Janis Lusis, 80
On April 29, in Riga, Latvia; of cancer. A 4-time Olympian in the javelin for the Soviet Union, he picked up a full set of medals: ’68 gold, ’72 silver, ’64 bronze. He also won the European title 4 times. The 2-time World Record setter put together a streak of 13 straight Rankings 1962–74, with a record 9 No. 1s (’62, ’63, ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’71 ’72). In ’00 we named him the top javelinist of the 20th century.

Died: Bruce MacDonald, 92
On March 30, in Port Washington, New York. A 3-time walks Olympian, MacDonald was also an assistant team manager for the ’72 and ’76 Olympic squads.

Died: Gene Pouncy, 69
On April 21, in Dallas. Anchor of the SMU 4×1 that placed 5th in the ’73 NCAA, after a high school career at Lincoln of Dallas, where he and his twin Joe were part of two HS Records in the 4×1, including the first-ever sub-41 clocking.

Died: Donato Sabia, 56
On April 8, in Potenza, Italy; of COVID-19. The 2-time Olympic finalist for Italy placed 5th in ’84 and 7th in ’88. He World Ranked once, a No. 7 in ’84, the year of his PR of 1:43.88.

Died: Keizo Yamada, 92
On April 2, in Kawasaki, Japan. World Ranked No. 2 in ’53, the year he won the Boston Marathon, in what was at first thought to be a World Record, until the course proved short. He was also 26th in the ’52 Olympic race.

Died: Jerry Young
On April 3, in Farmington, Michigan; of COVID-19. At Michigan State Young placed 4th in the ’60 NCAA cross country. He also placed 7th in the 5000 in ’61. ◻︎

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