Named: USATF Hall Of Fame Class Of ’19
Modern Athletes Steve Lewis & Sandra Farmer-Patrick, Veteran Athlete John Powell and Coach Fred Thompson (profiles in next month’s issue).
Renamed: The IAAF
Our sport’s international governing body has officially changed its name to World Athletics (WA), with the phase-in of the new name and logo beginning at the World Championships in Doha and full online implementation in early November.
Died: Harrison Dillard, 96
On November 15, in Cleveland; of stomach cancer. Dillard won the NCAA 120 and 220 hurdles for Baldwin-Wallace in both ’46 and ’47, along with AAU titles those years. He set World Records in both events in ’46. In ’48, he famously failed to qualify for the Olympics in the hurdles, but made the team in the 100 and shocked by winning the Olympic gold. In ’52, he came back for hurdle gold. He World Ranked 5 times in the hurdles, with No. 1s in ’47 & ’52. In the 100 he ranked 3 times, topped by his No. 1 in ’48. He also ranked twice in the 200, at No. 4 in both ’47 & ’48.
Died: Mike Fray, 72
On November 6, in Kingston, Jamaica; of an apparent suicide. World-Ranked No. 10 in the 200 in ’68, Fray competed for Odessa JC and UTEP. At the ’68 Olympics, he ran on Jamaica’s WR-setting 4x1s in the heats and semis, though in the final the team missed a medal by 0.04.
Died: Paul Geis, 66
On October 30, in Houston; of an apparent pulmonary embolism. Won the ’74 NCAA 3M for Oregon after transferring from Rice and was runner-up the next year. He placed 12th in the ’76 Olympic 5000. In ’74 he was No. 10 in the 5000 World Rankings. He was a 5-time U.S. Ranker in the event, and also U.S.-ranked at 10,000 in ’79 & ’80.
Died: John Higham, 67
On October 20. The Australian 2-lapper was World Ranked No. 10 in ’77, the year he finished 6th in the World Cup.
Died: Debbie Thompson, 72
On November 17 in Frederick, Maryland. Competed in the Olympics as a high schooler in ’64 after taking 2nd in the Olympic Trials 200. The next year she tied the American Record of 10.3 for 100 yards. ◻︎