Named: Steve Dolan, as Penn Relays director
Following the retirement of longtime director Dave Johnson (see “Last Lap”), Penn’s track and cross country coach will add the meet directorship of the country’s preeminent relay meet to his job description.
Sued: Alberto Salazar & Nike
On October 10 Mary Cain filed a $20 million lawsuit (see “Last Lap”) against her former Nike Oregon coach and his employer, citing emotional abuse.
Died: Sergey Alay, 56
In Minsk. The Belarusian hammer thrower placed 4th in the ’93 Worlds and 8th in the ’96 Olympics. A 4-time World Ranker, he was No. 4 in ’93.
Died: Iris Davis, 71
On September 18, in Pompano Beach, Florida. One of the famed Tennessee State Tigerbelles, Davis placed 4th in the 100 at the ’72 Olympics and anchored the 4×1 that also placed 4th in the same Games. She and her college teammates set a World Record in the 4 x 110 relay in ’71. She won a total of 4 AAU titles and World Ranked 5 times in the 100 (No. 2 in ’71). She was 4 times straight the U.S. No. 1, 1970–73.
Died: Red Estes, 84
On September 29, in Fresno. A member of the USATF Coaches Hall Of Fame, Estes was head coach at Fresno State for 20 years, guiding more than 100 athletes to All-America status and 7 to NCAA titles. His teams won 11 conference titles in track and 4 in cross country.
Died: Rudy Haluza, 90
On September 27, in California. Haluza won 14 national titles in the walks, competing in the ’60 and ’68 Olympics. In Mexico City he placed 4th in the 20K.
Died: Tim Johnston, 80
In October, in England. The Briton set a 30,000m WR on the track in ’65 with his 1:32:34.6 and finished 8th in the ’68 Olympic marathon. His lone marathon World Ranking was a No. 10 in ’68.
Died: Cees Koch, 85
On September 14. The No. 9 World Ranker in the discus in ’62, the year he won silver at the European Championships for the Netherlands. Threw in the Olympics of ’60 & ’64.
Died: Hosea Macharinyang, 35
On October 09, in Murkwijit, Kenya; of suicide. An 8-time competitor in the World XC, Macharinyang placed in the top 10 six times, helping Kenya to three team victories. He had not competed since ’18. His track 10K best of 27:58.41 came in ’07.
Died: Lee McNeill, 56
On September 29, in Fayetteville, North Carolina; of C19. A 3-time All-America at East Carolina, McNeil placed 4th in the ’85 NCAA 100. He won gold as part of 4x1s at the ’87 Pan-Ams and WC. Was anchor on the ill-fated U.S. 4×1 that was disqualified in the heats at the ’88 Olympics. Ranked No. 9 in the U.S. in the 100 in ’85.
Died: Valeriy Podluzhniy, 69
On October 04. The world’s No. 1 long jumper in ’73 & ’74, the Ukrainian World Ranked 7 times in all. A 3-time Olympian for the Soviet Union, he finished 9th in ’72 and 7th in ’86, then won the ’80 bronze.
Died: Margarita Ponomaryova, 58
On August 31, in St. Petersburg, Russia. She set a World Record 53.58 in the 400H in ’84. She was a 6-time World Ranker who placed 6th in the ’92 Olympics.
Died: Valeriy Skvortsov, 76
On September 24; of C19. The 4th-placer in the high jump for the Soviet Union at the ’68 Olympics after a 14th in Tokyo, the Ukrainian was a 4-time World Ranker, with a best of No. 2 during the ’66 season when he won the Euro gold indoors and took bronze outdoors.
Died: Jüri Tamm, 64
On September 22, in Estonia. Hammering for the Soviet Union he won bronzes at the ’80 and ’88 Games and a silver at the ’87 Worlds. He twice threw for Estonia in the Olympics, finishing 5th in ’92 and not making the ’96 final. An 11-time World Ranker with a No. 1 in ’85, Tamm set a World Record 264-0 (80.46) in 1980 that lasted only for 20 minutes before rival Yuriy Syedikh broke it. Tamm passed days after attending Syedikh’s funeral.
Died: Agnes Tirop, 25
On October 13, in Iten, Kenya; a murder victim. The former World XC champion and 2-time bronze medalist in the WC 10,000 was allegedly stabbed by her husband, a month after she broke the road WR for 10K. The 4th-placer in the 5000 at the Tokyo Olympics, Tirop twice World Ranked No. 3 in the 10,000, and ranked 3 times in the 5000, with a No. 4 in ’18.
Died: Gerhard Weidner, 88
On September 25, in Germany. West German walker World Ranked 6 times at 50K, topped by No. 4s in ’73 & ’75. A 3-time Olympian, he placed 14th in Mexico City and 6th in Munich. In Montréal he dropped down to the 20K and finished 18th. ◻︎