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    Where is Tom Shutka Now?
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    I was interested if anyone knows if Tom Shutka is still alive and where did he coach after setting national high school mile record in 1955 (4:19.5) and then going to run for U of Kansas (1955-59) which was after Santee and with beginning of Billy Mills era.

    I had an unfortunate running accident on TG day running in a 5K with some 2500 other "runners". With half mile to go I either hit the street cone or someone clipped my back foot but down I went. I hit my head on pavement, scraped my knee, elbow, shoulder and hand as I slid and injured left wrist and either bruised/fractured some right chest ribs. The latter injuries did not affect me initially and after getting checked out by a kind RN running behind me who stopped asked questions and helped me up, I went on my way to shuffle the last half mile to my awaiting wife who would have gone wild if she didn't see me come in around 31-33 minutes. If they took me to the hospital, I had no phone to call my wife.

    End result, the scrapes are healing, my bump on the head was negative but did worry me as a neurologist being located over my right temple which is a prime site for an acute epidural hematoma which could develop in minutes to an hour or two. Had to go to ER next day because of my wrist and ribs which were pretty bad with any movement.

    They said I had a nondisplaced fracture of my triquetrum and to see and orthopedic surgeon. That is where Tom Shutka story comes in.

    Ortho physician was great and on agreed with xray and needed a full forearm/wrist cast x 5-6 weeks. On talking, I mentioned after 62 years of running competitively this was only the second time I fell in a race (first was in MSG in National AAU meet I got tripped up in 1000yd qualifying heats and did a roll on the splinter boards and by time I got up I couldn't catch the pack and missed final that night which I felt I could have placed or even won but life goes on)

    The Orthopedic Physician said his high school coach was some famous high school miler and mentioned his name as Tom Shutka, from Morrisville HS in NJ.

    Does anyone knows if Tom Shutka coached after his running career and could he still be alive. My research says he was one of fourteen children and I believe he was the first HS miler to break 4:20.0.
    Where is he living (would be about 82-83 years old now)?

    Thanks
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    #2
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    Skutka
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    #3
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    Tom you have to be careful....glad to hear you are mending....
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    #4
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    I guess my head injury wasn't so benign after all. You are correct Skutka.. No wonder not many internet responses were coming up on my research?
    Was he first HS miler to break the 4:20.0 barrier that Carl Joyce made in late 40's?
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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    Skutka
    You beat me to it gh. I was going to make the correction from Shutka to Skutka.
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    #6
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    Such sympathy for a former high school mile record holder who gets injured... more concern about a spelling error...
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    #7
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    From newspaper stories he stopped coaching at his alma mater in 1974 but he was still alive in 2015 - an interview with him can be found online
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    #8
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    Tom--
    Skutka was still living in New Jersey as of late May of this year.
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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj View Post
    Tom--
    Skutka was still living in New Jersey as of late May of this year.
    Thanks DJ, I am miles away from my TFN HS annuals and other references I depend on to look up info and only had Ortho’s reference which sounded like Shukta and Morris Hills, NJ.
    I hope to contact him as soon as I can. As you may recall I have had an interest in great milers (high school, college, and amateurs) in their life stories after they reached individual, personal, and national records and move on to the real world and how those 4-8 athletic years shaped their future life. Not quite finished with the “first” world record holder’s life after his graduation.from college but is very fascinating to see his success grow.

    Will let everyone know what I find out when I contact him.
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    #10
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    Follow up on Tom Skukta. I talked with him for over a half hour last Wednesday and he is healthy and runs 3x /week at 82 years of age. He described his sub 4:20 mile Naional HS record run in 1955. There were 36 runners in the race and Skukta picked "tongue blade" with 36. He also gave reason why he left Notre Dame after six months and transferred to Kansas in 1956.. He felt track athletes were treated as second or even third class persons in locker rooms and on athletic facilities by the major sport athletes and coaching staff. It was a great decision as he ran very well for Kansas and beat Billy Mills many times in meets and was their top miler during his junior and senior years. He never had a good high school coach who took any interest in his talents and would run by himself with no track at his high school.
    he stands alone as being the first high school runner to break the 4:20 mile mark in 1955.
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