#BlackHistoryMonth: 1984 Olympic Medalists in Men’s Track

The ISU men’s track team made history in the 1984 Olympics and showcased some of the best talent Iowa State has ever boasted in this sport.

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Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1953

Three team members made it to the Olympics: Danny Harris from the USA, Sunday Uti from Nigeria, and Moses Kiyai from Kenya.

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Danny Harris. 1985 Bomb page 260

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Sunday Uti. Photograph Collection, RS 24/11/D box 1950.

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Moses Kiyai. 1985 media guide page 10. RS 24/11/0/6 box 1, folder 2.

Both Danny Harris and Sunday Uti took home medals (Harris silver and Uti bronze), and Harris broke his fifth world record in the 400 hurdles during the semi-finals for Olympic trials.

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Olympic medalists Uti (left) and Harris (right) with their coach Steve Lynn (center). Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1953.

The 1985 media guide for men’s track notes that Harris’s record-breaking times were all the more impressive considering that he was barely 18-years-old during the trials (a sophomore at ISU) and had only run the 400 hurdles 19 times prior to the event.

Here are some pictures of Harris performing at the NCAA competition earlier that summer:

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Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1950.

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Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1950.

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Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1950.

And here is a shot of Uti in motion, likely during a training session at ISU.

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Sunday Uti (far left). Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1950.

Given their incredible expertise, it seems likely that all of these athletes spent much of their time on the indoor track of the men’s gym, pictured below as it would have looked when they were in school.

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Photograph collection, RS 24/11/D box 1953.

Sunday Uti graduated in 1987 with his B.S. in Community and Regional Planning.

Unfortunately, it is unclear what happened next to Danny Harris or Moses Kiyai — whether they transferred schools, or simply moved on to other pursuits. I could not find mentions of either in our alumni records.

We do know, however, that Danny Harris set up his own private coaching and personal training service 12 years later in Los Angeles, California near his hometown, Perris.

It is also worth noting that the ISU women’s track team excelled in the 1984 Olympics. In some ways, their accomplishments surpassed those of the men. But because of this, I believe that Nawal El Moutawakel in particular deserves her own blog post, and we can look at her story another day. Regardless, feel free to visit the archives to see any of this material, or any of the items shown above, in person.

 



Basketball: Iowa State versus Kansas 60 Years Ago #TBT

Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas #13)

From University Photograph Collection, 24/5/G, box 1817

This Saturday, January 14th, marks the 60th anniversary of a well-remembered game in Iowa State’s basketball history: Iowa State versus Kansas. Both teams had players which would go on to have major professional basketball careers:  Gary Thompson (Iowa State, #20) and Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas, #13). In the photograph above, Chamberlain is attempting to make a basket while Thompson guards on the floor.

It was an exciting game, with Iowa State beating Kansas, 39-37. At the very end, Don Medsker made the winning basket. The game was Chamberlain’s first loss in college basketball. In celebration of the win, Iowa State fans invaded the Armory’s floor after the game.

A number of images documenting the game are now available in Digital Collections. Although we don’t have a program from the game (please contact us if you’d be willing to donate one!), we do have news clippings from that year in RS 24/5/0/0, box 1, folder 1, a folder of materials on Gary Thompson (RS 21/7/1), and the book “Gary Thompson, All-American” by Gary Offenburger.  Additional men’s basketball records are also available in the University Archives.


#Flashback Friday – Cycles vs. Spartans @CycloneATH @isualum

Tomorrow the Cyclones play the Spartans for the 4th time.

The first game between the two teams was in 1958 and the last game was in 1980. Check out the series information from our 2008 ISU Football Media Guide.

Series record for San Jose State from 2008 ISU Football Media Guide: 3 games, Series record 3-0-0, at Jack Trice Stadium ISU leads 1-0-0; at San Jose State ISU leads 1-0-0, 1958 away game ISU won 9-6, 1959 home game ISU won 55-0, and 1980 home game, ISU won 27-6.

Series record for San Jose State from 2008 ISU Football Media Guide (RS 24/6/0/6 box 5, folder 6)

 

Here’s an article about the 1959 game from the 1959 Bomb:

Cropped page from the 1959 Bomb, ISU Yearbook, describes ISU & San Jose State game. ISU won 9 to 6. "Coach Clay Stapletons players wrote the final chapter to their season by taking control in the second half, coming from behind and defeating the San Jose Spartans, 9-6. Bob Harden, playing the last game of his collegiate career, led the attack by totaling 70 yards in an early third quarter drive. Cliff Ricks conversion gave the Cyclones a one-point lead. The Iowa State fury exploded before the California crowd of 11,000; and a Spartan fumble in Iowa States end zone, recovered by the Cyclone score. Moe Nichols and Bob Harden accounted for 145 and 118 yards respectively, which the Cyclones gained on the ground while reducing the passing average per game for the Spartans from 183 to yr yards. Photogrpah caption: "And Going in for the Cycylones ... But wait! A new rule, enforcing a two-substitutions-per-quarter-per-man rule, required players to sign in with officials before entering the game."

Cropped page 382 from the 1959 Bomb, ISU Yearbook, summarizing the Iowa State San Jose State game.

 

Drop by the SCUA Reading Room to dig up more football facts & trivia. We’re open Monday-Friday, from 9-5.

Go Cyclones!


Go Cyclones! #TBT @CycloneATH

Since this Saturday is the ISU football game against University of Iowa,  this week’s #TBT picture is a photograph of the ISU varsity football team 100 years ago.  Go Cyclones!

Iowa State varsity football team. In the background are State Gym, Marston Water Tower, and engineering buildings, 1916, taken by D.A. Davis.

Iowa State varsity football team. In the background are State Gym, Marston Water Tower, and engineering buildings, 1916, taken by D.A. Davis (University Photographs RS 24-6)

 

For more football pictures from Special Collections & University Archives, check out our Football album on Flickr and our YouTube playlist of ISU Athletics films.

You can also drop by our reading room. We’re on the 4th floor of the Parks Library and open from 9-5, Monday-Friday.



Track and Field Throwback Thursday #TBT

This weekend the Iowa State University’s Track and Field teams (@CycloneTrackXC) are heading to Northern California for meets (click here for further details). In light of a busy upcoming April full of track and field events , this week’s #TBT pictures are blasts from our Track and Field’s past.

The Iowa State University Men’s Track and Field program has a history that goes back to 1905.

Jumping hurdles at a Men’s Track & Field meet ca. 1906 (University Photographs box 1948)

Women’s Track and Field began at Iowa State University in 1974. The Track and Field program features many indoor and outdoor sports including, but not limited to, sprints, relays, hurdles, long and high jumps, shot put, and discus.

Jumping hurdles at a Women’s Track & Field meet 1988 (University Photographs box 2032)

Drop by our reading room to check out more Iowa State University sports photographs! We’re open Monday – Friday from 10-4.

 

 

 


Johnny Orr’s “greatest victory ever as a coach”

Johnny Orr, Iowa State University men’s basketball coach from 1980-1994, joined the Cyclone Nation at a difficult time for the men’s basketball program; the team was struggling to maintain coaches and had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1944.  Within four short seasons, Johnny Orr led Iowa State to the second round of the 1984 NCAA tournament against his former team and staff at the University of Michigan. Orr was the head coach at University of Michigan for 12 years and chose to leave for the struggling ISU program with a pay raise of $11,335. Bill Fieder, the 1984 Michigan head coach, served as Orr’s assistant coach in 1976 when the Wolverines progressed to the NCAA Final Four. Orr was more than excited to go up against his old colleague and stated that he was “sure when we get on the court together, we’ll have something to say to each other.”

This is a photograph of Johnny Orr, 1990. University Photograph Collection, box 1764

This is a photograph of Johnny Orr, 1990.
University Photograph Collection, box 1764

On March 16, 1984, Iowa State defeated the University of Michigan, ranked 5th in the nation at that time, 72-69. Johnny Orr told the Des Moines Register that this was his “greatest victory ever as a coach,” even though he had 339 victories and sent a team to the Division 1 national championship. He later stated, “We took a program that couldn’t do anything. Everybody thought I was nutty. But now we’ve beat Michigan.”

Unfortunately, the Cyclones fell to North Carolina State in the next round, 70-66, and were knocked out of the tournament. After retiring from ISU men’s basketball after 14 years, Johnny Orr attended his very last Iowa State game November 17, 2013, once again beating Michigan 77-70.

For more information on ISU men’s basketball and Johnny Orr, come see the Men’s Basketball Media Guides, RS 24/5/0/6, and the Men’s Basketball Subject Files, RS 24/5/1, here at the Iowa State Special Collections and University Archives.


They Went for the Gold (and Got It): Cyclone Olympians

The Olympics are here! Which makes this the perfect time to highlight our very own Cyclone Olympians, information on and photos of whom can be found right here in the Special Collections Department. Originally I wanted to write about all of our Olympians, but there are just too many – we had four in the 2012 London Olympics alone! So, for sanity’s sake, I’m going to feature only our gold medalists. We have had seven gold medalists over the years, six of whom wrestled for the gold, and one who overcame many hurdles for it (literally). Banners dedicated to them currently hang in Hilton Coliseum. Read on to learn about our Iowa State Cyclone Olympic Gold Medalists.

Glen Brand, 1950

Glen Brand, 1950

Glen Brand (Wrestling, 174 lbs, 1948): Originally from Clarion, Iowa, Brand (1950, Civil Engineering) wrestled for the Cyclones from 1946-1950. During that time, he lettered in 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1950. He placed 3rd in the NCAA Wrestling Championship in 1946, followed that up with 2nd place in 1947, and won the title in 1948. Also in 1948, he earned a spot at the London Olympics and later won gold in the 174 lb. class, returning home as a legend.

Dan Gable, 1969

Dan Gable, 1969

Dan Gable (Wrestling, 149.5 lbs, 1972): Perhaps our most famous Olympian and wrestler, Gable (1971, Physical Education) was one of two Cyclones who won the gold  in wrestling in the 1972 Munich Olympics. He never gave up a single point at the games that year. His college career was stellar as well: he was defeated only once, and that was in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable came to ISU from Waterloo, Iowa, and wrestled for the Cyclones from 1966 to 1970, becoming a three-time Big 8 Champion (1968, 1969, 1970) and two-time NCAA Champion (1968, 1969). After graduating from ISU, he became head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa, where his star continued to rise as he became the U of I’s all-time winningest coach from 1976-1997.

Ben Peterson, 1970

Ben Peterson, 1970

Ben Peterson (Wrestling, 198 lbs, 1972): Peterson (1972, Architecture) was also a Cyclone gold medalist at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. He later went on to win the silver in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. From Comstock, Wisconsin, Peterson joined the ISU wrestling team in 1968 and wrestled through 1972. During his time here, he became a two-time NCAA Champion (1971 and 1972), a three-time Big 8 Champion (1970, 1972, 1973), and an Olympic gold medalist (1972). He is currently (2014) the only Cyclone wrestler to win 2 medals in the Olympic games.

Nawal El Moutawakel, 1984

Nawal El Moutawakel, 1984

Nawal El Moutawakel (Track and Field, 400 Meter Hurdles, 1984):
Our only non-wrestling Olympic gold medalist was El Moutawakel (1988, Physical Education), who won the top prize in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She came from Casablanca, Morocco to Iowa State University in 1984. She ran track at ISU beginning that year until 1987. During that time, she won the 1984 NCAA 400 meter hurdle championship and became the second woman to win the Relays Triple (Texas, Kansas, and Drake relays). She overcame real-life hurdles as well while at ISU, losing her father, losing her coaches in a 1985 plane crash, and suffering a knee injury. On a happier note, however, she was not only the first Cyclone woman to win gold, she was the first African woman, Muslim woman, and Moroccan woman to win it as well.

Kevin Jackson, 1985

Kevin Jackson, 1985

Kevin Jackson (Wrestling, 180.5 lbs, 1992):
ISU’s current wrestling coach, Jackson (1991, Human Sciences), won gold in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Originally from Lansing, Michigan, Jackson started his college career at LSU but when the school dropped their wrestling program, he transferred to ISU as a senior. He red-shirted at ISU during the 1985-1986 season and wrestled in the 1986-1987 season. That season he helped the Cyclone wrestling team win their most recent NCAA championship. Not only is he an Olympic gold medalist, but he is also a two-time World Champion in wrestling. He is one of just five wrestlers in United States history to have three career world-level titles. Jackson took over the head wrestling coach position from fellow Olympic champion Cael Sanderson in 2009.

Cael Sanderson, from the 1999-2000 media guide

Cael Sanderson, from the 1999-2000 media guide, RS 24/12/0/6, Box 1

Cael Sanderson (Wrestling, 185 lbs, 2004):
From Heber City, Utah, Sanderson (2002, Art and Design) joined the Iowa State wrestling team in 1997, red-shirting for that first season. He never lost a single match while wrestling for the Cyclones, breaking Dan Gable’s record. He also became a four-time NCAA Champion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002) and four-time Big 12 Champion (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). Sanderson won his gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. After graduating in 2002, Sanderson stayed on with the Cyclones and became head wrestling coach in 2004, leaving in 2009 for Penn State where he currently coaches.

Jake Varner, from the 2008-2009 media guide

Jake Varner, from the 2008-2009 media guide, RS 24/12/0/6, Box 2

Jake Varner (Wrestling, 211.5 lbs, 2012): Varner (2010, Criminal Justice) came to us from Bakersfield, California, in 2005. He red-shirted in the 2005-2006 season, and then wrestled for the Cyclones from 2006-2010. While at Iowa State he became a two-time NCAA Champion (2009, 2010), and a two-time Big 12 Champion (2008, 2010). Varner won his gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, becoming our latest Olympic champion.

With these seven and Iowa State’s many other Olympic athletes – including silver and bronze medalists – the Cyclones have a proud Olympic tradition going. More information on our Olympians can be found in an earlier blog post. We also have an entire blog post devoted to Dan Gable. Want to learn more about Iowa State’s wrestling program in general? We have programs, media guides, news clippings, and various subject files in RS 24/12 for your viewing pleasure. If women’s track and field is more appealing, we have news clippings, media guides, and subject files in RS 24/23. The finding aids for these and other Department of Athletics collections can be found here. Contact us or stop by, and we’ll happy to help you out! In the mean time, go enjoy the Olympics. USA! USA!


Jack Trice: A Sacrifice Remembered

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Jack Trice, 1923

A new online digital collection, containing highlights from the Jack Trice Papers and University Photographs, is available for viewing. 90 years ago this October, an Iowa State legend lost his life from injuries sustained during his first college football game. John G. Trice, better known as Jack, was born in 1902 in the small town of Hiram, Ohio. He later attended high school in Cleveland at East Technical High School, where he had a stellar football career. When his high school coach, Sam Willaman, left to coach at what was then Iowa State College, Trice followed to study animal husbandry with the ultimate goal of going south to help fellow African-Americans in their farming endeavors. While at Iowa State, Trice participated in both track and football, though he is best known for the latter. While just about everyone who has ever been associated with Iowa State knows the story of Trice’s first and last game with the college, here it is for those who are not familiar with it.

On October 6, 1923 Iowa State College (now University) played the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Trice was excited to play in his first college football game and, according to his “last letter,” felt like he had something to prove. In the second play of the game, Trice broke his collar, but said he was alright and kept playing. Then, during the third quarter, University of Minnesota players tackled Trice, forcing him to the ground and crushing him. Although he again claimed to be fine, he was taken out of the game and sent to the hospital. After an examination, the doctors decided that he was fit to travel, and he returned to Ames with the rest of his team. Not long after, on October 8, 1923, Jack Trice passed away from internal bleeding due to injuries from the game. According to a hospital record, he died of traumatic peritonitis following an injury to his abdomen. He left behind a young wife, Cora Mae, whom he had married just that previous summer and who was devastated by the news. Jack Trice is the only athlete to have died as a result of playing for Iowa State.

The night before the game, Trice wrote a letter, part of which is pictured below. It not only gives us a glimpse into what he was thinking and feeling the night before the big game, but it shows that he may have had some sense of what was to come.

Jack Trice letter.  Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.

The first page of the letter that Jack Trice wrote the night before his first, and final, game.

the most  poignant excerpt reads as follows:

“The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Every one is expecting me to do big things. I will. My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field. “

Jack Trice made history even before the fated football game. He was Iowa State College’s first African-American athlete, which is made more significant by the fact that this was the early 1920s and many schools, especially in the South, did not have integrated teams until the 1950s and 1960s. Not everyone viewed Trice’s involvement on Iowa State’s team as a good thing. The states of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma all refused to let their schools play against an African-American; essentially what they said was that either Trice would not play in the games against them, or there would be no football game. As expected of that time, Trice faced prejudice and discrimination, and yet he kept going. It does seem, however, that he and his fellow teammates got along well enough.

Jack Trice and teammates 1923 copy

Jack Trice and some of his teammates, 1923

Today, a bronze statue of Trice, erected in 1987, stands near Jack Trice Stadium, the only Division I-A stadium named after an African-American. The stadium, built in 1975 to replace Clyde Williams Field, was finally named after Trice in 1997 after a long promotion to name it after him that started in 1973. It was originally named Cyclone Stadium in 1984 and the playing field was named Jack Trice Field at that time as well. Now the stadium and bronze statue stand as a commemoration of a young man who sacrificed all for his team, his race, his family, and himself.

For more information on Jack Trice, in addition to what can be found in the online digital collection, feel free to contact us or stop by the Special Collections Department to view the physical collection.  To see what the collection contains, click here.  To learn more about Jack Trice Stadium, please see collection RS 4/8/4. Come on in and see us!