Athletics News

This Day in Track & Field History, March 27, 2024, Dwight Stones, Edwin Moses, photo by Walt Murphy’s News and Result Services

This Day in Track & Field History, March 27, 2024, Dwight Stones, Edwin Moses, photo by Walt Murphy's News and Result Services

1971–High school senior Dwight Stones (Glendale, CA) cleared 7 feet (7 1/4) in the high jump for the first time in his career.  Before heading out to a  training session a few years ago with some of the young jumpers he coaches, the loquacious Stones recalled that day (and that season):

            “It is indeed the anniversary of my first ever 7 foot (7′ 1/4″ [2.14]) clearance.  It was a Saturday, and the meeting was the Bishop Amat Relays that were held at Mt. SAC in Walnut.  My coach, John Barnes, had prepared me specifically for this event because it was one of the few places I would be jumping that provided me 3 steps on a rubberized surface.”

            “I remember getting up early that morning and washing my orange 1963 VW bug before making the 30+ mile trek from Glendale to Walnut.  The afternoon before, one of my good friends at Glendale High School, who happened to be one of the school’s sportswriters, asked me what I thought would happen.  I told him I was going to clear 7 feet.  They were putting the school paper to bed that night, and he asked me if I wanted him to print that, and I recall telling him, “No, because I might jump higher!”

            “I remember warming up with my teammate, Fritz Selzer, as we both led the nation at the time in our respective events.  He had cleared 15′ 4 3/4″ in the pole vault, and I had jumped 6′ 10″ (2.085) at the Sunkist Indoor Meet and        6′ 9 1/4″ (2.065) at a dual meet at Crespi High School a few weeks earlier.  I had also beaten all my SoCal opponents at the Southern Counties meet at Huntington Beach High School the week previous by clearing 6′ 8″ (2.03) on a really marginal facility.”

            “I recall clearing 6′ 6″ (1.98) in warm-ups with the flop and 6′ 4″ (1.93) with the straddle.  I started jumping at 6′ 4″ and won the event as the only jumper to clear 6′ 6″.  I’m a little fuzzy on the heights leading up to 7 feet.  I probably stayed with the 2″ program because I wanted to get an outdoor PR en route which would also be a school record.  I believe I cleared    6′ 10″, but a fraction might have been involved.”

            “I had the bar raised to 7 ft. and cleared it on my second attempt with the slightest brush of my right upper thigh. I knew it would stay on. They remeasured, and it came out at 7′ 1/4″, and I became the…

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