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 ninth high schooler ever to clear the height.”

            “Only slightly more than 2 years earlier, when I was still a straddle jumper with a 6ft. Coach Barnes told me I could jump 7ft. in high school.  At that time, only 6 high schoolers had ever done it.  I remember putting the bar up to 7ft. in practice and marveling at how high it looked and how I was ever going to get my body over it.  I grew 5 inches and gained 20 lbs. during those 2 years and, of course, switched to the flop.”

            “I went on to have an undefeated high school senior season.  I won the Calif. State meet in early June with a National Federation Record clearance of 7′ 1  1/2″ (2.17)  at UCLA, where I had signed to go the week after my 7ft. clearance.  Only Reynaldo Brown had jumped higher in high school with his 7′ 3″ (2.21) clearance at the 1968 Olympic Trials.  He and I share the same birthday, three years apart in age.”

            “I finished 10th at the AAU meet in Eugene with a 6′ 11″ (2.11) clearance, which was my first opportunity to compete against the “big guys” and, more importantly, my first opportunity to jump on the facility where I would win the following summer’s Olympic Trials.

            “I always celebrate this day in my mind, and if I’m coaching like I will be later, I mention it to my kids. Thanks for letting me remember it more vividly today.”

Hall of Fame Biohttp://legacy.usatf.org/HallOfFame/TF/showBio.asp?HOFIDs=162

1976–In his first serious effort in the event (he had run 52.0 in a heat at the 1975 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference but didn’t run the final), 20-year-old Edwin Moses ran a personal best of 50.1 to finish a close 2nd to Penn’s Harold Schwab (49.9) in the 400-meter hurdles at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.

Moses, a junior physics/engineering major at Morehouse College in Atlanta, went on to win the gold medal at the  Montreal Olympics later that year and dominated his event like few others have done in theirs in a career that culminated with the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics. (He won his 2nd Olympic gold in 1984).

USATF Hall of Fame Biohttps://www.usatf.org/athlete-bios/edwin-moses

            Schwab, one of the few men who can claim a win over Moses, finished 5th at the 1976 NCAA Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials and stayed involved in the sport as the owner of the “2nd-Wind” running store on Long Island. http://threevillage.patch.com/articles/at-2nd-wind-passion-gets-results

            While Moses’ performance took on more significance over the years, the standout performer of the meet was Steve Williams, who ran 9.9 to equal the World Record in the 100-Meters!

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