Have you seen the 1974 Christmas card making the rounds? It is a photo
with Santa and the distance team from Capital. What a great photo with
smiling runners and a surprised Santa. The guys ran the three miles down
to Lazarus on High Street (in Columbus, Ohio) to get the iconic picture then
ran back laughing all the way. What a classic!!!
GIVING THANKS FOR GREAT CAPITAL TRACK TRIVIA
from Mike Hout
With OSU football playing for the Big Ten title this weekend, I remember Archie
Griffin (football’s only 2 time Heisman winner) and give thanks for his friendship.
He often stopped by the outdoor CU track to run and play with his son.
I give thanks for a kind and generous Jesse Owens who not only trained with the
CU record holder (Red Trego) at OSU but also gave us a nice autograph just months
before he died: “To Coach Hout and the track men of Capital University.”
I give thanks for a visit from the greatest athlete to ever step on the CU campus: Edwin
Moses (multiple WR setter, gold winner and over 100 races without a defeat). He was
here in connection with Black History month. He ate with us and give a nice speech
How wonderful to be able to tell George Troutman stories, the only athlete from CU
to ever beat an Olympic gold medal winner (Al Oerter). That was at the Penn Relays.
He had a driver who then took him to the Drake relays the same weekend. George
ended the season #10 in the nation for all divisions in the shot put.
Year after year we hear about another Madden football video game. I give thanks for
this so we can remind everyone that not one but two Capital track athletes were
picked ahead of him in the NFL draft (George Troutman and Ken Pleger).
Former 880 record holder and University of Cincinnati track/xc Bill Schnier is in
at least five halls of fame. He may be the only CU track person to ever see Steve
Prefontaine run in person (although Hout competed in a decathlon with Pre’s
teammate at the Florida Relays).
I give thanks for our 4 by 880 relay team that won the Kentucky Relays back in
the late 60’s. Schnier was on that team along with Bob Peck, Charlie Hunsaker
and Rick Mettle.
Everybody hears about three time All-American Rick Meindl and he deserves all
the credit he gets. But CU had the greatest three person shot put relay team the
OAC has ever seen. I give thanks, also, for the great (and often overlooked) work
of Joe Schleppi and Dan Maloney.
Consider this……CU and Akron had a home and home series of dual meets in the
1960’s. Many of our track records are held by Akron athletes.
I give thanks for bare feet because that reminds me of Aaron Folsom winning the
OAC in the three mile (barefoot on a hot track) in a conference record that stood
The above sheet was handed out at the 2018 Alumni meet at good old CU (Many
thanks go to Hannah Weiss and her staff for putting on another great alumni meet).
Some did not seem interested. Some wondered why it was all stuff from the “Mike
Hout era” (like I was there 50 years). I wondered why others were not writing things
down and telling their stories!!! The good news is that the sheet did spark some good
conversation. Here are some things I found out:
-Big congrats go to Jeff Jenkins who brought his old jersey in a frame. This is what he
wore when Capital won its only OAC championship in track and field.
-Jim Demo coached some great teams at Glenville High School. He was at the alumni
meet and reported that he also saw Pre. Jim was there for the famous 1972 Olympic
Trials race. He said it was “electric.”
-It was good to see the A.D present (Roger Ingles). He told me about a professor at
Capital who ran in the Penn Relays and wrote a book about Olympic runner Abel
Kiviat. His name is Alan Katchen. I look forward to finding out more about him.
-Curtis Pride is the first deaf person to hit a home run in the majors. His father John
Pride was a top 100/200 runner for Capital and was at the meet. John says his son
is now working for Major League Baseball as “Ambassador for Inclusion.” His
parents were both thrilled to see images and videos of their son on Google.
-Bill Schnier says he is not in five halls fame. I say he is. He did run a solid 600
which was quite impressive for a 74 year old. “Did anyone not lap me?” he asked.
“Well, I didn’t have a good look at the whole race” I said. “They all lapped me,
didn’t they?” he said. “Yes” I sheepishly said,” but I wish I could run like you and
we are all proud of your effort.”
-Schnier also told the story of the construction of I70 and the day they all ran down
the four lanes to downtown Columbus (before the cars hit the highway). Interestingly
enough, I told him about how, years later, the xc team trained on the entry ramp to
I70 after it was constructed but still had a “no entry” sign at the bottom.
-It was great to see some pole vaulters for Capital. Two guys were giving it their
best but sadly there still are not any female vaulters. Hout was impressed with all
the purple tape used on their poles.
-Speaking of tape, it was really cool to see the tape used to separate the throwing and
jumping areas. It was purple with Capital track logos on it!!!
-Sadly, Joe Schleppi has still not heard anything from the hall of fame committee. I am
convinced he should be in there.
-Rick Meindl has lost a lot of weight and I think we need to keep him in our prayers.
-Hout walked a bunch around the track after the meet. The three miles he got in that
night brought him to over 2000 miles for the year. He was impressed with the workout
being done by 800 record holder and winner of the 600 that night-Benjamin Herbert. He
was there running hard 400’s longer than Hout was walking.
NOTES FOR THE CROSS COUNTRY ALUMNI MEET THIS FALL
-Folsom was never #1 on his high school xc team
-a number of times the CU xc team could go to meets in one car
-former UC coach Bill Schnier may be the only CU xc person to see Steve Prefontaine run
-Mike Hout competed against Pre’s teammate in the Florida relays
-Ted Rust met his wife at the Boston marathon
-Folsom made all OAC in xc running barefoot
-a number of Cap xc people have coached xc teams to the state meet and two have
coached college teams to national championships
-OWU used to time it to have xc meets finish at halftime of football games
-Kenyon had a train run through their xc course and stop half the runners
-the 1970’s xc team had a good intramural bball team that beat a lot of other teams in
the campus league