Further Reflections: A teen’s ‘what-if’ memories from the Relays
By Carroll McKibben, Des Moines Register
The Drake Relays might have been the site of the first 4-minute mile. That opportunity never occurred, however, because of a decision made, ironically, by a former Drake University track coach, Bill Easton. The popular Easton coached the Bulldogs and directed the relays from 1941 to 1947 before moving on to the University of Kansas and developing a powerhouse Jayhawk track team.
As the 1954 Drake Relays approached, three runners around the globe were closing in on the mythical 4-minute mile. Roger Bannister in Great Britain, John Landy in Australia and Wes Santee on Easton’s Kansas team had run within a couple seconds of what many at the time thought was an unattainable mark.
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