In Philadelphia, under a warm sun, the Villanova mile relay team whisked to first place in 3:12.7 in their specialty. Halfway across the nation, Bobby Morrow, the satiny-smooth sprinter who may be the best the world has ever known, floated home in 9.4 seconds to win the 100-yard dash at the Drake Relays, then added two whistling-fast anchor laps in the quarter- and half-mile relays to give Abilene Christian College meet records in those events (40.5 and 1:24.2). Another giant step across the nation, on the West Coast, a slender chemistry student named Bob Gutowski whipped down the runway toward the pole vault pit at Stanford, rose gracefully into the air and retired a 15-year-old world record, set by Cornelius Warmerdam, when he cleared 15 feet 8¼ inches in the pole vault. From ocean to ocean, the finest track and field athletes in the world unlimbered their muscles in the pleasant sunshine of spring and gave awesome warning of the startling feats to come during the hot days of summer. Gutowski's performance in a dual meet between Occidental and Stanford at Palo Alto was the best of the day. He bettered the mark of 15 feet 7¾ inches set by Warmerdam in May 1942, and he missed three times in an effort to reach the pole vault equivalent of the four-minute mile—16 feet. Gutowski said that after competing in the broad jump he was a "bit tired" when the event started, but he felt good after the bar was lifted above the 14-foot mark.
In Des Moines, at the Drake Relays, Morrow's coach Oliver Jackson, worried before the Abilene Christian marvel began competition. "He's a little too drawn," said Jackson. "He's been traveling a lot and he looks tired." But Morrow, who ran a casual 10 flat in a slow qualifying heat in the Friday rain, looked relaxed and rested Saturday as he ran his effortless 9.4 to turn back the bid of stocky, muscular Ira Murchison in the finals of the 100. "I didn't press," he said later. "I glanced at Murchison out of the corner of my eye once, but he wasn't coming up, so I didn't press." Next to Morrow, the cynosure of all eyes was a tremendously elongated basketball phenomenon named Wilt (The Stilt) Chamberlain, who tied for first in the high jump with an odd style encompassing a short, casual approach run and an incredibly high lift of a long, long leg to start over the bar, much as a tall man might step over a barbed wire fence. Chamberlain wore a tiny cap while he jumped and disported himself like a man who plays as much for the laughs as the victory. Laszlo Tabori, the four-minute miler from Hungary, laid off the pace a bit too long in the mile and lost in a desperate, driving finish to tall Ted Wheeler in 4:06.9. Before the race, Tabori's coach had predicted he would run "between 4:06 and 4:08," and his actual clocking was 4:07. Tabori is tuning himself for a peak effort in late June. Olympic Champions Ron Delany (1,500 meters) and Charlie Jenkins (400 meters) were the key men in Villanova's come-from-behind victory in the mile relay at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia. Delany made up 10 yards in his next-to-the-anchor lap, Jenkins' anchor leg was a brilliant 46.4 quarter, and the victory, race and meet went to Villanova. All in all, over the nation on this warm Saturday, American athletes gave assuring signs that the 1960 Olympics are, already, well in mind.