BASKETBALL—The BOSTON CELTICS dropped three games in a row for the first time this season. In the first two games the Celtics had to play without Bob Cousy, home in bed with a strep throat, and Bill Russell, who was sidelined with a twisted knee early in the first loss to Syracuse. In the second game Detroit beat the Celtics for their second home victory over Boston in four seasons and 15 games. Both Cousy and Russell returned for the third game, a 107-129 loss to New York. The next night against the Warriors, who also lost three straight last week, Boston was back in winning form, beat Philadelphia 136-125 to maintain a 6½-game lead. The only remaining contest in the NBA is for second place between Detroit and Los Angeles in the Western Division. The Lakers closed the gap to a half game, after first dropping two behind at midweek, by defeating St. Louis while Detroit dropped two to Syracuse.
The NCAA, which startled New York's National Invitational Tournament by grabbing off choice independents St. Bonaventure and St. John's for its postseason championship, quickly added two more, Houston and Louisville. Meanwhile, the NIT, anxious to fill out its field before the pickings were too lean, announced acceptances from Memphis State, DePaul, Providence and Detroit.
In the NIBL Cleveland split two games with New York to hold on to its 6½-game lead in the Eastern Division. Denver, with a convincing 93-74 victory over Bartlesville, increased its lead in the Western Division to 4½ games. In an NIBL meeting in Las Vegas the league decided to drop "industrial" from its name, will now be called the National Basketball League.
BOBSLEDDING—In the world two-man championships at Lake Placid, N.Y., steel-nerved Eugenio Monti of Italy won his fifth title, rocketing so fast in his final heat that he not only broke a world record but smashed his sled into a tree 150 yards past the end of the mile run. Monti, with his brakeman Sergio Siorpaes, did the fourth and final heat in 1:09.22, fastest official time ever for a two-man sled. Their total time of 4:42.67 was also a record. Biggest surprise of the championships, however, was Gary Sheffield, a U.S. Marine from Lake Placid, who came from fifth place after the first day's two heats to finish second. Trying to catch Monti in the final run, Sheffield, with Jerry Temant of Princeton, W.Va., whizzed down in a fast 1:10.47, for a total time of 4:45.74. Third was Italy's No. 2 team of Sergio Zardini and Romano Bonagura.
February 20, 1961
BOXING—HAROLD JOHNSON of Philadelphia floored Jesse Bowdry of St. Louis three times, won 9-round TKO and the National Boxing Association's version of the world light heavyweight chamoionship at Miami Beach (see page 16). DAVEY MOORE, world featherweight champion, easily outpointed Italian champion Raimondo Nobile in nontitle bout in Rome. It was Nobile's first loss in 25 professional fights.
FIELD TRIAL—MISTY MORN, a pointer owned by Joe Hurdle of Holly Springs, Miss., won the Derby championship of the United States Field Trial Association in Hernando, Miss. Runner-up to Misty Morn in the Derby, limited to 2-year-olds, was Riggins White Knight, owned by R. W. Riggins of Knoxville, Tenn. HOME AGAIN HATTIE, owned by Virgil E. Johnson of Zanesville, Ohio, won the All-Age title.
FIGURE SKATING—In the North American championships at Ardmore, Pa. and Philadelphia, young, vivacious U.S. champion Laurence Owen defeated Canada's equally young (16 years old) and pert Wendy Griner for the women's title, and the only U.S. victory. After the compulsory figures on the first day, Laurence had only a slim lead; in the free skating on the second day she had to turn in an outstanding series of turns, spins and jumps to beat Wendy's sparkling performance. Her final score was 931.5 and 7 ordinals to Wendy's 929.6 and 8 ordinals. The most stirring victory was won by Maria and Otto Jelinek in the pairs. In a practice session the night before the contest, they fell while doing a lift. Otto was rushed unconscious from the rink to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for concussion and a wrenched back, and given three stitches for a head wound. Maria was treated for a cut on her right thigh, a pulled muscle and a left-hip bruise. They were warned by doctors not to skate. But they did, turning in a performance that won them the title. In the men's singles Donald Jackson of Oshawa, Ont. easily defended his title against Bradley Lord of Boston, and the Toronto duo of Virginia Thompson and William McLachlin won the dance.
GOLF—ARNOLD PALMER sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole to tie Doug Sanders after 72 holes of the Phoenix Open. On the Monday playoff, Palmer's 3-under-par 67 beat Sanders by three strokes, gave him his second win in the six pro tourneys to date, put him second in earnings.
HOCKEY—The TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS increased their lead in the NHL to six points over the Montreal Canadiens by beating New York, Boston and Detroit. In the Boston game Toronto's Frank Mahovlich scored a goal and had four assists, thereby took a one-point lead over Montreal's Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion in the NHL scoring race. Mahovlich now has 43 goals, only seven shy of Maurice Richard's single-season record of 50, set in 1944-45.
In the WESTERN COLLEGIATE HOCKEY ASSOCIATION, Denver University's Jerry Walker, junior wing from Regina, Sask., scored four goals in the Pioneers' 8-5 victory over the Warroad (Minn.) Lakers to tie the association's single-season record of 43 goals, set 10 years ago. In two earlier games in their three-game exhibition against the Minnesotans, Denver won 13-2 and 15-2, running their season total to 22 victories against one defeat (a 3-2 loss to Michigan Tech earlier in the season) and a tie. In other WCHA games last week Michigan Tech defeated Minnesota 3-2 in overtime, Michigan downed Colorado College 7-3 and North Dakota beat Michigan State 4-3. In league standings Denver is first, followed by Michigan (12-5-1), Michigan Tech (11-7-0), Minnesota (8-6-0), North Dakota (6-13-1), Colorado College (4-12-0) and Michigan State (3-13-0).
In the EAST St. Lawrence handed Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute its first loss in 11 games. It was St. Lawrence's eighth straight win and put them at the top of the Tri-State League. In the Ivy League, Harvard, with a 9-2 victory over Dartmouth, moved into first place. It was Harvard's 11th straight win. Earlier in the week Harvard beat Brown 8-1. Princeton handed Yale its first Ivy loss of the season, and tied the Elis for second place in the standings. In a home game Cornell won its first Ivy victory since joining the league three years and 27 games ago, with a 6-2 win over Brown. Boston College coach Snooks Kelley won his 300th game when his Boston team defeated Dartmouth at Hanover, N.H. In 25 years Kelley's teams have compiled a 300-125-12 record. Two nights later the team presented him his 301st, with a 7-2 victory over Providence. Other scores last week: Bowdoin over University of Massachusetts 8-0 and over New Hampshire 10-1; Army over Hamilton 14-0, over Amherst 11-1, over Merrimack College 4-2; Middlebury over Norwich 16-5, over St. Nicholas A.C. 6-1; Cornell over Colgate 6-4; Colby over New Hampshire 7-4, over Boston University 5-3; RPI over Clarkson 3-2; Bowdoin over Northeastern 6-3; University of Massachusetts over MIT 5-4; Williams over Amherst 19-2; New Hampshire over Connecticut 10-4.
HORSE RACING—WOLFRAM ($4.30) wore down early speedsters, came from behind to win the $96,000 Turf Cup at Hialeah by 2¾ lengths over 44-to-l shot Merry Top II. Under Johnny Rotz, Louis Wolfson's 5-year-old covered the 1½ miles over grass in 2:29 3/5.
Olden times ($5), standing off a stretch challenge by Flutterby, won the $61,850 California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita by a neck. Under Willie Shoemaker, the Rex C. Ellsworth colt ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 1/5. All five colts in the race, restricted to California-foaled 3-year-olds, carried 118 pounds.
American Comet ($22.40), in a driving finish, won the $57,800 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita by½ length over How Now. C. W. Smith's 5-year-old, with Bill Harmatz up, ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 3/5.
After missing a week of racing because of a fourth snowstorm and time out to get the track in shape, BOWIE opened—and closed after two races, when jockeys called the track too treacherous and refused to ride. Since its opening Jan. 21 Bowie has suffered a fire and train wreck, and was forced to close three other times because of snow (see page 7).
SWIMMING—Inspired by Navy's upset of Yale a week before, when the Middies put an end to Yale's 16-year winning streak, HARVARD in turn upset Navy, 56-39, in meet at Cambridge, Mass. Harvard won the 50-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley, the 200-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, the 200-yard backstroke and the 400-yard freestyle relay, serving notice that it is now a power to be reckoned with in Eastern Intercollegiate swimming.
The hill school in Pottstown, Pa. broke the national prep school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:32 in meet in Pollstown. Swimmers were Tom Gale, Pete Smith, Sandy Van Kennen and Captain Stephen Bliss.
TRACK & FIELD—The first Texas indoor track & field meet since 1923 was held before a sellout crowd of 7,200 in Fort Worth. Despite the confusion of this endeavor (most of the coaches had never seen an indoor meet), some creditable performances were turned in. Baylor's John Fry set a Southwest Conference shotput record with a heave of 56 feet 6¾ inches. Texas Tech's Bob Swafford and Texas' Bob Sewell ran the 60-yard high hurdles in 7.4, only two-tenths over the American indoor record. Earl Young of Abilene Christian, who ran on the U.S. winning 1,600-meter relay team in Rome, won the 440 in 50.6, and Ian Stewart of Lamar Tech ran the two miles in 9:24.
In Philadelphia, at the 17th annual Inquirer Games, 32-year-old Hungarian Army captain Istvan Rozsavolgyi ran the mile in 4:05.4 to break the meet mark set by Ron Delany two years ago. Don Bragg, back in top form, cleared the bar at 15 feet 5 inches to win the pole vault. Other winners: Frank Budd of Villanova, the 50-yard dash in 5.3; Hayes Jones, the 50-yard high hurdles in 6.0; Jack Yerman, the 600-yard run in 1:11.9; Pete McArdle of New York A.C., the two miles in 9:00.2; Bob Gardner of the U.S. Marines, the high jump with a 6-foot 8-inch leap; Bo Roberson, the broad jump with a 24-foot 8-inch leap.
In Los Angeles at the Times Meet the following night, Rozsavolgyi again won the mile, this time in 4:07, while Hayes Jones took the 60-yard high hurdles in 7.3. Roscoe Cook of Oregon won the 60-yard dash in 6.1 for the second year, edging out Dave James of the U.S. Army by less than six inches. James was also clocked in 6.1. George Kerr of Jamaica also scored a repeat victory, won the 600-yard run in 1:11.3. In the two-mile run veteran Jim Beatty beat Toronto's 17-year-old Bruce Kidd with a time of 9:05.7. Beatty let Kidd and Max Truex of the U.S. Army fight it out through much of the last mile, then took charge on the gun lap to win going away. Kidd held on to beat Truex by one-tenth of a second in 9:07.6. Ron Morris won the pole vault with a leap of 15 feet 1 inch. Ernie Cunliffe took the 1,000-yard run in 2:08.7 for a meet record. Eddie Southern won the 500-yard run in 57.6. Bob Avant of Southern California won the high jump with a leap of 6 feet 9¾ inches. Parry O'Brien defeated Dallas Long in the shotput with a toss of 61 feet 8½ inches. In a special high school mile, 17-year-old Tommy Sullivan of Evanston, Ill. won in 4:13.7.
MILEPOSTS—TRANSFERRED: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS of the American Football League, to San Diego.
HIRED: MIKE NIXON, ousted head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, to replace Harry Gilmer on the Pittsburgh Steelers' staff. Gilmer was hired as assistant by Norm Van Brocklin, head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
RETIRED: FRANK GIFFORD, 30, star halfback with the NFL's New York Giants, to become a radio broadcaster. Gifford, injured late last season in game against Philadelphia, was with the Giants nine seasons, six times member of the all-pro team, named NFL's most valuable player in 1956, after the Giants won the championship.
RETIRED: Three of the nation's oldest basketball coaches, CEC BAKER of Utah State, after 11 years; AL SEVERANCE of Villanova, after 25 years; and FRED ENKE of Arizona, after 35 years and 11 Border Conference titles, at the end of this season. Stuck with bumbling teams and stung by noisy critics, the three announced they had had enough.
RETURNED: JOE DIMAGGIO, 46, to the New York Yankees, after nine years out of uniform, as guest coach and consultant for two weeks of spring training at St. Petersburg, Fla.
DIED: OSCAR EGG, 70, famous cyclist of pre-World War I Europe, of a heart attack in Nice. Three times from 1912 to 1914 Egg set world distance records against the clock (his third record was 27 miles, 871 yards in one hour). Twice in the 1920s Egg won six-day bike races at Madison Square Garden.