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– Friday, April 21, 2017
Page 14
Long Distance Runners
hehistoryof themarathon
is the history of democ-
racy. In 508 BC a revolution-
ary new concept was devel-
oped. It gave many individual
freedoms to people through-
out the northern Mediterra-
nean region. These ideas pro-
vided inspiration to the Greek
society; people were recog-
nized for their achievements.
The ideas were spread and
discussed but until 490 BC the
ideas had not been tested.
In 490 BC the Battle of Mara-
thon was fought and won by
free men, with the new con-
cept, freedomagainst suppres-
sion and slavery. There would
be another test of these radi-
cal ideas at the battle of Ther-
mopylae. The German philos-
opher L. Siegfried articulated
that “When Greeks were fight-
ing at Marathon against the
spiritually mass of Persians,
they were fighting for aware-
ness of the right of a free life.”
The ideas took root and in
Boston with its vast array of
prestigious universities, recog-
nized as international, nation-
al, New England and Massa-
chusetts where the collegiate
athletes wanted a more rigor-
ous activity rather than just rac-
ing around a track with little
scenery to inspire. They want-
ed a longer route that required
strength, determinationanden-
durance, with hills and scenery
(and cheers from the young la-
diesofWellesleyCollege) topro-
vide the backdrop The Boston
AthleticAssociationbecame the
sponsor of the longest running
marathon intheworld–starting
in 1897 with 15 runners.
John J. McDermott, an Amer-
ican from New York, won the
event in 1897 with a time of 2
hours, 55 minutes and 10 sec-
onds. The following year it be-
came international withaCana-
dian, Ronald J. MacDonald, win-
ning: timed at 2 hours, 42 min-
utes even. An American, Clar-
ence DeMar holds the record
withsevenwins, followedbyCa-
nadian Gerard Cote, American
Bill Rodgers and Kenyan Robert
Kipkrono Cheruiyot, each with
four victories. Althoughthemar-
athonoriginated inGreece, only
a singleGrecian, Stylianos Kyria-
kides, was able toovercome the
international fieldtoclaimvicto-
ry. Meb Keflezighi was the last
American to win the trophy, in
2014. Prior to that the lastAmer-
ican was Greg Meyer. And I do
have tomention that two of my
sons, Bob and Mike, and their
ishing in respectable times. The
three Saugonians also ran the
Las Vegas Marathon together, a
flat raceasawarm-uptoBoston.
The United States leads with
60 victories, followed by Kenya
with 20. Canada has 16, Japan
8, Finland 7, Ethiopia 6, South
Korea 3 and Belgium 2. The na-
Australia, Columbia, Germany,
Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Ita-
ly,NewZealand, Sweden,United
Kingdom andYugoslavia.
And while there are many in-
teresting and historical stories
surrounding the Boston Mara-
thon, my favorite will always be
that of the Belgian Aurele Van-
dendriessche. He won back-to-
back Bostons in 1963 and 1964.
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Bill Stewart
The Old Sachem
By The Old Sachem,
Bill Stewart
Hewas twicesecondintheEuro-
pean Championships, and won
twomarathons in 1965. He rep-
resented Belgium in three con-
secutive Olympics from 1956
to 1964.
What made him unique was
his method of competition. He
was a working class member
of the Belgium nation without
funds or sponsors to support
his avocation. During this pe-
riod there were no profession-
als allowed to run, so you need-
ed funds to travel about tocom-
pete. Hesaidhecouldnot afford
a hotel as all his funds went to-
ward the trip in 1963.
He qualified for registration
via his European appearanc-
es and was assigned his num-
ber (which I have forgotten).
He flew from Belgium to Bos-
ton early on marathon day ar-
riving about 9 a.m. and taking a
taxi to the Prudential to receive
the free warm-up breakfast. He
then boarded a bus along with
the other runners to Hopkinton
andwent through looseningup
exercises to prepare him for the
long haul. He succeeded in vic-
tory over the 26-plus-mile route
then received the free meal at
the Prudential for runners. Then
toa taxi toLoganAirport, aflight
to Belgiumand homewithin 30
hours.Thatmy friend, s stamina,
determination and endurance.
TheSaugusHighSchool spring
sports are now underway with
a slow start last week. The base-
ball team was shut out by Mar-
blehead, 2-0, in their opener, and
fell to Peabody, 7-2. For the Sa-
chems against the Tanners, after
Nick Dascoli and Steve Ruggiero
MacDonaldblasted a 2-run triple
toput the Sachems on theboard
The softball team dropped a
toughone to theMagicians, 3-1.
They won their opener against
Everett. They have a freshman
pitcher, CaitlynWood,whogave
up a single earned run and only
four hits during her time on the
mound against Marblehead.
Emma Howard had 2 hits and
the RBI, Nystasia Rowe added 2
more hits. Taylor Bogdanski, Ka-
tie Italiano and Alex Almquist
had 1 hit each for the Lady Sa-
chems. The softball squad rout-
ed Northeast Metro Tech, 9-1.
They started quick with a 2-run
homer by freshman Bogdans-
ki bringing home Brittney Su-
danowicz in the first inning. The
fourth inning proved to be the
victory. Almquist singled, Sa-
die DiCenso singled and D.J.
Munafo walked to fill the sacks.
Hallie drove in a run, thenwalks
to Sudanowicz and Bogdan-
ski scored another run. How-
ard singled to drive home the
fifth run, and RBIs from Caity
Sheehan, Almquist and DiCen-
so bumped the lead to 8-1. In
the fifth Sheehan singled home
Howard to end the scoring. On
themound, Howardhadanoth-
er stronggamewith7strikeouts,
and the only run for Northeast
was unearned. Howard has al-
lowed only 1 single earned run
inher 21 innings pitched for the
The tennis team also faced
Marblehead and were out vol-
leyed, 5-0.
SHS track had a bright side
with the girls’ team vanquish-
ing Lynn Classical, 75-61. Kris-
sy Italiano won the 400 hurdles
witha timeof 1:15.9and the800
in 2:43.1. Kiley Ronanwas victo-
rious in the 200 at 27.0 and the
triple jumpat 33.4. HaleyDennis
won the 100 at 12.5, and the re-
a timeof 52.9 seconds.Theboys
did not fare as well, losing 88-
47. Nick Silva soared to 5 feet, 8
inches –winning thehigh jump;
Kenny Okoye stretched it out in
the triple jump at 37-1. Joe Alba
swiftly won the 800 meter at
2:20.7; Cam Catanazzo had the
strength and endurance to win
the two mile in 12:45. The 4 by
100 relay team of Bruno Auzec,
Kyle Lennan, James Moise and
Silva outdistanced their rivals
with a time of 47.2 seconds.
The last noteworthy informa-
tion is that the National Col-
legiate Athletic Association
(NCAA) is looking to alter the
recruiting of high school stu-
dents. The NCAA’s Division 1
Council approved a rule that
would allow players to sign
to colleges as early as Decem-
ber and allow high school ju-
niors official visits from April
through June; it would also im-
pose a two-year waiting peri-
od before Bowl Sub Division
schools can hire people close
to recruits to non-coachingpo-
sitions. The vote will take place
onApril 26 and if approvedwill
be in force on August 1.
2017 Memorial Day Parade
steps off on Saturday, May 27
he Saugus Veterans
Council would like to in-
vite all to Saugus’s 2017 Me-
morial Day Parade on Satur-
day, May 27.
The Parade will step off
from Jackson Street onto Lin-
colnAvenue at 9:30 a.m. It will
continue to Central Street to
Winter Street to Riverside
Cemetery. A ceremonywill be
held in the Veterans Lot. The
Parade will reform and pro-
ceed toTownHall and contin-
ue the ceremony, which will
include The Singing Trooper,
Dan Clark. A collation will be
held at the American Legion
Hall (44 Taylor St.) following
the ceremony.