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THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE
– Friday, April 21, 2017
Page 14
Long Distance Runners
T
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
friendPaulNigrorantheracefin-
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-
tionalswhowonasingleraceare
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
eachreachedbaseforSaugus,Pat
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
Sachems.
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-
layteamofDennis,AilynMinaya,
JadaOkoyeandRonanwonwith
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
T
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.