News & Notes, Volume 8, Number 72
Media Information Manager
USA Track & Field
National Track & Field Hall of Famer Davis dies
One of the finest sprinters in U.S. track and field history, Harold "Hal" Davis, diedSunday night in Lakeport, Calif. He was 86.
Although the prime of his competitive career came during World War II, which kept him from receiving the recognition he would have otherwise received, Davis' numerous accomplishments on the track earned him induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1974.
Davis rightfully held the title "World's Fastest Human," winning just about every major sprint title over a four-year period.
In 1941, Davis tied Jesse Owens' world 100m record of 10.2 while a student at Salinas Junior College under Hall of Fame coach Bud Winter
. He then transferred to the University of California, where he was coached by another Hall of Famer, Brutus Hamilton. There, Davis won the national collegiate 100 and 220-yard titles in 1942 and 1943. Overall, he won the AAU 100 title three times and was a four-time champion in the AAU 200 meters.
Nicknamed the "California Comet," Davis first came to attention while in high school, where he ran the 100 yards in 9.7 and the 220 in 21.0. In one of his first major college races, the NCAA 100-yard dash final, he stumbled, fell to the ground, recovered and made up five to seven meters on the field in finishing fourth. Thereafter, the only major race he lost was in the 1941 AAU 100 meters where he was narrowly beaten by fellow Hall of Famer Barney Ewell.
A poor starter, Davis was known for his fast finish and was at his best in the longer 200- meter race, in which he ran 20.4 on a straight course and was twice timed in a wind-aided 20.2. In 1946, he sustained a serious hamstring injury and never again attained top form.
Services are pending.
Legendary hurdles coach Wilbur Ross dies
Recognized throughout the world as one of the premier hurdles coaches in history, track coach Wilbur Ross died on Friday, August 10, in Hollywood, Fla. He was 80.
Ross, who mentored such luminaries as National Track & Field Hall of Famers Greg Foster, Roger Kingdom and Renaldo Nehemiah among many others, achieved success coaching at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (Maryland State) and Winston Salem State University, where he is a mamber of its Hall of Fame. Ross was a standout athlete at Baldwin Wallace College, where he graduated in 1950 and later was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.
Ross, who had been hospitalized since May 16 battling several illnesses, is survived by his wife of 43 years Norma, children Pamela, Wilbur Jr., Beverett, Ricardo and Tony, along with several grandchildren.
Services will be held Saturday, August 18 from 2-5 p.m., at Panciera Memorial Home, 4200 Hollydood, Fla., 33021. Phone: 954-989-9900.