Walkers - USATF Hall of Fame
( from USTAF site ) "Longevity" is a word that is synonymous with Ron Laird's race-walking career. "Success" is another. Laird's career spanned three decades in which he won 65 national championships. Laird's first taste of success came in 1958 when he won national titles in both the 20 and 25-kilometer walks, starting a streak in which he won at least one American title for the next 18 years. He had seven wins in 1965, eight in 1967 and nine in 1969. Laird's amazing string eclipsed Hall of Famer Henry Laskau's record of 42 American titles. At one point, Laird won five-straight 15 km titles. His highest win total in any event was seven in both the 15 km and one-hour races. Laird won his final title in 1976, the same year in which he made his fourth U.S. Olympic team (1960, 1964 and 1968 were the other three). He won the gold medal in the 20 km walk at the 1967 Pan-American Games after a fourth-place finish in 1963. He placed third at 20 km in the 1967 and 1973 World Cup. Laird held 81 American records at distances ranging from 1 km to 25 miles and was named six times as the outstanding U.S. race walker.
( from USTAF site ) One of the top walkers in U.S. track and field history, Henry Laskau was in a class by himself during two decades. He was a top 15 km runner in his native Germany before being forced to leave that country in 1938. He moved to the United States and served in the U.S. Army during World War II before resuming his competitive walking career in 1946. It was a career that was to have few equals. His total of 42 national titles is one of the highest on record. He was a U.S. team competitor in the 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, placing 12th in 1952 at 20 kilometers. He was a 1951 Pan-American Games champion and also was a four-time winner at the Maccabiah Games. During an 11-year career, he set five national records and during nine years of that period was unbeaten by any American walker. In 1983, he was named to the USA All-Time Track and Field team. He remained active in the sport after retiring from competition, serving as a volunteer official.
( from USTAF site ) One of the most successful athletes in U.S. race walking history, Larry Young was the last American walker to win an Olympic medal, taking third in 50 km. walk at both the 1968 and 1972 Games. The winner of 30 national titles, Young won eight U.S. crowns at 50 km. and never lost a championship race at that distance. In 1972, he won eight national titles at various distances from two miles to 100 miles. He was also the 1967 and 1971 Pan American Games champion at 50 km and represented the U.S. in international competition eight times. Young held American records for both the 50 km. and 100-mile racewalk. A full-time artist since the 1970s, Young has placed over 50 monumental outdoor sculptures both in the U.S. and internationally. He owns and operates Larry Young Sculpture, a 6,000-suare-foot foundry in Columbia, Mo., where he personally creates and produces most of his work.
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