HOUSTON – Rice track and field legend Jim Gerhardt (Rice, 1951), as well as championship teams from the 1960’s and other outstanding track and field individuals from 1960-70, will be honored this Friday, Oct. 21 at the “R” Room of Rice Stadium at the second annual PR Club event.
A multi-talented athlete for the Owls, Jim was a basketball letterwinner as well as a member of the track and field squads of 1949-51. He competed in the long jump, sprints and throws. Amazingly, while Jim didn’t compete in the triple jump for the Owls – the NCAA only contested the triple jump in Olympic years – he did win a spot in that event on the U.S. Olympic team and competed in the Helsinki games of 1952, where he finished 11th.
His second-place finish in the Olympics trials was a lifetime best of 49-7.75. He was also an Olympic trials qualifier and competitor in the triple jump in 1948.
In addition to Gerhardt, the 1964, 1965 and 1967 Southwest Conference championship teams will be honored on Friday. Rice ruled track and field in the mid-1960’s, winning three Southwest Conference Championships in four years. Notables from the 1964 season included a one-two finish by Bobby May and Gary Collins in the 440-yard hurdles, Ed Red’s first place finish in the javelin throw and Warren Brattlof’s victory in the pole vault event. Many team members returned to become champions in 1965.
The 1967 squad had seven first-place finishes, including Jimmy Wilkerson in the 120-yard high hurdles, John Moss in the 400-meter dash, Ricki Jacobs in the javelin throw, Steve Montoya in the three-mile run, Dale Bernauer in the 100-yard dash, Conley Brown in the 220-yard run and the team of Moss, Mike Casey, Brown and Bernauer in the mile relay.
Led by head coach Emmett Brunson and assistant coach Augie Erfurth, followed later by May, Rice track and field teams posted tremendous individual achievements from 1960-70. The squads included two Olympians; Fred Hansen, pole vault gold medalist in 1968, and Ed Red, who threw the javelin in 1964; two NCAA champions, Hansen and May, who ran the 110-meter hurdles; 13 individual NCAA All-Americans; seven All-American relay teams; and 33 SWC champions (30 individual and three relay teams).