Nov. 21, 2005
By Sharon Ocker
Mick Everett 1973 was a very gifted athlete at Morningside. One day at a meet at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., Everett ran a leg on the winning 440-yard relay, won the open 440 in 47.8, won the 440-yard intermediate hurdles in 51.3, and finished it off with a final leg in the mile relay in 47.8, which Morningside also won. A writer for the St. Paul newspaper had a banner headline that read “Morningside’s Everett doesn’t run in an event unless he can get first.” Of course, that wasn’t really true, but it happened to be on that particular day. Coach Bud Brockman said “I had never seen an effort equal that for speed and stamina.”
Morningside entered the Iowa State University indoor track and field meets quite a few times when Rick Clarahan was coach, and weather was often a factor in making the trip to Ames. One particular year it snowed in Sioux City throughout the day. The team was scheduled to leave at 6 p.m., but Clarahan called the bus driver, Jerry, to see if he could leave at 4 p.m. in order to get ahead of the storm. Jerry agreed. Herman Schultz fed the team early, and they took off. The traveling was slow, about 20 m.p.h. on Highway 20 going through Fort Dodge. Jerry decided to take Highway 17 South but turned off one exit too soon. The bus had to back up and eventually found the right exit. There were several drifts, and the bus got high-centered. The group was concerned that cars might be covered with snow ahead of them, so Clarahan and the athletes ran ahead in the snow for a time, packing it down so the bus could get through. The team arrived in Ames at 2 a.m., and Clarahan said, “They didn’t compete real well that day.”
The 1919 Morningside Annual had quite a story:“Morningside’s 2-mile relay won this event at the Drake stadium for their 3rd consecutive year. McConkey, starting the race for Morningside, ran the best race of his life and passed the stick to Omar in 3rd place. Omar started out at full speed and, at the end of the first quarter, passed into the lead. He maintained this lead until the turn of the last quarter, where he sprained his ankle, making it well nigh impossible for him to finish. Walker started his leg under a great handicap and was not able to catch up with the leaders until his last lap. With a fine burst of speed in the last 200 yards, he was able to give Curry a lead of 15 yards. Curry immediately set out to widen his lead and finished a good 50 yards in the lead of his nearest competitor.”
Tim Orwig 1980, who wrote Morningside College: A Centennial History, quoted a writer describing the Monument Run to Floyd Monument and back with interesting language. The run had “several loop-the-loops, shoot-the-shoots, toboggan slides, figure 8s and scenic railways. Later, it was reduced to 2-4/5 miles through back yards and front yards, corn fields and flower beds.” No one ever said that cross-country was easy.
In research for this article, we ran across a well-done “field report” written by Coach John “Jack” Jennett in 1959. It was named A History of Intercollegiate Track and Field at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa, from 1894 through 1957. It was quite comprehensive, listing the coaches, the meets, and the records, and helped Jennett earn a master’s degree from Drake. The report was full of exhaustive research from the Collegian Reporter, the annuals, and the Sioux City Journal. The report is housed in the Morningside College archives and is available for study.
Another Bud Brockman story follows here. In 1971, Morningside was running in a preliminary 4 x 100 relay at the Division II meet in Sacramento. The team was leading Kentucky State and Sacramento State, who ended up first and third in the finals, as Freeman Berry took the baton in the final leg. Freeman took about four steps, bumped the baton against his thigh, and dropped it. Brockman was sitting in the top row of the stands when the incident happened. He pulled his hat down over his head, bowed his head in front of his chest, and was just plain sick. The team was in position to break 40 seconds, which no Iowa school had ever done. To top it all off, it was Brockman’s 50th birthday.
The men of Morningside have had several national champions in track and field. John McEwen won two titles – the weight throw in 1996 and the hammer throw in 1996; A. G. Kruger 2002 won the hammer throw in 2001. The women had national champions, too. Meredith Davis 2002 won for the heptathlon in 2001 and 2002; and Gina DeWitt for the 800 meters in 1993.