No False Starts - the Origin of American Track & Field

By Dwight Scott With Jack Griffin

Coach Dwight Scott has been coaching at Boonsboro High School (Boonsboro, MD) for 47 years—the last ten years as a volunteer. Before his official retirement in 1996, Scott led his girls track and field teams to 5 Maryland State Championships. Among his individual state champions, 38 are in the hurdles and 6 are in the pole vault.  He currently continues to coach the pole vault events for boys & girls Coach Scott was a hurdler in high school and college and realized early in his career that, as we moved through bamboo & aluminum to fiberglass poles, a better grasp of kinesiology was going to be needed.  He got that his M.A. in P.E. at the University of Maryland and has been an involved student of pole vaulting ever since.  Don Boyer is a veteran coach at Middletown (MD) High School and coached many state and individual champions. Coach Boyer and Coach Scott saved the pole vault in Maryland Public Schools in 2003, when their year-long fight against overzealous foes ended in a slim victory at the April meeting of the State Athletic Supervisors.

Advisor Jack Griffin began his track & field experience in 1948 at NYU, primarily as a javelin thrower under Olympic Coach Emil Von Elling.   This was not to be coach Griffin’s last relationship with an Olympian as he was Assistant Coach for the USA women in the 1964, 1976, and 1984 Olympic Games.  At the Tokyo Games (‘64), two of his protégés from the Frederick (MD) Track Club, teenagers Debbie Thompson and Tammy Davis, qualified for the team.  Jack Griffin, Brooke Johnson, and Bill Thomson formed the Eastern Girls Track League (EGTL) in 1966—and until Title IX opened the door for track and field for girls in our public schools in 1972, the EGTL was probably the most significant development in USA Women’s Track & Field east of the Mississippi River. When Jack served ass assistant to Ed Temple in Tokyo, it was the beginning of 41 years of a mutual admiration society.

No False Starts

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