The meet was called Western Hemisphere vs Europe held in Stuttgart, Germany.
Each team was allowed 2 competitors therefore there were just 4 people in
The Western Hemisphere team consisted of primarily Americans and a few
The 150O meter runners representing the Western Hemisphere were Doris Brown
(now Heritage) and myself. The European team consisted of the former world
record holder in the 1500 from Holland, PR around 4:14 (I cannot remember
her name), and the current world record holder Paola Pigni from Italy, PR
around 4:12. Doris Brown was the American Record Holder and the American
record was oddly enough 4:16.8. My best time at the start of that race was
4:28. Imagine being a 16 year old, near senior in HS (this event took place
the summer between my junior and senior year in HS) going to the starting
line under these circumstances!
I placed third overall in the race and tied the American record of 4:16.8 needless to say a HUGE PR. Pigni won and the Dutch woman was second. I had no clue what I was doing except that I was bound and determined not to get last.
Though my very first international competition had taken place in the LA Coliseum a few weeks earlier at the USA-USSR-British Commonwealth triangular track meet, The WH vs Europe meet was the meet that I truly consider my baptism into international competition. For the very first time in my athletic career I was competing in a crowded stadium (80,000+ spectators) under the lights. It was a dream come true and a magical experience for a 16 year old. That moment was the defining moment of my athletic career. I became addicted to my sport and everything that comes with the territory, something I still feel today. I would go back to that place in a heartbeat if there were a realistic chance I could be competitive.
Jan. 1975, SF Examiner Games, wearing PCC jersey, winning 1000 meters.