The Decathlon

One of the prominent events each summer was the Saginaw Invitational, a full blown track and field meet broke out on a duded-up upper field which included all the extras hurdles, discus, shot put, javelin, a starter’s gun, and a meticulously striped oval track with staggered start lines….the whole 440 yards as they might say.

The feature event of the Invitational on the boys side was the Decathlon which pitted the top four athletes from the Hill against each other in a grueling 10-event marathon competition to determine the most rugged track athlete of them all.  Though we had no feature on the Wheaties box to offer to the winner it was all about bragging rights.

Brian wins going away!
Brian wins the 100 going away!

In 1968 it was Brian Redman against a strong field….here is the  tale in his own words:

“It was a hot day in August when I had my moment in the sun (literally) and reaffirmed my belief in the great guy upstairs.  I was competing in the annual Saginaw Decathlon against Paul Sherr, Steve Greene, and Lenny Feinberg (left to right in the provided photo of the 100-yard dash).  After nine of the ten events I held a comfortable lead with only the long run to compete.

The four of us were exhausted and I distinctly remember thinking-and maybe saying out loud-‘If there’s a G-d he’ll make it rain and we won’t have to run the race’.

Sure enough the skies opened, the rain came pouring down and we were done for the day.  I think I went to camp services the next week to express my gratitude.”

So it went down….so it was written….Brian Redman was the Decathlon Champion in 1968 or was the Enneathlon Champion (ancient Greek for nine)………anyway I am sure he got the girl.


One thought on “The Decathlon

  1. I think we know it’s all about me. I won the first decathlon competing against Harold Levinson (who was heavily favored before I put Ex-Lax in his oatmeal), Stanley Bagan, and Phil Auerbach. I won all of the running and jumping events. Throwing events, not so good. The only reason I was not last in the discus is that Auerbach fouled and was disqualified. Because I had studied for weeks in advance I was able to pass the post-meet urine test.


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