Saginaw Invitational Track and Field Meet

In 1959 the Senior Hill took a trip to Philadelphia to take in the full flavor of the USA-USSR International Track Meet at Franklin Field.  The kids were so enamored with what they saw that Mickey Rothstein decided they deserved a full blown track and field meet of their own and so was born the annual Saginaw Invitational.

1962: Mickey Rothstein, David Katz, and Herbie Cohen lurking
1962: Officials Mickey Rothstein, David Katz, and Herbie Cohen lurking….

 

1962: Working the judges podium...Mickey and David
1962: Working the judges podium…Mickey and David

 

1970: Waldo (?), David Lipstein, and Ellen Rashbaum officiating from the same location in technicolor
1972: Arthur Dubin, David Lipstein, and Ellen Rashbaum officiating from the same location in technicolor

As we are apt to do at Saginaw this was done with all the bells and whistles as Upper Field was striped with a quasi-regulation 440 yard oval with staggered start lines,  colorful flags and buntings, a judges podium overlooking the finish line, and all the field disciplines accounted for from hurdles to shot put to the speed walk.

1968 Welcome Committee: (L/R) Gary Gerson, Jack Weiss, Harvey Forman, Stuart Grozbean, Harry Levit, Phil Witsosky, Sandy Saidman, Andy Stone, Lenny Witsosky, a
1968 Welcoming Committee: (L/R) Gary Gerson, Jack Weiss, Harvey Forman, Stuart Grozbean, Harry Levit, Phil Wisotsky, Sandy Saidman, Andy Stone, Lenny Wisotsky, and David Lipstein

 

1972: Marilyn Skulnick, Sandy Sherr, and Ronni Baer chillin'
1970’s: Marilyn Skulnick, Sandy Sherr, and Ronni Baer chillin’

 

1975: A multi-disciplined affair...(L/R) Steve Odell, Larry Siegal, Brad Barash
1975: A multi-disciplined affair…(L/R) Steve Odell, Larry Siegal, Brad Barash

The Senior Boys and Girl’s Camps were split into two teams-named after the famous track stars Jim Thorpe and Jesse Owens-and there were rules and regulations that made this a proper track and field competition.

1966-saginaw-invitational-cover

(Click to see the 1966 Saginaw Invitational Program, Rules, Rosters, and Schedules)

Counselor captains from both camps were designated whose responsibility it was to sift and sort the line-up card and make event assignments.   The prep for The Invitational included intensive learning of the techniques of running hurdles, putting the shot, flinging the discuss, passing a relay baton, and running a steeplechase.

1971: Counselor Captains Certificate
1971: Counselor Captain’s Certificate

(Click to see a captain’s line-up sheet from 1965)

No question the centerpiece of this event was the competition for the Decathlon and Pentathlon champions for boys and girls respectively.  The Pentathlon grew to seven events in the early 1972 so technically it was a Septathlon from that point on.

1970: The multi-media Decathlon/Pentathlon Scoreboard indicates Robbie Gettinger and Susan Weinstein were the winners!
1971: This multi-media Decathlon/Pentathlon Scoreboard indicates Robbie Gettinger and Susan Weinstein were the winners!

 

1971: Decathlon Shot Put-Robbie Lipstein, Robbie Gettinger, and Mark Rosen
1971: Decathlon Shot Put-Robbie Lipstein, Robbie Gettinger, and Mark Rosen

The Decathlon in 1966, as you can see in the detail of The Invitational Program above, was a nail biter to the end between Denny Berman and Ricky Schendell.  Contrary to expectation Denny won all three of the “strength” events-javelin, shot put, and discus-by spending the prep time learning proper technique in all three.  But Schendell dominated the running events winning all four, including the final 400 meter dash to close the 200 point gap and tie for the title at 3800 points.

.

Decathlon Winners

1959  Jim Korman

1960  Harvey Forman

1961  Wayne Selnick

1962  Bruce Sklar

1963  Sandy Lipstein

1964  Eddie Lenkin

1965  Jay Schlossberg

1966  Denny Berman-Rick Schendell

1967  Gary Gerson

1968  Brian Redman

1969  Paul Sherr

1970  Mike Holzman

1971  Robbie Gettinger

1972  Jeff Davis

.

Pentathlon/Septathlon Winners

1971  Susan Weinstein

1972  Suzie Burka

1974  Beth Resnick

(Note: If you know any other Decathlon or Pentathlon winners to fill out this list please e-mail moedweck@comcast.net)

 

Preparing upper field was no piece of cake but the meticulous application of geometry and field chalk made the whole day feel authentic.  The physical demands of running the final stretch of the dashes and hurdles uphill was another story.

1968: Ferne Gendason
1968: Ferne Gendason stretch run….uphill!!

 

1968: Laurie Berman
1968: Laurie Berman takes the hurdles in perfect form

 

1968: 1st, 2nd, 3rd...Frank Barkan, XXX, Charles Cooper
1968: 1st and 3rd…Frank Barkan and Charles Cooper with Harry Levit in judgment

 

In the end there were spoils for the winners-both team and individual accomplishments were acknowledged.

girls-invitational-ribbons

 

For individual performances

Even though annual events like these were a home grown affair they were done with a thoughtful and thorough approach that made them something we looked forward to every year.

 

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