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tBBC Making The List: Glenn Ashby Davis


Making The List: Glenn Ashby Davis
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will soon be upon us. The World will be watching. National pride will be at feverish pitches – everywhere – all over the globe. Personally when I think of the Summer Olympics I think of Track and Field. This summarizes why I feel the importance to pick a great Buckeye who ran rampant for the world to witness.

The first name that surfaces when the mention of a great track and field man and The Ohio State University is in conversation – is undoubtedly Jesse Owens. How can it not be? Mister Owens was our first pick when we began this section of Making the List. He is one of the greatest Buckeyes ever.

There were many great track and field men for the Buckeyes – all whom were phenomenal. I have decided to lean towards a three-gold Olympian that ran like the wind and is a member of The United States Olympic Hall of Fame. I speak of Glenn Ashby Davis.

Davis was a West Virginian by birth. Sadly both of his parents died when he was 15. He moved to Barberton, Ohio to live with his older brother. In High School he singlehandedly led his team to the 1954 Class A Ohio high school track and field championship, scoring all 20 of Barberton’s points. Davis won the 220-yard dash, the broad jump, and the 180-yard low hurdles – setting a then-state record in that event – while also placing fourth in the 100-yard dash. His point total placed him ahead of Mansfield, which scored 14 points in the meet and took second. He was offered more than 200 athletic scholarships for college; but he chose The Ohio State University. He would say many years later he went to OSU because that’s where Jesse Owens went, but also because “This was Ohio State. Nowhere else was Ohio State. There’s nothing else to say!”

At the 1958 Big Ten Conference championship he won both the hurdles and the 440-yard flat race, where he set a world record of 45.8 sec.

Davis won Olympic titles in the 400 meter hurdles at both the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and the Rome Olympics in 1960. Also in 1960 he’d receive gold for the 1,600 meter relay. At the time he set world records in the quarter mile with hurdles and without. In 1958 he was awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete.

Glenn Davis is perhaps one of the greatest all-around athletes in the history of track and field and was either at or close to world records in many events including: 100 yards/meters (9.6/10.3), 200 meters (21.0), the half mile (1:52), 120 yard high hurdles (14.0), 200 meter low hurdles on curve (22.5 WR), 400 meter intermediate hurdles (49.2 WR), high jump (6-8), and long jump (24’8″). He, along with Felix Sanchez, Angelo Taylor and Edwin Moses are the only four hurdlers to have won the Olympic 400 meter hurdles twice.

Glenn would have a brief stint in the NFL with the Detroit Lions even though he had not played football since his high school years.

Glenn Davis is a name that over the years unfortunately slid “some-what” into the pages forgotten. That is a shame. His greatness on the track is unequaled. In Barberton, Ohio he remains a legend – as he should. In the historical realities of The Ohio State University and the many great ones that ran track in Columbus, we should make it unforgiveable to exclude Glenn Ashby Davis from any pointed discussion about the legends that ran and won for The Ohio State University Buckeyes. Glenn was indeed on the upper layer of that list.

The post Making The List: Glenn Ashby Davis appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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