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Spotlight on Former Athlete: Track & Field Network & March 20,2010 1st Annual Track & Field Reunion

On March 20, 2010 during the Track & Field Louisiana Classics, over 100 former Track & Field performers gathered to show their support for the program, to renew ole memories and friendships, and to create new ones. Seven decades of athletes were represented beginning with the 1940s.

Each athlete was introduced and their accomplishments in Track & Field were announced. When the individual introductions were completed, information about the team acheivements of that decade were announced. Needless to say, these were quite impressive.

To view the list of former Track & Field Members posted in the AN, click on www.athleticnetwork.net  and click on the Select a Team blank in the upper left. Highlight Cross Country & Track & Field and click – athletes will appear alphabetically by year. Click on a name and their profile will appear. Some profiles are incomplete – but all are encouraged to click on the "Submit/Update Profile" link in the upper left and submit their information. Each are emailed once it is posted, updates are always open.  

The introductions were led by the UL Track Ambassador, Dr. David Fisher, 1947-50, who represented the decade of the 1940s. Fisher was joined by son, Lindsay 1985-87, and daughter, Stacy, 1986-88, in a track lettermen’s family affair. Please click here to view the profile of Dr. David Fisher http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=7821

It is noteworthy to be aware on Fisher’s experiences in the military during World War II; his athletic acheivements; his experiences as a student leader at the university; his tenure as a UL faculty member; his professional, community, and university contributions; and his continuing support of the university – which truly is a family affair. Click here for the Fisher tailgating area at the North Texas Football game on November, 2004 http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=2200 and the Ohio Game on September 8, 2007  http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=4645

Fisher has a long and extensive leadership involvement with the Southwester Relays, once the premier track & field carnaval in the South. Click here to view Fisher and Jim Ryan at the 38th Annual Southwestern Relays in 1966 http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=7372   Click here to view the finish of one of the dashes http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=7258 and note the fans at McNaspy Stadium for the Southwestern Relays in 1964.

Inasmuch as Fisher and his teammates were highly successful in their accomplishments (click here for information about the track team winning their third straight conference championship in 1950 http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=6898 ), there was much groundwork in place for many years prior to that time.

Click here to view the 1901 Track Team and the hardware they had on display http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=285   It was during the early 1900s that matters in track and field heated up between SLII and Crowley in the Field Days. Click here for interesting information published in the Daily Advertser on May 26, 1998 by Jim Bradshaw http://athleticnetwork.net/site68.php

Things progressed and expanded in the Field Meet competition as attested by the performances of the Southwestern-Louisiana College Field Meet–May 3rd, 1913. Click here for the meet results http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=5237

Southwestern continue to field teams of excellence and the largest promoter was non-other than SLII/SLI’s President Stephens. In a letter to John Foster, sports editor of the New York Sun, who had written about the football exploits of Christian "Keener" Cagle,  Dr. Stephens wrote,"Edwin Richardson won the broad jump with a leap of twenty-two feet six inches, which is several inches better than Princeton versus Harvard last Saturday. Cagle put the shot better than forty feet, the same Cagle who did the world record in forward passing last season." 

With Cagle gaining national visibility in football, Lafayette High produced one of the greatest track men to represent the university in some time. Click here for the picture of SLI President Stephens, Johnny Morriss (in his U.S.A. uniform),and legendary SLI Track Coach Robert L. Browne, who started the Southwestern Relays. http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=8616  

Dudley Wilkins ’33-’35, Olympic Triple-Jumper and Glynn Abel in ’37-’39 continued the level of excellence. Click here for the profile of Dudley Wilkins  http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=10352 

More All-Americans and national champions followed -John McDonnell, ’66-’69 click here for profile http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=7746; Hollis Conway, ’86-’89, two-time Olympic medalist in the high jump http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=3403/

Click here to view the picture of some of the All-Americans and National Champions at the 2010 Track Reunion http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=10548 , including Twilet Malcom (From Jamaica – 1993 – 100 meters), followed by Jo Jo Harris (Discus – 1994), our first female All-American from the U.S.

The tradition continues – and recently current team member Chris Roy was named All-American. Click here for his story http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=37&newsID=8826 

Lawrence Willis, 2002-2005 and All-American, recently won the triple jump on his last attempt at the U.S. Indoor Track & Field Championship. Click here for his story http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=37&newsID=8770

The reunion impetus came primarily from Claude Revels, 1970-72, who coordinated a reunion of the 1968-75 years for Homecoming 2009. Click here for the photo gallery of the 2009 reunion http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=1743

Claude found teammates and other former track & field performers equally receptive to the idea of having a reunion of the entire Track & Field Network. The Steering Committee for the 2010 Reunion included Pat Arceneaux, Tommy Badon, Stewart Blue, Jim Barrilleaux, Ed and Rickey Domingues, Claude Revels and Ed Dugas. Each eagerly accepted various roles and, as they say, "the rest is history." Click here to view some of the Steering Committee members http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=10552 

Click here to view the crew of Robert "T-Bob" Domingues,’65-’67, who prepared and served the boiled crawfish http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=10556

Click here to view the entire Photo Gallery of the 2010 reunion, including five collages of the track program spanning over 100 years and eight murals depicting the outstanding acheivements during the Cole/Lancon eras. These are currently posted at the track & field complex  http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=1820#  

A sincere debt of gratitude is extended to all who have been part of this outstanding program – and a special "Lagniappe" appreciation is extended to those who attended the First Annual Reunion.  It was not a local affair. Out-of-staters returning for the event included: Keisha Owens Williams – Clarksville, TN; Lance Veazey – Houston, TX; Winston and Sheronia Sinclair – Fort Worth, TX; Manny Rachal – Livingston, TX; John McDonnell – Fayetteville, AR; Larry McCartney – Chester, TX; D’Nais Mack – Humble, TX; Carl Lawson – Houston, TX; Ronald Landry – Port Arthur, TX; Galen Labauve – Nashville, TN; Isha Kargbo – Woodstock, GA; Jo Jo Harris – Orange, TX; Gayle Jahzeel – Nashville, TN; Edgar and Sonya Sanchez Garcia – Kissimmee, FL; Stephen Foster – Jonesboro, GA; Bob Burnett – Columbus, OH; Lon Badeaux -Jonesboro, AR.

In a story published in the Daily Advertiser on March 21 written by Joshua Parrott, he included interviews with Hollis Conway and John McDonnell, as follows:

Hollis Conway – a former high jump national champion, six-time All-American, two-time Olympic medalist, UL Hall of Fame member and current American indoor record-holder – was one of the many past Cajun track athletes to return to Lafayette.
Conway was able to see his two oldest daughters, Tarvia and Holli, compete on Friday for Ouachita Parish High School in the Louisiana Classics at UL.
Tarvia, who is being recruited by the Cajuns, won the long jump (17 feet, 1.5 inches) and triple jump (35 feet, 1.5 inches). Holli was third in the high jump at 4 feet, 8 inches.
“They definitely had some fun,” said Hollis Conway, who now works as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes area director in Northeast Louisiana. “It was not only fun to be here for the reunion but also to see them compete on this track.”

John McDonnell, a former Cajuns All-American in track and cross country, also came back for the reunion. McDonnell retired from University of Arkansas in 2008 after leading the school to a combined 42 national championships and 83 conference titles over 36 years in indoor and outdoor track and cross country.
Returning to his alma mater this weekend was an easy decision for McDonnell, a native of Ireland.
“I owe everything that I’ve done to this university,” McDonnell said. “The people here gave me the opportunity to go out into the world and pursue coaching. That never would have happened if I didn’t get a scholarship to come here in the first place.”
McDonnell believes that the future is bright for the Cajuns under Mahfouz, who helped the men finish third at the Sun Belt Conference indoor meet in February and was named the Sun Belt men’s coach of the year. That’s an improvement from a seventh-place showing at the league’s indoor meet from the previous year.
In his mind, Saturday’s results were another example of UL’s continued forward progress on the track.
“He will get it done,” McDonnell said. “He has a lot of people that are backing him up here. He just needs to take his time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will happen.”

Our rich athletic traditions were intrusted to the vision, hope, loyalty and dedicated of these former athletes and we will forever owe them a debt of sincere gratitude.  May God Bless each of them and their families. 

Anyone with information, materials, pictures, memorabilia, etc., of the university’s former athletic program participants is requested to contact Ed Dugas at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu   Thank you.

The Photo Gallery Link located on the left side of the home page at http://www.athleticnetwork.net contains over 9,000 pictures of former and current athletes and support groups.  Just click on photo gallery and when the menu appears, click on the sport or support group you wish to view. The years of pictures posted for that team or group will appear and you may click on the year you wish to view. One click on a thumbnail picture or narrative and it is enlarged; a click on the enlarged photo and it reverts back to the thumbnail.

The Athletic Network seeks to post pictures of each team and support group for each year they represented the university.


The stories of the 2009 honorees are still included in the News Page and may be viewed by clicking on "more news" at the bottom right of the News Box, scrolling down, clicking on the title of the story. Those spotlight features which are no longer shown in the News Page, have been moved to the Lagniappe Link of the "History of UL Athletics" located on the left side of the home page.


The Spotlight on Former Athletes announcement has also been placed in the profile of each honoree, excluding the pictures.

The 2010 honorees in the Athletic Network "Spotlight on Former Athletes" include:
January – Andrew Toney Men’s Basketball 1976-80.
February – Orlando Thomas Football 1991-94.

March – Rocky Guidry Football 1990-93, Track & Field 1991-94

April – Track & Field Network & the 2010 Track & Field Reunion

Ed Dugas, Coordinator
Athletic Network