FAMU Legendary Relay Staff honored on Penn Relays Wall of Fame
4 former Florida A&M observe stars have been honored in Philadelphia on the 126th working of the College of Pennsylvania Relay Carnival, affectionately generally known as the Penn Relays, for his or her distinctive performances from 1966-1968.
James Ashcroft, Main Hazelton, Nathaniel James, and Eugene Milton, donning their orange Nationwide Rattler “F’ blazers, have been the company of honor on the 2022 Penn Relay as they have been enshrined into the elite class of athletes to earn an area on the Penn Relays Wall of Fame.
In 1968, the 440-relay group received the race for the third consecutive 12 months. The group received the race with the identical 4 runners, which is why they have been honored. After a press convention, the group was escorted to midfield for the presentation to a rousing applause from the gang.
These athletes all performed soccer for the legendary Coach Jake Gaither whereas working observe for Bobby Lang.
“Coach Lang was like a father to us. He groomed us with powerful love, however he and Mrs. Lang have been the most effective,” Ashcroft stated.
A bonus of the 4 taking part in soccer and observe was the power to observe baton handoffs after soccer observe.
“After we began having success within the 440 relays, it made us work more durable as a result of we wished to be higher,” James stated.
The group misplaced only one race as a 440-relay group. Throughout their sophomore 12 months, that they had not established the correct order.
“We weren’t snug with our order, and it simply didn’t really feel proper once we misplaced to Southern College. That was the final time we misplaced for the subsequent three years. As soon as we bought the order down, no one may contact us,” Milton stated.
The Rattlers have been the primary group to win the occasion thrice in a row which was known as “Retiring the Patterson Cup.” In the course of the Nineteen Sixties, Florida Governor Claude Kirk was identified to have an excellent relationship with Florida A&M. He was a frequent visitor of Coach Gaither on the sidelines and attended different occasions on campus. In 1968 when the group received their third consecutive 440-relay on the Penn Relays, they shocked the gang in what is known for the occasion. Gov. Kirk had despatched circumstances of Florida oranges to the venue and instructed the group to throw them out to the gang once they received. Olympic sprinter Norm Tate reminded the group of that in the course of the celebration.
“I used to be right here, and I’ll always remember when y’all have been throwing out these oranges. I’ve by no means seen something like that,” he stated.
All 4 members of the relay group are members of the FAMU Sports activities Corridor of Fame. Milton would go on to have essentially the most profitable professional soccer profession of the crew as a member of the Miami Dolphins. Since leaving FAMU, the group has additionally been volunteer officers for the FAMU Relays for over three a long time.
As soon as they have been launched to the gang, U.S. Olympic nice Carl Lewis, who’s assistant coach on the College of Houston, went over and congratulated the quartet and thanked them for paving the best way for runners like him.
“You guys knew learn how to work laborious. I get uninterested in making an attempt to emphasize to those children that they must work laborious,” Lewis stated.
The FAMU Sports activities Corridor of Fame plans to acknowledge the group for his or her accomplishment on the 2022 FAMU Sports activities Corridor of Fame ceremony slated for Sept. 9.