Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

All-Comers Track Meet

College of the Canyons | Valencia, California

Photos (35mm negatives, Kodak Tri-X Pan Film) by Dale Brown/The Signal.

July 27, 1972 — Olympian Kathy "Kate" Schmidt of Long Beach sets a new U.S. record in the women's javelin event (first and second photographs) during an open division all-comers track meet at College of the Canyons. Her 200 feet, 6 inches bested the previous record of 198 feet, 8 inches set in 1967. It was one of 10 times she would break the American record.

Schmidt, who attended Long Beach Community College and graduated from UCLA, won the bronze medal one month later at the Olympic Games in Munich with a 59.94m throw (196.65 feet) on August 31. She repeated with bronze at the 1976 Montreal Games on a 63.96m throw (209.85 feet). She qualified for the 1980 Moscow Games but did not participate due to the U.S. boycott. On September 11, 1977, she shattered all previous records with a 69.32m throw (227 feet, 5 inches) in West Germany. Her world record held for two years, and it remained the American record until 1999 when the specifications for the javelin changed.

The next three photos show discus thrower Olga Connolly, who won Czechoslovakia's only gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Cames in Melbourne, Australia (as Olga Fikotová). During the games she met American gold medalist Harold Connolly (hammer throw), whom she married. Obtaining permission to leave the country with her new husband, she moved to Boston and represented the United States at the 1960 Games in Rome (7th place) and the 1968 Games in Mexico City (6th place). She carried the flag for the United States at Munich in 1972. Divorced in 1975, she became a Certified Exercise Therapist and taught a wellness program at UC Irvine unil 2017.

Click to enlarge.

Download original images here. Signal Photo Archive, Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society collection.
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