Lamar Alexander: A Track Record Holder
April 4, 2007
This interview with Senator Lamar Alexander is exclusive to Commodore History Corner and VUCommodores.com.
"I liked to exercise, and I'd go down to the old cinder track at Vanderbilt," said Tennessee U. S. Senator Lamar Alexander and Vanderbilt `62 graduate. "We didn't have any scholarships for track athletes. I believe it was my sophomore year that I was down there running, just exercising on the track. A man came over to me and said he was Coach Alley and asked my name.
A highlight of Alexander's track career at Vanderbilt was the establishment of a new school record in 1961 in the 440-yard relay. The record time of 42.7 seconds came against Tennessee on the old cinder track surrounding Dudley Field. The previous school record was 43.0 seconds and the SEC record at that time was 41.6 seconds.
"That track slowed us down, but that's where our meets were held," said Alexander. "One time when I stretched out to hand off the baton, I missed him and fell flat on my face. I still have some cinder in my left knee (Alexander laughing). There were not many people there to watch us. It was non-scholarship and running was just fun to do. We took buses to all our meets."
1961 Vanderbilt track team (Alexander is in the back row, sixth from the left)
Traughber's Tidbit: Senator Alexander met his wife, Honey Buhler, at a staff softball game when he worked for Senator John G. Tower of Texas. Alexander made walking famous in the state when he walked 1,000 miles across Tennessee in his famous black and red plaid shirt in his campaigns for governor.
The photograph of the 1961 Vanderbilt 4x440 relay team is courtesy of The Nashville Public Library, The Nashville Room.
Next week read an exclusive interview with Scotti Madison, former Vanderbilt All-American baseball player and the Commodores all-time career home run leader.
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact Bill Traughber via e-mail WLTraughber@aol.com.
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