M65 vaulter Steve Morris (Olympian’s bro) recalls Muscle Beach

Delightful yarn by track fan John Zant in the Santa Barbara paper. It shares story of world champion (2011 Sacramento) Steve Morris and his efforts to cheer his brother Larry by quizzing him about the famous Santa Monica Muscle Beach of the 1940s and ’50s. We learn, BTW: “Steve followed in the path of his second-oldest brother, Ron Morris, and took up pole vaulting. Ron won the state high school championship at Burroughs and was the silver medalist in the pole vault at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Steve never quite achieved those heights in his youth, but he has never retired from the sport. Santa Barbara, where he started Steve Morris Defensive Driving School almost 40 years ago, is an ideal place to practice. Morris won the ages 60-64 pole vault at the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento. Early this year, about to turn 65, he cleared 11 feet at a meet in Las Vegas.”

Steve (left) and Larry Morris have strong affection for defunct Muscle Beach.

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August 1, 2014

6 Responses

  1. tb - August 2, 2014

    …and Ron Morris runs OnTrackandField.com, which is a great equipment supplier.

  2. Bill Bittner - August 3, 2014

    That looks like a York Barbell Big 12 Special on the rack. I still have mine purchased in York, Pa. in 1952.

  3. Bubba Sparks - August 5, 2014

    Steve came to our Masters PV Symposium last month as well. Great guy!

  4. Steve Morris - August 5, 2014

    Those are Healthway and Paramount plates on a barbell purchased from Sears & Roebuck in the early 60’s. I do have some older plates from BFC (Bell Foundry) and Orr’s also American,and Hollywood plates. York Barbell was Bob Hoffman. A lot of the old musclemen did not care for Hoffman. Why? I’m not sure and could care less!! Keep on pumpin!! Use it or lose it.

  5. Bill Bittner - August 8, 2014

    I don’t know about people who didn’t care for Big but the fact remains he was ahead of his time and the driving force behind the use of using weights to improve in all athletic endeavors and the primary support for Olympic Weightlifting (both financial and coaching) during the late forties and early fifties when the U.S. was the dominant team in the world before the Russian and East German druggies took over. Think Tommy Kono ,Norm Schemanski et al.

  6. Steve Morris - August 9, 2014

    oh, and how could you forget PAUL ANDERSON. Enough said!

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