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Historic Black Milers Panel 2: The 1970s

November 15, 2022

Dedicated to Theodore Stanley “Ted” Richardson Wheeler
(January 30, 1931 – November 17, 2022)
See attached obituary.

Panelists:
Byron Dyce
Denis Cochran-Fikes
Clifton “Cliff” West
Michael Wyatt

Black Historic Milers Panel Highlights:
Each of these HistoryMakers were inspired by others.

Byron Dyce was inspired to become a track athlete by his older brothers Dennis and Trevor both Jamaican Olympians. Byron was considered New York City running royalty as he would be introduced at meets as Dr. Dyce. At NYU he won what was considered the triple crown at 800 Meters with wins at the IC4A, NCAA, and New York Metropolitan College championships.

Cliff West invited Jesse Owens to meet his family over dinner. The encouragement he received from Mr. Owens inspired Cliff to raise his level of dedication to the sport to new heights. Learn about Cliff’s amazing range of excellence from a 29:22 six miler to becoming a 10.3 sprinter. Also hear about his younger brother Dr. Cornel West the political activist, educator, and author who at the age of 15 ran a 4:29.5 mile.

Denis Cochran-Fikes in 1966 was unaware on any Black distance runners until his brother told him about his Erasmus Hall High School teammate named Byron Dyce. As he learned more about Byron; this is who he wanted to become. Denis also wanted his career to serve as a role model to inspire other younger Black distance runners. Denis has produced an E-Scrapbook called “My Running Moments & Times” on YouTube that’s well worth viewing.

Mike Wyatt was a football player who used track to get in shape for the gridiron. He was profoundly inspired as a high school senior at the Penn Relays watching Denis run his 3:55 mile in 1974. Mike would go on to become the fifth African American to break the 4 minute barrier in 1980.

Panel Guest Audience Members:
Harry McCalla
Suzuko Morikawa
Bill Schnier
Tracy Sundlun
Ben Tucker

Panelists Presentation Times:
Introduction – Gary Corbitt
(1:34) – Byron Dyce
(24:36) – Cliff West
(46:10) – Bill Schnier discusses Reggie McAfee
(57:05) – Denis Cochran-Fikes
(1:18:04) – Tracy Sundlun
(1:22:18) – Mike Wyatt
(1:37:57) – Questions from Suzuko Morikawa
(1:50:12) - Closing Remarks by Gary Corbitt
Panel ends – 1:57:20

Gary Corbitt
Curator: Ted Corbitt Archives
Historian: National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA)

 

 

 

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