PIAA Track And Field Championships: Peabody's Carr joins elite group with wins
After winning the Class AAA 100-meter dash yesterday in Shippensburg, Pa., Peabody's Pierre Carr, right, receives his gold medal from Allderdice alum Herb Douglas. Douglas, 87, was the first athlete from the City League to win both the 100 and 200 in 1940. Carr repeated his feat yesterday.
Pierre Carr lunges for the finish in winning the Class AAA 100-meter dash.
Pierre Carr wins the 100-, 200-meter dashes in Class AAA.
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SHIPPENSBURG -- An 87-year-old man and a 19-year-old high school senior. The PIAA purposely brought them together yesterday.
But the two will be forever tied by speed and City League lore.
Peabody senior Pierre Carr earned another spot in City League history yesterday, winning two Class AAA gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes on the final day of the PIAA track and field championships. Carr became only the third runner in City League history to win the two sprints at the PIAA meet, which started in 1925.
The first City League runner to do the double was Allderdice's Herb Douglas 69 years ago. And Douglas was on the Shippensburg University infield yesterday, presenting the medals to Carr and all the sprinters. Douglas is 87.
Douglas hadn't been to the PIAA meet since 1940, when he won the 100- and 220-yard dashes and the long jump (sprints were in yards until 1979). That was eight years before he won a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 Olympics in London.
Bringing Douglas back was a nice touch by the PIAA, a golden move. But one that was lost on Carr, until a reporter told him of Douglas' accomplishments.
"I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was that good," Carr said with a laugh when told of Douglas' feats.
Douglas became a friend of legendary sprinter Jesse Owens and Douglas played football and ran track at Pitt. When he won three titles at the PIAA championships in 1940, the meet was at Penn State's Beaver Stadium.
"We ran on cinders," Douglas said. He also was on a City League basketball championship team at Allderdice in 1939, and get this: "We won a gymnastics championship, too," Douglas said. "Don't they have gymnastics any more in the City?"
Douglas is a retired businessman, living in Philadelphia, looking great and still going through a swim workout every other day. Presenting the medals to Carr seemed to bring a gleam to his eye. He gave a camera to Carr's teammate, Aaron Turner, to take pictures with Carr.
"He's good and has a lot of potential," Douglas said of Carr.
Carr said, "I really don't think about history, but this means a lot to me now, knowing how good he was. I just thought he was another City runner. But the Olympics? I'm going to keep these medals someplace special because he gave them to me."
The only other City League athlete to win the two sprints in the same year was Westinghouse's Orin Richburg, who won the 100 and 220 in 1964.
Carr also won the 100 a year ago. He is the first City League runner to win the 100 on consecutive years. And how is this for elite company? The only other runner from the WPIAL or City League to win the 100 two years in a row in the PIAA's largest classification was legendary Clinton Davis of Steel Valley in 1982-83.
Carr won the 100 in 10.5 seconds and the 200 in 21.35. Before the races, he went through the routine of kissing the "Ontaria" tattoo on his right arm. That is the name of his 1-month-old daughter.
Carr is headed to the University of Akron to play football, although he is academically ineligible to play as a freshman. He might run track for the Zips, too.
"I told him I'd stay in touch," Douglas said.
First Published May 24, 2009 12:00 am