By Roy Gault, Sports Editor, Gazette-Times,
Corvallis, Oregon, Friday, April 22, 1977
Corvallis, Oregon, Friday, April 22, 1977
Glen Stone: OSU's track analyst
Glen Stone doesn't merely fix things, he redesigns them.
He can repair anything from an air compressor to an anti-aircraft radar system and can work the bugs out of anything from an oil refinery to a high jumper.
"Don't ask him how his car is," warned Oregon State track coach Steve Simmons, "because he'll tell you about everything from the differential on down."
Stone, the son of assistant dean of the School of Engineering at Oregon State (Solon A. Stone), is an analyst.
"The kids call him Einstein, because he's so dogone smart," said Simmons. "We like to have him along on the team bus because he can answer everyone's questions. He's a very astute person."
Berny Wagner's biggest criticism of Stone was that he was a bit too astute, and Simmons - who took over the OSU track program from Wagner - agrees.
"I've been accused of sitting out there in the high jump pit with my transit, calculating out my steps," Stone said, chuckling.
Stone hasn't yet calculated out a seven-foot jump for himself, although he works with Oregon State's other high jumpers and can take credit for at least a part of the American women's record of 6-2 7/8 set by former OSU jumper Joni Huntley.
Huntley used to drive to Corvallis from Sheridan once or twice a week to be under the tutoring of Stone, and often went to him for advice after she later enrolled at Oregon State.
"Glen is a kind of a steadying influence on our other kids," said Simmons. "His personality, his demeanor is more instructional. He doesn't compete with the guys at practice, he helps them out. He doesn't force himself on them, but they seem to listen."
Stone is high jumping at OSU for the fifth season, but before this year he was cast into the shadows of Tom Woods (7-5 1/2), Mike Fleer(7-3), Mark Wilson (7-2 1/4) and Scott Wilbrecht (7-0 1/4).
Woods, Fleer, Wilson and Wilbrecht followed on the heels of OSU Jumpers Dick Fosbury (7-4 1/4), Steve Kelly (7-0) and John Radetich (7-1). Radetich went on to jump (7-6) as a pro.
Fitting into Oregon State's high jump corps was an optimistic aspiration for a young man who didn't turn out for track at Corvallis High until he was a senior and was away from the sport for four years before enrolling at OSU because of a hitch in the Navy.
But Stone is used to running from the rear.
He wasn't the best high jumper at Corvallis high, and almost didn't become a high jumper at all.
"They were going to make a distance runner out of me because I had the right build (6-2 1/2, 160 pounds) and I was doing pretty well," Stone remembers. "But I decided that what I wanted to do was high jump, so I got over there in what used to be the OSU Armory with Taylor Poynter and we jumped in that old pit that used to create a dust storm."
On tryout day Stone knew he would have to make 5-2 or 5-4 to make the varsity. So he cleared 5-10 and didn't have a miss until he got to 6-0.
"I made the team and went 5-10 for about three weeks in a row, then had a bad day and went 5-8," Stone said.
That's where his history as an analyst began.
"Someone suggested at that point that I jump backwards like this guy Fosbury was doing, which was quite a joke," Stone said. " But I tried it and did 5-10, and told my coach (Glen Kenney), and he told me to go ahead with it. I got tricked into going 6-0 that day in practice, and I also went 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3. Rod Rice, a junior varsity jumper, got me over the mental barrier of six feet by telling me the bar was at 5-11, and it seemed pretty easy after that."
Stone cleared 6-1 in his first varsity meet, but Poynter went 6-5 and teammate Steve Locey also went 6-1. Later that season he cleared 6-3 1/4, which was "the third or fourth-best mark in the state that year."
When Stone got back from his duties as a fire control technician for anti-aircraft radar in the Navy, he decided to jump in with the seven-footers at Oregon State.
"I knew that one of these days those guys would be gone, and I wanted to work to replace them," said Stone.
Stone didn't feel as bad about being a bottom-of-the-list jumper as others did.
"Heck. Look at Scott Wilbricht," Stone pointed out. "He cleared seven feet his junior year but had to redshirt because we also had Woods and Fleer and Wilson. So in that respect, I don't feel too badly at all."
Stone has won the high jump in Oregon State's last three meets and is close to becoming OSU's eighth seven-foot high jumper.
"I expect him to jump seven-feet every week, but he thinks about it a little bit too much, analyzes it a little bit too much." said Simmons. "He's constantly changing things, and it doesn't seem to work out."
"Those were Berny's words, too, almost exactly," Stone said. "There times when, if you relax, you'll do just fine. You shouldn't be sitting there thinking about things you did wrong. At times, my thinking pays off and at times I'm sure it hurts me. But in the long run I think it has paid off. I have slow coordination and it takes me a long time to get something down. I do it once and maybe I'll be able to do it twice, and eventually it works out.."
Stones [sic] is good at figuring things out. If he wasn't he wouldn't have a job each summer at the Richmond, Calif., refinery of Standard Oil Company of California. The job is in line with his academic major in mechanical engineering.
He worked one summer as a craft helper, working with the machinists, pipe-fitters, and in electronics.
The second summer he worked as an engineering technician with the compressor crew.
Last summer he worked in design engineering.
"If anything went wrong with the equipment that the maintenance people couldn't fix or if something went wrong that other people couldn't handle, we'd redesign it and make it so it would work," Stone said. "Without a doubt this has been a most ideal situation for an engineering student."
Having lived close to a slide rule, Stone isn't prone to exaggerate. Unlike Dwight Stones, the world record holder in the high jump at 7-7 1/4, Stone doesn't predict anything that isn't realistic.
And he feels that a seven-foot jump real soon is realistic.
"I would say it could happen any time now," Stone said. "In meets this year I've been a little too nervous and my approach has been a little too shallow. But I've cured that now. Wednesday I took seven jumps at 7-0 and five of them would have gone 6-11 1/2 or 6-11 3/4. Once I just nicked it with my calf. It's just a matter of getting it together."
Stone knows he has the physical ability to jump seven feet. In fact, he knows he has the ability to go 7-6.
"Last year, at about mid-season, I went out one day and jumped my heart out," said stone. "I had the bar at 6-6, and on one jump I really hit it good. I turned my head as I was going over and looked down, and I know the bar was a foot under me. It was a fluke, but now I know I have the strength to go 7-1 or 7-2."
He's come a long way when Woods would chuckle at him for putting the bar up to 6-8.
"Tom wasn't really laughing me as much as at my thinking I could jump that high," Stone said. "I'm surprised to look back and see how much time Berny spent with me because my technique was so terrible. I was really bad."
But Wagner had seen potential in Stone in 1968, his senior year at Corvallis High.
"I've never really decided whether I was recruited or not," Stone said. "I've always considered myself a walk-on. Actually, Berny came to one of our meets and asked me where I was going to go to college. I told him I was going into the Navy, but that I'd come see him when I got out. The first thing I did when I got back was to walk in and see him, and I really surprised him. I think it took him a couple of days to sort out who I was. But when I came back he had a locker ready for me."
Stone is the kind of guy Simmons would like to have a lot of lockers ready for.
He's not on an athletic scholarship, and doesn't want to be. "I wouldn't accept a scholarship for athletics if they offered one to me because I don't need the money," Stone said. "I have the GI bill and a good summer job. That was one of the main reasons I went in the Navy, so I would be able to pay my own way through college with the GI bill, and it would give me time to think about what I wanted to do. The other reason was that the Vietnam war was on, and I had no desire to sit out in a rice paddy and get shot at."
But in a day and age when athletes are wanting more out of a budget that is less, Stone is quite a bonus.
" They're having enough trouble finding enough money for socks and jocks without having to pay for my education," he said.