Sprinter Tidwell To Be Honored At Kansas Relays

April 21, 2005

Lawrence, Kan. — Kansas Relays Meet Director Tim Weaver announced Wednesday that Charlie Tidwell, a sprinter for the Jayhawks who set four world records, will be inducted into the Kansas Relays Hall of Fame at this year’s event.

“It is fitting that in a year when the Kansas Relays is garnering international attention because of the most famous sprinters in the sport today, Marion Jones and Maurice Greene, that we honor one of KU’s most decorated speedsters, Charlie Tidwell,” said Weaver. “He set an example on the track not only for future Jayhawks, but for an entire generation of track athletes.”

Tidwell won five national titles and held four world records. At that time, no other KU athlete had collected more championships. The Athlete of the Meet at the Kansas Relays in 1959, Tidwell won the 100 yard dash here for the Jayhawks in 1959 and 1960, going on to win the NCAA title in that event both years. His winning time in the 1958 meet, 22.7 in the 220-yard hurdles, was good enough for his first title and the world record. The Independence, Kansas high school star also took NCAA titles in the 200 yard dash and 220 hurdles. KU teams won NCAA team crowns in 1959 and 1960 with the help of Tidwell’s points.

Tidwell loved to entertain. The Hall of Fame sprinter once said, “I just hate to let all these people down here in any way. This is the first time they’ve had anyone in this section get very far in track and they expect met to beat everyone. When I don’t, I feel like I’m letting them all down. That bothers me more than the personal disappointment that I have. I want to do well because of the faith and interest they’ve shown in me.”

Also honored at the Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday night, April 23 will be Cliff Cushman, Ed Elbel, Jim Hershberger, Bill Nieder, Bill Alley, Phil Mulkey, and Merlene Ottey. The banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn Holidome; the evening will begin with a reception and dinner at 7pm with remarks about all seven inductees and speeches from Hershberger, Alley, and Mulkey. Charlie’s brother, Edgar, will accept the award on his behalf.

The evening will also feature other honorees. The 4 x Mile Relay team of Wes Santee, Dick Wilson, Lloyd Koby, and Art Dalzell will be recognized for the addition of their names to the KU Athletics Hall of Fame. They set the American Record in that event in 1953. Also, a tribute to Bob and Pat Timmons will given in recognition of their recent gift of Rim Rock Farm to the University of Kansas. Rim Rock Farm, which hosted the 1998 NCAA Championship, is considered by many to be the best cross country course in the nation.

Tickets to the Hall of Fame banquet and dinner are $25 each and available through the Kansas Relays Office. For more information contact the office at (785) 864-3486 or kansasrelays@kuathletics.com