The Daily Universe celebrates 50 years
This story originally appeared in the Daily Universe on September 25, 1961
Three years ago a fifteen-year-old girl was asked to try out for the girl?s track team at Milbrae, Calif. Inspired by a gold medal for the broad jump in her first meet, she began her career as one of the United States top woman athletes.
One short year following her first high school triumph, blonde blue-eyed Pat Daniels was in Rome running against the world?s greatest in the 1960 Olympic games.
Today, pretty Pat is a freshman on the Brigham Young University campus where she will compete nationally and internationally as a Cougar representative.
Many BYU students probably saw the women?s 800-meter run at Rome on television last year. IF so they may remember one of the heartbreaks of the games came when Miss Daniels stumbled and fell rounding the final curve. She was in third place at the time.
Pat?s triumphs certainly overshadow this misfortune greatly. She is the current holder of the women?s American and National records for both the 800 and 400 meter runs. She has been clocked in 2:13.0 for the 800 and 56.0 for the 400. These times broke the records of Lillian Green.
Pat has set her goal to participate in the women?s 1964 Olympic pentathlon championship. Her present marks in this include: high jump, 5-2; broad jump, 19-3; 200 meters 24.9; 80-meter hurdles, 11.7; shotput, 40 feet. The official women?s shotput weighs 4 kilos or just over eight pounds.
?The decathlon champion of the Olympics is considered to be the world?s greatest athlete,? said Pat. ?The women?s pentathlon championship is on equal basis with this,? she added.
She spent a month in Rome and made the European tour with the United States track team both the year of the Olympics, and in 1961. On the latter tour she placed third in the 800 meter in Russia, Germany, London and Poland. After the tour she remarked, ?I don?t ever want to run second to a Russian again.?
Ed Parker of the San Mateo Athletic Club is credited with ?discovering? Miss Daniels. He outlined her training program and was a chief influence in developing her desire and ability. While in training, Pat?s schedule included an hour?s workout before LDS Seminary each morning and a two-hour workout after school.
Scholarships came her way from many colleges, but she finally decided on Brigham Young University much to the pleasure of BYU track mentor Clarence Robison.
In the immediate future, Pat will travel to Fort Collins, Colorado to compete in the National Women?s Pentathlon championship against such stars as current titleholder Joann Terry and Wilma Rudolph?s teammate, Vivian Brown who is ?almost as fast as Wilma,? in the words of Miss Daniels. This event will be on Sept. 30, only a week away.
Strangly enough, the trim, soft-eyed star?s first love in sports is water skiing, and this is followed by swimming. Track and field ranks number three.
And if all these activities aren?t enough for one young lady. Pat?s high school band, in which she played the clarinet, marched in President Kennedy?s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.
The personable Miss Daniels intends to give up track after the 1964 games in favor of more domestic pursuits.