Rice University Owls track runners Dale Bernauer, Conley Brown, Steve Straub, Bill Askey
Dateundated ca. 1980s
Black and white group photograph of Rice University Owls track and field athletes Dale Bernauer, Conley Brown, Steve Straub, and Bill Askey, accompanied by text headlining their achievement and entry into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: This is a unique award for an athletic hall of fame. It is for a unit rather than an individual. Four men equally share the honor of induction into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame as a special relay unit, the Owl’s magnificent 1969 mile relay team. In the summer of 1969, this foursome from a relatively small American university (Rice’s enrollment was then under 2,000) had the best mile relay time in the world when they blazed to a 3:05.1 victory over the powerhouse UCLA at the prestigious Kennedy Games on the Cal-Berkeley campus. A week or so later after a cross-country flight to Knoxville where the NCAA Championships were hosted by the University of Tennessee, the Owls were edged for the NCAA crown by the Bruins, but by less than a second as they ran a 3:04.7 in one of the great relay races in USA track and field history. The Owls were under severe stress that memorable day. While working out after arriving in Knoxville, their famed coach Emmett Brunson, suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in serious condition. UT-Austin coach Jack Patterson (an ex-Owl under Brunson) told Rice officials not to worry, he would take the Owls in with his Longhorn bunch to coach them and oversee their needs. The Longhorns had a terrific mile relay unit too, and had beaten Rice for the SWC title at Waco in May. But in the Kennedy Games and the NCAA’s the Owls were ahead of UT, so Patterson coached a unit that beat his very own. Each of the four runners, as well as splendid alternates in Chip Grandjean and Dr. Mike Casey, competed well in individual events, such as the 100, 220, and 400. Grandjean later would anchor a Rice mile relay team to an SWC triumph to give the Owls of coach Augie Erfurth an SWC team title. Case was a 1968 relay regular who was replaced by sophomore whiz Steve Straub in 1969, but ran some in preliminary races with the unit and was a key team man. Bill Askey (bottom right) – The leadoff man on the relay team . . A strong redhead junior out of Lee High in Baytown . . Was also a fine sprinter . . Now the treasurer of COLOR TEC, a one-hour photo service firm in Houston . . Lives on a 10-acre spread in Magnolia, just north of Houston, with wife Ellen and daughter Susan, a freshman at Southwest Texas State, and son Phillip, a junior at Magnolia High . . Remains active in military reserve. Conley Brown (bottom left) – Ran important second leg (running the curve) on team . . Ran countless races on spring, sprint medley, two-mile and mile-relay teams . . Was also a tremendous 440 man . . Won titles galore at Texas, Kansas, Drake, Penn, Modesto, Ty Terrell, and LSU Relays plus SWC, NCAA, USTFF, and AAU titles . . An all-time city of Houston HISD great at San Jacinto High . . Continues to coach track today in Schulenberg . . Also very active in church work. Steve Straub (top right) – The ‘kid’ of the bunch as a sophomore in 1969; ran third leg . . Now a veteran of many ears at Rice as a first an assistant then begin named the head coach of the Rice men’s track team in 1979 . . Career competitive peak was making finals of 800 meters at 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials . . An SWC champion before he became the current Rice coach of numerous conference champions . . A star at St. Pius X High in Houston . . Whole family is very Rice oriented, dad, Charles, and his mother and brother have worked for Owl athletics and son Andy was a Rice baseball batboy, and is now a promising young athlete approaching high school age. Dr. Dale Bernauer (top left) –Anchor man who was one of the all-time Rice track greats with far more honors and awards than can be listed in this space . . Went on to medical school, and inspired by popular veteran Rice team physician Dr. Ed T. Smith, he also became an orthopedic surgeon . . Has had his practice in Lake Charles, La., where he and his family have resided many years . . Was a super prep at Jefferson High in Port Arthur.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63921
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