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Without fear of contradiction one' can say that one. of the leading and most promising sprint runners in Australia today Is John Walter Beckwith. dinner "of the recent big event at Shepparton (the 130 yds. gift) off 5% yds., in 12 l-5sec., ana who. for the fourth successive year, anuexed the 75 yds. dash, with 3 yds. handicap, in 7 2-fisec.

"Wally," as he is known on t!he running path, is a fine type of athlete. He is a firm believer in the combination of brains and muscle to achieve success.


To enumerate all of Beckwith's perform ances would be a somewhat lengthy task, but his main victories are as follow:—

3913.—Won. 75 yds.. Stawell. off 7»4 yds., In

7 l-5sec.

1935.—'Won 75 yds., Stawell, off 5^4 yds., 7


1915.—Won 75 yds., at Shepparton, off GM yds.. 7 l-3sec.

1916.—Won 75 yds.* at Shepparton, - off 4V& yds., 7 2-5sec. .

1917.—Won 75 yds., at Shepparton, off 2 yds., 7',4sec.

191S.—Won 75 yds., at Shepparton, off 3

yds.. 7 2-5sec.

191S.—Won Shepparton -Gift (130 yds.), off 5% yds., 12 l-5see'.


Beekwitli put up a unique performance at Shepparton a few weeks back by winning the 75 yds. sprint for the fourth consecutive year. Last year, to celebrate his doing the "hat trick," the cammlttee presented him with the Shepparton Club's Blue Riband which he is wearing in the photo, reproduced.


Without proper reflection, there are some people who have an erroneous impression of

the calibre of processional athletes. It Is an acknowledged tact that, in °™[y ^pealt. life, we have the good and the bud. P

ing from-my own experiences, I ha\emi some of the finest sportsmen Ini tho prgea

sional ranks. And Deck with exception.

Ho is but 23 years and 9 months old, ha

lug been born at Monwondah Bast, iaesur Hor sham. He resides in Fitzroy. and ta

ployed' on the clerical staff in- the Agricuit

ral Department. He stands 5ft■ «n J® JJ*

socks, and. when in running JetUotipstiic beam at list. In short, he is a fine ta, pe of an athlete—clean-limbed and built in propor U0U* EARLY EFFORTS RECALLED

While at school, Beckwith never in contests, as he had a rather low

of his capabilities. Towards the latter end of 1912—he was then 15 years—ho started run ning seriously. Competing in tho youths races at Richmond, out of three starts, he won ono and was third on another occasion. Readers will doubtless recall the meetings conducted by Teddy Rowell, tho notable foot baller, at Callingwood, in 1912. Young Beck with had a fly in the 75 yds. sprint, and ran inco second place. „i,.

Fired with ambition as a result of his eariy efforts, Beckwith competed in the Shepparton Carnival in 1913, finishing secoud In the 100 yds. and third in the 75 yds. to Bob Scott and Wally Hartley. Success continued to come lite way. So he entered for the 75 yds. event at the world-famous' Stawell Easter Carnival the same year, and annexed first honors off m yds. in 7 l-5sec. For a lad of 16 it was, indeed, a notable performance.


Visiting the Forest A.N.A. sports in Janu ary 1914. Beckwith won his first Sheffield (130 yds.) off 13% yds., .defeating that, notable sprinter, Mick Carter. A week prior to the Shepparton Carnival, Beckwith won a double at Murchlson—75 yds. and 130 yds. Journey ing to Shepparton, he was overcome with sickness. " Gurney's running grounds were also opened that year, and he ran off back

marks with varyitng success.

At the Whittlesoa A.N.A. sports in 1915 he won his first hurdle race (130 yds.) off 17 yds., and ran third to Hume, who .won the Shep parton Gift the following month. At Shep parton, "Wally" accounted for the 75 yds. in 7 l-5see., with handicap of yds. Run ning at North Melbourne,- the 100 yds. came his way, off 9% yds. mark, the watches showing 9 l-5sec. . After a run of bad luck— several seconds and thirds—Beckwith won a 100 yds. handicap at Gurney's. Making the trip to Stawell, he romped home a winner in the 75 yds., in 7 2-5sec., off 5%y ds.


Beckwith took on hurdling at Gurney's in 1915, since which time his performances are: —October 3: Won S5 yds. hurdles off 5^ yds. (limit IS yds.). October 9*. Won 85 yds. hur dles off 4% yds. November 11: Second in hurdles off 4 yds. to Nott (10 V&). November 22: Again second to Nott (9V£). January 1: 191G: Won 130 yds. hurdles, at Maryborough ! Par nival, off 8 yds., in 15 4-5sec. Won So yds. hurdles, oft 4 yds., at Melbourne A.N.A. off 5% yds., to M'Eacharn, 10 yds. -January 9: Won 75 yds. at Sheppar ton, for second time, in 7 2-5sec., off 4 yds. April 27: Won S5 yds. hurdles at Croxton Park, off 3% yd3. April 15: Second, 85 yds. April 17: Second, 85 yds. hurdles. t>ff 2% yds. April'29: Third, SO yds. hurdles, off 3 yds.,

at Croxton Park.


Beekwith made a good start in .1917 at the Melbourne A.N.A.. sports by winning handily the 100 yds. handicap off 8% yds., in 9 2-5seo. In the month following, he won the 75 yds. for the third successive year at Shepparton, and ran into third place in tho 130 yds. Gift, re ceiving a handicap of 7% yds.

He also opened this year—191S—well by car rying off the 75 yds. dash at Gurney's off 5^i yds. on January 25. Taking part In the A.N.A. sports, he ran a good race in the hun dred in which he was placed secoud off 5*,6 yds., the winner's timo being 9 3-5s3c.

Then last month he made his annual trip to Shepparton, where he won the Gift (130 yds.) off 5% yds., in. 12 l-5sec.—2\4 yds. Inside evens. He also distinguished himself by breasting the tape a winuer for the fourth successive year in the 75 yds. gallop. i CREDIT TO TRAINER

! In too • many case3 the trainer of athletes |does not always get anything like a fair share of recognition for the time and energy spent on a runner. For his trainer, Jack O'Donnell. Beekwith has the Very highest opinion. In fact, there is a great bond of friendship be

tween them.

"I owe my entire success to my trainer, Jack O'Donnell," remarked the Shepparton Gift winner. "He has been" associated .with me since I first started running, with the ex ception of 1914, when he was ill, during which time I was in the' hands of Mick Flanagan, who }3 so well known in professional circles. I consider O'Donnell one of the finest mas seurs in tho game.


Beelcwith's father, who was a fine athlete iin his'day, naturally takes a particularly ikeen interest in his son's athletic career, and j never fails' to accompany him on his run

ning trip3, whenever practicable.

i Beckwith, like many other athletes, la now :busily engaged getting ready for Stawell. He | is likely to be seen in action at tho Won thaggi Labor Day sports this week, while he is also desirous of having- a gallop at the St. Patrick's day sports to be held at Be



With youth on his aide, the Fltiroy athlete should have many yuara of running ahead of him. Steady, serious in his training, which is done on sci^ntltlc lines, and ever ready to learn, he will yet surprise the ruu ning world.

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