The gazelle-like legs of Forrest Beaty never...

The gazelle-like legs of Forrest Beaty never failed him when he

burned up local tracks.

Beaty rarely lost a sprint event while starring for the Hoover

High boys' track and field squad from 1959-62. The attention Beaty

received at Hoover was second to none.

As a junior, he clocked 20.2 seconds in the 220-yard dash. That

mark was 0.2 seconds off the then world record.

The marks continued to improve for Beaty, who was No. 17 on the

list of top 50 local sports figures of the 20th century by the

News-Press in 1999. In his senior year, he ran a 9.4 in the 100-yard

dash, which was also 0.2 off the world record at the time.

"I'd call it an evolutionary quirk, or a gift of nature," said the

58-year-old Beaty, who is now a doctor, practicing in medical

treatment for those with chronic illnesses. "I had uncles who were

established runners at Hoover and Glendale.

"My uncle, Fulton Beaty, ran with some great athletes at Glendale

High in the early 30s. My uncle, Wayne Beaty, did well in the late

40s at Hoover. I followed their paths, and tried to be an established

runner."

It became a path to success about a decade later for Beaty, who

now resides in Forestville, a small Sonoma County town north of San

Francisco.

Beaty was the CIF Southern Section and state champion in the 100

in 1961 and 1962.

He won the CIF Southern Section title in the 220 from 1960-62, in

addition to winning a state title in 1961.

"I lost just two races throughout my junior and senior years,"

said Beaty, who also played three seasons on Hoover's football team

as a running back, safety and punter. "There were a lot of great

runners in the Foothill League at that time.

"You had to love to compete. In those days, track and field drew a

lot of interest. There weren't many things competing for an athlete's

attention in those days."

*

Beaty, who was tabbed the CIF Athlete of the Year in 1961 and

1962, captured the attention of the community by running effortlessly

past the competition. He flourished under the direction of Hoover

Coach Sam Nicholson, who had a penchant for nurturing talent that

would receive national recognition.

The 74-year-old Nicholson, a La Crescenta resident who coached at

Hoover from 1956-64, developed a cast of star athletes that included

distance runner Bob Blanchard, sprinters Stan Rhodes and Jim

Pagliuso, shot putter Bruce Parrot, pole vaulters John Rose and Ken

House, and hurdler Ron Gould.

"We had some great teams," said Nicholson, who was a principal at

Crescenta Valley High from 1980-88. "That's because they had that

great competitive desire, and that's what Forrest brought to us.

"Every now and then as a coach, you get a great athlete that's got

so much talent and they aren't easy to work with.

"Forrest wasn't like that, and we taught him how to run at a

relaxed speed.

"He lost to Ralph Turner [of Burroughs] in the Foothill League

final in the 100 and 220 in 1961, and then came back to beat him in

the state meet."

Pagliuso, a 1963 Hoover graduate, said Beaty's popularity

stretched into the neighboring valley.

Pagliuso, who is a Glendale-based lawyer, recalled an incident

prior to a meet at Pasadena High.

"When our bus pulled up [to Pasadena High School] for a meet, the

Pasadena students were crowded around the bus, as we exited,

[asking], "Which one's Beaty?,"' said Pagliuso, a Glendale resident.

"He was that famous, and he was a muscular, mature-looking

specimen.

"I could never come close to beating him, even in practice. I

would tell myself that I was going to beat him in practice, and would

eat the dirt from his track shoes each afternoon."

*

Beaty was in mint condition, and his background would support the

claim.

He began his run in 1959 as a sophomore. Beaty won the league

championship in the 100 and 220 in 9.8 and 21.1, respectively.

Beaty began to show dramatic improvement under Nicholson in 1960.

He clocked 9.6 in the 100 and 20.2 in the 220. His mark in the 220

established a new national high school record. The world record was

20.0.

As a senior, he ran 9.4 three times in the 100 when the world

record was 9.2.

He won the grand slam of track and field meets, winning the 100 at

the Pasadena Games, Glendale Relays, Bellflower Relays and the

Huntington Beach Invitational.

In all, Beaty clocked 9.4 three times, 9.5 five times and 9.6

eight times in the 100. In the 220, he ran 20.2, 20.4 and 20.6, and

completed eight races under 21 seconds.

"I had good manners with respect to conditioning and preparation,"

Beaty said. "When you are 16 and 17 years old, you don't have a

highly refined sense of reference. I was blessed to have one in Coach

Nicholson, who was an outstanding coach and person to be acquainted

with."

*

Beaty was heavily recruited by universities. Letters filled his

mailbox, suggesting he attend their institution.

"Sam was my coach and counselor," Beaty said. "He suggested to me

that I pick a school where I'd get a top-notch education."

Accepting Nicholson's advice, Beaty narrowed his choices to the

University of California and Stanford. He chose California.

He became a stabilizing force for Cal's track and field squad,

helping them win NCAA championships in 1964 and 1965 in the

1,600-meter relay. Beaty, who normally ran the third leg, teamed with

Dave Archibald, Dave Fishbach and Al Courchesne.

"We were undefeated for most of my three years, and there wasn't

any sense of arrogance," said Beaty, who earned a degree in speech

communication. "One way or another, we'd try to find a way to win. It

was nice to know that someone would have to run a heck of a race to

beat us."

Beaty, who ranks in a third-place tie on the university's top 10

list in the 400 at 46.14, played on Cal's football team in 1966. He

was the recipient of the All-University Athlete of the Year award in

1966. The prestigious award is given for outstanding athletic

achievement, academic performance and leadership. Tennis great Arthur

Ashe won the award in 1965. Rafer Johnson, the 1960 Olympic gold

medalist in the decathlon, also won the award.

"I will never forget receiving the award at halftime of a Cal-UCLA

game," Beaty said. "University President Clark Kerr, a man for whom,

to this day, I have the highest respect for, [presented it to me].

The simple plaque which accompanied the presentation is one of the

few artifacts I treasure from those bygone days."

Beaty was named to Cal's Hall of Fame in 2001.

He said he doesn't visit Glendale much now, but he hasn't

forgotten his Hoover achievements.

"I had a wonderful time growing up in Glendale, and I'm privileged

that it turned out as well as it did," Beaty said. "Hoover did a

great job of preparing me for higher education.

"I tell young athletes today that it's great fun competing in

sports and to enjoy the moment. At its best, sports teaches

discipline and resilience."

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