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Lam's Legendary Lap

Updated: Sunday, May 11 2014, 11:42 PM CDT

Frame by frame a projector tells a story. But as we learned in Lampasas, the tale of the tape is sometimes about more than just a flickering film strip.

"It's without a doubt the most exciting race I've ever seen," said Lampasas resident Trent Lancaster.

At the 1976 UIL state track & field meet, Lampasas High could win its first state title with a victory in the mile relay. But when Johnny Jones took the baton on the anchor leg, his Badgers were buried in seventh place. According to Lancaster, whose brother ran on the relay, the Lampasas team was 30 to 40 yards behind the leader when Jones took the baton.

"It was overwhelming," Jones recalled. "I felt like I actually wanted to cry before I got the baton."

But what happened in those next 440 yards not only made Johnny "Lam" Jones a state champ, it turned him into a Texas legend.

"He took off like nothing I've ever seen before," said Ernest Goodwin, who attended the 1976 state meet.

Jones caught and passed every runner in front of him to win the race and the state title.

"It would've been a miracle to win, but miracles do happen," said Goodwin, who owns of The Trading Post in downtown Lampasas. However, unlike the way antiques and collectibles in his store take you back in time, there was not a way to re-live that final lap - not even for Jones himself.

"The race itself became like a fish story, because we didn't have a film of it," Jones admitted.

But thanks to Austin resident Dave Kerr, this fish story is not about the one that got away.

A track aficionado, Dave's father filmed the final leg of that '76 mile relay. It's believed to be the only video evidence in existence of Lam's incredible comeback. Just three and a half years ago, a mutual friend set-up a meeting between Kerr and Jones.

"It was my Dad's dream to one day give that tape to Lam."

And when Johnny finally saw the film of his miracle run, his dreams also came true.

"I immediately picked-up the phone and called my son because he had been hearing about the story his whole life," Jones recalled.

The fame Jones garnered from that last lap in '76 reached far past the small town of Lampasas. Now, nearly 40 years later and with the film to prove it, Lam wants to pass the baton and help others get a leg-up from his miraculous anchor leg.

"That's what we're going to use the video for: to raise money," Jones explained. "We're going to be able to help a lot of families battling childhood cancer."

He has a big heart to go with an equally-large spot in track & field lore. Whether it's those who weren't alive or fans who saw it live, once more folktale than feat - Lam's last lap is now real; thanks to this 38 year old reel.

by Adam Winkler
Lam's Legendary Lap


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Scores & Schedules

September 21, 2014 07:20 GMT

Latest scores, upcoming schedule

MLB

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Saturday's Games

Detroit 3, Kansas City 2

Toronto 6, N.Y. Yankees 3

Baltimore 7, Boston 2

Tampa Bay 3, Chicago White Sox 1

Cleveland 7, Minnesota 3

Houston 10, Seattle 1

Texas at L.A. Angels, 9:05 p.m.

Sunday's Games

Toronto (Hutchison 10-12) at N.Y. Yankees (Tanaka 12-4), 1:05 p.m.

Boston (J.Kelly 2-2) at Baltimore (M.Gonzalez 9-8), 1:35 p.m.

Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 9-11) at Tampa Bay (Karns 1-0), 1:40 p.m.

Cleveland (Kluber 16-9) at Minnesota (Swarzak 3-1), 2:10 p.m.

Detroit (Porcello 15-11) at Kansas City (Guthrie 11-11), 2:10 p.m.

Seattle (Iwakuma 14-8) at Houston (McHugh 10-9), 2:10 p.m.

Texas (Tepesch 5-10) at L.A. Angels (Cor.Rasmus 3-1), 3:35 p.m.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Saturday's Games

Chicago Cubs 8, L.A. Dodgers 7

Colorado 5, Arizona 1

Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0

N.Y. Mets 4, Atlanta 2

Washington 3, Miami 2

St. Louis 8, Cincinnati 4

San Diego 3, San Francisco 2

Sunday's Games

Washington (Strasburg 12-11) at Miami (Eovaldi 6-12), 1:10 p.m.

Milwaukee (W.Peralta 16-10) at Pittsburgh (Worley 7-4), 1:35 p.m.

N.Y. Mets (deGrom 8-6) at Atlanta (E.Santana 14-9), 1:35 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers (J.Wright 5-4) at Chicago Cubs (Ja.Turner 5-10), 2:20 p.m.

Arizona (Miley 8-11) at Colorado (Bergman 2-4), 4:10 p.m.

San Francisco (Vogelsong 8-11) at San Diego (Kennedy 11-13), 4:10 p.m.

Cincinnati (Simon 14-10) at St. Louis (Lynn 15-9), 8:05 p.m.

INTERLEAGUE

Saturday's Game

Philadelphia 3, Oakland 0

Sunday's Game

Philadelphia (A.Burnett 8-17) at Oakland (Kazmir 14-9), 4:05 p.m.

TOP-25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) Florida State 23, Clemson 17, OT

( 2) Oregon 38, Washington State 31

( 3) Alabama 42, Florida 21

( 4) Oklahoma 45 West Virginia 33

( 6) Texas A&M 58, Southern Methodist 6

Mississippi State 34, ( 8) L-S-U 29

(11) Michigan State 73, Eastern Michigan 14

(13) Georgia 66, Troy State 0

(14) South Carolina 48, Vanderbilt 34

Indiana 31, (18) Missouri 27

(19) Wisconsin 68, Bowling Green 17

(21) Brigham Young 41, Virginia 33

(24) Nebraska 41, Miami (FL) 31

NFL

Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday's Games

Dallas at St. Louis, 1 p.m.

Minnesota at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

San Diego at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Houston at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Oakland at New England, 1 p.m.

San Francisco at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Denver at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Kansas City at Miami, 4:25 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Carolina, 8:30 p.m.

Monday's Game

Chicago at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.

MLS

Saturday's Games

Portland 3, Vancouver 0

Philadelphia 0, Houston 0, tie

Columbus 1, New England 0

New York 4, Seattle FC 1

Montreal 2, San Jose 0

Chicago 3, D.C. United 3, tie

Los Angeles 2, FC Dallas 1

Sunday's Games

Chivas USA at Toronto FC, 3 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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