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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

March 30, 2015 07:12 GMT

NCAA MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Sunday's Scores

No. 7 Michigan State 76, No. 4 Louisville 70

No. 1 Duke 66, No. 2 Gonzaga 52

Monday's Schedule

No games scheduled

FINAL FOUR

Saturday, April 4

Michigan State (27-11) vs. Duke (33-4), 6:09 p.m.

Kentucky (38-0) vs. Wisconsin (35-3), 8:49 p.m.

National Championship Monday, April 6

Semifinal winners

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Sunday's Scores

Houston 99, Washington 91

Brooklyn 107, L.A. Lakers 99

New Orleans 110, Minnesota 88

Cleveland 87, Philadelphia 86

Miami 109, Detroit 102

L.A. Clippers 119, Boston 106

San Antonio 103, Memphis 89

Indiana 104, Dallas 99

Oklahoma City 109, Phoenix 97

Monday's Schedule

L.A. Lakers at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

Boston at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Milwaukee at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.

Houston at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Sacramento at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Utah at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Portland, 10 p.m.

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Sunday's Scores

Pittsburgh 3, San Jose 2, SO

Washington 5, N.Y. Rangers 2

Florida 4, Ottawa 2

N.Y. Islanders 5, Detroit 4

Boston 2, Carolina 1, OT

Calgary 5, Nashville 2

Anaheim 2, New Jersey 1

Chicago 4, Winnipeg 3

Monday's Schedule

Tampa Bay at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

Los Angeles at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Calgary at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Edmonton at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Buffalo at Arizona, 10 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL - SPRING TRAINING

Sunday's Scores

Pittsburgh 4, Atlanta 2

Philadelphia 4, Detroit 4, tie

N.Y. Mets 3, St. Louis 2

Minnesota 6, Baltimore (ss) 5

Washington 11, Miami 7

Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2, 10 innings

N.Y. Yankees 7, Houston 0

Baltimore (ss) 4, Toronto 2

Cincinnati 8, L.A. Angels 6

L.A. Dodgers (ss) 10, Texas 5

Chicago Cubs 7, Kansas City 0

Chicago White Sox 4, Cleveland 1

Oakland 7, Milwaukee 0

San Francisco 11, L.A. Dodgers (ss) 9

San Diego 8, Seattle 5

Colorado 11, Arizona 10, 10 innings

Colorado 2, Arizona 1

Monday's Schedule

Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay at Port Charlotte, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Washington vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Atlanta vs. Detroit at Lakeland, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh at Bradenton, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. N.Y. Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., 1:10 p.m.

Colorado vs. Oakland at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Cleveland vs. Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs at Mesa, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

San Diego vs. Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Angels vs. Seattle at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

Kansas City vs. Texas at Surprise, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers vs. Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

Toronto vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 6:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 7:05 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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