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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 29, 2015 07:10 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Saturday's Games

WEST REGION FINAL: Wisconsin 85, Arizona 78

MIDWEST REGION FINAL: Kentucky 68, Notre Dame 66

Sunday's Games

EAST REGION FINAL: Louisville vs. Michigan St. at Syracuse, 2:20 p.m.

SOUTH REGION FINAL: Duke vs. Gonzaga at Houston, 5:05 p.m.

NBA

Saturday's Games

Charlotte 115, Atlanta 100

Chicago 111, New York 80

Golden State 108, Milwaukee 95

Utah 94, Oklahoma City 89

Portland 120, Denver 114

Sunday's Games

Houston at Washington, 12:30 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at Brooklyn, 3:30 p.m.

Minnesota at New Orleans, 4 p.m.

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 4:30 p.m.

Detroit at Miami, 6 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Boston, 6 p.m.

Memphis at San Antonio, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Indiana, 7 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

NHL

Saturday's Games

San Jose 3, Philadelphia 2, SO

Nashville 4, Washington 3

Boston 4, N.Y. Rangers 2

Anaheim 3, N.Y. Islanders 2

Pittsburgh 3, Arizona 2

Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 0

Toronto 4, Ottawa 3, OT

Montreal 3, Florida 2, OT

Carolina 3, New Jersey 1

Columbus 4, St. Louis 2

Minnesota 4, Los Angeles 1

Colorado 5, Buffalo 3

Dallas 4, Vancouver 3

Sunday's Games

Washington at N.Y. Rangers, 3 p.m.

Florida at Ottawa, 5 p.m.

Detroit at N.Y. Islanders, 5 p.m.

Boston at Carolina, 5 p.m.

Calgary at Nashville, 5 p.m.

Anaheim at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

San Jose at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Saturday's Games

ALBANY REGION: UConn 105, Texas 54

ALBANY REGION: Dayton 82, Louisville 66

SPOKANE REGION: Maryland 65, Duke 55

SPOKANE REGION: Tennessee 73, Gonzaga 69, OT

Sunday's Games

GREENSBORO REGION FINAL: South Carolina (33-2) vs. Florida State (32-4), noon

OKLAHOMA CITY REGION FINAL: Baylor (33-3) vs. Notre Dame (34-2), 8:30 p.m.

MLS

Saturday's Games

New England 2, San Jose 1

Montreal 2, Orlando City 2, tie

D.C. United 1, Los Angeles 0

Sporting Kansas City 1, New York City FC 0

New York 2, Columbus 1

Vancouver 2, Portland 1

FC Dallas 0, Seattle 0, tie

Houston 0, Colorado 0, tie

Sunday's Games

Philadelphia at Chicago, 5 p.m.

Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake, 7 p.m.

MLB PRESEASON

Saturday's Games

Miami 1, Houston 1, tie

Minnesota 7, Philadelphia 1

Baltimore 10, N.Y. Yankees 2

Detroit 4, St. Louis 3

Pittsburgh 8, Toronto (ss) 3

Boston 9, Tampa Bay 6

Atlanta 5, Toronto (ss) 3

N.Y. Mets 10, Washington 2

San Francisco 9, Seattle 8

Oakland 10, Chicago White Sox 4

Cleveland 3, Milwaukee 2

Cincinnati 9, Chicago Cubs (ss) 5

San Diego 3, Texas 2

Chicago Cubs (ss) 18, Colorado 4

L.A. Dodgers 5, L.A. Angels 4

Kansas City 10, Arizona 5

Sunday's Games

N.Y. Mets vs. St. Louis at Jupiter, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Minnesota vs. Baltimore (ss) at Sarasota, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Miami vs. Washington at Viera, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Detroit vs. Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Tampa Bay vs. Boston at Fort Myers, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

N.Y. Yankees vs. Houston at Kissimmee, Fla., 1:05 p.m.

Baltimore (ss) vs. Toronto at Dunedin, Fla., 1:07 p.m.

Cincinnati vs. L.A. Angels at Tempe, Ariz., 3:10 p.m.

Seattle vs. San Diego at Peoria, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

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

Texas vs. L.A. Dodgers (ss) at Glendale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

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

L.A. Dodgers (ss) vs. San Francisco at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:05 p.m.

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

Colorado vs. Arizona at Hermosillo, 4:10 p.m.

Arizona vs. Colorado at Scottsdale, Ariz., 4:10 p.m.

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