Dallas Cutcher Long III (1940–)

Dallas Long, born in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), is an Olympic gold and bronze medalist who was consistently ranked as one of the top shot put competitors in the world.

Dallas Crutcher Long III was born on June 13, 1940, in Pine Bluff, the son of Dallas Long Jr. and Connie Long. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where his father practiced medicine, he played football and threw the shot put at North High School. As a high school senior in 1958, Long established a national high school record of 21.10 meters in the twelve-pound (5.44 kilograms) shot put, and tossed the sixteen-pound (7.26 kilograms) shot put 18.60 meters. At the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) national track and field championships, he finished second to Parry O’Brien, the nation’s leading shot putter. That year, Track and Field News ranked Long second in the world in the shot put.

After graduating from high school, Long enrolled in the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles on an athletic scholarship, specializing in the shot put. On March 28, 1959, he equaled the world record of 19.25 meters established by O’Brien in 1956. Long held a share of the world record until August 1, when O’Brien reclaimed sole possession of the mark with a throw of 19.30 meters. After a third-place finish at the AAU national championships, Long finished second in the shot put at the Pan-American Games behind O’Brien, who won the event. Again, Track and Field News ranked him second in the world in 1959.

Long began the Olympic year 1960 by trading world records with Bill Neider of the U.S. Army. Long threw the shot 19.38 meters on March 5, which Neider improved to 19.45 meters on March 19. Long exceeded Neider’s performance with a throw of 19.67 meters on March 26. After winning the shot put at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships with a meet record of 18.82 meters, Long triumphed at the Olympic trials with a meet record of 19.30 meters. At the Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, he won the bronze medal, as Neider captured the gold and O’Brien the silver.

After being ranked third in the world by Track and Field News in 1960, Long claimed first place in 1961 and 1962. He defended his NCAA title in a meet record of 19.29 meters and claimed the AAU title 1961. On May 18, 1962, Long established a world record of 20.08 meters, exceeding the standard of 20.06 meters set by Neider on August 12, 1960. Later that year, Long won a third consecutive NCAA title in a meet record of 19.68 meters and placed second in the AAU title meet. After graduating from USC and entering USC dental school in 1962, he competed sparingly throughout 1963, posting a seasonal best of 19.43 meters and earning a sixth-place global ranking.

As in 1960, Long started 1964 off with a series of world records. On April 4, he extended his 1962 standard by an inch to 20.10 meters. After improving the record to 20.20 meters on May 29, Long added nineteen inches to the standard with a heave of 20.68 meters on July 25. After finishing second in the AAU national championships, he won the Olympic Trials with a meet record throw of 19.74 meters. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Long won the gold medal in the shot put with an Olympic-record performance of 20.33 meters. He retired from athletics after the Olympic Games, but not without returning to the top of the Track and Field News world rankings in 1964.

Long practiced dentistry for two years and then entered medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from medical school in 1972, he began practicing emergency medicine in Southern California. Twice married, he has three daughters and a son from the first marriage. Long belongs to the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame.

For additional information:
Domingo, Odeen. “Long Crushed Competitors’ Hopes.” Arizona Republic, August 9, 2007. Online at http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/2007/08/09/20070809hof07long.html (accessed November 9, 2021).

Hornbuckle, Adam R. “Dallas Crutcher Long III.” In Biographical Dictionary of American Sport: 1989–1992 Supplement for Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Other Sports, edited by David L. Porter. New York, Greenwood Press, 1992.

Nelson, Cordner. Track’s Greatest Champions. Los Altos, CA: Tafnews Press, 1986.

Quercetani, R. L. A World History of Track and Field Athletics, 1864–1964. London: Oxford University Press, 1964.

Adam R. Hornbuckle
Spring Hill, Tennessee


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