Eric Krenz

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Eric Christian William Krenz (May 7, 1906 - August 18, 1931)[1][2] was an American shot putter and discus thrower. Krenz set two world records in the discus and was considered a favorite for the 1932 Summer Olympics, but his career was cut short when he drowned at age 25.

Career[edit]

Krenz was one of the leading stars of coach Dink Templeton's Stanford University team.[3][4][5] He won the discus throw at the 1927 national championships with a throw of 44.75 m (146 ft 10 in).[2][4][6] In April 1928, he threw beyond Bud Houser's official discus world record of 48.20 m (158 ft 1 34 in) several times in practice.[4][7]

Krenz won both of his events at the 1928 IC4A Championships, leading Stanford to their second straight team championship.[8] He also won the discus at the 1928 NCAA Championships and placed second in the shot, helping Stanford win that team title as well with a record 72 points.[9][10] Krenz was heavily favored to make the US Olympic team in the discus;[3] however, at the Olympic Trials he was only successful in the shot, placing fourth to just make the team.[11] Team leaders considered entering him in both events anyway, but eventually decided not to.[12] Krenz placed fourth in the Olympic shot put final, behind teammates Johnny Kuck and Herman Brix and Germany's Emil Hirschfeld.[13]

Krenz officially broke the discus world record in March 1929, adding more than five feet to Houser's mark with a throw of 49.90 m (163 ft 8 34 in).[14][15] He repeated as IC4A discus champion, helping Stanford win the team title by the largest margin in 30 years.[16] He also regained his national discus title, throwing a new meeting record of 47.90 m (157 ft 2 in).[6] At the NCAA Championships, however, he only managed 2nd in the shot and 6th in the discus.[17]

Krenz became the first man to break 50 meters in the discus in 1930, throwing 51.03 m (167 ft 5 38 in) at an intercollegiate meet in Palo Alto, California.[2][15][18] An earlier throw in the same series also broke the previous world record but was not officially ratified.[2] Two weeks later he won his third IC4A discus title, with a new meeting record of 49.01 m (160 ft 9 34 in), but Stanford lost the team championship to University of Southern California.[19] At the NCAA Championships he was surprisingly beaten by Washington's Paul Jessup,[20] who went on to also win the national title that year, breaking Krenz's world record as he did so.[6][21]

Krenz continued his throwing career after graduating from Stanford, joining the San Francisco Olympic Club.[22] He was considered a favorite for the approaching Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[23]

Death[edit]

Krenz drowned in a boating accident at Lake Tahoe on August 18, 1931.[23][24][25] He had been rowing on the lake with a girl when he decided to take a swim; he was stricken by either cramps or a heart attack and drowned, the girl unable to help him.[23][24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eric Krenz". Tilastopaja Oy. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Eric Krenz Bio, Stats and Results". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Sullivan, Prescott (June 26, 1928). "California Counts On Weight Tossers". Lewiston Evening Journal. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "New Contender In Discus Throw". The Reading Eagle. April 27, 1928. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Coast Track Stars in East". The Milwaukee Journal. May 30, 1929. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Mallon, Bill; Buchanan, Ian; Track & Field News. "A History Of The Results Of The National Track & Field Championships Of The USA From 1876 Through 2011". Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Krenz Shatters World's Record". San Jose News. April 26, 1928. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stanford Sweeps Track And Field Meet To Annex College Championship". The Reading Eagle. May 27, 1928. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Stanford University's Official Athletic Site". Stanford University. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Stanford Captures National Honors". The Milwaukee Journal. June 9, 1928. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ Hymans, Richard. "The History of the United States Olympic Trials - Track & Field" (PDF). USA Track & Field; Track & Field News. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Krenz Left Out". The Milwaukee Sentinel. July 18, 1928. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Athletics at the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Games: Men's Shot Put". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Breaks Record". The Milwaukee Journal. March 10, 1929. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Butler, Mark; IAAF Media & Public Relations Department (2011). "IAAF Statistics Handbook Daegu 2011". International Association of Athletics Federations 
  16. ^ "Stanford Wins Track And Field Championship By Largest Margin In 30 Years". The Reading Eagle. June 2, 1929. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ "New Mark For 100 Is Set". San Jose News. June 8, 1929. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Krenz Crashes Own World's Discus Record". The Reading Eagle. May 18, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ Murphy, Frank (May 31, 1930). "Trojans Win I. C. 4-A Track Championship". Berkeley Daily Gazette. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Jessup Beat Krenz". Milwaukee Sentinel. June 9, 1930. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  21. ^ Clark, Al (August 24, 1930). "Paul Jessup Hangs Up World Mark in Discus Heave". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Krenz Joins Olympic Club Track Squad". San Jose Evening News. January 6, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c "Eric Krenz, Star Weight Man Drowns". The Pittsburgh Press. August 19, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Discus Champion Drowning Victim". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 20, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Stanford Track Star Drowns at Lake Tahoe". The Mountain Democrat. August 21, 1931. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
Records
Preceded by
United States Bud Houser
Men's Discus World Record Holder
9 March 1929 – 23 August 1930
Succeeded by
United States Paul Jessup