George Stanich

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George Stanich
Personal information
Full name George Anthony Stanich
Born November 4, 1928 (1928-11-04) (age 89)
Sacramento, California, U.S.

George Anthony Stanich (born November 4, 1928) was an American athlete who was a collegiate all-American in one sport, and Olympian in another and a professional in still another.

As a basketball player at UCLA, Stanich was a two-time first-team All-PCC guard and in 1950, he led his team to its first NCAA tournament appearance. He scored 9 points in the East-West All-Star Game and was a first-team all-American (as named by Converse), the first of 24 Bruins who would earn this honor under John Wooden. As a Bruin baseball player, he was a pitcher for 3 seasons, including throwing a 5-hit shutout as a sophomore as UCLA beat USC for the first time in five years. He would become a professional baseball player after graduation, pitching for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, as well as Idaho Falls Russets and Stockton.

But it was a high jumper that George soared highest. According to an unpublished thesis at CSU-Sacramento, "In the summer of 1948, George, a 19-year-old having just completed his sophomore year of college, traveled to Chicago to compete at the collegiate tryouts to qualify for the Olympic track and field trials. UCLA paid for the trip, but George, who competed in the high jump, was not one of the six athletes to qualify. The Los Angeles Athletic Club paid for George to stay in Chicago for two weeks so that he could participate in the AAU meet from which the other six tryout qualifiers would be chosen. George finished in eighth place, but because two of the AAU qualifiers had already made the trials in the college competition, he became the final high jumper to qualify for the trials.[citation needed] Stanich moved on to the Olympic trials, where he barely cleared 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) on his last attempt, but then was the first to clear 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) and placed second with a jump of 6 ft 8.25 in (2.04 m).

On the morning of July 30, 1948, George Stanich, representing the Los Angeles Athletic Club, was one of 26 participants in the high jump trials at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Twenty men qualified for the finals, and 18 participated in the finals in the rain later that day. The gold medal was won with a jump of 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m); Stanich was one of four competitors who cleared 6 ft 4.75 in (1.95 m). While he thought he had cleared the bar on his last attempt at 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), his trail leg hit the bar ("Stanich," July 30, 1948). Officials from the International Amateur Athletic Federation initially announced that fewer misses would be used to determine the finishing places of the four tied jumpers; the IAAF then announced all four would share second place and the silver medal. Days later they reversed themselves again, and George Stanich became the bronze medal winner (Bushell, 1948)."

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