Tucson’s Joe Batiste, South Mountain’s Dwayne Evans to be inducted into nat’l high school track and field Hall of Fame
One of the first Arizona high school track and field athletes to gain national prominence and another who achieved Olympic fame as a teen are among the 2019 inductees in the National High School Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Last year’s inaugural class in the national prep track hall of fame included Phoenix North High School legend Dallas Long, who last year saw his 60-year-old state record in the shot put eclipsed by Goodyear Desert Edge High School’s Tyson Jones, who is now competing for Virginia Tech University.
Long improved the high school national record four times in 1958 with his 69-3 standing as the U.S. prep record until 1967. He was a bronze medalist at the 1960 Olympics and the gold medalist in the 1964 Tokyo games. He tied or broke the world record six times between 1959 and 1964. He was ranked no lower than No. 6 in the world in the event between 1958 and 1964 by Track and Field News.
Long joined such track legends as Jesse Owens, Jim Ryun, Allyson Felix, Renaldo Nehemiah, Steve Prefontaine, Bob Mathias and Mary Decker in the 2018 inaugural Hall of Fame class.
This year, two more Arizona athletes will be among the 14 former high school prep standouts to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame.
The first is 1939 Tucson High School graduate Joe Batiste. Batiste was the first high school runner in history to run the 120-yard high hurdles (now 110 meters) in 14 seconds flat.
Batiste first set the U.S. national high school record in the event with a 14.1-second clocking in 1938, and lowered it to 14.0 seconds in 1939, where it remained as the national high school standard until 1957.
Batiste’s mark was eventually tied as the state record in Arizona by Casa Grande’s Herb Gaines in 1958 and ultimately broken by Tucson Pueblo’s Dale Frederick with a 13.8-second clocking in 1964. The same year, Glendale’s Tony Sanford covered the distance in 13.9 seconds.
Joining Batiste in the 2019 class is former South Mountain High School phenom Dwayne Evans, who now coaches at his alma mater. Evans’ 20.5-second clocking in the 220-yard dash is the fastest ever run by a U.S. prepster.
Over 200-meters, Evans’ 20.22-second clocking is the longest standing Arizona state record on the books.
In fact, the three rounds of 200-meter dash events Evans ran during the rounds of the June 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials are the three fastest times in Arizona high school history.
Evans also ran a 20.4 hand-timed 200 in 1976.
Evans would go on to claim a bronze medal in the event at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
Forty-three years later, Evans is the fifth fastest high school performer ever over 200 meters. He was ranked by Track and Field News magazine among the top 10 in the United States and the world at 200 meters between 1976 and 1987.
In addition to the 200, Evans ran 100 meters (hand timed) in 10.1 seconds in 1976. The accepted state record is 10.33 seconds (electronically timed) by Dysart’s LaNoris Marshall and tied by Hamilton’s Ryan Milus in 2009.
He also was electronically timed in 9.44 seconds for the 100-yard dash in 1976, and ran hand-timed 9.4 second clockings over 100 yards at least twice.