Outdoor Track & Field
The track and field history at NNHS is second to none in the state of Virginia
and possibly in the entire United States. Beginning with the first State Meet in 1920
through the 1971 State Meet, NNHS won 19 Outdoor Track & Field State Championships.
John Marshall has the second most championships with seven and Menchville has six.
On eight other occasions the Typhoon finished either second or third.
Of some note; Coach Charlie Nuttycombe who helped guide the Typhoon
to seven championships in the 1960’s was the man that started the track program at Menchville.
But, the man who began the track program at NNHS was Coach Julie Conn.
It was no accident that the blue and gold “bumble bee”
track uniforms looked a whole lot like UVA blue and orange.
Anyone that ran track at NNHS remembers the awesome dual meets
held under the lights in front of 3000 spectators.
The annual Conn-Madden Relays was named in honor of one the great coaches in Virginia history.
Both Nuttycombe and Conn are in the VHSL hall of fame.
1934, 1935, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947,
1949, 1952, 1953, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969
Individual State Champions
Led by the all-time leader in the state of Virginia, Benton Dodd (‘37) with 10,
NNHS has won 109 individual state championships.
That is 24 more than the next school and the Typhoon have not competed in a state meet in 35 years.
Doug Dickerson (’69) with 7, and Fred Anspach (’64) with 6 are ranked second and fourth on the all-time list.
A further testament to the overall strength of the track program:
there is a least one NNHS state champion for EVERY individual event.
Indoor Track & Field
Beginning with the first Indoor State Meet held in 1948,
NNHS won nine state meets and finished second or third five other times.
Washington-Lee and Menchville are tied for second with six championships each.
1951, 1953, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969
Individual State Champions
Led by Doug Dickinson ('69) with 11, the Typhoon have won 18 more
individual championships than the nearest school.
Doug is the only athlete in Virginia indoor track history to win
four individual championships in one meet on two different occasions.
He is also one of only two athletes to win the same event four years in a row.
- Albert Dorner ('66) of VA, 09/08/04
A detailed history of VA high school Track and Field can be found
at the VHSL web site.
It is large PDF file and takes a long time to load, even with cable. Jump to Page 78
- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 09/12/04
One of the premiere track meets in the state of Virginia is named after Coach Julie Conn, NNHS
and Coach Thad Madden, Huntington, two of the most outstanding coaches in the history
of Newport News public schools.
In connection with this annual meet is the Newport News Track & Field Hall of Fame.
There are 28 former Typhoon athletes and coaches currently enshrined in the hall.
Dick Avery, Moss Beecroft, Benton Dodd, Delf Gaines, Phillip Levy, Bill McLaughlin, Douglas Mitchell, Jimmy West,
and the 1933 Mile Relay Champions - Charlie Spangler, Shirley Dickinson, Roy Carter, Willard Gresham
David Peltz, Jimmy Starboard
Fred Anspach, Jimmy Bull, Don Carroll, David Cutler, Jimmy Cutler, Doug Dickinson, John McCormick,
Billy Schroding, Jon Scott, Joe Wingo, Jimmy Hall, Irving Lyerly, Gene Duncan
Julie Conn-NNHS, Charlie Nuttycombe-NNHS & Menchville,
Al Dorner-Denbigh & Woodside
- Albert Dorner ('66) of VA, 09/15/04
WOWZERS! Thanks again, Albert - and Congratulations!
Carol, I did some digging and
Coach Conn's track teams (and later with
had a record of 330 wins, four losses, and one tie.
- Albert Dorner ('66) of VA, 09/15/04
That's absolutely astonishing! Thanks, Albert!
20 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS IN TRACK AND FIELD
Doug Dickinson won eight golds in the hurdles, six in the long jump, five in the triple jump and one as part of the 800-meter relay.
BY MARTY O'BRIEN
September 24, 2004
Doug Dickinson, the greatest athlete in the history of the storied Newport News High track and field program,
really wanted to be a Hampton Crabber. His dream was to compete at Hampton with his buddies from their neighborhood
near Shell Road.
Had the principal at Hampton High let Dickinson compete for the Crabbers while he was a freshman at Thorpe Junior High
in 1965-66 - perfectly within the rules - Hampton may have rivaled Newport News as a track powerhouse.
When the principal refused the request, however, Dickinson knew he'd have to go elsewhere.
Competing on the junior high level was no longer an option for Dickinson, who already held national age group records
and was beating local collegians in summer meets.
The next day, Shirley Dickinson, a former Newport News track star, paid his son's tuition for entrance to Newport News,
which included grades 8-12. Ironically, Dickinson received a hostile welcome there.
His first day at Newport News, Dickinson absent-mindedly walked across the floor of brand new Julie Conn Gymnasium
in street shoes. Conn, who knew of Dickinson by reputation but not by face, went ballistic.
"He cursed me out, then asked who I was," Dickinson recalled. "When I told him, he said, 'My God, you're Shirley's boy!'
Then he hugged me and kissed me."
The love affair would continue for the next four years. Dickinson justified his decision to bypass junior high sports
by winning the long jump at the Group AAA indoor state meet as a freshman.
That gold medal was the first of 20 for Dickinson on the state level: 13 indoor and seven outdoor.
He won eight golds in the hurdles, six in the long jump, five in the triple jump and one on the 800-meter relay.
"Doug Dickinson was the greatest track and field athlete in the state of Virginia in the 20th century,"
said Charlie Nuttycombe, who co-coached the Typhoon with Conn.
The Typhoon won six consecutive state indoor and outdoor state titles in Dickinson's sophomore to senior years.
In his final meet at Newport News, he broke five state outdoor meet records - in winning four golds and a silver -
to lead the Typhoon to its 26th, and final, state title.
The performance was redemption for his state meet performance a year earlier, when he failed to win an event.
The Typhoon won anyway.
"The '68 state meet taught me that no one was bigger than the program," he said.
"Being a part of the program was an honor. We had two of the best coaches in the country
in Julie Conn and Charlie Nuttycombe.
"Their practices were unbelievably competitive and we looked forward to them more than the meets.
The coaches kept practice records for everything, like bound drills, and we competed
for those records against the ghosts and legends of the Newport News tradition.
Your teammates were your brothers. If you were part of the program, they treated you with love and respect."
A near-fatal blood disease he battled off and on for a decade derailed Dickinson's college career at Penn State.
Following college he coached track for seven years, three at Christopher Newport University. These days, he's a chef.
"I'm a better chef than I ever was an athlete or coach," he said.
"I'm as detached from sports as anyone you could imagine, because I've never been a good spectator.
But there's been a tremendous carryover. I organize my kitchen staff the way I'd organize an athletic team."
Dickinson said he might consider a return to coaching. Even if he doesn't need sports anymore,
he realizes young athletes need role models like the ones he and his buddies benefited from while growing up.
"What a great time," he said. "What a safe and innocent time.
We all had people to look up to and emulate parents, big brothers, neighbors and coaches.
A lot of kids don't have that today."
Copyright (c) 2004, Daily Press
- Tom Flax ('64) of VA, 10/06/04
WOWZERS! Thanks, Tommy!
"OLYMPIC FANFARE" composed by John Williams for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los
courtesy of http://www.lionking.org/~habusu/midis/olympicfan at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 09/12/04
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