Thanks to Robbinsville girls track coach Mike Walker, a two-time Burlington County Open 1,600 winner during his years running at Rancocas Valley, we can add the name John DeWitt to our list of all-time New Jersey track Olympians.
DeWitt placed second in the hammer at the 1904 Games in St. Louis with a throw of 164-10 1/2 behind only American John Flanagan. DeWitt actually broke Flanagan’s Olympic record of 164-4 1/4 set when he won the gold medal in 2000, only to see Flanagan re-take the record with his winning throw of 168- 3/4.
Can’t find too much info on DeWitt. He was born in Phillipsburg and attended Lawrenceville Prep before entering Princeton in the fall of 1901.
DeWitt was a four-time IC4A champ at Princeton, where he was also a two-time All-America guard on the Tigers’ football team and was a good enough football player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He was ranked No. 1 in the world in the hammer in both 1902 and 1903.
DeWitt was only 48 when he died on July 28, 1930.
So here’s our updated list of New Jersey athletes who competed in the Olympics for the United States:
- Jeff Porter (Franklin Twp.), 110HH, 2012
- Rich Kenah (Montclair Immaculate), 800, 2000
- Dennis Mitchell (Edgewood), 100, 1988
- Dennis Mitchell (Edgewood), 100, 4×1, 1992
- Dennis Mitchell (Edgewod0, 100, 4×1, 1996
- Lamont Smith (Willingboro), 4×4, 1996
- Carl Lewis (Willingboro), LJ, 1996
- Carl Lewis (Willingboro), LJ, 4×1, 1992
- Carl Lewis (Willingboro), 100, 200, LJ, 4×1, 1988
- Carl Lewis (Willingboro), 100, 200, LJ, 4×1,1984
- Carl Lewis (Willingboro), LJ, 1980*
- Jack Pierce (Woodbury), 110HH, 1992
- John Marshall (Plainfield), 800, 1984
- Milton Goode (Monmouth Reg.), HJ, 1984
- Renaldo Nehemiah (Scotch Plains), 110HH, 1980*
- Marty Liquori (Essex Catholic), 1500, 1968
- Mark Murro (Essex Catholic), Javelin, 1968
- Don Bragg (Penns Grove), Pole Vault, 1960
- Frank Budd (Asbury Park), 100, 4×100, 1960
- Milt Campbell (Plainfield), Decathlon, 1952, 1956
- Browning Ross (Woodbury), Steeplechase, 1948
- Bill Albans (Jersey City), Decathlon, 1948
- Walter “Duke” Wood (Summit), Shot Put, 1936
- Al LeConey (Moorestown), 4×1, 1924
- Mel Sheppard (Almonesson), 800, 1500, Medley Relay, 1908
- Mel Sheppard (Almonesson), 800, 4×4, 1904
- John DeWitt (Lawrenceville), Hammer Throw, 1904
Conversation on the New Jersey board at TrackTalk.net the last couple days has revolved around New Jersey athletes who’ve competed for other countries in the Olympics. This list is no doubt not complete, but it’s a good starting point. Who’s missing?
- Todd Matthews (Notre Dame), 110 Hurdles, 2004 [The Sudan]
- Dudley Dorival (Ewing), 110 Hurdles, 2000, 2004, 2008 [Haiti]
- Wagner Marseille (Princeton), 110 Hurdles, 1996 [Haiti]
- Erison Hurtault (Matawan), 2008 [Dominica]