Patton Passes

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Former USC world record-setting sprinter Mel Patton, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time NCAA champion, died on May 9 at the age of 89. 

Click here for the complete obituary.

The third of USC's "World's Fastest Humans" (following Charles Paddock and Frank Wykoff), Patton set world records in the 100- and 220-yard dashes. He ran a world record 9.3 in the 100 in 1948 and he went 20.2 in the 220 on a straightaway in 1949 to break Jesse Owens' world standard.

Nicknamed "Pell Mel," he was a three-time NCAA 100 champ and the NCAA champ in the 200 meters in 1948 and 220 yards in 1949. His 50 total points scored at NCAA meets are the second most in school history.

While a student at USC, he won two gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, in the 200 meters and on the 400-meter relay. He also placed fifth in the Olympic 100 meters. He was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100 meters in 1947 and 1949 and No. 1 in the 200 meters in 1947-48-49.


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