Biography of Frank
1927 - 1936
and eight years
later, at the 1928 Olympic trials
he did just that!!!
How did Wykoff achieve such a conquest?
Frank copied Paddock's running style,
and then used it against him!
1927 - Overview
Frank Wykoff, a Junior at
Glendale High School, goaled himself to build up his sprinting speed in
order to surpass records established by Olympic Champion, Charley
Early in the 1927 Track & Field Season
Wykoff was amazingly clocked in the 100-yard dash at
9.4/5s. Also included on the page is a reprint of a newspaper
article captioned "Glendale is Proud of Her Star Sprinters."
Wykoff, a Junior at Glendale High School was
instrumental in the team earning the State of
California Championship Cup in 1927.
Enter 1927 Athletic
1928 - Overview
At age 18, Frank Wykoff, was a senior at
Glendale High School in California. Local Sports writers believed that
Wykoff was destined to become the new "Fastest Human" -- a title only
held by Charles Paddock since 1921.
Wykoff was determined to dethrone Paddock
of all his titles -- especially after Paddock "opined"
that Wykoff would not make the 1928 USA Olympic Team.
On June 16, 1928 at the Regional Olympic
Tryouts - held in Los Angeles -- "flying start," Wykoff, hit the tape
first leaving Mr. "flying finish," Charlie Paddock, behind in both the
100M and 200M races.
Wykoff earned a place on the USA Olympic
Team, but before the final try-outs -- he had to prove he was an
American Citizen in order to acquire a passport to Amsterdam.
Wykoff traveled to Massachusetts to
compete in 1928 Olympic Finals where he equaled Paddock's World Record
(10 2/5s) time in the 100 Meter race
four times in one day.
His outstanding exhibition of sprinting
skills brought him instant fame as dozens of
newspaper men with cameras encircled him. Wykoff's photograph
appeared on the sports page of every major newspaper in the United
States, and especially in his home-town community -- where many pages
were devoted to whom they referred to as their "Glendale's Hero." Sports
artists began including him in their caricature
Frank Wykoff along with other athletes
gained 10 lbs prior to their arrival at Amsterdam. There was little room
aboard to practice necessary exercises, and the USA Olympic Committee
was accused by Wykoff's High School Coach, Norm Hayhurst, of flourishing
the athletes with improper diets including daily parlor banquets
consisting of roast goose, turkey and ice cream.
At Amsterdam, there were no living
accommodations for the athletes, and they were offered no choice but to
live aboard a floating hotel for the duration of their stay. The opening
of the Olympics Games was fast approaching, but the Olympic host didn't
have the track prepared for competition.
Newspaper articles concerning
"The Floating Hotel"
at Amsterdam include:
1. Athletes Harmed by Boat Quarters
2. "Lack of Training Facilities" at
3. Track not ready for Athletes in
4. Training on a voyage difficult
The weather at Amsterdam was cold and
stormy, and although Frank Wykoff only placed 4th in the 100 Meters
race; he was "lead off -- leading the 400 Meter Relay
team to a golden victory.
Wykoff's Homecoming was festive, and
Charley Paddock paid a special tribute to Frank
at the banquet.
While at Glendale Jr. College
(1928-1929), Wykoff wrote an article that was published both in the
local newspaper and the college's newsletter entitled entitled "Rise To
1929 - Overview
Frank Wykoff, Charley
Paddock, Milton Mauer, and Maurice Guyer
earn the A.A.U. National Championship in both
the 440 and 880 Relay race under coach Dean Cromwell.
The most controversial race in his life was at
Vancouver in July 1929 when Frank Wykoff - CA,
Eddie Tolan - Detroit, and Olympic Champion, Percy
Williams of Canada all believed that they placed 1st in the 100
yard dash. American newspapers went wild when Williams was declared the
winner. See the photos -- you decide.
1929 Athletic Index
1930 - Overview
The year 1930 was a very exciting year
for Frank Wykoff. He was a Sophomore at U. S. C. when he
SET A NEW WORLD RECORD in the 100 YARD DASH
without starting blocks not knowing then that his record would stand
undefeated for 17 years. Two weeks later, he
equaled his own new pending World Record at a NCAA Championship Race
and was awarded "All American."
1930 Athletic Index
1931 - Overview
Frank Wykoff sustained
more injuries, and became concerned that he
would not be physically able to participate in the Olympic Trials of
He spent much of his time promoting the
Olympics, and tutoring famous actor, Joe E. Brown, on
sprinting techniques for Brown's star role in the movie
"Local Boy Makes Good." See the photographs
taken behind the scenes.
In the summer, Frank was energized with hope
when he finally defeated Olympic Champion,
Percy Williams of Canada at a
Pre-Olympic event held for the
first time in the evening at the Los Angeles Coliseum in California.
Blocking his pain in his mind, he went on to win what he called his
"greatest race" in Lincoln, Nebraska in July, 1931.
Enter 1931 Athletic Index
The 1932 Olympics brought color and
festivities to Los Angeles, California -- Wykoff's home turf. The men
were privy to a new concept in lodging -- called an
Olympic Village; but the women were not so
lucky, and were stuck in a hotel.
was even more excitement as the U.S.A. 400 meter relay team, anchored by
Wykoff, brought in a Gold Medal in world record
time at the 10th Olympiad.
Wykoff graduated U. S. C. and went on to
be a coach of football and track & field at Moran School for Boys in
1932 Athletic Index
Frank Wykoff married Ethel Mae Richardson
In 1934, Frank Wykoff, who was 24 years old
and a teacher at Carpinteria Elementary School -- set a new 'flying
start' world record in the 100-yard dash to beat at 8.7s. removing the
mark of 8.8s set by Charley Paddock in 1922.
Wykoff's record of 8.7s made the 'Ripley's Believe it or not' index.
Enter 1934 Athletic Index
In 1935, Frank Wykoff was a 25 year old
teacher at Carpinteria Union Elementary School in Carpinteria,
Wykoff considered the 1936 Olympics in Berlin the most exciting that he had
ever participated in. He had been away from track & field for years, and
found himself struggling to even place 5th or 6th during his
The competition was tough, but he found determination paid off as he won
the right on the boat to Berlin (S.S.
Manhattan) to represent the USA in the XI Olympiad.
The 1936 USA 400 meter relay team consisting of
Frank Wykoff, Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe,
and Foy Draper, not only brought in the gold -- they
established a new World Record.
Enter 1936 Athletic Index
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