Putting together a historical list of the most outstanding athletes in Maryland history could not have been an easy task. But leaving out Morgan State University track legends George Rhoden and Art Bragg was a real stunner. Rhoden, one of the finest 400 meter runners of all time, won the gold in that event in the 1952 Olympics. Baltimore-born and bred, Bragg won several major and national titles in the sprints during his era. Josh Culbreath won the bronze in the 400 meter hurdles in the 1952 Olympics. Morgan State owned the Penn Relays in the early '50s.
More significantly, they and other stalwarts (Bill Brown, Bob Tyler, Sam LaBeach, Bob Barksdale, Ken Kave, Dickie Waters, Jimy Rogers, Herman "Bitsey" Wade, Otis "Jet" Johnson) put tiny Morgan State on the map nationally and internationally. They also were the forerunners of other historically black college and university track teams coming into prominence at that time, e.g. , Maryland State, North Carolina College, Winston-Salem and Florida A&M.
The Sun nailed it with Morgan's great contributions to college and pro football but fell short in track and field.
Walt Carr, ColumbiaCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun