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(career) move headlong at high speed; "The cars careered down the road"; "The mob careered through the streets"
(career) the general progression of your working or professional life; "the general had had a distinguished career"; "he had a long career in the law"
(career) the particular occupation for which you are trained
Move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction
Photo by Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
Elias Hall of Fame: Bradford cleared plenty of hurdles
But Shafter track star best remembers the one he hit
BY JEFF EVANS, Californian staff writer
email@example.com | Monday, Feb 16 2009 8:39 PM
Last Updated: Monday, Feb 16 2009 9:18 PM
Jesse Bradford had the unfortunate experience of setting a national high school track record and not getting full credit for it.
It was 1957, and Bradford was a senior at Shafter High School.
In the South Sequoia League meet held at Shafter, Bradford set a national high school record by clocking 18.4 seconds in an event no longer held: the 180-yard low hurdles.
"I hit one of the hurdles. It was never submitted because of that," Bradford said, adding that the meet director thought striking a hurdle invalidated any potential world record.
Did that make him angry?
"No, not really," he said. "I never thought about it that much. I knew the time I ran. I was very proud of that."
He added: "If I didn't hit the hurdle, I think I would've been faster. Everything was right that day. I remember my competitor was Jack Hernandez from Garces. They called him 'The Jackrabbit.'
"It was the first time my parents had seen me at a track meet."
Bradford was also an excellent pole vaulter and sprinter. He also played football at Arizona State under the legendary coach Frank Kush.
Later he returned to Kern County as a teacher at South High and history professor at Bakersfield College who was an assistant track coach at BC for 25 years.
Bradford will be inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday at the Marriott Hotel on Truxtun Avenue.
He will be joined by pole vaulting standout Doug Wicks, longtime official Clint Osthimer and the late Mike Quarry, a professional boxer who had 63 pro victories.
Tickets are $35 and available at the Rabobank Arena box office, the Bakersfield Racquet Club and Raymond's Trophies, 300 Chester Ave.
Bradford said he came to Kern County when he was in sixth grade. He was born in Texas and spent several years growing up in New Mexico before his family moved to Kern County, he said.
"He was the greatest athlete of his era from this area," said retired BC track coach Bob Covey, a close friend of Bradford's.
Covey put Bradford's record-setting hurdles mark in perspective by referring to Charlie Tidwell, a top American sprinter who was one of the world's fastest runners in 1960.
"Charlie Tidwell two years in a row won the 220 hurdles, and he ran a 9.3 100 yards. He only ran the 180 in 18.5 in high school. Anytime you're faster than a guy who's the best sprinter around: you're talking a talented runner."
As a football player at Arizona State, Bradford started as a running back and switched to the offensive line, twice earning first-team all-conference honors.
After a stint in the Army, Bradford returned to Bakersfield and began teaching at Bessie Owens School. He wound up at BC in 1969 and worked fulltime until retiring in 1980. He still teaches an occasional class.
The highlight of his career, he said, was associating with the athletes and coaches.
"Those individuals helped develop me as a person," he said. "They were always there. It was just a good feeling."
He's visionary !
Well, even though we are born as a pair of twins. But he has a great vision inside him. We have extreme opposite characteristics, usually that's norm to a pair of twins. I'm always aiming him as my target, always chasing his pace of life, career and so forth. Wish a day we can be align at the same level and pace together...
Thus, this shot simply defines him greatly in an endless visionary man...