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Harold (Hal) Davis

Inducted: 1974, athlete

Born: January 5, 1921 - Salinas, California
Deceased: August 12, 2007

Events
100 m - 10.20
200 m - 20.40


World War II deprived Harold Davis of the international recognition that should have been his. During the early 1940s, Davis rightfully held the title "World's Fastest Human," winning just about every major sprint title over a four-year period. In 1941, Davis tied Jesse Owens' world 100m dash record of 10.2 while a student at Salinas Junior College under Hall of Fame coach Bud Winter. He then transferred to the University of California, where he was coached by another Hall of Famer, Brutus Hamilton. There, Davis won the national collegiate 100 and 220 yard titles in 1942 and 1943. Overall, he won the AAU 100 title three times and was a four-time champion in the AAU 200. Nicknamed the "California Comet," Davis first came to attention while in high school, where he ran the 100 yards in 9.7 and the 220 in 21.0. In one of his first major college races, the NCAA 100 yard dash final, he stumbled, fell to the ground, recovered and made up five to seven meters on the field in finishing fourth. Thereafter, the only major race he lost was in the 1941 AAU 100 meters where he was narrowly beaten by fellow Hall of Famer Barney Ewell. A poor starter, Davis had an extremely fast finish and was at his best in the longer 200 meter race, in which he ran 20.4 on a straight course and was twice timed in a wind-aided 20.2. In 1946, he sustained a serious hamstring injury and never again attained top form.

Records Held
World Record: 100 m - 10.20 (June 6, 1941 - )

Championships
1941 AAU: 100 m (2nd)
1942 NCAA: 100 yd. (1st)
1942 NCAA: 220 yd. (1st)
1943 NCAA: 100 yd. (1st)
1943 NCAA: 220 yd. (1st)

Education
junior college: Salinas (Salinas, California)
undergraduate: California (Berkeley, California), 1943

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