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Dec. 5, 2020

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Spring back: Columbia River’s Roscoe Divine shines at the 1965 state track meet

The Columbian

Roscoe Divine was part of Columbia River High School’s first graduating class in 1965.

He would go onto an outstanding college career running for Bill Bowerman at the University of Oregon, first breaking the four-minute mile as a freshman in 1966.

His best time of 3:56.3 still ranks fifth all-time for the Ducks. He was the runner-up in the mile at the 1967 NCAA Championships and was a 2003 inductee to the University of Oregon athletic hall of fame.

This is his story from his win in the mile in the 1965 Washington state high school track and field meet.

Roscoe Divine of Columbia River brought Southwest Washington its only first place in the state Class AA track and field meet Saturday at Pullman.

Divine took the lead in the mile race after the first 220 yards and held command the rest of the way. He was in good shape to take a crack at Gerry Lindgren’s meet record of 4 minutes, 6 seconds after the first three-quarters of the race. At this point, his time was three minutes, eight seconds.

However, an illness which hit him late in the week took away his finishing kick and he had to settle for first place in the still fine time of 4 minutes, 12.2 seconds. This time as the second-best ever for the mile in the state meet.

Mark Henry of Columbia River ran a 4:21.6 race to place fifth in the mile. Tim Ramberg of Columbia River ran the two miles in 9 minutes, 36.5 seconds and still finished ninth, though he beat Jim Long of R.A. Long, the Southwest Washington district winner in this event.

The 12 points scored by Divine and Henry gave Columbia River a tie for the 12th place with North Central of Spokane, Shoreline and Snohomish.

Ingraham of Seattle and its two-man team scored 36 points to win the meet.

Jim Windell of Fort Vancouver got four points for the fourth-place finish in the discus throw where he bettered 160 feet.

Brian Ostenson of Evergreen tied for fifth place in the high jump to score 1 1/2 points for the Plainsmen.

None of the other Clark County boys survived survived the preliminaries, and the Hudson’s Bay 880-yard relay team had a bad first exchange and were never in contention.

Three meet records were broken. Mike Johnson of Shelton vaulted 14 feet 3 3/4 inches for one of these records, Eric Klein of Seattle’s Ingraham broke the broad jump mark with a leap of 24 feet, 2 1/2 inches, and the Lake Washington mile relay foursome set a new record of 3 minutes, 19.8 seconds.

Written in The Columbian, May 31, 1965