Thane Baker won the NCAA 220y in 1953 and the AAU 200m in 1956. Because he was generally considered at his best over the longer sprint, his second place in the 1956 Olympic 100m was one of the surprises of the Games. Baker was usually overshadowed by the likes of Bobby Morrow and Andy Stanfield at the major championship meets, but when measured against the stopwatch he could claim a truly impressive list of marks: 100y (9.4), 100m (10.2), 200m (20.6), 220y straight (20.4), and in 1956 he set a world best of 29.4 for 300 yards.
Baker majored in economics education at Kansas State and after serving in the Air Force he went into the oil business, working as a purchasing manager for Mobil. One of his daughters, Cathy followed in her father’s footsteps by winning the 1981 women’s collegiate (D-2) title at 800 meters. Baker remained active in track, acting as a starter and official at various meets. Through 1982 he held the world’s age group records at 100m for the 40-44 and 45-49 year age groups.
Personal Bests: 100 – 10.2 (1956); 200 – 20.6y (1956).
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1952 Summer Olympics||Athletics||USA||Thane Baker|
|200 metres, Men (Olympic)||2||Silver|
|4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic)||United States|
|4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic)||United States|
|1956 Summer Olympics||Athletics||USA||Thane Baker|
|100 metres, Men (Olympic)||2||Silver|
|200 metres, Men (Olympic)||3||Bronze|
|4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic)||United States||1||Gold|