Roy Cochran won the 1939 AAU 400 m hurdles and was one of the favorites for the 1940 Olympic title, but he had to wait eight years to fulfill that particular goal. Coached at Indiana University by the great Billy Hayes, Cochran set world indoor records for 400 m and 440 y and a world outdoor record for the 440 y hurdles in 1942, as well as winning the AAU indoor 600 y that year. This was his last prewar season; after serving in the Pacific as a lieutenant in the navy, he returned home in 1946 and enrolled at Southern Cal to study for a master’s in physiology. Although he was not considering a comeback, he was encouraged by his form in workouts and began to take the sport seriously once more. In 1946, Cochran finished third in the AAU 400 m flat in a career best of 46.7 and in 1947 he placed second in the AAU 400 m hurdles. In the Olympic year he was supreme, winning his second AAU intermediate hurdles title before taking the gold medal in London in 51.1, the second fastest time ever, and contributing a 47.8 leg in the relay to win a second Olympic gold.
Personal Bests: 400 – 46.7 (1946); 400H – 51.1 (1948).