Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was the state's greatest high school sprinter-jumper in the mid-1930s, but he first achieved renown while a student at Pennsylvania State University, running the 100 m and 200 m races and winning 12 gold medals and championships in collegiate meets between 1940 and 1942. He also won 11 gold medals in AAU national meets between 1939 and 1948. He was an outstanding long jumper as well, leaping 25 feet 2 inches (7.68 m) in 1942.
He served his country during the years 1941 - 1945, returned to the university and received his B.S. degree in 1947. He surprised everyone by making the 1948 Olympic team, equalling he world record of 10.2 in the 100 m dash at the 1948 AAU championship, which was also the Olympic trials.
At the Olympic Games in London, he thought he had won 100 m only to learn the victory was given to teammmate Harrison Dillard. In the 200 m, Ewell had another close finish and again finished second - this time to teammate Mel Patton. He was added to the 4 x 100 m relay when Ed Conwell became sick and the American team rolled to an easy victory. However, the exchange between Ewell and Lorenzo Wright was ruled out of the zone and the Americans was disqualified. After viewing a film of the race, however, officials reversed the ruling, and Barney Ewell finally had his Olympic gold medal.
Barney Ewell died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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