Harold L. Lamb, 87, executive, record-setting senior runner

February 08, 1999|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Harold L. Lamb, a retired executive who established a record time in the Maryland Senior Olympics 100-meter dash at age 77, died Friday of heart failure at his winter home in Lake Worth, Fla. He was 87 and lived in Baltimore.

Nearly a half-century after he retired as a New York University track star, Mr. Lamb laced up his track shoes in 1988 and captured the 100-meter and 200-meter races conducted by Maryland Senior Olympics at then-Towson State University.

A year earlier, he had won the gold medal in the 100-meter event but did not set a record. His record-setting time in 1988 was 15.9 seconds, said his son Dr. Richard Lamb, a South Baltimore dentist.

"My dad still had kick to his legs, which was pretty remarkable," said Dr. Lamb. "He also set a record in the 1988 200-meter run but we couldn't find the documents."

Born in New York City, Mr. Lamb graduated from Morris High School, where he was a quarter-miler in track and set several city track and field records.

He was awarded a scholarship to New York University, where he continued to excel in track. He was a member of the 1935 Amateur Athletic Union national championship mile-relay team and ran for the New York Curb Exchange. In 1936, a New York Times sports reporter said Mr. Lamb was "as steady as a clock."

His exploits earned him an entry in the Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports and Jewish Lists.

Mr. Lamb graduated in 1935 and started work as a salesman with Quaker Oats. After 38 years with the company, he retired as a regional zone manager, responsible for Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

In 1954, he moved with his family to Pikesville. He was a longtime member of Beth Jacob Synagogue, 5700 Park Heights Ave., and Summit Country Club.

"When I was a kid, Dad would talk to my brother and me in our living room," Dr. Lamb recalled. "He would remember when a quarter-mile wasn't an all-out sprint, that it required laying back and having a great kick at the end. Today, it's all-out all the way."

Graveside services will be held at noon today at Beth Jacob Congregation Cemetery in Finksburg.

He also is survived by his wife, the former Sylvia White; another son, Steven Lamb of Potomac; a sister, Esther Betty Singer of New York City; a brother, George Lamb of Bergenfield, N.J.; and six grandchildren.

Pub Date: 2/08/99

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