Frank Budd

Class: 1958Inducted: 2003

Nearly 45 years have sped by since Frank Budd's graduation form Asbury Park High School, but to those who were fortunate enough to have been witnesses to all the wondrous feats he achieved for Asbury Park High, it likely seems just a few yesterdays ago.

Yes, speed is the word. No one ever sped through high school competition the way Frank Budd did for the Blue Bishops.

On the cinderpaths of the day - the elegant, state-of-the-art rubberized ovals of today would have been considered science fiction - Frank Budd ran away from everyone foolish enough to put him to the test. As a proud Asbury Park high School athlete, he was the best at the Shore, the best in the state, the best in America.

That's talking track and field, but Frank was a heck of a performer for Asbury Park High in football and basketball, as well.

With the cheers of his hometown still ringing in his ears, Frank Budd headed for Villanova University in the fall of 1958. He'd had a great track coach at APHS in Nick Merli. Now he was in the hands of another great track coach at Villanova, James "Jumbo" Elliott.

Villanova and Frank Budd - quickly, of course - proved perfect together. Wildcat track teams of the 1959-62 era were devastating and honors piled up. Wherever these Villanovans traveled - the Millrose Games, Penn Relays, IC4A, NCAA and National AAU Championships, and lots more - they proved themselves big-time winners.

By the summer of 1960, Frank Budd was ready to take on the world. Still not close to his peak years, he ran to a spot on the USA Olympic Team and placed fifth in the 100-meter final at the Rome Olympic Games. Oh, how close that race was. All of 18/100ths of a second separated the first six finishers.

He seemed destined to win a gold medal in the 4x100-meter sprint relay at Rome but the script didn't work out as planned. Frank ran a brilliant lead-off leg but No. 2 man Ray Norton started too soon and wound up taking the baton out of the zone.