EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 30, 2013

William Wright personified competition, true fitness

Haverhill sprinter set an example for all to follow

The Massachusetts Senior Games in Springfield just won’t be the same this year.

That’s because Dr. William W. Wright Jr. of Haverhill won’t be there.

Dr. Wright died May 22 at the tender age of 79. I say “tender” because he was one of those guys who you thought could live forever. He hardly acted his age.

I can see him now, pulling up to the Springfield College track with verve in his heart and dynamite in his legs.

“Ready, set, go!”

Out of the starting blocks he’d dash, burying his opponents in a cloud of dust at 100 meters.

A short time later, he’d rip off another victory in the 200 and wrap up his trifecta by blitzing the field in the 400 meters.

With three gold medals wrapped around his neck, he’d shake a few hands, and off he’d go, back to Haverhill. Simple, clean and efficient.

True, he competed against runners in his age group (75-79) but there was none finer than Billy in the state, perhaps all of New England.

Go ahead, call me a liar. I was there for most every one of his races. We had a pact going. I’d watch him trounce the sprint field and he’d cheer me on in the racquetball court if our events didn’t coincide.

In most cases, we were the only two from Haverhill to appear in the state games. The field drew hundreds from across the state bent on promoting physical fitness and camaraderie. A gold medal was the added incentive.

I never did see his trophy room but it must have looked like Emblem & Badge. Pity his devoted wife Anna Mae. She probably did the dusting.

If I didn’t see him running laps and lifting weights at the YMCA, I’d catch him running the stairs at Haverhill Stadium.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits
Boston Sports
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Shaughnessy: Dont count out the Sox just yet Blakely: Projecting the Celtics roster Daopolous: How will NFL cracking down on Defensive holding affect games? Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense