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Lennox Miller, 58; sprinter won medals in two Olympics

PASADENA, Calif. -- Lennox Miller, an Olympic sprinter who won a silver medal in 1968 and a bronze in 1972 in the 100-meter dash for Jamaica, died Monday of cancer in Pasadena. He was 58.

At the University of Southern California, Mr. Miller ran the anchor leg on a sprint relay team including O.J. Simpson, Earl McCullouch, and Fred Kuller that set a world record in the 440-yard relay (38.6 seconds) at the NCAA track and field meet at Provo, Utah, in 1967, breaking the previous mark by a second.

Their legacy is ingrained in history as yardage marks are no longer used in the sport, having been replaced by metric measurements. It was estimated that USC beat runner-up Tennessee by 15 yards, a great distance in a relay race.

''Most of the job was done before I got the baton," Mr. Miller said in a Los Angeles Times interview in 1987. ''Earl made up the stagger (at the start), Fred ran a heck of a leg, and O.J. wiped out everyone who was left. No one was even close to me when I got the baton."

After the 1968 season, Mr. Miller competed for his native Jamaica at the Mexico City Games, finishing second to the United States's Jim Hines.

Mr. Miller set the world record in the indoor 100-yard dash in 1969. From 1967 to 1969, he was ranked among the top three in the world in the 100-meter dash.

At the Munich Games in 1972, he finished third behind the Soviet Union's Valery Borzov and American Robert Taylor.

His daughter, Inger, followed him into track and field, capturing a gold medal in the 400-meter relay for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

It was the first time in Olympic track and field history that a father and daughter had won medals.

Still, Inger said in a 1996 Times interview that her father's sprinting past was rarely mentioned at home.

''We'd have family friends over and we'd watch videos," said Inger. ''And we'd say, 'Oh, my God! That's Dad! Look at his hair!' "

It was a hairstyle from a more innocent time, her father would say, a time when he worked on the USC grounds crew to fund his training, according to the Washington Post.

''During those days, track and field was the sport that most of us competed in in college before we found gainful employment," Mr. Miller told the Post in 2000. ''In my mind, it was a way to get an education. . . . It wasn't a bragging tool."

It was also a time before the flood of performance-enhancing drugs sullied his sport.

''We were amateurs," Mr. Miller said last year. ''We were college kids who ran in our spare time for the love of it."

Mr. Miller graduated from the USC School of Dentistry in 1973 and ran a practice in Pasadena for 30 years.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Miller leaves his wife, Avril, and another daughter.

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