Former Olympic Track Athlete Dies In Rochester

Monday, March 26th 2007, 8:15 pm
By: News On 6

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) _ Trenton Jackson, a 1964 Olympic sprinter and the inaugural member of the Rochester Track Club Hall of Fame, has died, wife Pamela said. He was 65.

Jackson died Sunday at Strong Memorial Hospital.

``He had a heart attack. They said his heart just died,'' Pamela Jackson said, adding that her husband had a quadruple bypass in 2000.

Nicknamed the ``Franklin Flash,'' he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

In 1961, the athlete matched the then-national high school record when he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.4 seconds. He also was a star on Rochester's Franklin High School 1960 Class AA championship basketball team.

Jackson attended Illinois on a football and track scholarship and played in the 1964 Rose Bowl, helping the Illini beat Washington. He played briefly with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins as a receiver and kick returner.

Representing the Rochester Track Club at the 1964 Olympic trials, he was the runner-up in the men's 100 meters to eventual gold medalist Bob Hayes.

Considered a favorite to medal prior to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Jackson strained a hamstring in the semifinals and finished last in the race.

After his NFL career, he returned to Rochester and taught and coached at Franklin High School for 26 years, leading the school to six Section V basketball titles.

``He always preached that education was the most important thing,'' Pamela Jackson said. ``Education opens up doors and you can't be an athlete with a dinosaur brain.''