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U.S. Runner Gets Trophy From Pope

June 26, 1989| From Times wire services

FORMIA, Italy — The Pope who has traveled farther than most men gave a trophy Sunday to one who once ran faster than any other.

Pope John Paul II traveled to this seaside city north of Naples to offer words of guidance to young athletes at a national training center. He also watched former world champion Calvin Smith outrun an international group of world-class athletes in a special 100-meter dash, edging fellow American Dennis Mitchell and Stefano Tilli of Italy.

"The presence of the Pope gave me a great inspiration to win," said Smith, a Southern Baptist who was born in Bolton, Miss. "I didn't know if more than the top three would get to see the Pope, so I wanted to at least be in the top three."

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