Former Westmont Track and Field great Jean Louis Ravelomanantsoa passed away yesterday at the age of 73. The highly decorated athlete was a three-time NAIA champion, a three-time Olympian and a world record holder.
Ravelomanantsoa was already an accomplished track and field athlete when he found his way to Westmont. He represented Madagascar at both the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympic games. Competing in the 100 and 200 meter dash races, Ravelomanantsoa made his first Olympic finals in the 100 meters at the 1968 Mexico City games.
In the summer of 1970, Ravelomanantsoa was looking for educational opportunities in the United States. A misdialed phone call by his representative connected him with then Westmont head coach Jim Klein. A few months later, Ravelomanantsoa arrived in Santa Barbara with his wife, Ingrid, and their baby.
Representing the Warriors in the 1971 NAIA Indoor National Championships in Kansas City, Ravelomanantsoa not only claimed the title of national champion in the 60 yards, but did so by tying the world record of 5.9 seconds. Ravelomanantsoa later won the 60 yards at the National AAU Championship meet.