Bob Lawson, 78, an Ocean Shores resident and 1954 Aberdeen High graduate who narrowly missed making the 1956 U.S. Olympic team in the decathlon, died recently.

Bob Lawson, 78, an Ocean Shores resident and 1954 Aberdeen High graduate who narrowly missed making the 1956 U.S. Olympic team in the decathlon, died recently.

Lawson was a national-class master’s track performer in the throws in recent years, but was better known as the USC athlete who seemed ticketed for the ’56 Melbourne Olympics.

Lawson finished fourth in the trials, but looked to be headed to the Games as Bob Richards, two-time Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault, indicated he would likely pass on his decathlon spot to concentrate on the vault before he had a change of heart.

“It’s an awful hard choice to make,” Richards told Sports Illustrated. “I’m 30, he’s (Lawson) only 21, and it’s my last chance. I’ll train hard for a month and if I show real improvement, I’ll go in the decathlon, too.”

Richards did indeed go in the decathlon as well, and Lawson didn’t make the trip.