Not XC thread, but an update on OHSAA State Track Results Research

JAVMAN83

Active member
Just an FYI, my research & compilation continues. I now have resolved all scoring issues regarding the 1st State meet in 1908. I've managed to gather results from numerous sources in order to cross-check results, names, etc. Presented below are the results of that meet given the best information known to date.

I plan to do a summary write-up on each meet, but that will be at a later date.

A couple notes on the 1908 meet:

1) The Denisonian newspaper refers to the 1908 as the 4th Interscholastic competition, which in fact it was. It was, however, the 1st under the OHSAA umbrella with their formation and adoption of the State meet tournament in the fall of 1907.

2) The meet was held at Granville initially as that was the site of the 2nd & 3rd Interscholastic competitions (1906, 1907), and Denison U. was the sponsor behind all the editions of the meet from 1905-1907, so it was natural for them to assume it for the 1st OHSAA meet in 1908. However, in 1909, the meet moved to Delaware (Ohio Wesleyan U.), then to Ohio Field on the campus of OSU in 1910.

3) What is unknown at this time, other than those items denoted in red in the document, is the configuration of the track at those three sites. I have no pictures of either Denison's or OWU's facilities from the 1908-1909 era, and only have a limited number of shots of Ohio Field. For much of the state meet, and nationally-speaking as well, the 220 yd & 220 yd low hurdles, & 440 yd were conducted on a full straightaways for the 220s, and the 1st 220 of the 440 yd was on a straightaway. The late, great, Craig Whitmore's research appears to indicate that Ohio Field (1910-1923) was a full 440 yd track with NO long straightaways, leading one to conclude that those races were conducted around the turn(s) as we might expect them to be on a 400 meter track. Given the pictures I have of Ohio Field's configuration, I've come to the same conclusion. However, to date, I don't have any indication on the configuration of the 1908 & 1909 facilities. If anyone has that information, I'd be glad to include it in the upcoming releases on the State meets.

You can compare my research to that of OHSAA's, which is non-existent to date. https://ohsaa.org/Portals/0/Sports/Track-Field/pastresults/boys/TF_1908-1911.pdf


Now, back to your regularly scheduled XC season :)
 

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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Just an FYI, my research & compilation continues. I now have resolved all scoring issues regarding the 1st State meet in 1908. I've managed to gather results from numerous sources in order to cross-check results, names, etc. Presented below are the results of that meet given the best information known to date.

I plan to do a summary write-up on each meet, but that will be at a later date.

A couple notes on the 1908 meet:

1) The Denisonian newspaper refers to the 1908 as the 4th Interscholastic competition, which in fact it was. It was, however, the 1st under the OHSAA umbrella with their formation and adoption of the State meet tournament in the fall of 1907.

2) The meet was held at Granville initially as that was the site of the 2nd & 3rd Interscholastic competitions (1906, 1907), and Denison U. was the sponsor behind all the editions of the meet from 1905-1907, so it was natural for them to assume it for the 1st OHSAA meet in 1908. However, in 1909, the meet moved to Delaware (Ohio Wesleyan U.), then to Ohio Field on the campus of OSU in 1910.

3) What is unknown at this time, other than those items denoted in red in the document, is the configuration of the track at those three sites. I have no pictures of either Denison's or OWU's facilities from the 1908-1909 era, and only have a limited number of shots of Ohio Field. For much of the state meet, and nationally-speaking as well, the 220 yd & 220 yd low hurdles, & 440 yd were conducted on a full straightaway. The late, great, Craig Whitmore's research appears to indicate that Ohio Field (1910-1923) was a full 440 yd track with NO long straightaways, leading one to conclude that those races were conducted around the turn(s) as we might expect them to be on a 400 meter track. Given the pictures I have of Ohio Field's configuration, I've come to the same conclusion. However, to date, I don't have any indication on the configuration of the 1908 & 1909 facilities. If anyone has that information, I'd be glad to include it in the upcoming releases on the State meets.

You can compare my research to that of OHSAA's, which is non-existent to date. https://ohsaa.org/Portals/0/Sports/Track-Field/pastresults/boys/TF_1908-1911.pdf


Now, back to your regularly scheduled XC season :)
Have you tried contacting anyone at either Denison or OWU? I have to believe they'd have some photos in their archives.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Not as yet. It is on the agenda, however.
I've been combing some photos that the Delaware County Historical Society has on their website. Despite finding some old pics of their athletic grounds, I've yet to have luck finding anything definitive regarding a track. The athletic grounds used to be situated behind the gym building. That area is now occupied by a parking lot, the fieldhouse, and possibly part of an academic building. The current football stadium and track wasn't built until 1929, but the baseball field remained on the aforementioned athletic grounds for awhile.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
I did find the following online - post card from 1915 (purported) of OWU's Athletic Grounds. It appears that the cinder track is shown in part of the post card, but the vehicles might just as well have been from the later 10s - early 20s. Post card might be from the 1920s as well.

I've been at the 1929 facility many times, but have never ventured on campus other than that. Maybe someone can identify the main building behind the stands in the post card?

 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I did find the following online - post card from 1915 (purported) of OWU's Athletic Grounds. It appears that the cinder track is shown in part of the post card, but the vehicles might just as well have been from the later 10s - early 20s. Post card might be from the 1920s as well.

I've been at the 1929 facility many times, but have never ventured on campus other than that. Maybe someone can identify the main building behind the stands in the post card?

That building is Edwards Gymnasium which was built around 1905. The main weightroom was in the basement, there was a small gym on the top floor, and nearly all of the coaches' offices were housed at various places within the building as well as some PE classroom space. Pfeiffer Natatorium was connected to the north side with the power plant building and motor pool across the alley to the north. I spent a lot of time in Edwards during my 4-year sentence in Delaware. The left side of that pic I attached is north, and the top of the pic is east. That area where the baseball field was located is now occupied by Branch Rickey Arena and Gordon Fieldhouse (which has a 200m ankle-breaker of an indoor track surrounding some multi-use athletic space), pieces of a parking lot or 2 for visitors and staff, and part of Stewart/Science Hall (chemistry, physics, and geology-geography depts.) to the east that was beginning to undergo further renovation and expansion plus a name change about the time I finished paying my debt to academia. The oldest structure on campus, Elliott Hall (history dept), is just above the "s" in Historical in that pic. It was moved from its spot along Sandusky St. to that location in the 1890s to make room for the building of University Hall/Gray Chapel (home to many of the administrative offices and some of the humanities/classics dept) which they wanted to occupy that prominent location fronting Sandusky St. I don't know what that little building east of Elliott in that pic was. It was long gone by the time I was there.

I'd contact the U. about other info and pics on your behalf, but I've pretty much burned all my bridges there, haha. Perhaps I could submit a query to the Delaware County Library and see if they have anything more detailed.

I found the attached pic online. It's obviously post-1929 when Selby was built, but it offers some idea of where the athletic field in your postcard was located. It's hard to tell if a track on that field would've fit behind the home plate area to make a complete loop. My initial reaction is no, but the ballfield may have been slightly reconfigured after Selby was built.
 

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JAVMAN83

Active member
That building is Edwards Gymnasium which was built around 1905. The main weightroom was in the basement, there was a small gym on the top floor, and nearly all of the coaches' offices were housed at various places within the building as well as some PE classroom space. Pfeiffer Natatorium was connected to the north side with the power plant building and motor pool across the alley to the north. I spent a lot of time in Edwards during my 4-year sentence in Delaware. The left side of that pic I attached is north, and the top of the pic is east. That area were the baseball field was located is now occupied by Branch Rickey Arena and Gordon Fieldhouse (which has a 200m ankle-breaker of an indoor track surrounding some multi-use athletic space), pieces of a parking lot or 2 for visitors and staff, and part of Stewart/Science Hall (chemistry, physics, and geology-geography depts.) to the east that was beginning to undergo further renovation and expansion plus a name change about the time I finished paying my debt to academia. The oldest structure on campus, Elliott Hall (history dept), is just above the "s" in Historical in that pic. It was moved from its spot along Sandusky St. to that location in the 1890s to make room for the building of University Hall/Gray Chapel (home to many of the administrative offices and some of the humanities/classics dept) which they wanted to occupy that prominent location fronting Sandusky St. I don't know what that little building east of Elliott in that pic was. It was long gone by the time I was there.

I'd contact the U. about other info and pics on your behalf, but I've pretty much burned all my bridges there, haha. Perhaps I could submit a query to the Delaware County Library and see if they have anything more detailed.

I found the attached pic online. It's obviously post-1929 when Selby was built, but it offers some idea of where the athletic field in your postcard was located. It's hard to tell if a track on that field would've fit behind the home plate area to make a complete loop. My initial reaction is no, but the ballfield may have been slightly reconfigured after Selby was built.
Thanks for the info! I did a little more reading last night about Edwards Gymnasium, and from the photo you've provided, I now understand the orientation of that building, the old baseball field, and the track that apparently circumscribes (somewhat) the baseball field. You can make out much of the track in the photo. Given I've been to Selby Field many times, I now have a much better understanding of the setup. I'm going to pursue this subject further with both OWU & Denison U regarding their old facilities setup during the 1908-1909 period.

Thanks again!
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
Javman I am going to head to the DU library this weekend or Monday to look at old pics.
Wonderful. I haven't been on that campus in years, but I still have research to do over in Granville some day. Any info or pix you can share with the wonderful!
 

mathking

Active member
Wonderful. I haven't been on that campus in years, but I still have research to do over in Granville some day. Any info or pix you can share with the wonderful!
OK, not wonderful yet. I did some digging but have not been able to locate anything definitive yet. Gonna try some newspaper archives next.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
Thank you for the efforts. Hope something turns up. I plan my own trip over to the Granville/Newark area in October/November.
 

mathking

Active member
One of the librarians helped me look through some of their old pictures but we couldn't find one of the track. I am not 100% sure whether the track was near the current location of Deeds field or down the hill by the current IGA and Denison heating plant. But we found a reference that suggested the Newark Advocate had a photographer at the meet, so maybe their archives will help.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
One of the librarians helped me look through some of their old pictures but we couldn't find one of the track. I am not 100% sure whether the track was near the current location of Deeds field or down the hill by the current IGA and Denison heating plant. But we found a reference that suggested the Newark Advocate had a photographer at the meet, so maybe their archives will help.
Thanks for the input. I'll definitely check that out in my travels.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
FWIW, I checked the Newark Advocate's online archives via NewspaperArchive's database which I can get through my local library. For 1908, they had no issues online from May 1 to September 1. Either that batch of microfilm never got digitized, or they don't have it. A quick check of the Licking County Library's website does not indicate if they have the Advocate on microfilm. Perhaps an e-mail or phone call to them could save somebody a lot of time and gas money.

This doesn't offer any definitive photographic evidence regarding Denison's track and field facility at the time, but it's a start:
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
FWIW, I checked the Newark Advocate's online archives via NewspaperArchive's database which I can get through my local library. For 1908, they had no issues online from May 1 to September 1. Either that batch of microfilm never got digitized, or they don't have it. A quick check of the Licking County Library's website does not indicate if they have the Advocate on microfilm. Perhaps an e-mail or phone call to them could save somebody a lot of time and gas money.

This doesn't offer any definitive photographic evidence regarding Denison's track and field facility at the time, but it's a start:
Thanks for the FYI. I also have access to NewspaperArchive thru my own subscritpion, and I get a ton of information from old newspapers there, as well as from many other sources. Thanks for the heads-up.
 

mathking

Active member
Here is a picture one of the archivists at Denison found for me. The track is in the middle of the left hand side. Apparently it was square(ish) with rounded corners. I am going to go back to DU to try to read some back issues of the Denisonian to get some idea of the surface and see if the dimensions are mentioned anywhere. A couple of other pictures of track and field at the old Beaver Field are here.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
Here is a picture one of the archivists at Denison found for me. The track is in the middle of the left hand side. Apparently it was square(ish) with rounded corners. I am going to go back to DU to try to read some back issues of the Denisonian to get some idea of the surface and see if the dimensions are mentioned anywhere. A couple of other pictures of track and field at the old Beaver Field are here.
Interesting. Did the archivist know or indicate what year the picture was taken? Or maybe that information wasn't available.

As for odd-shaped track configurations...would it surprise me? No. However, even in the early 1900s, there were horse tracks and other running tracks and they were oval shaped. I'm curious if this isn't a horse/car track we're viewing in this picture.

Anyway, thanks for the efforts. Looking back into a century ago in Ohio is very illuminating. I love seeing how under-developed the surrounding countryside seen in the picture. In many respects, I wish I'd lived back in that time.
 

mathking

Active member
Interesting. Did the archivist know or indicate what year the picture was taken? Or maybe that information wasn't available.

As for odd-shaped track configurations...would it surprise me? No. However, even in the early 1900s, there were horse tracks and other running tracks and they were oval shaped. I'm curious if this isn't a horse/car track we're viewing in this picture.

Anyway, thanks for the efforts. Looking back into a century ago in Ohio is very illuminating. I love seeing how under-developed the surrounding countryside seen in the picture. In many respects, I wish I'd lived back in that time.
I believe 1911 for the picture. She is pretty sure this is the track. If you zoom in you can see the bleachers. Which if I read correctly were just three levels of log or board attached to a series of supports. There was a short bit in one of the articles I read that half of the bleachers were covered with a roof in the summer of 1911. From the topography I can tell that this is where Beaver Field (where DU played both football and baseball at the time) was. It is not in the position of the current stadium. I also know from reading that they put a lot (for the time) of money into upgrading the track in 1913. I did find one article that talked about a day when they had a baseball game, then a track meet, then another baseball game in one day.

The lack of development is remarkable. For me the lack of trees on those hills is just as weird. They are more tree covered now, and when I was growing up they were much more thickly covered in trees.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
I believe 1911 for the picture. She is pretty sure this is the track. If you zoom in you can see the bleachers. Which if I read correctly were just three levels of log or board attached to a series of supports. There was a short bit in one of the articles I read that half of the bleachers were covered with a roof in the summer of 1911. From the topography I can tell that this is where Beaver Field (where DU played both football and baseball at the time) was. It is not in the position of the current stadium. I did find one article that talked about a day when they had a baseball game, then a track meet, then another baseball game in one day.

The lack of development is remarkable. For me the lack of trees on those hills is just as weird. They are more tree covered now, and when I was growing up they were much more thickly covered in trees.
The picture of the bleachers seems to jive with the track and field pics I linked from the '08 or '09 edition of Denison's yearbook (Adytum).
 

mathking

Active member
I believe 1911 for the picture. She is pretty sure this is the track. If you zoom in you can see the bleachers. Which if I read correctly were just three levels of log or board attached to a series of supports. There was a short bit in one of the articles I read that half of the bleachers were covered with a roof in the summer of 1911. From the topography I can tell that this is where Beaver Field (where DU played both football and baseball at the time) was. It is not in the position of the current stadium. I also know from reading that they put a lot (for the time) of money into upgrading the track in 1913. I did find one article that talked about a day when they had a baseball game, then a track meet, then another baseball game in one day.

The lack of development is remarkable. For me the lack of trees on those hills is just as weird. They are more tree covered now, and when I was growing up they were much more thickly covered in trees.
In any event I am going to head back out there next week I think to dig through the discussions of the "Denison Plan" from the 19-teens that lead to the creation of Deeds Field. Those might discuss why the felt they needed to upgrade.
 

JAVMAN83

Active member
Great leg work, Mathking! Very interesting reading what you've dug up. I hope a more close-up picture of the whole layout from another angle can be had. In any event, only the 1909 State meet was held at OWU.
 

mathking

Active member
I am going to go try to find out if there are any pictures of track meets to be found. That seems like a likely avenue to find pictures about the layout. Or maybe descriptions. I know that Oberlin had quite a few meets with Denison in the first two decades of the 20th century, so I may also look at Oberlin when I get up there next.
 
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