Sports Miscellany: 10th June 1912

A Glasgow High School boy draws our attention to the interesting fact that at the recent sports of the Glasgow University AC as many as eight firsts out of eleven were captured by old pupils of that school.

Either three or four of Australia’s Olympic team, all of whom claim Scottish blood, will take part in the Scottish championships on Saturday.   Murray, who has put up great times as a walker, is one and Hill, a very fine mile runner, is another.

Harry Hughes (West of Scotland Harriers) described by an English paper as “the greatest distance runner in the country for his weight, 7 st 1 lb” may take part in the four miles SAAA championship on Saturday.   He has been doing excellent work on the track lately, his win in the three miles handicap at the Clydesdale Harriers sports demonstrating that there are great possibilities in this “physical marvel.”

JA Campbell, who won the SAAA broad jump championship in 1902 with 21 ft 3 1/2 inches and in 1904 with 21 ft 9 inches, is home on a visit from South Africa.   Mr Campbell was schooled at Watson’s College, at whose sports he more than once distinguished himself; and whilein Glasgow he ran under the West of Scotland Harriers colours.   Mr Campbell’s interest in athletics is still keen and he hopes to witness the SAAA Championships at Ibrox this week.

Clydesdale Harriers are holding sports at Clydebank on the 22nd.   They draw a lot of members from that district which is ripe for the introduction of amateur games of the class associated with the name Clydesdale Harriers.   A local colouring will be given in the programme, and possibly the Clydebank Football Club  will be asked to lend their help; at any rate, the sports will be held on their ground.

At one time Bellahouston Harriers contemplated running an evening meeting, but they have now decided to confine their efforts in that direction to a few races for members of the club, and these will be brought off, probably next month.   Bellahouston Harriers have never made anything from their sports, and they are not disposed in the meantime to increase their liabilities – a very sensible resolution in view of the scant interest taken in athletics by the citizens of Glasgow.

Babcoick and Wilcox Athletic Club are holding open sports on their ground at Renfrew on Saturday, and although clashing with the Championships at Ibrox, they are hopeful of getting a good entry.   The short mark men will of course be at the championships, and in their absence the others should run with an irresponsibility that in other circumstances they would not have the chance to display.   The B&WAC has done good work for athletics since it was formed, and the fact that they are holding an open meeting is an indication that they are fully alive to their responsibilities.

HM Macintosh of Cambridge University has entered for the Scottish Championships this week.   In view of the reputation he has earned in English athletic circles, it may be interesting to mention that Macintosh was born in Kelso, and lived near Glasgow for 10 years before going to Glenalmond School.   Macintosh is 19 years of age.   Macmillan, also of Cambridge, will not be a competitor at Ibrox.   His connections with Scotland are not so strong as Macintosh.   Macmillan’s father was Scotch and his mother English, and his home is in the South of England.   He was at Felstead School before going to Trinity College.

WA Stewart (holder of the Scottish 100 yards championship), who is studying at one of the London hospitals, has decided to run for Australia at the Olympic Games, and his place in the 400 metres will be taken by DH Jacobs (Herne Hill Harriers).   FG Black, who ran in the Scottish trials at Parkhead, has withdrawn his name from the English team and his place in the 1600 metres relay race will be taken by GRL Anderson.   Black, it may be remembered, made a very disappointing display in the 400 and 800 metres at Parkhead, and possibly that, combined with other reasons, has caused him to withdraw from the British team.     Neither JJ Flanagan nor D Horgan is in the official list of entries sent to Stockholm, and if TR Nicolson of Kyles of Bute does not go to the Games, Britain will be very weak in the field events.

If all, or only a few of the crack Scotsmen who have been enriching the fame of English athletics this season come North for the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association Championships at Ibrox on Saturday, there should be some very fine performances.   Last year the Anglo-Scots were very prominent at Hampden Park, while the year previous we all have cherished recollections of what GRL Anderson of Oxford University accomplished in the hurdles and quarter mile.   Anderson has enhanced his reputation greatly in the interval, and as he is a certain starter in the hurdles and quarter this week he should appeal to the sporting imagination as impressively as did Lieutenant Halswell a few seasons ago.    There are others of equal note over different distances such as DF McNicol, WA Stewart and RA Lindsay, all holders of Scottish honours, and if the ambition to retain these is as burning as it was to become possessed of them, they are all certain to be at Ibrox on Saturday.   The entries do not close until today with Mr Copeland, and we hope to give the names in tomorrow’s “Herald”.   Never, perhaps, will so many first-class athletes have taken part in a Scottish Championship meeting, and as a number of the competitors are among the chosen for the Olympic Games, we are therefore promised a foretaste of what will be disclosed at Stockholm next month.   The Glasgow public will belie its reputation for broadminded sporting taste if it does not turn out in large numbers on Saturday.

James Curran, an old Scottish amateur who was well known in the Border shires, in an interesting contribution on American athletics, says:-

America’s chances at Stockholm look brighter than ever.   Some wonderful performances have been recorded in dual meets these last two weeks, though this is the worst Spring I have ever seen for getting a team in shape.   Mike Murphy says he has been in the game for 30 years and a worse spring he has never encountered.   Look out for records this year when the boys get into condition.   America will send over the greatest team this year that has ever been gathered together.   It will take 12 feet 6 inches to win a berth in a team of pole vaulters, and about 6 feet 3 inches for the high jumpers.   I saw Mercer of Pennsylvania, do 23 feet 6 inches broad jumping last Saturday, and he is not the best long jumper in America by a long shot.   If the track at Pennsylvania Relays had been in good condition, I feel that Gutterson of Vermont University would have done close on 25 feet.   He did 24 in mud.   I should not be surprised to see four men do 24 feet.   No wonderful time has been done in the sprints as yet, but that is owing, I think, to the cold weather.   In the 440 and 880 some great running will be done.   All the 440 men who leave here will do 49 sec and the half-milers will make Melvin Sheppard run his best.   My boy Meredith will do 1:54 or better and at least 48 3-5th sec for the quarter.   This is for the full distance – 440 and 880 yards  – and when you consider the Olympic distances the times will be correspondingly lower.   The milers will all do 4 min 20 and Barns of Cornell, who ran the two miles in 9 min 17 sec  two weeks ago, will need some watching in the longer distances.” 

All this reads like a romance, and if Curran’s predictions are fulfilled, Britain would seem to have small chance of success in any of the pedestrian events at Stockholm.   But much the same tale was told at the time of the last Olympics at London, and it may be remembered that the Union Jack was hoisted at some events over which the Stars and Stripes were expected to wave merrily.   And history often has the knack of repeating itself.

Students of comparative form should be interested in the adjoined table.   It gives the English and Scottish Olympic trials and the Olympic records, thus showing at a glance what our athletes have to do in the way of practice ere they can hope to become possessed of the guerdons which are to be put up for competition at Stockholm in July.   The Scottish performances are by no means glowing, and yet it is admitted that they are much better than they seem.   The conditions at Parkhead were against anything in the way of sensational sport, but even allowing for that, better results might have been achieved in the 400 and 800 at least.   The Scottish performances, with the exception of TR Nicolson’s hammer throw, are far behind those of England, while in turn the English performances fall short of Olympic ideals as symbolised in the records.   English officials however are well satisfied with the recent trials at Stamford Bridge, and the feeling is that with a month’s training, the performances at the championship meeting should touch a higher standard than has been the case for some years.   That being so, the “times” given in the following table should undergo a process of transformation.

Event            English                  Scottish                  Olympic Records

100m                 11 sec                      11 4-5th sec                    10 4-5th sec

200m                22 2-5th                 23 4-5th sec                   21  3-5th sec

400m                49 1-5th sec           52 sec                              48 2-5th

800m                1m 57 3-5ths          1m 59 3-5th                   1m 52 4-5th

1500m              4m 6 1-5th              4m 23s                            4m 3 3-5ths

5000m              15m 13 3-5th             –                                            –

Hurdles             15 4-5th s                  –                                       15.0 sec

Hammer            134′ 8 1/2″             140′ 10″                             170′ 4 1/2″

Weight               41′ 10 1/2″                –                                        48′ 7″

SB Jump            5′ 6″                           –                                        11′ 4 1/2″

RB Jump           22′ 4″                        20′ 10″                              24′ 6 1/2″

RH Jump           6’11”                          6′                                        6′ 3″

SH Jump            4’8″                           –                                          6’4 1/4″

Hop Step&J       43’10”                       –                                          48′ 11 1/4″

Pole Vault            –                               –                                           12′ 2″

Javelin                137′ 3 1/2″               –                                          179′ 10 1/2″

Discus                 134′ 5 1/2″               –                                          134′ 3″