Sports Miscellany: 29th July 1912

The Queen’s Park will run two open handicaps – 100 yards and 880 yards – in connection with their club sports on Thursday evening first.

Dr JL Huggan – the Edinburgh University and Jed-Forest rugby three-quarter back – is due congratulations on passing tenth among the thirty successful candidates for commissions in the Royal Army Medical Services.

F Boor, who was one of the ‘stars’ at the recent sports of Ayr United FC, has got himself into trouble with the National Cyclists Union and in consequence has been ordered the ‘rest cure’ till the beginning of the year.   Boor was to have taken part in the Celtic Sports but that arrangement will now fall to the ground.

Maryhill Harriers are holding confined sports at Ibrox Park on August 14th.   The programme is of modest dimensions.   There are a number of first-class runners at this club, among others G Dallas, G Hamilton, J McFarlane, JA Coyle and D Fulton.   The decision to hold confined sports should help to increase the membership.

Ralph Craig, who won the 100 and 200 metres at the Olympic Games, has now retired from athletics; he has conquered all that is worth conquering and believes it better to retire with an unsullied reputation.   At one time it was thought that Craig would run at the Celtic Sports but he has returned to America and the last has been heard of him in connection with amateur athletics.

JG Brock (Clydesdale Harriers) won no fewer than four firsts at the Young Men’s Christian Association’s camp at Ardgoil during the Fair holidays.   The sports were a great success there being over 500 entries.   HJ Christie first caught the racing fever at the YMCA Camp two years ago and from a modest beginning has developed into one of the speediest amateurs in Scotland.   Mr William Gardiner has organised these camp sports for several seasons, and their success is to be measured as much by the unalloyed enjoyment they afford as by the number of recruits they give to open athletics.

Although JT Soutter’s leg is now quite sound again, it is stated on most reliable authority that he has now retired from the track.   If such be the case, British athletics will be much the poorer in the near future for the Aberdeen University divinity student, with a distinct personality of his own, has been an ornament to the track since his debut in open competition in 1910.   He shares the Scottish native half-mile record of 1 min 58 2-5th sec with R Burton, and each has beaten the other thrice on level terms, but Soutter’s best performances were accomplished last year in England where he ‘clocked’ 1 min 57  sec at Birmingham, 1 min 57 1-th sec at the British Press Charity Sports, and 1 min 56 1-5th sec in the AAA Relay Championships at Fallowfield, Manchester.

Local sprinters are debating eagerly the respective merits of RC Duncan, George Sandilands and HJ Christie, all of whom are on the same mark in the 100 yards – viz. 1 yard.   Duncan and Sandilands, it will be remembered, put up a great race at the SAAA Championships, and although the former was accounted the better man, not a few thought Sandilands was slightly in advance of the West of Scotland Harrier.   Still, there was little between them, and now that Christie has worked his way to the same mark as Duncan and Sandilands, many would like to see either the Rangers or Celtic extending an invitation to each to run a level race.   It might lack the electrifying effect of a race composed of Olympic and other champions, but from a local point of view it would be infinitely more interesting.

Mr JE Sullivan, secretary and treasurer of the American Athletic Union, is indignant at the accusations of semi-professionalism in connection with international sport.   In an interview he says:-

“There is no call for the introduction of this argument.   There no doubt are, and always will be, isolated cases of men in amateur sport who are not pure amateurs.   Doubtless you can think of some on your side of the water, although I do not doubt that the Amateur Athletic Association and its kindred bodies do their best to deal repressively with any breaches.   We are in the same position in America, and our record shows that we also do much to keep semi-professionalism down.   The difficulty will arise with greater force in Sweden, Germany, Finland and other countries which have not the advantage of years of organisation which America and England have enjoyed.   We made no imputations on the cleanness of British amateur sport, although in my long experience there are plenty of instances of British champions turning professional.   As to international sport generally, we do not allow our athletes to race abroad without our permission, and I think it could be better regulated if there was agreement between the various nations on this point.”

History, it is fully expected, will be made at the Rangers Sports on Saturday, and that is equivalent to saying that there will be some sensational running.   Hannes Kolehmainen is their trump card, though possibly the best running will be seen in the half-mile if Melvin Sheppard, JE Meredith and H Braun are among the competitors.   A few days ago at Berlin Braun scored a notable victory over the Americans.   The Bavarian is a beautiful runner, and the public will be charmed with his style as much as by his speed qualities.   Sheppard we have seen before, and many must still have vivid recollections of his “all-comers” record set at Ibrox.   Meredith is the American holder of the 800 metres.   He is only 19 years of age, and it may interest some to know that he was trained by an old Scottish runner, Jimmy Curran.   As to Kolehmainen. whose brother by the way was running at the Clyde’s ground on Saturday, Little need be said beyond the fact that he was the most striking figure at the recent Stockholm games, winning no fewer than three distance events, and making time in each which gives him an incomparable position among present day runners.   Kolehmainen won the English four miles championship last season and his performance on that occasion will not be forgotten by those who had the pleasure of witnessing it.   There will be lots of crack runners, besides the ones we have mentioned, and if the anticipations of the Rangers committee are realised, the meeting on Saturday will be one of the best they have yet held.

Two Army records were lowered last week in the Army Championships.   Lieutenant HE Blakney, Royal Sussex, won the hurdles in 15 2-5th sec, or a fifth faster than CRL Anderson’s time in the English championships.   This is Lieutenant Blakney’s best performance, and it is one that elevates him to a very high position as a hurdles performer.   Then in the three miles Sergeant O’Neill, Connaught Rangers, was first in 14 min 45 sec, which is excellent travelling, and accentuates one’s regret that the Irish crack was not at Stockholm, not that he would have made any impression against Hannes Kolehmainen but he would certainly have acquitted himself better than several who represented Great Britain.   Corporal Hutson ran second to O’Neill in the mile, the time for which was 4 min 28 1-5th sec.   These two wins are among the finest O’Neill has to his credit in open competition.   Sergeant Gray, who ran such a plucky race in the Scotland  v  Ireland international, was beaten by Lieutenant Alan Patterson in the quarter-mile in 51 1-th sec, which was a shade too good for him, as on Powderhall, which is greatly superior to the track at Aldershot, his time was 52 sec.   Patterson also won the half-mile, beating among others MC Harrison, an old Irish international runner.    In the officers 100 yards, Patterson was first in 10 4-5th sec and Captain Dugmore, ASC, cleared 21 feet 9 inches in the broad jump.   Lieutenant R Simson, the old Edinburgh Academy boy, took part in several of the events but could not breast the tape first in any.   On the whole, the performances were an advance on last season, and Army athletics, if not all that they might be, are in a fairly satisfactory condition.