University Track and Field: 1931

Glasgow University’s meeting at Westerlands on 25th April, 1931 was spoiled by heavy rain and “an executive meeting at the club prevented several of the well-known runners from appearing.”   Four handicap events did take place – a 75 yards race which was won by NA Selkirk off 3 1/2 yards in 8 seconds, a 600 yards race won by W Wright off 40 yards in 1 min 14 sec, a javelin contest won by G Morrison with 139′ 7″ and a high jump won by AN Lapsley with 5′ 5″.   The following Saturday the second of the GUAC meetings was held in ‘ ideal conditions’ and general performances suggested that record breaking at the University Championships in a fortnight were a distinct possibility.    Lapsley could not compete because of strained tendons following his javelin throwing the previous Wednesday.   Results of this match are below.

Meanwhile on the East Coast, St Andrews University had its own sports as reported in The Scotsman of 8th May.

On the same day there was a match between the Atalanta club and Edinburgh University and the FP Athletic Union.   Held at Craiglockhart, Atalanta won by seven events to two. 

The Glasgow University Championships were held on 16th May.   AN Lapsley was undoubtedly the athlete of the meeting with six victories – he won the high jump, broad jump, hammer, discus, javelin and pole vault.   He created new records in three of them – hammer discus and high jump – and that was enough for the Glasgow Herald to nominate him as the best all-round athlete ever associated with the university.   The high jump in particular was a magnificent 5′ 11″, done using the new “Western Roll” technique.   Ian Borland did not compete and Robin Murdoch won both 100 and straight 200 yards events and was second to NM Glen in the quarter mile.   

Photograph from The Courier  

The Aberdeen University Sports were held at King’s College Grounds on 23rd May and the Press & Journal headline was given over to “Miss Greig Supreme”    and    “Dean’s Medal won by JC Thom”.   The standard was high and three records were broken – Miss LMH Greig won the 100 yards, the hurdles, the Broad Jump and shared first place in the high jump, and was awarded the Trail Cup for most points won.   Thom won the 100 yards, the 220 yards, the 440 yards and the Pole Jump.   Rod McKenzie won both Mile and Three Miles, was second in the 440 and third in the 220 yards.      In the P&J photograph below, LMG Greig is farthest from the camera.

Edinburgh University held a meeting on 30th May and the outstanding athlete was FP Reid who won 100-, 220- and 440-yards races in 10.2, 22.6 and 50.2 seconds.   He bettered Eric Liddell’s 100 yards time and took 1.2 second from his university record in the quarter.   He was a South African and, proof that the 100 time at least was no fluke, he had run ‘evens’ in a match against Queen’s, Belfast, a few weeks earlier.   

The Inter-Universities Championships were held on 13th June in Edinburgh and the result was a comfortable win for Edinburgh from Glasgow with Aberdeen third and St Andrews fourth. The pictures above and below are from the Scotsman.  Reid won the 100 yards in 10.0 seconds taking 0.2 from Liddell’s Universities Championship best time.   Miss Greig won the women’s 100 yards in 11.8 seconds.   Principal results were: 

100 yards:  1.   FP Reid  (E);  2.  R Murdoch (G);  3.  I Borland (G) 

220 yards:  1. FP Reid; 2. R Murdoch [dead heat]; 3. I Borland.  22.8

440 yards:  1. FP Reid; 2. I Borland; 3. CM Wells(E).  51.2

880 yards: 1. CM Wells (E);  2. NM Glen (G);  3. JH Gray (A). 2:02.8

Mile:  1. N Morrison (G); 2. DM Brander (G);  3. JA Murray (E). 4:34

Three Miles: 1. JG Jackson (G); 2. WH Whalley (E); 3. GB Esslemont (A).  16:08.8

120 yards H:  1. AS Kitchin (G); 2. CD Campbell (E).  17 sec

High Jump:  1. SM Craig (G);  2. HC Mereweather (E);  3. JA Robbie (A), GP Richardson (G), G Durran (E).  5′ 4″

Broad Jump:  1. PC Barkin (E);  2. H Watson (E);  3. WA Irvine (G)  21′ 11″

Pole Vault:  1. JM Mackay (E);  2. JH Edwards (E) and GM Tucker (St A) equal.  9′ 8″

Hammer:  1. RM Mackay (E);  2. DB Morren (A);  3.  D Morrison (G)   124′  8″

Shot Putt:  1. RG Radcliffe (G);  2. AM Geissa (E);  3. D Garvie (A).  38′ 2″

Discus:  1. RM Mackay (E) ; C Cockburn (A);  3. RG Radcliffe (G)  98′  1″

Javelin:  1. AM Geissa (E);  2. D Morrison (G);  3. NA Selkirk (G)   140′  9″

One Mile Relay:  1.  Glasgow;  2.  Edinburgh;  3.  Aberdeen.

100 yards ladies:  1. Miss LMH Greig (A);  2. Miss W Neilson (A);  3. Miss M Baird (G).   11.8 seconds

High Jump ladies:  1. Miss E McGill (G);  2. Miss M Baird (G);  3. Misses D Nimmo (A), W Neilson (A) and LMH Greig (A)  equal    4′  7″

Ladies Relay:  1. Aberdeen;  2. Glasgow;  3.  Edinburgh    54 seconds.

A week later in the Scotland  v  Ireland meeting, several of the winners from the inter-varsities took part.   Robin Murdoch won the 100 and 220 yards races in 10.2 and 22.6 seconds, and his fellow Glasgow University sprinter Ian Borland was second in the 440.   Wells of Edinburgh was second in the 880 yards behind Tom Riddell to provide a Scottish 1-2.

There were other meetings where the athletes represented their own local clubs or the Atalanta club, but the domestic University season was over.