University Track and Field: 1932

The Glasgow Herald on 2nd May, 1932, announced that the Universities club, Atalanta, had arranged several fixtures.   Earlier in the week they had competed against Keil School and the next was to take place at Westerlands the following Tuesday against Edinburgh University and the Former Pupils Athletic Union.   This tells us that the university athletes were already in training for the following summer.   Another report in the same edition was on the George Watson’s College athletic championships where the 100-, 220-, 440- and 880-yards races were all won by AM Carstairs who would go on to have a sparkling career in the sport until it was disrupted by the war in 1939.   In the match between Atalanta and the combined Edinburgh clubs, the former won by 8 events to 2, and their team included such as Murdoch, Lapsley, Borland, Esslemont, Lapsley and Glen.   

The Edinburgh Evening News of Friday 6th May, 1932, had this report on St Andrews Sports:

The following week Glasgow spread their events over the Wednesday and Saturday.   On the Wednesday Lapsley set a new record for the hammer throw of 138′ 1″ and Morrison set one for the Mile of 4 min 37.5.   This was Morrison’s fifth successive victory in the event.   On the Saturday four records were broken – PBB Ogilvie in the Broad Jump cleared 21′  6 1/2″, and also soared over 11′ 11 1/2″ in the Pole Vault which was also a Scottish native record.   Robin Murdoch was the reigning AAA 220 yards champion but was carrying an injury and only just won the 100 yards from IH Borland before finishing second in the 220 yards.    He should have been competing for the Atalanta club that day but was not fit enough to do so.   Borland won the 440 yards and Morrison won the half mile.   Lapsley won the javelin with a spectacular series of throws including a new record, and Kitchin won the hurdles in a new record time.   

St Andrews had a match that same day against Scottish Wayfarers at University Park, St Andrews and the Wayfarers won by 3 events to 2.  


RM Mackay setting a new record at the Edinburgh University Championships

The Edinburgh University Championships were held on 28th May at Craiglockhart.   The Glasgow Herald report on the meeting read as follows: “Even under the most depressing conditions of heavy track and continuous rain, the results at Edinburgh University Sports were sufficiently good to warrant reasonably high hopes in this season’s Inter-University meeting.   One new record was made, by Mr RM Mackay in the pole vault in clearing 10′ 4 1/2″, his second of the sports as he had previously set up new hammer figures and for his feat he won the new cup presented this season by TM Donovan for the outstanding feat at the sports.   Mackay in addition retained the Rosebery Cup for the all-round championships with 15 points from firsts in the hammer, discus and pole vault, second in the weight putt and third in the high Jump.   RA Howieson secured the Australasian Cup which goes for points in the sprints, the hurdles and the jumps, his 10 point aggregate being two ahead of DRB Milne.   Other double winners were WH Whalley and AM Geissa.   Nine holders retained their titles, only two events providing surprises – a minor one in the defeat of CM Wells in the quarter by a clever Watsonian, KGL Mark; and a major one in the high jumping from J Kennedy from heavy grass to clear 5′ 8 1/2″ and beat DRS Milne.”

Before that though, The Scotsman of 23rd May reported on a relay meeting between Edinburgh University and the Former Pupils club.   The meeting had the following events: Quarter Mile 110 yards shuttle relay; half mile relay race (4 x 220); three quarter mile relay race (3 x 440); one and a half miles relay race ( 3 x 880); One Mile team race; Three Miles team race   plus field events where the aggregate of two competitors best throws was the deciding factor.   These events were Broad Jump, High Jump, Putting the weight, discus, hammer, javelin.   The format was very similar to that of the St Peters AC club championship meeting held in Glasgow in the 1920’s and 30’s but no matter – it gave all the Edinburgh University competitors a good hard meeting before the university season peaked in June.   

The Inter universities were held on 11th June at Westerlands in Glasgow and, after a good afternoon’s sport, Glasgow University won the competition with 56 points, Edinburgh was second with 43 1/2, St Andrews had 7 and Aberdeen in fourth place had 5 points.   During the afternoon, Scottish records were set by PBB Ogilvie in the pole vault and by the Edinburgh women in the Ladies Broad Jump and Relay.   New Inter-varsity records were set by AN Lapsley in the javelin and discus while he shared a new record with J Kennedy in the high jump, and by J Soutter in the 440 yards hurdles.   Ian Borland had a good afternoon – finishing second to Murdoch in the 100, he won both 220 yards and 440 yards.   The half mile was one of the best races of the afternoon with the first four being covered by three yards.   JRS Watson, St Andrews won in the fast time of 2:01.6 and Neil Morison defeated WH Whalley in the Mile in 4 minutes 30 seconds, a new record.   The hurdles races were close and the field events of a high standard.   Results:

The international that year was held on 16th July at Powderhall and the only varsity men to win were Murdoch in the 100 yards which he won in 10.0 seconds, and Wells who won the 440 yards in 53 seconds.   Murdoch was also second in the 220 yards.   Murdoch was not the only University man to continue competing through the summer but was probably the most successful in 1932 carrying on as far as the Rangers Sports in August where he won the invitation 120 yards from  M Rousseau (Racing Club de France) and J Bell (Cliftonville Harriers).