University Track & Field: 1934

Glasgow University Sports were held on 12th May and although the standard was not quite as high as that of 1933, it was a very good meeting.   Absent were AN Lapsley, Donald Morrison, Daniel Ratcliffe, PBB Ogilvie and NM Glen.   RNM Robertson set a new Scottish record in the Broad Jump, clearing 23′ 4″ which was two inches more than the existing record which had lasted for 20 years.   Murdoch won both sprints and competition in middle distance races was very keen.   Results

As in 1933, Glasgow sent a team to the British Universities on 18th and 19th May.   The team consisted of R Murdoch, RNM Robertson, JR McGibbon, AF McDonald, RJ Gourley, HM Murray and A McVicar.   The Friday session was mainly heats and qualifying rounds but nevertheless the Scots won gold when RNM Robertson won the long jump with 22′ 7 1/2″.   JR McGibbon was second in the Hammer throw with 120′ 7 1/4″.   

On to the Saturday session, Robin Murdoch won both 100 yards (10.2) and 220 yards (22.8) with fellow Glaswegian J Clark second.   In the field events, Gourley was second in the High Jump.   In the team competition, London was first, Oxford Centipedes second and Glasgow, one better than in 1933, was third of the 14 University teams competing.  St Andrews was the only other Scottish University represented and it was 13th=.

St Andrews championships were held over two days again with the first being on Tuesday 15th May and it was an evening of heavy rain.   EDO Campbell was the star man.  He won two events, the 120 yards hurdles in 16.6 seconds and the 440 yards with a time of 55.6 seconds.   Other winners were G Thiele in the discus (96′ 9″), Long Jump was won by JA Smith (20′ 5″) and the Three Miles by A Dryden (NTG).   The only women’s event was the Long Jump which was won by Miss Paterson (16′ 1″).

Despite having the date and the Courier with the photograph below, it has been impossible to find a copy of the results at the second St Andrews meeting but the search for them will continue.


Aberdeen University Sports were on 19th May with 16 championship events to be decided.   At least that was the plan but unfortunately there had been heavy rain with many pitches flooded and the championships were put off until the next Saturday which would leave them with only two weeks until the Inter Universities.   

The weather second time round was described as ‘dull but dry’ and that was good enough for the sports to go ahead.   The star of the show as far as the local press was concerned was a first year Australian student, A Watson, whose time for the 440 yards was 53,4 seconds, a record for the King’s College grounds, the previous record being 53.6 seconds by JT Soutter in 1911 and equalled by GB Esslemont in 1926.    The winners were:

100 yards: J Clark   10.6 seconds; 220 yards:  1= HR Hewitt & LJ Clark 25 seconds; 440 yards: A Watson  53.4

880 yards: WJ White  2:07.8;   Mile: DN Annand  4:48.4;   Three Miles:  DN Annand 16:36.5

High Jump:  JN Robbie 5′ 5 1/2″;   Broad Jump: AI Dickie  1′ 5 1/2″; 

Throwing the Hammer:  D Nicol 94′ 11 1/2″;  Javelin: AJ Lockhart  132′;  Putting the Weight:  D Nicol  35′ 9″

Women’s Events: 100 yards: RM McKenzie 12.4 seconds; 220 yards: RM McKenzie 25 sec; High Jump:  M Souter 4′ 4″; Broad Jump:  AH Dugan 15′ 2″; 80 yards hurdles:  AH Dugan 13.6 sec.


Edinburgh University Sports were held at Craiglockhart on 26th May, 1934.   The new winner of the Rosebery Cup was a 21 year old South African, RB Wylde who won three events: 220 yards, 440 yards and 440 yards hurdles.   Whalley (Mile in 4:33.6 and Three Miles in 15:46.4) and SEO Williams (120 yards hurdles in 17.8 and Broad Jump with 19′ 0 1/2″).   Williams also finished second in 100 and 220 yards.   In the women’s events, C Comrie won the 440 yards (63.6) and the high jump (4′ 4 1/2″).   Results:

Martin retained the Australasian Cup for points gained in sprints, hurdles and jumps.   The Donovan Cup for the outstanding performance of the sports went to GA Smith for his victory in the half mile but there were many who thought that Weisen should have got it for his victory in the pole vault which was a new record.   

The Inter Varsity Sports were held on 9th June in Aberdeen and there were many good athletes forward for their events. Pictured below is the South African Botha who, as the caption points out, was bound for the Empire Games.   

The team event was won, after a series of Glasgow victories, by Edinburgh with 51 points to Glasgow’s 47, Aberdeen’s 8 and St Andrews 5.  Glasgow won the women’s competition with 16 points from Aberdeen (9), Edinburgh 7) and St Andrews (3).  There was only one record broken and that was by RNM Robertson in the long jump where he set a new record of 22′ 9″ to beat his own record by two and a half inches.   Robin Murdoch won the 100 yards in ‘evens’ (10 seconds exactly) to equal the time set by Dr FP Reid in 1931.   He was chased home by RNM Robertson.   Murdoch also won the 220 in 22.4 – 0.8 seconds outside Eric Liddell’s record of 1923.   Thereafter it was all Edinburgh in the track events when they won 440, 880, Mile and Three Miles and both hurdles races.   W Botha, a powerfully built South African, won the quarter mile comfortably for Edinburgh and two Edinburgh runners fought out a tough half mile with the closest finish of the meeting when GA Smith defeated IM Murray by a foot in 2:04.8.   It was another Edinburgh win in the mile with DE Williams beating team mate GA Smith in a time of 4:37.8.   In the longest race on the programme – the Three Miles – WH Whalley of Edinburgh won in 15:29.6.   SEO Martin had no difficulties in winning the 120 yards hurdles in 16.2 seconds, and the 440 yards hurdles went to RB Wylde of Edinburgh who won in 59.6 seconds.   The mile relay race saw Edinburgh cross the finishing line first but they were disqualified for changing the baton outside the zone, and victory went to Glasgow with Aberdeen second; winning time was 3 min 41 sec.

A Robbie (Aberdeen) and AF McDonald (Glasgow) were equal first in the High Jump with 5′ 8 1/4″, RNM Robertson won the Long Jump and AM Wiesen (Edinburgh) took the pole vault with a best of 10′ 6″.   JR McGibbon of Glasgow won the Shot Putt (38′ 10″) and Discus (108′ 5″), AM Geissa won the Javelin for Edinburgh (142′ 11″) and DW Boyd, Edinburgh, won the hammer throw (131′ 4″).

In the women’s events, the 100 yards was won by M Baird of Glasgow (12 sec) as was the Broad Jump (17′ 4″).   MR McKenzie of Aberdeen won the 220 yards in 27.2, C Comrie of Edinburgh won the high jump and Glasgow defeated Edinburgh and Aberdeen in the 400 yards relay in 53.2 seconds. 

With the official universities season at an end there was no need for Murdoch – or any other university athlete – to stop racing.  Indeed, given the form that several of them were in, it would have been folly for them to end their season.   The next big meeting was the SAAA Championships in Glasgow.   Murdoch won both sprints, Murray of Edinburgh was third in the half-mile with GA Smith also in the final, Edinburgh University was second in the relay and two of the first three in the 120 yards hurdles were university men who finished in the order of SEO Martin first and EDO Campbell third with GD Parsons of the Atalanta Club who qualified as fastest loser for the final finished second.

In the field events, RNM Robertson won the long jump from fellow GUAC member TH Souter, AF McDonald of Glasgow won the High Jump and the first three in the Pole Vault were PBB Ogilvie and B Babington Smith (both Atalanta) with AM Wiesen of Edinburgh third.

And for the remainder of the season, there were university men taking part in local and invitation meetings until August when the Empire Games took place at White City in London.   The Universities were well represented in the Scottish team with Murdoch, RB Wylde, FAR Hunter, IC Young and others took part.