University Track & Field: 1935

Inter-Varsity hurdles race : photo from The Scotsman of Monday 10th June


The first University Sports to be held in 1935 were in Glasgow on 10th May with the report in the “Sunday Post” being headed RECORDS GALORE AT GLASGOW ‘VARSITY SPORTS.   Before looking at the results, we will; draw your attention to Ian Lapraik who was second in thehalf mile and mile, and third in the three miles, and AW McAulay’s two victories in Mile and Three Miles.

Glasgow, as before, sent a small squad to the British University Championships at the White City on 18th May.   AF McDonald won the high jump for them with a best on the day of 5′ 8″, one inch higher than the second placed man.   Although there were no individual medals won by the University, the team finished fifth of the thirteen competing.   

The other universities back in Scotland were also busy that weekend.   Edinburgh University defeated Glasgow at Westerlands by the narrow margin of one single point (48 to 47)  and St Andrews University beat Dundee Hawkhill Harriers at UCD by 55 points to 20.   And as described below, the Aberdeen University championships were held at King’s College.   All four universities were in action with an eye on the Inter-Varsities in June.

Aberdeen held a preliminary meeting two days before their annual sports championships in 1935 on Thursday, 17th May.  Events covered were the 120 yards hurdles where four runners qualified for the Final – JA Robbie, IR Smith, JC Cowan and WJ Whyte; the Broad Jump: IL Smith, J Craig and L Sharp; One Mile Final – 1.  DM Annand 4:53.6; 2. WJ Whyte; 3. HR Kellas (Annand won by 8 yards); and the Final of the Putting the Weight – 1. DM Mathieson 32′ 5 1/2″; 2. AJ Taylor 32′ 2″; 3. CA Macgregor 30′ 1″.   

Of the day of the sports, the report in the Press & Journal read:   “Conditions were all against good times at the Aberdeen University Sports at King’s College on Saturday.   The ground was heavy after a week’s almost incessant rain, and a strong wind blew across the ground.   In the sprint races however, the wind slightly helped the competitors.   One record was broken, the record-breaker being J Watson, an Australian student who, for the second year in succession, reduced the time for the 440 yards dash.   On Saturday Watson clipped one-fifth of a second off his last year’s time.   Watson completed the “double” by winning the 100 yards but this was not enough to earn him the Dean’s Medal for pure athletics which was shared by DM Annand IL Smith with 12 points each.   

“WOMEN’S EVENTS.   Miss MR MacKenzie practically “scooped the pool”  in the women’s events and won the Trail Cup for most points in these events.   Miss MacKenzie’s winning effort in the women’s high jump competition was the lowest in the history of the sports.   

AJG Taylor, a last year’s Gordon’s College boy, was the winner of the Nelson Keith medal for heavy events.”   


The Edinburgh University Sports preliminary meeting was held on 22nd May with three events being decided.   The Three Miles title was retained by WH Whalley in 15:53.4, DWBoyd retained the Hamme with 122′ 10 1/2″ and PM Ewen won the Discus with 112′ 3 1/2″ (9 feet further than second placer).

The remainder were held on 25th May and the report in “The Scotsman” on 27th May read as follows.   

“DRS MILNE BEATS HURDLES RECORD.   ANDEAN’S SPRINTS DOUBLE.   Several excellent returns were made at the Edinburgh University Sports which were held at Craiglockhart on Saturday.   The Rosebery Cup for the best all-round display went to DRS Milne.   A Wiesen won the Fahmy Cup, a new award presented to the athlete showing the best style.   The Donovan Cup was won by W Botha.   Milne won the Rosebery Cup with a first in the 120 yards hurdles and high jump, second in the broad jump and third in the javelin which gave him a total of 13 points, and the runner-up was PM Ewen who gained 10 points from firsts putt and discus and a second in the hammer.

The “Glasgow Herald” was fulsome in its praise of the standard in Edinburgh, giving W Botha space because of his quarter- and half-mile double, JK Andean, Scottish schools champion of two years earlier, and Milne were also praised for the standard and progress made.   It was also suggested that they would do well in the Inter-Universities to be held in June.

Meanwhile, St Andrews took on Aberdeen at St Andrews and were defeated in both Men’s (33 to 31) and Women’s (21 – 7) matches.   The men were actually leading 31 – 29 with only the relay remaining, Aberdeen won, took the 4 points, and won the competition.   

Passing the baton in the Women’s Relay in the St Andrews  v  Aberdeen

Finish of the 100 yards in the St Andrews  v  Dundee Hawkhill match.  Winner was EDO Campbell, St Andrews

All the Universities had been preparing assiduously for the championships with their own championships and with selected matches against each other before the inter-varsity meeting came up.   The championships were well covered in The Scotsman and the report will be reproduced in sections below.