Dr.J. on Running


Guess the Year

A Lesson From History

Published January 21, 2002 in The Syracuse Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

"Today, Syracuse University stands supreme among all universities of the United States in cross country. We are intercollegiate cross country champions of America," wrote Howard Detro in the Syracuse University Yearbook, the Onondagan.

"This honor was won only after a season of hard work on the part of every runner, and came as a result of the spectacular Orange victory at the intercollegiate meet in New York November 27, when Syracuse defeated the cream of America's college harriers," he boasted.

"The race in which Syracuse won the intercollegiate title was held over the six-mile Van Cortland Park course. The score, which clearly indicates the superiority of our team, gave us the low count of 75, with Yale second at 105. MIT was third, Cornell fourth, with Columbia fifth."

"The meets preliminary to the nationals run appeared to serve as conditioning races for the men. In the Annual Invitational in Syracuse November 4, Cornell won, Columbia was second, Syracuse third, Penn State fourth, Carnegie Tech fifth and Colgate sixth. In the annual dual race here with Colgate November 18 we swamped the maroon runners, finishing the entire team before a Colgate man touched the tape."

A few pages later, the Onondagan documented the achievements of the track team. "Syracuse stands among the foremost universities of the country in track. Its one-mile relay team for the second consecutive season holds the collegiate championship of America. Our two-mile and medley relays likewise rank in the van. A series of individual titles also bear Orange colors."

The Onondagan proceeded to list the highlights of the year. At the Millrose Games in New York, Syracuse won the mile relay, and finished second to Boston in the two-mile relay. At the Boston Knights of Columbus meet, the Syracuse mile relay team suffered its only defeat of the season, when MIT "nosed out a victory." At the annual indoor championship, Syracuse tied Princeton for first place in the mile relay.

The Orangemen performed equally well outdoors. At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the Syracuse mile relay team won the collegiate championship of America for the second consecutive year in a time of 3 minutes 19 seconds, while the sprint medley relay team finished second to Pennsylvania.

The Onongadan wrapped its review with praise for the Syracuse track coach who developed "men and teams that have proved his superiority in coaching the speedsters of the cinder path. The holder of the Olympic title at the 200-meter distance is a pupil of the inimitable Orange coach, while the intercollegiate championship cross country team and the mile relay team are both the results of his remarkable tutelage."

Guess the year!

© 2002 The Post-Standard.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Syracuse Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at jabbour@i2sports.com.