MSU Cross Country Study
University of Waterloo
MSU Track and Field Alumni Association, The Finish Line Club
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
We don't want to "give away the farm" before the full story is written, but thought you may enjoy some historic tidbits from the past.
|An accomplished teacher following graduation, Walter C. Mack (1920-2010) was an All-American cross country and track performer at Michigan State both before and after service in the Pacific theatre (Navy and Marines) in World War Two. Our book will include details of those exploits including stories behind his Purple Heart and running comeback.||
Clark S. Chamberlain (1910-1944) was Michigan State's first individual national champion, winning the IC4A cross country title in 1930. That race was recognized as the de facto national championship race until the inception of the NCAA meet in 1938.
Chamberlain's rise from obscurity to glory makes for a compelling story, as does his tragic and premature death from a chemical industrial accident in the early 1940s.
Navy photo source: Glendale News Press (retrieved 5 May 2011).
Running photo source: MSU Archives and Historic Collections.
|Photo source: MSU Archives and Historic Collections.|
This page included several sections: 1) Brief profiles of cross country athletes and coaches in the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, 2) A short description of the first intramural cross country competition in 1907 and accompanying photos and map of Michigan Agricultural College's first cross country course which was laid out that spring, and 3) a short story related to the first intercollegiate competition in 1910 along with a photo of that team with their trophy.
Cross country athletes in the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame
The photographs below were taken at the Athletics Hall of Fame in the Clara Bell Smith Student- Athlete Academic Center on campus at the corner of Shaw Lane and Red Cedar Drive. This facility is worth a visit for alumni visiting campus. Brief highlights of each inductee's athletic careers are listed on the plaques. Ironically, neither Brown's nor Schlademan's plaques mention the multiple NCAA and IC4A championships that their respective teams captured during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. (Photos from Mark Havitz collection)
Hall of Fame Members' Action Photos
Lauren Brown as an MSC freshman in the mid-1920s (Source: MSU Archives and Historic Collecitons)
Henry Kennedy leading the front pack of the 1955 NCAA field through what is now Sanford Natural Area at MSU (Source: Personal collection of Henry Kennedy; original published in Sports Illustrated magazine)
Crawford Kennedy winning the 1958 NCAA meet, first ever held at Forest Akers (Source: Personal collection of Crawford Kennedy)
Richard Frey legging out a finish in the late-1930s (Source: MSU Archives and Historic Collecitons)
Michigan State's first cross country competitions
In the beginning . . . on April 13, 1907 . . . twenty-seven Michigan Agricultural College students, split into two teams drawn by lot by varsity track aces Roy Waite and Ralph Carr, toed a line in front of the Armory (near the present Music Building on what is now West Circle Drive of Michigan State University). They embarked on an estimated three mile course to the Farm House on Farm Lane, south across the Farm Lane bridge, and east along the Red Cedar River to Beal Pinetum. Turning north on Hagadorn Road , they crossed the Red Cedar a second time and returned west along Grand River Avenue to College Street (now Bogue Street), thence south-west through the orchard and campus to the starting point. Waite finished in an excellent time of 15:30, followed by Carr and then 23 others. Presumably the two stragglers eventually found their way back to campus. Waite’s team won 123-177. Source: Adapted from Frimodig & Stabley, 1971, p. 27. All accompanying photos courtesy of MSU Archives and Historic Collections.
Roy Waite Ralph Carr The Michigan Agricultural College Armory building. This was the main
athletic building on campus prior to 1918 when the new gymnasium opened.
The Farm House (c. 1913) The College Sugar Bush (c. 1923) Farm Lane Bridge (c. 1911) looking northwest. The open
Now Sanford Natural Area pasture across river in foreground is on the site of Bessey Hall
Three years later, the Aggies participated in their first intercollegiate cross country competition, racing against Olivet College, Hope College, the Grand Rapids YMCA, and Muskegon High School at the Hope College Invitational in Holland. MAC’s Fred Tillotson copped the individual title on the approximately four mile course in 21:15, followed by teammates Charles Perkins (4th), Arthur Warner (9th), Robert Rosen (11th) and Horace Geib (14th). MAC’s 39 point total was 18 better than second place Olivet. Source: Adapted from Frimodig & Stabley, 1971, p. 27
Our first intercollegiate team (1910) with the Hope Invitational trophy
Captain Fred Tillotson, front row center