St. Bonaventure Track and Field

History of the Teams

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Major Track

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The records indicate that the track team was first formed in the Fall of 1903.  It was this year the wide path leading around the grove had been newly  graded and filled in with tan-bark and offered a splendid running track for the students.  They took advantage of it with the result that even several attained good records and instituted themselves among a number of class-teams picked out for competition.  These teams promised some good sports, hard working, before the snow begins to fly. (Laurel, 40)

After its first year the track team took a hit and wouldn't be seen again until 1916.  "With the first days  of spring we hear the clink of spikes on the cinder track and realize that it is time to prepare for a field meet.  The Track has been born anew after a lapse of twelve years, and our first season promises to be a winner for St. Bona's. " (Laurel 400)

Some of the excellent athletes to excel at track and field at St. Bonaventure were: Charlie Major, John D. Bell, Gus Moore, Roi Ottley.

You can't begin to talk about the track team without mentioning the very competitive Cross Country team.  In many ways the two teams were one group, especially in the early years.  They were certainly treated that way by The St. Bona Venture.  

1926 marked the first intercollegiate cross country team, and it was a good one. "John D. Bell became student coach and several outstanding harriers were developed.  That year the college team won the Junior National Championship  in Philadelphia, and placed  second in the Senior Nationals at Van Cortland Park, New York City." (Angelo, 217-218)  The Cross Country team (also known as the Harriers) found great success over the years.  Individual members of the team had continued success, often attending events at their own expense. (See the Meet the Team page for an amusing story from the end of the season.)

1946 saw the return of track to the college as the third major sport needed for NCAA status.

 

References:

Angelo, Mark V. The History of Saint Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute, 1961.

The Laurel, 1903-1904, 1916-1917

Updated: 04/01/2009