Track and Field at Samford Hall
Date: 1900 Size: 470x207 pixels
Spectators crowded the running lane to get a good look at a jumper descending in sight of the new main building, later named Samford Hall.  Foot races and baseball games were popular diversions at Auburn near the end of the nineteenth century.  Dean George Petrie said a wheelbarrow race helped make Auburn's first field day a success in 1889.  Contestants borrowed the wheelbarrows workers had been using in construction of the building to replace Old Main after it burned.  The blindfolded youths pushed as fast as they could for 100 yards.  One youth "ran into a tree and tore his pants off."  Many years later, Petrie recalled that the student had "completed the race in what remained of his trousers, and thus introduced 'the running costume which has since been adopted by all the leading colleges,'" Brenda H. Mattson reported in her Petrie thesis.
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