Looking ‘Em Over with Fred Digby

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Looking ‘Em Over with Fred Digby

Originally published in The Morning Tribune in New Orleans on June 16, 1933

They’ll Show Chicago

The greatest collection of collegiate and scholastic track and field stars in the South marches into Soldier Field tomorrow afternoon to test their speed, strength and skill against the pick of America’s best athletes.

This isn’t the first time the South has been represented in stellar events in the Middle West.

Our boys have done themselves proud there, too. Including Emmett Toppino, Don Scott, Don Zimmerman, Bill Stokes, Nebby Miller and George Leppert to name a few. Scott’s half mile in 1:53 1-5 in the 1916 Western Conference meet still stands as a record.

But the big group of Southerners entered in the National collegiate and National Interscholastic meet meets this season surpass all their predecessors both in numbers and ability.

From New Orleans alone there are nine competitors and from Baton Rouge seven additional. This gives Louisiana the finest representation this state has had in these two national events. Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas – they’ll all have their athletes, collegiate and scholastic, in Chicago.

At least 500 athletes will participate in the two events but they’ll all know the South is there. For the day when the East, the Mid-West and Far West could outdo us in athletics is past. If they don’t know it now, they’ll learn as much this week end.

Hardin’s Best Bet

L.S.U. probably has the best bets among the individual performers in the collegiate competition in “Slats” Hardin, Jack Torrance, Nathan Blair and Al Moreau.

Hardin has it in him to smash two of the existing records. One is the 440 record made by E.L. Spencer of Stanford in 1928 when the Trojan turned the quarter in 47.7 seconds. The other is the 220 yards hurdles mark of 23.2 seconds established by Cuhel of Iowa in 1928 and equalled by Sentman, the great Illinois hurdler in 1930.

It may be that there’s some runner or hurdler capable of beating “Slats” in these two events. If so, then whoever that individual happens to be, he will be the new record holder. Torrance has smashed the existing shot put record (51 feet 1 ¾ inches) on several occasions. So this mark seems doomed, too.

Moreau has run the 120 hurdles in 14.4 seconds often and under the more favorable conditions as to track and competition may be the one to wipe out or equal this performance which is the record made by Earl Thomson way back in 1921.

There’s more interest in the individual performers than in the team competition but a half dozen teams will be after the honors, including L.S.U., Southern Cal, Stanford, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio State.

Tigers Prep At Illini

The Tigers finished their prep for the games at the University of Illinois stadium in Champaign. A letter from Frank Wandle, trainer of the Tigers, came this morning. It was dated Tuesday, and follows:

Dear Fred:

Led by “Barney Oldfield” Moore, the track squad of L.S.U. arrived at Champaign, Ill., where the boys will stay while working at the U. of Illinois until Thursday, when they will go into Chicago.

As soon as we arrived the squad worked out on the track inside the famous Illini stadium. It didn’t take long for the car soreness to leave them all. After a good night’s sleep they are all prepared to take a double workout today and tomorrow. We are going out at 10:30 and again at 4.

Before we left Baton Rouge, we had read nothing but the number of people that were dying from the heat. Can you picture us Southern boys with our seersuckers and linens out here, and the weather has changed to nice October coolness? Well, it’s a fact. Hope it changes soon.

The great relay team from Greenwood, Miss., high school is also here and these boys are in the same boat. You know them. They made the record at the Drake relays. I think it was something like 3.28. There are three brothers on the team and two of them are twins.

Then we expect the relay team from Port Arthur up here, which will give our neck of the woods quite a representation. Outside of a little soreness in Buddy Blair’s arm the squad is in pretty fair shape.

George Huff and the balance of the athletic staff at the U. of Illinois have been just wonderful. They have turned over the entire plant to us during our stay here.

Take it easy if it’s too warm down there. Would like to change one good seersucker for a tropical wosted or what have you. Can do?




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