What Were the Experts Thinking?

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LSU’s dominance in track and field can be traced back to the 1933 season when the Tigers won their first national championship at Chicago’s Solider Field under the guidance of legendary head coach Bernie Moore. Next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships mark the 75th anniversary of that historic victory that helped lay the foundation for one of the elite programs in all of collegiate track and field.

Third in a five-part series remembering LSU’s first national champions takes a look at what the experts were saying about the underdog Tigers as they prepared to battle the likes of defending champion Indiana and powerhouse programs from the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. The following are articles written by New Orleans columnist Fred Digby and published in The Morning Tribune on June 5 and June 16, 1933.

Tigers Rated As ‘Dark Horse’ In Collegiate Meet

Looking ‘Em Over with Fred Digby

Originally published in The Morning Tribune in New Orleans on June 5, 1933

When the Louisiana State university track team goes to Chicago two weeks hence, the attention of the entire athletic world will be centered on the greatest team ever sent into national competition by a Southern school.

The Tigers will meet the greatest collection of track and field athletes in America in the National intercollegiates and the Southern California and Michigan teams, winners of the I.C. 4-A and the Big Ten championships, respectively. Folks in the Far West, Middle West and East are familiar with the doings of the Trojan stars and the Wolverines.

Some of them will recall “Slats” Hardin, who finished second to the Irishman, Tisdal, in the 400 meters hurdles in the Olympic games, and received credit for the world’s record when he skipped over the low sticks without kicking one over.

But to the rank and file of track fans there’ll be several newcomers who will command attention. In this group are Jack Torrance, Nathan Blair, and Al Moreau.

These three and Hardin form a quartette to compare with any two track and field men now at any one school. They’ll make the bands play Dixie – if they’re any bands at the collegiate meet.

Click here to read the full article.

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.

Click here to read the full article.



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