Some Historical Facts About Suburban Conference Track and Field

Suburban Outdoor:  First held in 1925.  First meet for the Bay was 1934.

Suburban Relays:  First held in 1938.

Suburban Indoor:  First held in 1954.

The Indoor was held at UWM’s Baker Fieldhouse from 1954 through 1958.  In 1959 it moved to Waukesha’s new fieldhouse and stayed there for most of the 1960’s.  The Relays and Outdoor were generally held at Waukesha (Haertel Field), Wauwatosa (Hart Park) or the Bay, although the Relays were held at South Milwaukee four times during the 1940’s.  From 1959 to 1966 the locations were fixed with Waukesha hosting Indoor, Bay the Relays and Wauwatosa (East) the Outdoor.  About the time the Bay track went to hell, West Allis Hale moved into their new building and they had a state-of-the-art hard surface track.  So Hale usually hosted the Outdoor in the late 1960’s and 1970’s with Waukesha taking the Relays and Bay getting the Indoor.  Wauwatosa East then jumped back into the picture in 1972 with their new track at Hart Park.  Got that?

Through 1963, the Suburban Outdoor was held the week after the State Meet.  So the general meet sequence in the heart of the season was the Suburban Relays in early May, Sectionals two weeks later, then State, then the Suburban Outdoor.  The State Meet was held the Saturday after Memorial Day and that drove the scheduling for the whole season.

The participation limit at the Indoor and Outdoor was three events total with no more than two running for most of the Suburban Conference era.  It was four events total through at least 1936.  I’m not sure about the Relays.

Scoring for individual events from 1934 through 1965 was 5-4-3-2-1.  From 1966 to 1974 it was 6-4-3-2-1.  In 1975 it changed to 10-8-6-4-2-1.

Scoring at the Relays was double for track events.  Through 1969 field events at the Relays were individual and weren’t doubled.

Event changes through the years:

120 High Hurdles:  Hurdle height dropped in 1933 from 42″ to 36″.  And then went up to 39″ in 1961 (just in time for the great Tom Dakin) where it remains.

220 Yard Dash:  The distance was 200 yards from 1941 to 1954.  It was 220 yards before and after.  This one is irritating because the Bay had a lot of great sprinters in the 14 years of the 200 era.  I know what a 22.0 or 22.2 220 means (Ron Vick, Jim Just), but not a 19.9 (Bill Eichfeld) or 20.1 (Joe Kiehm) 200.

Low Hurdles:  What a mess.  220 yards through 1940.  Then 200 yards from 1941 to 1955.  Then 180 yards from 1956 to 1976.  I have no idea if the number of hurdle flights changed when the distance changed.  Then the change to 330 in 1977.  The Bay had an absurd number of great low hurdlers in the 1930’s and 1940’s and it’s tough to interpret those times.

440 Yard Dash:  Was run in boxes with a one-turn stagger at the Suburban through at least 1969.

880 Relay:  Points counted double from 1940 to 1962.  It was the only relay through 1956 and was the last event of the meet through 1966.

Mile Relay:  The Sprint Medley Relay was added in 1957.  The Mile Relay replaced the SMR in 1964 and was switched to the last event of the meet in 1967.  The SMR also counted double through 1962.

Mile:  Was the second to last event in the meet program through 1966.

Two Mile:  Added in 1970.

Discus:  Not held at the Suburban Relays or Suburban Outdoor from 1941 to 1953.  I have no idea why.

The yards to meters switch came in 1980.  At the time of the switch, the Bay track program converted yards times to meters for school/class records and honor rolls.


One thought on “Some Historical Facts About Suburban Conference Track and Field

  1. Any idea on who to contact for results of the conference meets? Specifically, I’m looking for the 1985 Indoor results held at Whitefish Bay as I won the two mile. Thanks.


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