Texas Relays


Texas Relays

The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays are an annual track and field competition held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The University of Texas serves as host for the event, held on either the first or second weekend of April.Events are held in High School, College, University, and Invitational divisions. The 81st running of the relays was April 2-5, 2008.

History

In response to cold-weather conditions at the Kansas Relays, cite web|url=http://tspweb02.tsp.utexas.edu/webarchive/04-05-01/2001040501_s01_Tradition.html|title=Texas Relays: History in the making|date=2001-04-05|author=Holton, Avery|publisher=The Daily Texan] the Texas Relays started as a men's-only competition in 1925 by coach Clyde Littlefield and athletic director Theo Bellmont cite web|url=http://www.texassports.com/mainpages/txr/structure/history.html|title=History of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays|publisher=Texassports.com ] . The Relays were held at Memorial Stadium until Mike A. Myers Stadium was opened in 1999cite web|url=http://www.texassports.com/mainpages/txr/2005/040105_11.htm|title=Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays: A to Z |author=McMicken, Glen|date=2005-03-31|publisher=Texassports.com] . The meet was not held in from 1932-1934 as a result of The Great Depression. Women's events were added in 1963.

To encourage attendance in the early years of the event, various publicity stunts were staged. The most successful was a 1927 stunt in which three Tarahumaras were invited to the Relays. These men were famed as runners who never stopped running. A race was staged between the men from San Antonio to Memorial Stadium. After 14 hours and 53 minutes, the 89 mile race ended in a tie.

In 1977, electronic timing was introduced at the Relays, and Olympic gold medalist and Texas Longhorns football player John Wesley Jones recorded a time of 9.85 seconds in the 100 meter dash. This would have set a world record, but it was determined that the timer malfunctioned, and the time was unofficial.

The Texas Relays are currently the second largest track meet in the United States, behind only the Penn Relays.cite web|url=http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2006/04/05/Sports/Five-Reasons.To.Watch.Texas.Premiere.Track.Event-1783327-page2.shtml|title=Five reasons to watch Texas' premiere track event|date=2006-04-07|author=Treon, Ricky|publisher=The Daily Texan] Today, approximately 50,000 spectators and 5,000 athletes attend the events. cite web|url=http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2006/04/05/Sports/Texas.Relays.2006.Preview-1783315.shtml|title=Texas Relays 2006 Preview|author=Rentfro, Daryl|date=2006-04-05|publisher=The Daily Texan]

Local impact

According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2007, the Relays generate US$8 million for local business.cite web|url="http://www.austintexas.org/media/press_releases.php?id=210&category=5884"|author="Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau"|title="March Madness Means Millions for Austin"|date=2007-03-27|publisher="Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau""] Much of this traced to the fact that the event has become a social destination for young African-Americans. A number of groups organize networking and development events for African-Americans to take place in downtown Austin during the Relays. As recently as 2005, some of these groups have complained that the city government and some businesses have acted in a racist manner to discourage attendance at these parties and social events. cite web|url=http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid%3A272560|title=Passing the Baton|author=Smith, Jordan|date=2005-05-27|publisher=The Austin Chronicle]

Divisions

The University Division is open to schools in NCAA Division I. The College Division is open to schools in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, or NJCAA schools. The University/College Division is open to schools that qualify for either division separately.The High School Division is separated into two levels, Division I and Division II. Division I is open to schools in the University Interscholastic League classes A, AA, or AAA (or their interstate equivalents). Division II is open to schools in UIL classes AAAA or AAAAA. Schools that normally compete in Division I may compete in Division II if they wish. cite web|url=http://www.texassports.com/mainpages/txr/structure/entries.html |title=2005 Entries Information|publisher=TexasSports.com]


= Events held cite web|url=http://www.texassports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=81&url_article_id=3274&url_subchannel_id=&change_well_id=2|title=2006 79th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays schedule] =

Note: Some men's events are combined for the University and College divisions.

References

Video links

* [http://www.flocasts.com/flotrack/texas2007.php Videos from 2007 Texas Relays]


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