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Theo Bellmont (AD) and Clyde Littlefield start one of the greatest tradition in UT Sports. The competitive drive for the Longhorns at the Texas Relays is to track what Texas-OU game is to football. An event that brings out the very best in the Longhorns.
Clyde was part of Longhorn sports as a student athlete and football and track coach from 1912- 1961. Clyde is in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Longhorn Hall of Honor, and twice was named SWC Coach of the Year. As an athlete Coach Littlefield earned 12 letters in football, basketball,and track. He was All SWC in football twice and played on three unbeaten basketball teams, but track was his truest love. He never ran on a losing track team. Lost only one hurdles race in his career and tied a world record in the high hurdles.
The dedication of Memorial stadium is on November 27, 1924 with a victory over A & M and the first Texas Relays is March 27, 1925. Theo Bellmont- a consummate promoter- by the sheer power of his will makes the first Texas relay a huge success with 391 athletes and 4000 fans. The Austin American said it is the "greatest athletic event ever held in the Southwest."
The Texas Relays were so popular that in 1925 that 391 athletes and 4000 fans attended. Competition in the "College" level was added in 1926.
In 1927 Notre Dame, Iowa State, and Michigan State attend the Texas Relays. 13 Texas Relay records were broken. Austin was now on the "National" map.
The University of Mexico presented the Tarahumara Indians who ran from San Antonio to the texas stadium (89 Miles). Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa State, and Missouri attended the relays . Texas won very few medals.
Lola Cuzarare wins the race of 89 miles
The relays had 4 classifications : university, college, jr. college, and high school. There was also some competition for well known athletes for special exhibition performance.
Due to the depression from 19321 - 1935 the Texas Relays are cancelled.
March 27th , 1931 more than a 1000 athletes from 16 states . The Texas relays were important to the middle of the country - Kansa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Chicago, Marquette, Oklahoma, Drake, Nebraska, and Northwestern.
On April 5, 1941 the Texas Relays was as important as the Drake and Kansas relays. It was the best show in Southwest Conference history. Relay teams, discuss, pole Vault, and broad jump all set new Texas records.
In 1958 California and Stanford particpate in the Texas Relays for the first time.
In 1963 women events are added to the Texas Relays.
In 1976 with the conversion to metric-measurement, many new records are set.
From 1925-1976 the big name national and international stars are the draw that attract fans. In 1977 this changes. Cleburne Price feels it is no longer necessary to promote "bill board" names to attract fans. Open Events will continue to be part of the Texas Relays, but Collegiate competition is the future for the Texas Relays. Price feels that the quality of competition in the college and University ranks is good enough to draw fans. The "college format" will be the future of the Texas Relays. He was right.
Teams from UCLA, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Minnesota and many more attending the Relays . Approximately 2000 athletes representing 200 schools competed.
In 1983 the Texas Relays awards its first women's heptathlon championship.