During last Monday’s announcement by President Bierman regarding the new track (and new field surface for Strong Stadium, and the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse) he also mentioned the return of the Beloit Relays.
The Relays ran from 1937 to 1979 (no Relays in 1943-45 and 1973-74) and, in the earlier years, welcomed in excess of 300-plus athletes and crowds of over 3,000 packing the Stadium regardless of the weather.
Head track and field coach Lou Means, who was also the athletic director, is credited with the creation of the Relays. In addition to outstanding performances over the years, it also featured various marching bands providing pre-meet entertainment and, in 1953, a Mickey Mouse Relay to get local youth involved in the meet.
Legendary coach Herb Hodges took the reins of the track and field program in 1947 and led the squad to team wins in the Relays from 1949-51, when he left to become the head track and field coach at the University of Alabama. He returned to Beloit in 1954 and the team posted another Relays victory.
Through the years Beloit recorded 56 individual wins in the Relays, second only to Wheaton College’s 70.
There’ll be much, much more to come on the Relays as we get closer to the re-starting of a historic event.
LAST WEEK IN BUCCANEER ATHLETICS
Buccaneer Baseball (6-6) split four games last week, sweeping Knox College in Beloit on Tuesday before falling to defending National Champion Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, on Thursday. The Bucs play at Wisconsin Lutheran College on Wednesday before opening Midwest Conference play next weekend with home and away doubleheaders against Lawrence University.
Buccaneer Softball (4-10, 2-0 MWC) split four games last week, falling twice to North Central College on Thursday before sweeping Lawrence University in Beloit on Saturday to open Midwest Conference play. The Buccaneers have a busy week ahead, playing a doubleheader at Wheaton College today (Monday) and hosting UW-Platteville for two games on Thursday for Faculty & Staff Appreciation Day. They then play five games in the annual MWC Classic at Dawson Park in Janesville on Saturday (three games) and Sunday (two games).
Buccaneer Outdoor Track & Field had their first Northern Outdoor meet of the season, competing at the University of Chicago Ted Haydon Invite. The men finished eighth and the women tenth. Travis Towns and Kenny Williams brought home first-place finishes, Towns in the Javelin and Williams in the 400m Hurdles. Erika Moen finished second in the Discus to lead the women. The Bucs compete at the Carroll University Pioneer Invite next Saturday.
For more in-depth information on Buccaneer Athletics go to www.beloit.edu/bucs.