Wisconsin’s First H.S. Track Meet in 1895 Produced an Olympian



This past week I ventured north to Steven’s Point, Wisconsin as my school’s representative at the a state-wide athletic conference. While waiting for the meeting to begin I read a brochure which mentioned that Wisconsin’s high school athletic organization, the WIAA, is the oldest in the nation. It was started in 1896, a year after the state’s first track meet was held on May 25, 1895. I was curious and conducted a little research on this track meet and discovered that one of the world’s all-time great track and field athletes was involved in this historic Wisconsin sporting event.

Milwaukee’s East Side High School (Riverside High School) won the track event behind its star athlete, Alvin Kraenzlein (picture above). The Milwaukee Journal article posted below refers to Kraenzlein as the “man of the day” after he won all five events in which he entered. What is most interesting is that Kraenzlein went on to win 4 individual gold medals (60 meter Dash, 110 and 200 meter High Hurdles and Long Jump) at the 1900 Paris Olympic games; a record that stands to this day.


first state track meet

The Milwaukee Journal, 27 May 1895. Online.




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