Track and field at Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is nationally recognized for its track and field teams. Track and field has a long history at Brigham Young University.
The university fielded its first track and field team in 1899 and by the mid-1910s could boast an Olympic champion as one of their own. Alma Richards competed in the high jump for Brigham Young University under the direction of coach Eugene Roberts. At Roberts’ urging Alma Richards tried out for the U.S. National team in 1912 and won the gold medal in high jump at the Stockholm (Sweden) Olympic games.
The track and field program began to take real strides in the 1950s when Clarence Robison was hired as coach of the track team. Members of the track team have competed at a number of different locations over the years. The first track owned by the university, pictured above, was constructed in the early 1900s on Temple Hill by student volunteers. In the late 1920s a football stadium was constructed in the area of where the Richards Building stands. The stadium bleachers were built into the hillside and a track surrounded the football field.
This track served as home for the track and field team from the late 1920s to the early 1960s when a new football stadium was constructed (now known as the LaVell Edwards Stadium) which included a track.
When the football stadium was expanded in 1982, the current track stadium was constructed. More information about the current track stadium can be found here.
The University Archives is home to several collections and books that document the history of track and field at Brigham Young University. They include:
- MSS 3299 Brigham Young University track and field photographs, 1950-1980. This collection contains 54 negatives of the BYU track team and 54 prints made from those negatives.
- UA 1029 Brigham Young University athletic photographs. 1893-1989. This collection documents photographically the variety of athletic activities that took place at Brigham Young University from 1893 until the end of the 1980s and includes materials related to the track and field team. The finding aid is available here.
- GV 3.022 .K47 1984 A history of Brigham Young University men’s cross country, and track and field, and an evaluation of program success 1960-1980 by John Nelson Kernan.
If you would like to learn more about the resources available for studying the history of track and field at Brigham Young University, please contact the University Archivist at (801) 422-5821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.