Track & Field
Outdoor track was one of the original sports included when the Interscholastic League formed in May 1899. Hope high school was the first track squad to win the championship. The Brown University Interscholastic (starting 1904) and University of Rhode Island meets were annual events. Indoor track was followed in the early 1900s with meets at the Cranston Street Armory, Providence Armory, Rhode Island Auditorium and YMCAs in Providence and Pawtucket. In 1908 the Annual Indoor Track Meet at the Providence Armory hosted college, schoolboy and military teams sponsored by the Armory Athletic Association. Rhode Island has had several outstanding track athletes represent, not only Brown University and Rhode Island State College (now University Of Rhode Island) and other college programs, but the olympic games as well. Norm Taber of Providence was a middle distance runner winning a bronze medal in 1500m and a gold medal in 3000m at the 1912 Olympic Games. He also earned the first IAAF mile record. Ellison "Tarzan" Brown of Charlestown was a marathon runner in 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. He won the 1936 and 1939 Boston Marathons and is the only Native American to have more than one victory in the race. Pawtucket's Les Pawson won the Boston Marathon in 1933, 1938, and 1941. He was the second runner to win the race three times. A road is named after him in Lincoln Woods State Park. Fred Dreyer of Providence competed at URI and 1936 and 1948 Olympics. He held 21 national championships in the weight throws (1934-52) and was AAU hammer-throw champion four times. Cranston High school's Bob Bennett was a track star and an All-American hammer thrower at the University of Maine and Brown University. He was a bronze medal winner in the 1948 London Olympics. Al Morro set the state high school record in the discus throw at Central High School and Boston College records in the discus and hammer and qualified for the 1940 US Olympic team before WWII intervened.