Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Physical Education


Track and field meets have been held for high-school athletes in South Dakota since 1903, when Yankton College first sponsored a meet on May 8th at College Park in Yankton. The sport has grown steadily, and in 1955 the South Dakota High School Athletic Association sanctioned thirty-three conference meets, twenty independently sponsored meets, eight regional meets, three cross country meets, twelve dual-triangular-quad-rangular type meets, three junior-high meets, and one state meet. In addition to this, South Dakota high-school athletes participated in nine out-of-state meets. The author has been unable to find any extensively collected historical data or any assemblage of meet records anywhere in the state. Much of the interesting high-school track history may eventually be lost or forgotten entirely if some steps are taken to collect and record more carefully this information. It was to meet this need that this thesis was undertaken. This historical study is limited mainly to the high schools within the state of South Dakota and the meets which are held within its boundaries. Although certain of the track and field meets that are held in South Dakota have out-of-state participants, and although there is mention of certain out-of-state meets that South Dakota attend, this study in primarily about this state. There is no attempt to arrive at any conclusions. This thesis is merely a presentation of historical facts. Most of the evidence is from primary sources. Mr. R.N. Walseth, executive secretary for the South Dakota High School Athletic Association, made it possible for the author to examine all of the records and files of that organization. Mr. Will Robinson, curator of the state museum, allowed the author to examine all newspapers and records on file in the Pierre archives. The South Dakota State College microfilm library was used. Coaches and school administrators throughout the state were very co-operative in sending the author information on relays and conference historical data. The newspaper sport writers throughout the state made contributions. The information is separated into five divisions to gain more easily a perspective on what transpired. The divisions are closed related. The purpose of this study has been to gather into one place as much of the historical information on South Dakota track and field activities on the secondary school level as the author possibly obtain. Because of the need for this type of accumulated data, this study has aimed:

1. To trace the early track and field meets which had an influence on developing interest in the sport itself.

2. To provide a reference for present records in all meets that are operated under the sanction of the South Dakota High School Athletic Association within the state.

3. To trace the growth and development of the South Dakota State Meet which is the one track event in the state where all areas of the state are equally represented.

4. To present rulings of the South Dakota High School Athletic Association which have affected state track events

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Track and field -- South Dakota
Physical education and training -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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