MSHSAA Indoor State Championship History

Finally, with the Big River Running state indoor meet series just concluded and some discussion on Milesplit, I thought I would give a little background on the state high school indoor track meet. Story by our resident historian Dean Hays

    MSHSAA began a state indoor meet in 1930 after the construction of Brewer Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.  The building contained at 220-yard dirt track with the east end going under the permanent part of the basketball stands.  That building continued to host MU basketball and indoor track though the 1971-1972 school year. 

    In the fall of 1972, MSHSAA members voted 313-72 to drop the state indoor meet.  Several reasons were given, but per then Coach Ron Whitaker in a Mexico Ledger newspaper article on January 13, 1973, the question on the state indoor meet on the questionnaire was misread by many and that to answer "Yes" meant you wanted to do away with the meet.  Coaches Bob Smith of Center, Fred Lyons of Parkway North and Bob Craddock of Raytown South wrote a petition that was passed by Missouri school administrators but not in time to hold the meet in March of 1973.

    From 1930 through 1950, the state indoor meet had two classes: Class A for schools with enrollments over 150 and Class B for those 150 and below.  MSHAA did not have the indoor meets from 1943-1945 due to World War II and when it returned Class A was for schools with enrollments over 200 and Class B for 200 and below. Beginning in 1951, the state indoor meet went to three classes with Class C being composed of schools of less than 200 students, Class B from 201 through 500 and Class A from 501 and up.  During the 1964-1965 school year, the class names were changed to L, M, and S to follow basketball classes (I think).  Class L went from a bottom of 501 to 531 and finally to 625 by 1972.  The bottom of Class M dipped to 181 before rising to 251 in 1972. 

    When the state indoor meets went to three classes, the Class B (M) and C (S) meets were usually held on Friday and the Class A (L) meet on Saturday.  For many years, these meets were held on the last weekend of March, though not always.  These meets were only for boys with the only exception in 1936 when soon to be future Olympic gold medalist, Helen Stephens of Fulton, ran a 60-yard race against Jane Santschi of Festus and Marjorie Rhodelander of Pleasant Hill.  Stephen's time of 6.7 was two-tenths faster than the existing American record.  However, because she used what was an illegal aid at that time  - starting blocks - the record was not allowed.

    Before 1967, anybody that showed up could enter the state indoor meet.  Beginning that year, athletes had to go to a qualifying meet to enter the state meet. Because of lack of facilities, many of those qualifying meets were held outdoors.

    University City, coached by Henry Schemmer, dominated the early years winning 19 Class A Meets including 16 of 17 from 1931-1950.  KC Central, coached by Harvey Greer won eight of the last 10.

State Indoor Meet Events

60 Yards (30-72)

60 Yard Low Hurdles (30-47)

60 Yard High Hurdles (48-72)

65 Yard Low Hurdles (52-72)

440 Yards (30)

880 Yards (31-72)

Mile (52-72)

High Jump (30-72)

Long Jump (30-72)

Pole Vault (30-72)

Shot Put (30-72)

440 Yard Relay (30)

880 Yard Relay (31-72)

880 Yard Medley (30-51)

Mile Relay (52-72)

Long Jump (30-72)

High Jump (30-72)

Pole Vault (30-72)

Shot Put (30-72)