1917 SMU and UIL State Track Meets
SMU Track Meet
De Leon or at least B.J. Pittman participated in a track meet held at S.M.U. on April 17th and 18th 1917. While other De Leon High men may have participated, the Dallas Morning News article listed only those who placed.
The track meet had two divisions, a high school division and an academy-junior college division. High school participants could compete in both divisions.
The News stated, “The State record of the high school division was broken yesterday (April 18, 1917) when Pittman of De Leon high school made 5 feet 10 inches in the running high jump.”
Pittman also placed third in the running broad jump. His distance was not given but the winning distance was 20 feet 7 1/2 inches by Wilson of Forest Avenue High in Dallas. Second place went to Craven of Waco.
Greenville, under its coach Clyde Littlefield took home the team trophies in both divisions. Perhaps De Leon’s coach Forest and Greenville’s Littlefield may have met at this meet and discussed some sports because the two agreed to play each other eight months later to determine the state football champion.
U.I.L. State Track Meet
In May 1917, four De Leon High track team members set off in B.J. Pittman Sr.’s Studebaker headed for Austin and the State Track and Field competition. The competitors included B. J. Pittman Jr., Dean Rippetoe, Robert Noel, and Dewey Daniell. Also making the trip were B.J. Pittman Sr. coach Lyman Forest and Pittman Sr.’s youngest son, Ralph.
De Leon was a class B school and as a result, B.J. Pittman Jr. was allowed to compete in both Class B and Class A, winning the gold medal in the High Jump in both divisions and setting the U.I.L. State Record at 5 feet 9 3/4 inches (at the time the Southwest Conference record was 6′ 5″). He tied for the first in the Pole Vault taking home the 2nd place medal after losing a coin flip. He also was said to have placed third in the Broad Jump (today’s long jump) while other verbal sources indicate he won the event.
Dean Ripetoe placed second in the Class B Broad Jump with a 19’4″ jump.
Robert Noel and Dewey Daniell competed in the mile and half mile run but did not place.