The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland

SKU: 9760991508602
SKU: 9780991508600
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The Kansas Relays
Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland

By Joe Schrag

The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland is the first book devoted to the rich history of this classic track carnival. Joe Schrag, a KU Relays Hall of Fame member who has seen the meet up close for 60 years, introduces readers to historic events, talented people, and unique moments that have made Lawrence, Kan., a springtime destination for athletes, coaches, and fans since 1923. It is a collection of compelling stories both familiar and unknown. Whether you are a die-hard track fan, a proud Jayhawk alum, or want to know the story behind a sporting event that has made headlines each April for close to a century, The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland is for you. The narrative and photos provide readers with a rich understanding of the meet's tradition, the world-class competition that has always been a hallmark, and consistent innovations that have allowed the meet to thrive, sometimes against long odds. The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland, which was named one of the State Library of Kansas' Notable Books of 2014, is the first book-length history of one of the nation s oldest track and field meets a full-color book with more than 250 photographs seventeen chapters split into four parts (Tradition, Moments, Action, and Innovation) that cover historic events and people from Dr. Outland s first visionary steps to the 2014 transition from Memorial Stadium to Rock Chalk Park an ideal opportunity to celebrate the 86-year tradition while also looking ahead to the future of the meet. full of engaging sidebars that showcase Jim and Anne Ryun's family memories of the meet, Cliff Cushman's timeless letter to his hometown, Phil Mulkey's triumphant return to Memorial Stadium at age 60, Wilt Chamberlain's place in KU track, and the Jayhawk coaching tree. a must-have reference with six appendixes and tables that highlight more than 150 Olympians who have competed at the Relays.

Hardcover; 328 Pages

About the Author:

Joe Schrag is a native of Norwich, Kan., lifelong resident of the Sunflower State and holds a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Kansas. He has attended every Kansas Relays since 1954 as either an athlete, coach, official or (one year) as a spec­tator. Schrag is a member of five Halls of Fame includ­ing being a 2007 inductee into the Kansas Relays Hall of Fame. Others include the Topeka West High School Athletic Hall of Fame (2003), National High School Ath­letic Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2005), Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame (2010) and the Shawnee County Sports Council Hall of Fame (2010). He served as high school meet referee at the KU Relays in 1977. Schrag spent 41 years (1962- 2003) at Topeka (Kan.) West High School, serving as coach of track and field and cross country during that entire span. He also taught English and served as athletic director. He sent hundreds of athletes to the Kansas Relays during his years as coach, a career that resulted in eight state championships. A former competitive runner, Schrag completed 37 marathons, including Boston (1972) and New York (1993). He won the Masters age-group titles in Kansas City (1980), Tulsa (1983), Omaha (1985), St. Louis (1988) and Oklahoma City (1989), and was three-time Kansas Collegiate Ath­letic Conference mile champion while at Bethel College in North Newton. His granddaughters, Zoe and Ava, are always welcome at his rural home south of Topeka, where he resides with his wife Nancy.

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