Posts Tagged ‘Mitchell Arquette’

1912 Olympics – Part III

August 7, 2008

The press was filled with articles about Carlisle’s expected participation in the upcoming games. Various track meets, competitions and races winnowed the field down to those who would eventually participate.

 

The Boston Marathon, which was run on April 20, was used to select the U.S. long distance team. Prior to the race Pop Warner thought that Mitchell Arquette, St. Regis Mohawk, would do even better than Tewanima. However, Michael J. Ryan, of the Irish American A.C. unexpectedly won the race and in world-record time. Andrew Sockalexis, Penobscot from Maine and not enrolled at Carlisle, came in second in conditions so muddy that runners had to run on sidewalks to get decent footing. After the conclusion of the race, the U.S. Olympic marathon team was set: Ryan and Sockalexis were selected as was Lewis Tewanima, the only Carlisle distance runner on the 1912 U.S. Olympic team. Apparently, the other Carlisle distance men didn’t do well enough in spring meets to qualify.

 

Jim Thorpe had a good spring. He was running so well that Warner was quoted as saying , “the man who beats him in the 120 yard [hurdle] event at the Pennsylvania relay meet will have to stagger the world’s record.” In May Thorpe competed in a tryout for the Olympic Pentathlon, a new event that consisted of five track and field competitions: 1) Running broad jump, 2) javelin throw with best hand, 3) 200-meters flat race, 4) discus throw with best hand, and 5) 1,500-meters flat race. He had not thrown the javelin previously but was expected to pick that up quickly. Also new to him was the 1,500-meters run in which his stamina was expected to carry him. Thorpe easily qualified for the Olympic team by winning three events: broad jump, discus and 200-meter run. He placed second in the other two, losing to the national champion in the javelin and finishing two yards behind the leader in the 1,500-meters. His prospects for a successful Olympics were good. Also named to the U.S. team to compete against Thorpoe in the pentathlon and decathlon was Avery Brundage.

 

 

 

 

 

Tewanima wins race & Arquette comes in 5th

Tewanima wins race & Arquette comes in 5th

 

 

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1912 Olympics – Part I

July 31, 2008

Some think that 1912 was the year Native American broke onto the Olympic scene but, as shown in the last few blogs, they arrived much earlier. But 1912 was to be better for American Indians in the Olympics than the previous games. But it was not surprising.

As early as New Year’s Day 1912 and as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska, newspapers carried an article with a Carlisle, Pa. byline promoting Jim Thorpe for the upcoming Olympics. That article was surely generated by Pop Warner’s PR machine. An excerpt illustrates the exuberance in which he was promoted:

This youthful redskin hunts, plays lacrosse, tennis, indoor baseball, handball and hockey, all with equal skill, and can fill almost any position on a football team with credit. As halfback he probably is seen at his best, whirling, twisting, dashing and plunging, for one moment bewildering his opponents with lithe, panther like leaps, and the next crushing his way through the mass of would-be tacklers with the ferocity of a mad bull.

 

The piece ends with what may have been a preemptory defense against claims of professionalism:

 

Although busy with track work while here, he practiced baseball and played amateur baseball since leaving Carlisle, refusing numerous offers to play on minor league teams.

 

But Carlisle’s track team was not a one-man operation. Less than two weeks later papers gave Thorpe’s teammate some coverage:

 

Louis Tewanima of Carlisle Indian School will be a starter in this year’s Boston Athletic Association Marathon race and hopes to make the American Olympic Games team.

 

Pop Warner announced in early January that he expected Tewanima and Thorpe to make the Olympic team. On March 1st the commentator, who wrote the Diamond Gossip that was distributed widely, opined that the reason so many athletes were deciding against attending the Games was that Thorpe was going to Stockholm. Less than a week later, Warner’s PR machine announced that several other students wanted to make the Olympic team. Warner himself said that he thought five of his Carlisle trackmen might make the cut. He expected that Arquette would “make the foreigners scamper in the 10,000 meters,” but refused to identify the other two. “I don’t care to let any one know as yet who my two new phenoms are. One of them is one quarter-miler of exceptional ability. The other will be entered in the 400 and 500 meters races.”

 

I have read that Gus Welch made the team but was unable to compete due to injury. Could he have been one of Warner’s mystery men?