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JIM THORPE AT FINISH LINE, LAFAYETTE COLLEGE

Jim Thorpe's greatest single day in intercollegiate track came in the spring of 1909, against Lafayette. Competing in seven events, he took six gold and one bronze medals, winning the broad jump, high jump, shot put, discus, 120 hurdles, 220 hurdles and taking third in the 100-yard dash shown in this photo. Louis Tewanima won the two-mile race that same day. One often-told story is that on the day of the track meet, when Coach Pop Warner got off the train at Lafayette, he was asked where his team was. "Here they are," Pop reportedly said, pointing to Thorpe and Tewanima. In fact, the Carlisle team that beat the much larger Lafayette squad that day consisted of seven men, Thorpe, Tewanima, Welch, Squirrel, Goesback, Earth, and Burd. It's also not true that Thorpe and Tewanima ran all the way to Lafayette rather than taking the train. However, later that season, after missing his train, the little Hopi did run eighteen miles to a meet in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he won the two-mile run.

finish line
 
DAVID BISHOP SKILLMAN LIBRARY, LAFAYETTE COLLEGE

A Moira Productions Film in association with Datline Productions, 2008, Lillian Lincoln Foundation