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Minnesota Gophers: 1893 First Field Meet--Bike Races! #TBT

Bike racing was hugely popular in the 1890s when the U of M got together for its first Field Meet. The grand prize? A match up with Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern in Chicago (this was 3 years before the start of the Big Ten Conference).

First Field Meet
First Field Meet
U of M

From the Minneapolis Tribune's May 28th 1893 edition:


Athletes Chosen to Compete at the Intercollegiate Sports. The annual field day of the State University, that occurred yesterday, an added interest from the fact that it was the last of a series of select contestants for the Northwestern Intercollegiate field day at Chicago, June 3. Minnesota has selected nine athletes to compete on that occasion with the Universities of Michigan Wisconsin and Northwestern University. In order to avoid the expense of sending representatives to Chicago who had no show of winning anything, the University Association sot a standard for each event which the contestant must beat in order to be sent to Chicago.

The exercises yesterday were interesting spectacle and were witnessed by a good sized crowd. Perhaps the greatest interest was manifested in the dashes of the bicycle race, During the afternoon Mr. Breckenridge undertook to establish records for the new four-lap track in quarter half mile races. His time for the former was 36 1/2 seconds and for tho half mile 1:19 1/2. No prize had been provided for this, the Gopher board made a presentation of a copy of tho Gopher.

Unfortunately no report was made about how Breckenridge did in Chicago.