|Spectators crowded the running lane to get a good look at
a jumper descending in sight of the new main building, later named Samford
Hall. Foot races and baseball games were popular diversions at Auburn
near the end of the nineteenth century. Dean George Petrie said a
wheelbarrow race helped make Auburn's first field day a success in 1889.
Contestants borrowed the wheelbarrows workers had been using in construction
of the building to replace Old Main after it burned. The blindfolded
youths pushed as fast as they could for 100 yards. One youth "ran
into a tree and tore his pants off." Many years later, Petrie recalled
that the student had "completed the race in what remained of his trousers,
and thus introduced 'the running costume which has since been adopted by
all the leading colleges,'" Brenda H. Mattson reported in her Petrie thesis.
-- Photo: AU Photographic Services