The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays are an annual track and field competition held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. The University of Texas serves as host for the event, held on either the first or second weekend of April.
In response to cold-weather conditions at the Kansas Relays, the Texas Relays started as a men's-only competition in 1925 by coach Clyde Littlefield and athletic director Theo Bellmont. The Relays were held at Memorial Stadium until Mike A. Myers Stadium was opened in 1999. The meet was not held in from 1932-1934 as a result of The Great Depression. Women's events were added in 1963.
To encourage attendance in the early years of the event, various publicity stunts were staged. The most successful was a 1927 stunt in which three Tarahumaras were invited to the Relays. These men were famed as runners who never stopped running. A race was staged between the men from San Antonio to Memorial Stadium. After 14 hours and 53 minutes, the 89 mile race ended in a tie.
In 1977, electronic timing was introduced at the Relays, and Olympic gold medalist and Texas Longhorns football player John Wesley Jones recorded a time of 9.85 seconds in the 100 meter dash. This would have set a world record, but it was determined that the timer malfunctioned, and the time was unofficial.
According to the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2007, the Relays generate US$8 million for local business. Much of this traced to the fact that the event has become a social destination for young African-Americans. A number of groups organize networking and development events for African-Americans to take place in downtown Austin during the Relays.
Some advocates of the Relays state that there is not a significant increase in crime during the Relays weekend. However, police forces are so overwhelmed with crowd control and keeping the peace that they will generally not take the time to write citations or arrest individuals for less serious offenses. Some businesses have chosen to not operate or to close early because it is more cost effective rather than pay for increased security for crowds who are not spending money or loss of income due to theft. This is largely a race-based claim, though, as the Texas Relays attract a largely African American crowd, and similar local festivals that require significant police presence, such as South By Southwest or Austin City Limits, do not cause an upswing in crime nor lead to businesses closing their doors.
The University Division is open to schools in NCAA Division I. The College Division is open to schools in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, or NJCAA schools. The University/College Division is open to schools that qualify for either division separately. The High School Division is separated into two levels, Division I and Division II. Division I is open to schools in the University Interscholastic League classes A, AA, or AAA (or their interstate equivalents). Division II is open to schools in UIL classes AAAA or AAAAA. Schools that normally compete in Division I may compete in Division II if they wish.
|Event||Invitational Men||Invitational Women||University Men||College Men||University / College Women||High School Boys||High School Girls|
|100 m hurdles||✓||✓||✓|
|110 m hurdles||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|400 m hurdles||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|2000 m steeplechase||✓||✓|
|3000 m steeplechase||✓||✓|
|4x800 m relay||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|1600m sprint medley||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Note: Some men's events are combined for the University and College divisions.
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- "Texas Relays 2012 Day 2 Results". www.grfx.cstv.com. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
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- "2010 Texas Relays Day Three Notes". www.texassports.com. 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
- "Hammer Throw Results". www.texassports.com. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Texas Relays 2012 Day 3 Results". www.grfx.cstv.com. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.