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Thumped

In 1912, Harold Anson Bruce, coach of the undefeated Lafayette College track team, heard rumors of "Pop" Warner's impressive Carlisle Indian School contingent and invited his rivals to compete in an Alumni Day dual track-and-field meet. Having reluctantly agreed to pay a large guarantee, Bruce arrived with his forty-eight man squad to welcome the visitors' train and was dismayed to find Warner with a team comprising only half a dozen men.

"Where are your Indians?" Bruce demanded.
"I've got enough," Warner replied.
"How many?"
"Five."
"But, Pop, I've got a team of forty-six," Bruce exclaimed. "It's an eleven-event program. This is a disaster. You haven't got a chance."
"Wanna bet?"

The meet was indeed a disaster -- for Bruce: a single competitor won the pole vault, high jump, broad jump, shot put, discus, 120-yard high hurdles, and 220-yard low hurdles, and "slumped" to third in the 100-yard sprint. His name? Jim Thorpe, often named the greatest athlete in sporting history.

[Two of Thorpe's teammates placed first and second in the half-mile, mile, and two-mile events. Another won the quartermile. And the fifth won the high hurdles. Carlisle's margin of victory? 71-41.]

[In a dual track-and-field meet on May 25, 1912, Lafayette Collegehad forty-eight men on its unbeaten squad and Carlisie Indian School (no longer in existence) had six. But one of the six was lim Thorpe, probably the greatest all-around athlete the U.S. has had. He won the high jump, broad jump, shotput, discur, 120-yard high hurdles, and 220-yard low hurdles. He "slumped" to third in the 100-yard dash. His teammates contributed five other victories and Carlisle won, 71 points to 41. *]

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