The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland is the first book devoted to the rich history of this classic track carnival. Joe Schrag, a KU Relays Hall of Fame member who has seen the meet up close for 60 years, introduces readers to historic events, talented people, and unique moments that have made Lawrence, Kan., a springtime destination for athletes, coaches, and fans since 1923. It is a collection of compelling stories both familiar and unknown, whether you are a die-hard track fan, a proud Jayhawk alum, or want to know the story behind a sporting event that made headlines each April.
The narrative and photos provide readers with a rich understanding of the meet’s tradition, the world-class competition that has always been a hallmark, and consistent innovations that allowed the meet to thrive for close to a century, sometimes against long odds. Named one of the State Library of Kansas’ Notable Books of 2014, The Kansas Relays includes more than 250 photographs seventeen chapters split into four parts (Tradition, Moments, Action, and Innovation) that cover historic events and people from Dr. Outland s first visionary steps to the 2014 transition from Memorial Stadium to Rock Chalk Park. Engaging sidebars showcase Jim and Anne Ryun’s family memories of the meet, Cliff Cushman’s timeless letter to his hometown, Phil Mulkey’s triumphant return to Memorial Stadium at age 60, Wilt Chamberlain’s place in KU track, and the illustrious Jayhawk coaching tree. The Kansas Relays: Track and Field Tradition in the Heartland is a must-have reference with six appendixes and tables that highlight more than 150 Olympians who have competed at the Relays.