Legacy of Mansfield Mehock Relays
Harry Mehock started the “Mansfield Relays” in 1927. Three teams participated, Mansfield Senior High School, Ashland and Galion. The Relays grew under Harry’s direction until 1942 when it was cancelled for four years during World War II, because of gas and personnel shortages. The Relays were re-established in 1947 where its magnitude grew through the 1980’s drawing over 3,500 athletes, representing 350 high schools, six states (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky) and Canada.
When the Mansfield Relays moved to its present location in 1964 and took on the name of its founder, Mehock Relays, the ten-lane, four- spur, all-weather surface was the first of its kind North of the Mason Dixon line. The newly opened track resulted in eight new meet records: seven running events and one field event.
Prior to the meet, the track was dedicated to Harry Mehock in front of
6,500 track fans. The featured speaker was Jesse Owens, who participated in the 1932 & 33 Mansfield Relays for Cleveland East Tech High School
and later achieved Olympic gold in the 1936 Olympics. Owens credited Mehock for being the one to develop his competitive drive as a young track and field athlete.
Mansfield Mehock Relays winners who became Olympic champions:
1936 Jesse Owens, Cleveland East Tech, 1923, 1933
1948 & 1952 Harrison Dillard, Cleveland East Tech, 1940, 41
1956 & 1960 Glenn Davis, Barberton, 1954
1964 Warren Cawley, Farmington, Mich., 1959
1964 Otis Drayton, Cleveland Cathedral Latin, 1957, 1958
1964 Hayes Jones, Pontiac, Mich., 1956
1968 Willie Davenport, Warren Howland, 1962
Mansfield Mehock Relays individual winners for three consecutive years:
John Linta, Mansfield Senior, pole vault, 1937, 38, 39
Dave Mills, Lakewood, 440 yard dash, 1956, 57, 58
Borys Chambul, Scarborough, Ontario Canada – WA Porter Collegiate, discus, 1969, 70, 71
Alan Scharsu, Austintown Fitch, two-mile run, 1976, 77, 78
Milton Ottey, Agincourt , Ontario Cananda – Timothy Eaton and L’amoreaux CI, high jump,
1978, 79, 80
Chris Nelloms, Dayton Meadowdale and Dayton Dunbar, 200-meter dash, 1987, 88, 89
Tyrone Wheatley, Dearborn Heights, Mich. Robichaud, 100-meter dash, 1989, 90, 91
Jeff See, Middletown, 1600m run, 2003, 04, 05
- Old Mehock Records
Since its inception in 1927, the Mansfield Mehock Relays has seen a number of events come and go, especially after the meet’s running went metric in 1979.