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Sheets, Geo M. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. VI, No. VII (April 1909)

C. H. J.
Blair's last hundred,   pp. 293-296


Page 293

BLAIR'S LAST HUNDRED
               Blair's Last Hundred
                        C. H. J., '09.
  It happened at the eastern intercollegiate several years ago,
on a day that was ideal for the biggest meet of the year.
Every seat in grand stand and bleachers was filled. A lovely
picture it was: beautiful girls with their gallant escorts, all in
the bloom of youth, anticipation expressed in every face, and
the colors of the competing colleges fluttering gaily in the
southerly breeze.
  "Oh, I'm sure Jack will beat the record in the hundred this
year," exclaimed one enthusiastic little miss. "Why he was
only two-fifths of a second behind the mark last year."
  "Yes, I should think he could easily do that," replied Jack's
mother, who had not the least doubt but that her boy could do
anything. But Jack Blair's elder brother, an ex-collegian,
who had brought Jack's sweetheart and his mother along from
New York just to see Jack run, was qualified to tell them how
hard it is to beat fractions of seconds in the hundred yards
race.
  "Don't think it so easy, Ethel," he said. "Two-fifths of
a
second means a lot when one wants to beat ten flat. Suppose
you reached just as high as you could, then stood up here on
the seat on your very tip toes and reached still higher-as
high as you could possibly reach. Wouldn't it be hard though
to reach one inch, yes, one-sixteenth of an inch higher? Yet,
that wouldn't be a bit more difficult than it will be for Jack to
beat his last year's time by two-fifths of a second. You bet
I'll give him credit if he does it. I'll worship him." And
Ethel's frank eyes betrayed that she would adore Jack whether
he broke the record or not.
  Meanwhile, preparations were being made on the track to
run off the first event, the trials in the high-hurdles. The
excitement among the spectators grew more intense. Every-
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