USC winning a track championship is a good time to recall the time the unusual circumstances surrounding how the Trojans won the national championship in 1943.
Just four athletes were sent to Northwestern for the meet and their, Dean Cromwell, did not even make the trip, perhaps because the Trojans were not considered contenders for the title.
But Cliff Bourland and Jack Trout each scored 16 points in the meet. Bourland won the 440-yard race in 48.5 seconds and finished third in the 220. Trout finished second in the 100-and-220-yard dashes.
Edsel Curry then finished second in the broad jump while Doug Miller was third in the javelin.
USC defeated California, 46-39, in the team scoring. But the story didn’t end there.
The legend goes that the track heroes ran out of money in Evanston, Ill. They were given money by other schools, including Michigan, to continue their trip to Randall’s Island, N.Y., for the AAU championships.
Eventually, they returned to Los Angeles, where Cromwell welcomed them above. Cromwell, who was never seen in anything less than a suit and tie around USC like in the picture, is credited with the title even though he did not attend the meet.
Photo courtesy Daily Trojan