A letter from Ed Kehe about the origins of the Glenn D. Loucks Games
When I learned from Phil Karpinsky that the Yonkers Meet would fold after the 1967 event, I approached the AD Henry McWhinnie with the idea of taking over the date (between the Section One Relays and the C& O Meet) for a first class meet to be held at WPHS in memory of Glenn Loucks. He supported the concept as did others in administration up the line, and we subsequently received financial backing from the Board of Education.
We gathered representatives from Sections 1, 8, 9, and 11, as well as PSAL and CHSAA, to brainstorm the type of meet that would be supported. What evolved was a regional competition with entry standards in a broad range of events set in a quasi Olympic setting.
Our first idea for the trophies was to replicate the ancient statuary depicting the discus thrower, but the fabricator, Museum Pieces, felt it would be too difficult to reinforce the appendages. M.P. (Museum Pieces) arranged for us to meet with the sculptor Lumen Martin Winter, who produced an original clay based on the theme of the meet, which we accepted.
Eighty-one schools and eight hundred athletes participated in the 1968 inaugural meet. Our original cinder track was nicely groomed, with bright colored markings, string flags delineated areas on the infield. It was an impressive sight.
Following opening ceremonies, the torch was lit and competition began. Despite a stiff breeze and a steady afternoon rain, all events except the triple jump were completed, many with exceptional performances.
It was a good start, despite the weather. Most coaches expressed satisfaction and vowed to return. While the first meet had a distinctly male flavor, it would not be long before a complete program of girls events was added.
It is said that those things of quality do endure. Such is an appropriate statement to apply to the Loucks Memorial Games as the event enters its thirty-fourth year. Credit all the people behind and on the scene who have provided a very special experience over the years for participants.