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Michigan - Illinois Track Meet Dedicated To Doctor May

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Michigan-Illinois Track Meet Dedicated To Doctor May

Famed Starter Will Retire This Season

Both Contesting Teams Have Well Balanced Squads; Rehberg Is Star Of Visitors

By Mill Marsh

Michigan’s "great little guy” will be honored here tomorrow when the track teams of Michigan and Illinois dedicate their meet to Dr. George A. May, veteran starter and head of Michigan’s compulsory physical education department. The meet will start at 2 o’clock.

"Doc,” as he has been affectionately known to thousands of Michigan's graduates, will not only receive the plaudits of the crowd but will act in his official capacity as starter of all races—just as he has been doing at Michigan for the past 41 years.

Dr. May joined the Wolverine athletic staff in 1901 and will be retired under the University’s compulsory retirement rule at the end of the present semester. He will be 70 years of age July 8.


But when you look at the good doctor, you can't believe it. Even today he can do things on the horizontal bars that none of his students can accomplish.

Three times a week Doc May goes through an hour-long routine consisting of 10 minutes of Indian club juggling, five minutes of calisthenics, five minutes on the horizontal bar, 10 minutes on the gymnasium horse, several hand-stands on the horizontal bars, 15 minutes of floor dips topped off by a half a mile of running.

If you think that isn’t “something,” just try it some time.


Doc May came to Michigan the same year as Fielding H. Yost reported as football coach—in 1901. Lew McAllister, old Detroit Tiger catcher, ran the baseball team. Keene Fitzpatrick was the track coach.

Since then thousands of students have passed through Doc’s required physical education work. He is teaching the sons today of the fathers he taught 20 years ago.

Dr. May is a graduate of Yale. Too small for football, he devoted himself to all-around competition—track, fencing, gymnastics and club swinging. He instructed in gymnastics at Yale from 1897 to 1901.

Tomorrow afternoon when Doc takes his familiar stance and fires his gun to start the mile run, it will not be as a 69-year-old, but a 69-year-young. Doc May—a little giant, peppy, snappy, terse. A human dynamo. If Doc were a motor car, his speed limit would be 150 miles per hour. A “Great Little Guy.”


As for the meet itself, it should be a good one. Like Michigan, Illinois is well balanced and don’t forget that the Illini finished ahead of the Wolverines in the Big Ten indoor meet.

The feature attractions tomorrow will be the events in which Bob Rehberg, Illinois sophomore, competes. Rehberg is equally good at the quarter, half and mile and probably will enter two of these events. In competition this season he has run the quarter in 49.2, the half in 1:56 and the mile in 4:16.

If he runs the quarter he probably will be beaten by Bob Ufer, holder of the American indoor record at this distance. In all probability, however, Rehberg probably will pass up the meeting with Ufer and endeavor to win the half and mile. In the half he would oppose Dave Mathhews, John Kautz and John Roxborough. In the mile his Wolverine opponents would be Wilbert Ackerman, Bob Ingersoll and Willis Glas, the latter a former U High star.


Other strong Illinois contestants are Capt. Don Olsen in the hurdles and dashes, Bob Seib, Clarence Dunn and Don Gladding in the mile and two mile, Maurie Gould and Bill Lewis in the broad jump, Bob Starck and Chuck Edwards in the high jump and Paul Mail in the shot put.

Michigan hopes are with Bud Piel, Al Thomas and Chuck Donahey in the sprints, Ufer and Thomas in the 440, Frank McCarthy in the hurdles, high jump and broad jump and George Ostroot in the shot and discus.

STILL TEACHING TRICKS TO THE YOUNGSTERS: After 41 years of teaching physical education classes at the University of Michigan, Dr. George A. May, affectionately known to thousands as just plain “Doc” is still able to outdo his students in the work on gymnastic equipment.

The genial doctor is shown above going through his paces on the gymnasium horse, a part of his religious routine of an hour three times a week. Tomorrow’s Michigan-Illinois meet has been dedicated to Dr. May. He reaches the compulsory retirement age of 70 this summer.