Track & Field Select Stories

Track & Field in Dayton, Ohio


Compiled by Phillip D. Scott


The history of track and field starts in the Victorian era when the grass roots of track and field were in the beginning stages. The YMCA had many state competitions that were held in locations all over Ohio. In Dayton the state championships were held many times at the YMCA Park. This park, located at the corner of Stillwater (Riverside Drive today) and Ridge Avenue, was used from 1892 to 1913 and featured a quarter-mile track as well as track and field facilities. 


The public schools had track meets at various locations in the early days like McKinley Park across from Dayton Art institute. Schools like Steele High School and Dayton Central High School competed against each other. Roosevelt High School had a running track called Grace A. Greene that athletes used for training.


In 1949 a major stadium was built in Dayton called Welcome Stadium on the edge of the Great Miami River. Many major track and field meets were held there. In 1953 and 1957 the National AAU Track and Field championships and many Ohio AAU championship meets plus the State of Ohio High School Track and Field championships were held there for several years.