Fred Russ Cook
THE OLYMPIC SPORTS.
Some Excellent Foot - Racing by Amateurs.
The Olympic Club's spring meeting at the Oakland grounds yesterday was well attended, but there was scarcely sufficient variety in the entertainment offered the visiting public, the programme of sports being about evenly divided between the foot-racers and the bicycle riders. It was not altogether the fault of the management, however, that this was so, the disappointment of the day being that Kittleman, who had volunteered to attempt to lower the 220-yard record, failed to keep his promise and did not appear. His excuse by telegraph was that he was engaged to run in Los Angeles. Notwithstanding that it was about all of one sort, the day's sport was, however, good. Cook, a new man to the public, lowered the half-mile record for this state on the flying wheel, and the performances by the sprinters were considerably above the avenge for amateurs.
There were six contestants entered in a mile maiden bicycle race of three heats, but they narrowed down to Gibbons and Cook, the latter winning in 3:19 1/2. Cook also beat Finkler in a half-mile scratch in 1:29 1/4, the best time ever made here, but Finkler refused to have the honor of a five-mile handicap wrested from him by either Cook or Day. The time of this last contest was 17:00. The amusing finale of the day was an "obstruction" race, the difficulties to be overcome including the water-leap, greased pole, etc.
Fred R. Cook, the present long distance champion of the Coast, then rode to beat the best quarter-mile record, and succeeded in lowering the world's best amateur record in 37 3-5 seconds. The best previous record was made by George Handee of Springfield, Mass., who made the distance in 38 1-5 seconds, Cook had the wind in his favor.
The one-mile three-minute race was run in heats for position in the final race. The place men in the first heat were Rowe, of Lynn; McGarett and Adams, of Springfield, Mass.; and Renton, of New York. Time, 2:53. The second heat place men were Ives, of Meriden; Tichener, of Binghampton, N. Y.; Fred Russ Cook, of San Francisco; Kavanagh, of Cohoes; and John Illston, of Hartford. Time, 2:51. This race was run off late in the afternoon and was won by Rowe, with Ives second, Cook third and Adams fourth. A protest had been entered against Ives and Rowe and the race was given to Cook, Adams having second place. Time, 2:47. Ives' time, 2:47.
The Bay City Wheelmen's Club has been organised with the following officers: President, E. Mohrig; Vice President, George F. Day; Captain, R. F. Cook; Secretary, W. J. Munro; First Lieutenant, George Butler; Second Lieutenant, S. F. Booth; Bugler, Thomas Hill. The club has already taken a couple of runs.
The Bay City Club has always been active in promoting races. On Thanksgiving day, 1884, at the Olympic Club games, Fred R. Cook won the mile race and put the record at 3:04, where it stood for a long time. On January 10, 1885, the club gave a tournament at the Mechanics' Pavilion, and on the 27th of the following March the clubs of San Francisco and Oakland united in a joint meet. In May of this year Cook covered 207 1/2 miles in 24 hours, then the best American record. A few days later Cook went to San Jose and made a quarter mile in 37 2-5 seconds, which beat the world's record. In July of the same year another tournament was held to defray the expenses of sending Cook to Springfield, Mass., to compete in the league races. He was disabled by accident, but managed to secure several trophies.