Behind the Victory Flagpole — The Rad Trackers


Back in 1943 when I was going to Henry High School, there were many fine sports teams and exceptional athletes in every sport.

The one I’m talking about here is the Henry track team, which consisted of about 23 members plus Coach Hove.  I am going to focus on two of the team members and the results of the track meets they participated in.

First of all was Vernal “Woody” Woodcock, the dynamic miracle of Henry’s track squad. He was the star of the All City Track Meet on May 21, 1943. He took three firsts in the meet held at the University Stadium.

Another member of the squad, Mel Enquist, had the reputation of being one of the fastest half-milers in the state. He racked up points for the squad by defeating his chief competitor, Legler of Washburn High, with 10 yards to spare.

Although the squad entered in only five events, they came through with four firsts, which netted them 20 points and fourth place.

Too much cannot be said about Woody Woodcock, for he was the highlight of the meet! After making his first jump at 9 ft. 6 in., he entered and won the 100 yard dash. Returning to the vault after the dash, he made his second jump at 10 ft. Immediately after this jump he ran the 220 yard dash, taking another first place.

Returning to the pit, he completed his jump of 10 ft. 6 in., thus eliminating his competition.

Following the May 21 meet, another state track meet was held on May 29, 1943 at the University of Minnesota. Woody Woodcock shared with Bob Cook (of St. Cloud) the individual honors of the day.

Woodcock, who placed second in three events, totaled 12 points of Henry’s 17 to put the Patriots in third place in the state. Woodcock had won seconds in the 100 yard dash, 220 yard dash and the pole vault. The other point getter for Henry was Mel Enquist, winner of the half mile.

With all their wins, you can imagine how proud we were with these Henry Trackers!

Note: Taken from the June 4, 1943 Patriot School Newspaper – Wayne Gendreau