In the spring of 1946 when Nancy and I were freshmen at Gettysburg High School, track and field was the only varsity sport offered to students, and girls could not participate. Gettysburg teams dominated in track and field in the South Penn Conference throughout the Forties.
I tried to compare current track and field records at Gettysburg High School with times and distances records from the Forties, but so much has changed, it is practically impossible. For example, all track records are now in meters instead of yards which were used when we were in school.
High school track teams currently compete in the weights as we did in the Forties, but the discus and javelin are now weighed in kilograms not pounds. The shot put still weighs 12 pounds as it did in the Forties, and the current Gettysburg record of 50’ 5.5” is more than 5’ further than the record for that event was in the Forties.
The introduction of the Fosbury Flop in the high jump in 1965 and the flexible pole in vaulting in the early Fifties revolutionized those events, and today, high school athletes, both male and female, jump and vault much higher than we did in the Forties.
It would be many years before the girls competed against other schools in Conference play in any sport, but on May 18, 1946 the Gettysburg High Girls’ Athletic Association invited their sister GAA Club from Hanover for a Play Day involving games in basketball, kickball and volleyball.