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Time Traveller: Harry Jerome beats longstanding record set by Percy Williams

The North Vancouver sprinting legend drew a huge crowd to Empire Stadium while he was still in high school

Why would you walk over the Second Narrows Bridge? That was a question many North Vancouverites had to ask themselves on May 27, 1959, as they made the trek to Empire Field for the annual Vancouver and District high school track meet.

The crowd of 19,000 was comprised mostly of students, flocking to the stadium to see North Van phenom Harry Jerome, only a year into his sprinting career, challenge the longstanding records of the legendary Percy Williams.

Jerome would beat the 220-yard dash Canadian high school record set by Williams in 1928 by 0.1 seconds, a first step in becoming one of Canada’s greatest sprinters. This photo shows Jerome crossing the finish line in the record-setting race.

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver, at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact: [email protected]

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.

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