As the Mason Dixon Conference celebrates
its 71st running of the Outdoor Track & Field Championships this spring, it takes pride in its long list of accomplishments.
Providing opportunities for student-athletes to excel in competition, both athletically
and academically, has always been its mission.
As the Mason Dixon Conference celebrates its 71st running of the Outdoor Track & Field Championships this
spring, it takes pride in its long list of accomplishments. Providing opportunities for student-athletes to excel in competition,
both athletically and academically, has always been its mission. Since Waldo Hamilton of Johns Hopkins University and Dorsey
Griffith of Catholic University of America came up with the idea of forming a Track & Field only conference in 1936, the
league has seen a steady flow of well deserving men and women compete amongst the nations best in Cross Country, Indoor Track
& Field and Outdoor Track & Filed. The conference was initially established with nine small colleges in the Maryland, Washington
DC, Virginia area, and at times has had as many as eighteen schools competing at once. The original schools included
Washington College, University of Delaware, Johns Hopkins University, Randolph-Macon College, Catholic University, Gallaudet
University, Western Maryland College, American University and Baltimore University. Of those schools, Catholic University
and Gallaudet University still are strong and active supporters of the Mason Dixon.
Today, the conference consists of NCAA Division III schools from Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, Washington DC and North Carolina. All of these schools are affiliated with All-Sport Conferences, but the quality
of competition, history and mystique have allowed the conference to continue into the 21st century. Today’s members
consist of, Christopher Newport University, Gallaudet University, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Keystone College, Methodist College,
Neuman College, Penn State Erie, Shenandoah University, and Virginia Wesleyan College.
While the membership
has fluctuated, the focus of the Mason Dixon remains unchanged. It is a group that reflects a tradition of broad-based programs,
led by administrators and coaches who place a constant emphasis on providing student athletes opportunities to grow, both
academically and athletically. Some of the most respected coaches in Division III Track & Field have made the Mason Dixon
Jerry McGee of Catholic University had the
longest running tenure of any coach in the conference. Jerry started at Catholic University in the early 60’s and after
almost 40 years of competition, still had the competitive fire and drive that epitomizes a true Track & Field coach until
he retired in the spring of 2006.
Vince Brown of Christopher
Newport University who retired in 2005 had multiple national championship teams and individual championships during his tenure
at CNU, Stan Soper of Mary Washington College has continually given the sport valuable time and exceptional teams, Jim Jones
of Salisbury University, and Felix Moreno of Frostburg State University are fantastic young coaches who are building strong
teams at their institutions.