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Robert "Bib" Evans

Track and Field ∙ Beaver Falls

 

 

 

 

Like many athletes of the past, Robert (Bib) Evans envied modern sports stars for their excellent equipment and training facilities. The former Zelienople High School and Geneva College track star wondered if he might have made the 1936 Olympics if things had been different. “I graduated from Geneva in 1934 at the heart of the Great Depression,” Robert recalled. “We had to worry about making a living then, and I didn’t have a chance to train properly during the next two years.” Nevertheless Robert competed as much as he could. After graduating from college, he competed in the 1934 National Championships in Milwaukee. His specialty was the 440 yard hurdles, where he placed second to Glenn Hardin, who eventually won the gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hardin set a world record in the Milwaukee race, and Robert tied the former world mark. At the 1936 Olympics Trials, Robert was handicapped by an old metatarsal problem and did not qualify. But his track activities game him a chance to know Jesse Owens well, and Robert had the highest praise for the famous sprinter: “He just seemed to float on the air as he ran.” In addition to starring in track at Zelienople, Robert also was outstanding in football and basketball. After graduation in 1929 he entered Geneva where he played four years of football and two years of basketball. While at Geneva he competed in the Penn Relays in 1932, 1933, and 1934, placing second each time in the 440 yard hurdles.