By Wayne I. Elliot
Hampton Union, Thursday, c. 1963
Still endeavoring to give Hampton schools a wellrounded sports program, it was announced in March of 1947 by Coach Peterson, that Hampton High would have its first full-fledged track team. That year, 12 boys made up the squad and competed in four meets. Athletic history was again made. Participating were Bern Campbell, Roger Parker, Neil Harvey, Roman Aquizap, Dud Autio, Doug Hunter, Bob Daniels, Carl Perkins, Harold Fernald, John Brooks, Nelson Smith and Ray O'Neil. The ensuing era of Hampton track will have to go down in Hampton history as one of the greatest of all time. In fact, it has yet too be surpassed. Led by Bern Campbell and Neil Harvey, the Buccs wrote record after record into the local archives.
In their first, big year of competition - 1948 - both Campbell and Harvey made the New Englands following fine wins in the New Hampshire state meet. Neil with a 5'8" high jump tied for third and gave New Hampshire two of its five points in the Third Annual New England Track meet. Campbell, running the 220, was eventually eliminated in the semi-final heats after qualifying in the trial runs against the top schoolboy runners in New England. A few other highlights - this time in 1949 - Harvey and Campbell were the first boys from Hampton to compete in an indoor New England track meet. The Buccs that year swamped Exeter 105-12 with 12 firsts, a new Buce record. En route, they set six new meet records and four new school marks. The Buccaneers swept to the state Class B track title as Harvey and Campbell set four new state records.
This aggregation also participated in the Manning Bowl Interscholastic Invitational meet - the initial outdoor meet ever staged under the lights in New England of 37 schools which participated, Hampton was the only out-of-state school to score points as the one-two punch of Harvey and Campbell again succeeded. In 1950, in the state winter track meet held at PEA, Hampton placed second against schools participating which included Class L teams. In spring track, Hampton tracksters won the Southeastern New Hampshire meet relay trophy and then went on to take the one-mile relay in the famed Clipper relays.
In 1953, the Buccs won the Southeastern B League Track title as they captured six first places. In 1948, Hampton tied for third in the state NHIAA track meet; in 1949, they were crowned state champs; in '50 and '51 they placed second in the state. In 1949 through 1953 and again in 1956, the teams topped the Southeastern B league competition. In 1956, the team paced by Glen Dalton placed third in the state meet. They also eked out a 56¾, to 56¼ win over Somersworth for Southeastern B League honors.