Class of 1924
With a flurry of national records indoors and out, Frank Hussey rose up from the famous Public School Athletic League (PSAL) in New York to become one of the nation’s great sprinters in the 1920s. As a Stuyvesant HS freshman in 1921, he claimed his first PSAL 100-yard title with 10.6 seconds and it was literally off to the races from there. Hussey set three national indoor records at 100y as a soph in ’22, hitting 10.4 twice, then 10.2. Outdoors, he smashed the 10-second barrier at 9.9 – just off the prep standard – and won another league crown.
As a junior in 1923, Hussey blasted a 7.3 at 60 yards, setting a national record that would last a decade. Then outdoors he lowered the prep standard at 100y to 9.8, then 9.6 – the latter a mark that would stand five years. Finally, as a senior in ’24, Hussey twice matched his own 10.2 record over 100y indoors, a mark that would not be beaten for 11 years.
With the 1924 Paris Olympics looming ahead, he focused on the Trials 100-meter event and eventually would take 4th in the final at 10.7. That earned Hussey a relay spot where he cemented his schoolboy legend as part of the gold-medal-winning Team USA 4x100m – which set a world record of 41.0 seconds. He earned a world-ranking of #7 for 1924.
After high school, Hussey would go on to star at Boston College and won the 1925 AAU 100-yard title. He gave the Olympic team another go in 1928 and was still considered a gold medal favorite, but he was eliminated in the heats. He still gained fame that year – or infamy – by boarding the ship taking the U.S. team to Europe with two other non-qualifiers as a stowaway. He was reportedly following a U.S. Olympic swimmer he fancied, Agnes Geraghty. The trio was discovered and put in the ship’s brig, but Hussey was released the following day when some Team USA friends collected enough cash to pay for passage.
Did You Know?
Frank Hussey was considered one of the “Rock Stars of Track” in the 1920s, along with fellow 1924 gold medalists Jackson Scholz and Charley Paddock.