UM’s Interscholastic events were a staple of spring in Missoula for years, beginning in 1904 and continuing for seven decades (with a few years off for World Wars). They drew high school students from all over the state and featured track and field, as well as competitions in drama, debate, essay writing, and journalism. UM students and Missoula townspeople were very involved in creating a festive environment for the visiting high school students and railroads offered reduced fares for those journeying to Missoula. The first Interscholastic drew twenty-five high schools; clothing for the track and field events in the early years was often cut-off pants with running shoes created from tying rubbers to the feet. By 1930, the Montana Kaimin boasted that UM’s Interscholastic was the second largest of its kind in the country. In 1931 there were 1,000 contestants from 140 high schools. Butte dominated in track and field in the early years, winning a third of the track meets by 1932. In 1954 the Sentinel yearbook reported 2,000 students had attended the events, but interest seemed to wane; the last year the events were held was 1963.
this article in Montanan