Track and field events were staged in Trail before the turn of the century, but no organization as such was founded until the Trail Amateur Athletic Association was formed in 1919.  During the same year the association formed the Trail Track and Harrier Club (Harrier is a European expression related to distance running.)

The object of the club was to encourage and supervise track and field events.  But lack of funds, proper facilities,and experienced coaches limited the activities of the club.  Lack of equipment was probably the reason for most of the athletes specializing in sprinting.

In the first year, 40 athletes from Nelson, Rossland and Trail competed in what was to become Trail's first annual track event.  In 1921 a special train brought several hundred Nelson track enthusiasts and 1500 spectators paid admission to see 140 athletes from the West Kootenay compete. It was common practice to charter a train between the rival cities of Trail and Nelson.

In the late 1920's an era began that led to national and international fame for Trail in track and field. In 1929 Joe Haley began his long road as a high jumper that eventually took him to the top in world competition: The Olympic Games.  Lacking funds, they made their own track shoes.  Trail coach George Murray taught Joe the western roll, a style banned until 1936.

Joe Haley's brother Paul and Pat also dominated regional track meets in sprints and in the high jump.  In 1939 Pat Haley accepted a scholarship to Washington State University and for the next two years remained undefeated in the Pacific Northwest in spring events.  Pat was part of the 4 x 110 relay team which won a gold medal in the 1938 British Empire Games, setting a world record.  This was the first time that a Trailite had taken part in winning a gold medal of international status.

In the 1950's other Trail track athletes came to prominence, including pole vaulters Glen Cividen, Gerry Moro and Bob Yard, high jumper Dianne Gerace, sprinter Bina Brown and middle-distance runner Don Bertoia.  Moro and Gerace excelled in half a dozen other categories.

(Left): Trail Schools Track Team, 1931, including the three Haley brothers.

Back Row: Mike Buckna, Carl Swanson, Len Richardson, Art Morris, Joe Haley, Fred Martello (coach), Donald Berry, Carl Baillie, Nello Angerilli, Andy Zuk, Art Forrest.
Front Row: Don Hills, Paul Haley, Beth Kolmar, Irene Moorcroft, Yvonne Guilliaume, Joan Hudson, Martha Drapako, John Ponak, Vic Paolini.
Seated: Pat Haley, Orlando Battistella.