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Sustainable Excellence Initiative

Claude Walton, Track

  • First CU African-American Letterwinner
  • First CU All-American in 1936
  • Two-Time RMAC Discus Champion
  • Four-Year Letterman

One of the first African-American athletes, as well as students, at the University of Colorado in the 1930s; he was the first black student-athlete to earn a varsity letter (in 1933), and was the first University of Colorado athlete to earn All-America honors in any sport, doing so in the spring of 1936 as a member of the track team, with his specialty being the discus... A four-time letterman... He was a standout performer in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (two-time champ), with his winning throw of 157-1/8 in 1936 his career best and led to his All-American honor...As a freshman in ’33, he set the school record in the discus with a 141-2˝ effort (in the RMAC East Division Championships, earning him the title), a mark he would better several times over his career... In a meet against Colorado Mines in 1935, a 157-foot discus throw got the nation’s attention, as it was the second best throw in the country at the time... Also finished second in the discus in the ’35 Kansas Relays... Was briefly a member of the basketball team but did not suit up for any games... Prepped at Denver West High School... He did not graduate, but his era was that of the Great Depression; he had a good job offer with the Chicago Parks Department and jumped at the chance. He would work with CPD for 45 years... He returned to Boulder for the first time in 1975 and a distinguished alumnus... Will be the oldest inductee into the Hall at the age of 94.


CU's 1933 Track Team, Walton is back row, middle

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