Penn men’s track and field has long considered the 800-meter race to be “its” event. Earl Eby is one of the earliest examples; he was an Olympic silver medalist in the 800 at the 1920 Olympic Games held in Antwerp, Belgium and the 1919 Inter-Allied Games held in Paris, France.


Eby also holds the honor of being Penn’s first NCAA track champion—he won the 880 at the first NCAA Championship meet in Chicago. Prior to that, he was the 880 titleist at both the 1920 and 1921 Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) meets—until the NCAA meet came along, the IC4A was considered the national collegiate championship meet.


Eby—who was captain of the 1921 Penn track team—put together quite a string of championships during his tenure at Penn. In addition to his numerous titles at the 800 and 880 distances, he was a three-time USA Track and Field champion in the indoor 500.