DCIAA Invitational Indoors History
The DCIAA Invitational, also formerly known as the Interhigh Invitational, the D.C. Public Schools Invitational or just the D.C. Invitational, was started by the District of Columbia Public High School Athletic Council in 1962, which makes it one of the longest running indoor track meets in the world.|
The D.C. Public Schools Invitational was preceded by the Evening Star Games which was an amateur and collegiate high performance indoor track meet contested in the D.C. Armory for thirteen years consecutively from 1949 to 1961.
After the 1961 Evening Star Games was not renewed, a new meet was announced in 1962 that was more focused on high school events compared to the Evening Star Games, but the new meet still boasted a reputable field of national class collegiate and amateur athletes. The new meet was hosted by D.C. Public Schools and co-sponsored by the D.C. Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The original meet director was the D.C. Public Schools athletic director, Hardy Pearce.
There would be eleven events for high school athletes and eight events for collegians, servicemen, and other AAU competitors in that first D.C. Public Schools Invitational. The inaugural meet was considered a competitive success albeit not financially as it was reported to lose $800.
The 1963 D.C. Public Schools Invitational was canceled due to the D.C. Armory simply not being available. The same thing happened again in 1966.
In 1964, the D.C. AAU was no longer involved in the meet. The D.C. Public Schools Invitational became almost exclusively a high school track meet while the elite showcase aspect was reduced to four races for local colleges.
New meets called the National Invitational and CYO Prep Invitational were sponsored by the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) at the D.C. Armory in 1968. The National Invitational aspired to revive the competitive environment from the defunct Evening Star Games which ended in 1961. The CYO Prep Invitational supplanted the D.C. Public Schools Invitational for 1968 only.
The D.C. Public Schools Invitational was renewed again in 1969 after missing years in 1963, 1966, and 1968. It co-existed with the CYO Invitational on the D.C. Armory calendar for one year only before the CYO Invitational moved up the road to College Park, Maryland.
The D.C. Invitational was hosted at the D.C. Armory almost every year from 1962 through 2003, after which the meet moved to the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland.