Norris Sinclair, 2017
Born in Dewitt, Iowa, in 1895, Norris Sinclair grew up in Lorain and became one of the finest trackmen in
the city’s history. He was Lorain County’s first-ever state track champion. An all-around athlete, he also lettered in football and basketball at Lorain High School.
The year 1915 was memorable for both Norris and Lorain High. At the state track meet he won the 220 low hurdles and set an Ohio record winning the 120 high hurdles with an incredible time of 16.4 seconds. Norris remains one of only two people in the 100-year history of Lorain High track to win dual state championships in the same meet. He also placed second in the long jump. Led by his victories, Lorain achieved a third-place team finish. It was a different era in regard to age requirements, so he won both his state titles as a 20-year-old.
Norris then attended the University of Wisconsin where he won the Inter-College track meet low hurdles. Before his sophomore year, he entered the U.S. Army during WWI and was assigned to an artillery unit. His battalion fought in the 2nd Battle of the Marne, among others. After the war, he remained in France, studying to be a drummer. When he returned in 1919, he attended Ohio State and graduated in 1923.
Norris went on to play with the Dick Fiddler Orchestra around Ohio and the Midwest into the early 1930s. He married and lived in Cincinnati with his wife, Marion, until moving to Marietta, Georgia, where they lived for 32 years.
In his later years, Norris became an exceptional sail boat racer. His accomplishments put him on the front page of the St. Pete Times and the cover of “Yachting” Magazine in 1956. His sailing nickname was “Old Goat” and a prestigious sailing regatta was named after him. The first place trophy is called the N.A. Sinclair Cup.
Norris Sinclair passed away in 1974.