Few people have given as much to Manitoba track and field as Laurie Cohen.
Cohen was the top sprinter in the Winnipeg High School Meets. He started his sprinting career in 1923 at Central High (later to be known as Daniel McIntyre High School). He was champion every year from 1923 to 1928. In 1923 he won the Manitoba championship in the 100 and 220 yard events and went on to set records in these events at the Western Canada inter-university events held in Saskatoon.
In 1924, Cohen won both the 110 and 220 yard events at the Canadian Championships and inter-university meets. In the 220 he broke his own record, set the previous year. He defeated Laurie Armstrong, who had represented Canada in the Olympic Games that year.
In a novelty race in 1926, Cohen defeated Bill Robinson who ran 75 yards backwards to Cohen’s 100 yards forward. At the Canadian Championships in 1926, Cohen finished third in the 220, and in 1927 finished third in the 100. A hamstring injury prevented Cohen from his dream of trying out for the Olympics in 1928.
Between the years of 1923-31, Cohen won every race he entered in the Manitoba Championships except one, losing that one to Manitoba Sports Hall of Famer, Cyril Coaffee. Such dominance of the provincial level for such an extended period of time is a rare accomplishment.
Cohen worked with athletics as a coach and official with the Winnipeg Amateur Athletic Association. He and life long friend G. Sydney Halter organized the Catholic Schools track meets at Sargent Park for 37 years.
Laurie Cohen was honoured for his 40 years with the Track and Field Association by the Knights of Columbus.
d. November 27, 1995