Thomas Warne won three straight national pole vault championships while a student at Northwestern from 1929-31. He was one of the early standouts in track and field at the University.
Walter Paulison wrote about Warne and his teammates in Tale of the Wildcats. "John Gorby captained the 1929 (track) team, on which another boy from Kokomo, Ind., joined his fellow townsman, Rut Walter. This was Tom Warne, who was destined to carry on Northwestern's great pole vault tradition. He scored Northwestern's only points in the indoor championships when he took second place in the pole vault at 13 feet 3 3/8 inches."
Warne tied for the outdoor title as a sophomore in 1929, vaulting a meet record height of 13 feet 8 7/8 inches. He won both the National Collegiate Athletic Association indoor and outdoor titles as a junior in 1930 and topped the 14-foot mark for the first time at the Ohio State Relays.
Here's more from Tale of the Wildcats. "(After winning the national outdoor title in 1930) Warned toured Europe during (the) summer and was undefeated in 10 meets, his best mark being 13 feet 9 3/8 inches, which he made three times. Late in the summer he shipped a bone in his ankle at the A.A.U. championships at Pittsburgh. The extent of the injury was not determined at the time, and he competed with the American team against was not determined at the time, and he competed with the American team against the British Empire team at Soldier Field (Chicago). Tom won the vault at 13 feet 5 1/2 inches ... The 1931 team depended principally upon Capt. Warne in the pole vault ... Warne underwent an operation during the Christmas holidays to remove the piece of bone chipped from his ankle in the accident of the previous summer, and as a result he did not round into form until quite late."
Despite the missed time due to his Christmas-time surgery, Warne recovered and was Northwestern's lone entrant in the 1931 NCAA meet. He tied for his third straight title. He established NCAA meet records in each of his three championships.