In 1928, Eugene set the State High Jump record at 5 ft. 7.25 in. at Hot Springs High School, SD (Fall River Co.). In 1929, he went to Norfolk, Nebraska and set the school record at 5 ft. 8.25 in. at Norfolk High School.
In 1931, he went to USC and earned 40 cent/hr. as a lab assistant in Chemistry. He was the only freshman to be published in the "Wampus" (2 short stories). He also wrote for the Daily Trojan. While at USC, in a track work out, he out jumped the World record holder, the National high school record holder and also the California State high school record holder. Before the height could be measured, the coach knocked the bar off the standard because "he didn't want a freshman to set any record until he was on the varsity."