Conference Championship Weekend And The Collegiate Outdoor Record Book
When competition heats up, the collegiate outdoor record book starts to sweat.
There is no better proof than seeing what the collegiate track & field postseason has done to the annals of history over the years.
|Collegiate Outdoor Record Book | Meets This Weekend | Broadcast Schedule|
Out of the 42 iterations of current collegiate outdoor records (21 per gender), 24 have been established between the start of Conference Championship Weekend and the conclusion of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. That number would have been 27 if Maggie Ewen and Josh Kerr didn’t sink their teeth into the record book earlier this season.
Ewen bettered her own collegiate outdoor record in the hammer that she set at NCAAs last year back in April at the Sun Angel Track Classic and topped Raven Saunders’ standard in the shot put from NCAAs two weeks ago at the Desert Heat Classic. Kerr took down the 1500-meter record, which had been set by Sydney Maree at NCAAs in 1981, at the mid-April Bryan Clay Invitational.
If you’re wondering how many current collegiate outdoor records have been set during Conference Championship Weekend, that answer is four.
Record-Setting Outings At Conference Championships
|Lindon Victor||Texas A&M||Decathlon||8539|
|Sandi Morris||Arkansas||Pole Vault||4.72m|
|Brigetta Barrett||Arizona||High Jump||1.99m|
|Balazs Kiss||Southern California||Hammer||81.94m|
The most recent addition to the record book under those parameters was Lindon Victor’s effort in the decathlon last year at the SEC Championships.
It was in Columbia, South Carolina, where The Bowerman finalist in 2017 improved upon the record he set at the Texas Relays earlier that season by 67 points. Victor ended up scoring a total of 8539 points, which included a record-setting second day tally of 4174 points and an all-time collegiate best discus throw in the multi.
The oldest collegiate record set over Conference Championship Weekend belongs to Balazs Kiss.
From 1995 to 1996, Kiss turned the record book on its head. The former standout thrower for Southern California hurled the hammer 81.94m (268-10) at the 1985 Pac-10 Championships, which only one person has come within 11 feet of in the past 33 years (Georgia’s Andras Haklits in 2002). Kiss currently owns the top-8 marks in collegiate history in the event. If you want an idea of just how good Kiss was, he later won Olympic gold medal in the hammer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Then we have Brigetta Barrett, who continued a run of success by female high jumpers at conference meets.
Barrett, a finalist for The Bowerman in 2013, notched the current collegiate record of 1.99m (6-6 ¼) at the Pac-12 Championships. The former Arizona star is one of six women who have cleared 1.96m (6-5) or better with conference glory on the line: SMU’s Kajsa Bergqvist, UCLA’s Amy Acuff, Arizona’s Tanya Hughes, South Carolina’s Jeannelle Scheper and Harvard’s Dora Gyorffy are the others.
Finally there is what happened over the span of a week in 2015, a year which also became known as The Year of the Vault.
Sandi Morris and Demi Payne dazzled during the indoor circuit and took their back-and-forth competition outdoors. Morris and Payne combined for six of the top-10 marks in the collegiate indoor record book that year as well as eight of the top-10 outdoor clearances.
Payne originally set the outdoor record on April 24 at the Drake Relays when she cleared 4.66m (15-3½). The former Stephen F. Austin standout – who was a finalist for The Bowerman that same year – raised the bar two weeks later at the Southland Conference Championships with a mark of 4.71m (15-5½).
Less than seven days later, Morris stole the record from Payne with a vault of 4.72m (15-5¾) at the SEC Championships in Starkville, Mississippi. That was Morris’ only attempt at that height, which was one of four first-try clearances that day for the former Arkansas star.
It wouldn’t surprise us to see a few collegiate outdoor records fall this weekend. Which ones? Let’s take a closer look. These are listed in no particular order.
Target Acquired: Record Book
|SEC Championships||Women’s 400 Hurdles||Two words: Sydney McLaughlin. Here are a few more: This will be McLaughlin’s second time competing in her signature event at the collegiate level. McLaughlin ran the fourth best time in collegiate history in her debut at the National Relay Championships (53.60). The current record is 53.21, set in 2013 by Kori Carter.|
|SEC Championships||Women’s Triple Jump||Georgia’s Keturah Orji already hit the No. 2 all-time mark in her debut back on April 21, but things got a little bit more interesting after the National Relay Championships because Florida’s Yanis David hit a PR of 14.13m (46-4¼). Both women should be on their "A" game here. Orji set the current record of 14.53m (47-8) at NCAAs in 2016.|
|SEC Championships||Men’s 110 Hurdles||The last time Florida’s Grant Holloway and Alabama’s Ruebin Walters met up, Holloway tied the second fastest time in collegiate history (13.16). They’ll likely square off in the finals on Sunday. Should Holloway rise the occasion once again, Renaldo Nehemiah’s 39-year-old standard of 13.00 could go by the wayside.|
|Pac-12 Championships||Women’s Shot Put||Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen has been dominant in this event outdoors. Ewen holds nine of the top-10 marks and broke Raven Saunders’ record two weeks ago. Whenever Ewen steps in the circle, she has a chance to better her own mark.|
|Pac-12 Championships||Women’s Hammer||See above, but substitute nine of the top-10 marks for seven of the top-10 marks and the circle for the cage.|
|Pac-12 Championships||Men’s 4×400||During the indoor season, Southern California put on a masterclass performance at the NCAA meet. The Trojans got the baton around in 3:00.77, which stands as the all-time world best and the collegiate record. Could Rai Benjamin, Michael Norman and Co. challenge LSU’s 13-year-old outdoor standard of 2:59.59? There is always a chance – but the Trojans would likely have to do it alone from the front.|