Feature Friday: One Month Altered Collegiate History Forever

How much can change in one month?

After all, it’s only 31 days – at most.

Well, just about everything, especially if you’re talking about the collegiate record book.

As of May 9, 2019, eight men combined to make up the all-time top-11 performances in collegiate history in the Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles (We like nice, round numbers, like 10, but there was a three-way tie for 11th place on the chart): Record holder Renaldo Nehemiah (x2), Grant Holloway (x2), Devon Allen, Aleec Harris (x2), Wayne Davis II, Omar McLeod, Jason Richardson and Aries Merritt.

Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles – All-Time Top-11 – May 9, 2019

Here are the 11 best performances in collegiate history as of May 9, 2019
Name
Program
Mark
Date
Renaldo Nehemiah
Maryland
13.00
5/6/1979
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.15
5/13/2018
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.16
4/13/2018
Devon Allen
Oregon
13.16
6/14/2014
Renaldo Nehemiah
Maryland
13.16
4/14/1979
Aleec Harris
Southern California
13.18
6/14/2014
Aleec Harris
Southern California
13.18
5/31/2014
Wayne Davis II
Texas A&M
13.20
5/31/2014
Omar McLeod
Arkansas
13.21
4/25/2015
Jason Richardson
South Carolina
13.21
5/31/2008
Aries Merritt
Tennessee
13.21
6/9/2006

Three days earlier, Nehemiah celebrated the 40th anniversary of his record-setting run.

Back in 1979, Maryland’s Nehemiah scorched the track at UCLA in 13.00 to lower both the collegiate record and world record, at the time. That came three weeks after Nehemiah went 13.16 to begin his assault on both record books that season.

Between May 7, 1979 and May 9, 2019, Nehemiah remained the only collegian who dipped under the 13.10 barrier during the collegiate season. The closest anybody got to joining him was Holloway at the 2018 SEC Outdoor Championships with his winning time of 13.15.

Then May 10, 2019 hit and the floodgates opened.

That’s when Holloway and Daniel Roberts made us question what is possible.

Over the span of two days at the 2019 SEC Outdoor Championships, Holloway and Roberts added three marks to the all-time top-10. Holloway became just the second collegian to go sub-13.10 with his 13.07 in the prelims. Roberts then matched that mark in the final and dealt the Florida star his first loss in the 110H in nearly two years (Holloway finished second in 13.12).

Before the end of the season, Holloway and Roberts combined for five more performances that found their way into the all-time top-10, including three that dropped jaws at the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

But the only thing anybody wants to talk about now is the awe-inspiring final where Holloway broke the collegiate record in 12.98 and Robert finished second in 13.00 to equal the 18th best and 22nd best performers in world history. We can’t blame them.

Let us put what happened between May 9, 2019 and June 8, 2019 into context.

Actually, take a look at this chart.

Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles – All-Time Top-10 – June 8, 2019

Here are the 10 best performances in collegiate history at the end of the 2019 season
Name
Program
Mark
Date
Grant Holloway
Florida
12.98
6/7/2019
Daniel Roberts
Kentucky
13.00
6/7/2019
Renaldo Nehemiah
Maryland
13.00
5/6/1979
Daniel Roberts
Kentucky
13.06
6/5/2019
Daniel Roberts
Kentucky
13.07
5/11/2019
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.07
5/10/2019
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.10
5/25/2019
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.12
5/11/2019
Daniel Roberts
Kentucky
13.13
5/25/2019
Grant Holloway
Florida
13.15
5/13/2018

Remember what we told you before about how eight men combined for the 11 best performances in collegiate history? Well, that number dropped to three and 10, respectively. Goodbye, Devon Allen, Aleec Harris, Wayne Davis II, Omar McLeod, Jason Richardson and Aries Merritt. If your name isn’t Grant Holloway, Renaldo Nehemiah or Daniel Roberts, you’re no longer in the top-10.

If an athlete wanted to get into the all-time top-10 on May 9, 2019, he could run 13.21 and do so. That number is now 13.15, a mark that would tie him as the 50th best performer in world history.

Chances are, it will be a long time before we see another year like this.

Then again, crazier things have happened: Like the collegiate record book being altered significantly in the span of one month.