History At Stake For Returning Champions At NCAA DI Outdoor Championships

When the 2019 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships get underway tomorrow (Wednesday, June 5) at the Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium in Austin, Texas, there will be 15 individual champions from last year returning to defend their crowns.

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As you’ll see in the ensuing chart, it’s a near-even split between men’s and women’s athletes. Eight men carry their banner into battle again (Denzel Comenentia of Georgia will do it twice in the hammer and shot put), compared to seven women.

DEFENDING THEIR TITLES IN AUSTIN
Click here to see a list of athletes who won individual titles in 2018 that return to #NCAATF this year to attempt to add to their collection
Name
Program
Event
Divine Oduduru
Texas Tech
Men’s 200 Meters
Oliver Hoare
Wisconsin
Men’s 1500 Meters
Obsa Ali
Minnesota
Men’s Steeplechase
Grant Holloway
Florida
Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles
Tejaswin Shankar
Kansas State
Men’s High Jump
Chris Nilsen
South Dakota
Men’s Pole Vault
Denzel Comenentia
Georgia
Men’s Shot Put
Denzel Comenentia
Georgia
Men’s Hammer
Anderson Peters
Mississippi State
Men’s Javelin
Angie Annelus
Southern California
Women’s 200 Meters
Jessica Hull
Oregon
Women’s 1500 Meters
Allie Ostrander
Boise State
Women’s Steeplechase
Alexus Henry
UT Arlington
Women’s High Jump
Olivia Gruver
Washington
Women’s Pole Vault
Mackenzie Little
Stanford
Women’s Javelin

 

History is at stake for several of those athletes, notably Olivia Gruver of Washington, Grant Holloway of Florida and Allie Ostrander of Boise State.

First, we have Gruver who is the two-time defending champion in the women’s pole vault. She won the 2017 and 2018 titles with Kentucky and will look to match that feat in 2019, but with the Huskies. If Gruver, the collegiate outdoor record holder, holds serve, she’d become the only woman in NCAA DI history to win three consecutive outdoor titles in the event.

That same kind of history awaits Ostrander, if she wins the steeplechase once again. Last year Ostrander was the first woman to repeat in the steeplechase since Jenny Barringer in 2008 and 2009, but no woman has won three in a row. Ostrander appears to be hitting her stride at the right time, as she established the current collegiate lead at the NCAA DI West Preliminary Round.

Then we have Holloway, the two-time defending champion in the 110H. Holloway is going to have to work to make it a three-peat with Daniel Roberts matching him stride for stride throughout the regular season (and even beating him in the final at the SEC Championships). But if the junior from Chesapeake, Virginia, is able to cross the finish line first in Friday’s final, he’ll be the first to win three consecutive event titles since Jack Davis of Southern California. Remember him? You probably don’t. He won those titles for the Trojans way back in 1951 to 1953.

There is only ONE DAY LEFT until the biggest meet of the season.

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