ON THIS DAY: Maggie Ewen, Michael Saruni Make Collegiate History In Tucson
The Desert Heat Classic lived up to its name on April 28, 2018.
It was on this day two years ago that two current collegiate records were set under crystal clear skies in Tucson, Arizona: Maggie Ewen’s massive heave in the Women’s Shot Put and Michael Saruni’s legendary scamper in the Men’s 800 Meters.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Collegiate Outdoor Record Book
Fans probably had a good idea that Ewen could pop a big one in the shot put after seeing what she did during the indoor season. After all, Ewen became the third best performer in collegiate history with the fourth best performance when she launched the weighted orb 19.20m (63-0) at the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite on February 10, 2018.
Well, Ewen proved to be remarkably consistent on three of her first five attempts just a few months later. The former Arizona State star went 18.46m (60-6¾) on her second attempt, 18.45m (60-6½) on her third and 18.46m (60-6¾) again on her fifth (She fouled on her first and fourth).
Then Ewen mustered all of her strength and let it fly 19.46m (63-10¼), which absolutely smashed Raven Saunders’ near two-year-old best of 19.33m (63-5) by more than five inches. That ended up being one of six marks Ewen put in the all-time top-10 that season.
According to the schedule from the meet, it was probably about the time that Ewen celebrated her record that Saruni stepped on the track for his time in the spotlight (The Women’s Shot Put began at 7 pm, while the Men’s 800 Meters got underway at 8:02 pm).
The former UTEP star opened a lot of eyes during the indoor season with two of the fastest marks in collegiate history over 800 meters. He went 1:45.19 at the Texas Tech Invitational in late January and then one-upped himself with a 1:45.15 at the NCAA Championships in March. Those marks sit No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, behind Paul Ereng’s 1:44.84 from 1989.
Saruni would be second-to-none outdoors after two laps inside Roy P. Drachman Stadium as he crossed the finish line at 1:43.25, which lowered the all-time best from 1:43.55 that Donavan Brazier established two years prior at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Remember that Brazier broke Jim Ryun’s 50-year-old collegiate record on its golden anniversary.
Here’s a fun fact: Ewen and Saruni had their hand in three of the 11 collegiate records that were set during the 2018 outdoor season (Ten of which are still standing). Ewen also bettered her own standard in the hammer earlier that year.