ON THIS DAY: Meg Ritchie Makes Collegiate History

Three current women’s collegiate records have lasted more than 25 years.

That number could have been four if it weren’t for 2019 The Bowerman winner Sha’Carri Richardson’s epic dash last year on the final day of the the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships that resulted in her bulldozing Dawn Sowell’s all-time mark in the 100 Meters by 0.11 seconds.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Collegiate Outdoor Record Book

None of those records are as old as Meg Ritchie’s legendary heave in the discus, though, which happened 39 years ago today (Jackie Joyner-Kersee set the long jump record in 1985 while at UCLA; Diane Guthrie established the heptathlon standard in 1995 while at George Mason).

Back in 1981, Ritchie launched the implement 67.48m (221-5) in a winning effort at the Mt. SAC Relays. Not only is that still the collegiate record, but it also remains the Mt. SAC Relays record as well as the British record. Ritchie never threw farther, but had four throws of 65.08m (213-6) or better as a collegian.

Want an idea of just how dominant Ritchie’s mark is?

No collegian has come within seven feet of that standard since. The closest was Suzy Powell of UCLA at the 1997 Modesto Relays when she hit 65.22m (214-0) to become the No. 2 performer in collegiate history, a spot she still holds. The best mark by a recent collegian was 65.05m (213-5) by Shadae Lawrence of Colorado State last year at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships to move up to No. 3 all-time.