Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

The USTFCCCA and collegiate track & field will join together to mark a momentous milestone in the spring of 2021 — the 100th anniversary of the staging of championships in the NCAA and with that, the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. 

This point can’t be emphasized enough: Not only was the event the first for NCAA track & field, but the first championships for any sport under the sponsorship of the NCAA. It was June 1921 when the University of Chicago hosted the first track & field championships in NCAA history.

In celebration of this upcoming landmark, over each of the next 365 days, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) will present moments and feature student-athletes and coaches that have made a century’s worth of championships special. From humble beginnings to important historical milestones to the modern-day, collegiate track & field has evolved with the American society. 

Each day, a new moment, tidbit, or spotlight will be added to an ongoing blog at USTFCCCA.org and featured on the Association’s social media. It will start tomorrow, May 27, with a synopsis of the first-edition, 1921 championships.

“We celebrate where we’ve been and where we are going,” said USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes. “Our aim in delivering this compelling content over the next year’s time is to not only highlight the incredible moments that have occured, but also to demonstrate the importance of collegiate track & field to the sport, collegiate athletics, and society as a whole. The championships have evolved, weathered ups-and-downs, but has always served as a model of future progress, inclusion, and a template for showcasing student-athlete excellence and experience through athletics.”

The 2021 edition of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin with preliminary round action on May 27-29 in Jacksonville, Fla., and College Station, Texas. The championships final site and culmination of the celebration is slated for June 9-12, 2021 at the newly rebuilt Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Memorable Moments
Angela Williams Stands Tall In History
June 1, 2002

Angela Williams of Southern California was the first athlete (man or woman) to win four consecutive 100-meter titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Carlos’ Triple Leads “Speed City” Spartans
June 21, 1969

John Carlos of San Jose State became the first athlete to complete the sprint triple at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with victories in the 100, 200 (220) and 4×100 (440-yard) relay.

Southern’s Milburn Clears All Hurdles In His Way
June 9, 1973

Rodney Milburn of Southern capped a legendary collegiate career 47 years ago when he won the 120-yard high hurdles title at the 1973 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in a meet-record time of 13.1.

Oregon’s Burleson Races To Meet’s First Sub-4 Mile
June 16, 1962

ON THIS DAY: Dyrol Burleson of Oregon recorded the first sub-4 minute mile in meet history at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Burleson finished in 3:59.8 and used a 55.2 closing lap to seal the deal.