ON THIS DAY (May 19): Balazs Kiss Makes Collegiate History

Very few people who broke a collegiate record probably started the day as confidently as Balazs Kiss of Southern California did back on May 19, 1995.

“When I got up this morning and (realized) I got eight hours’ sleep, I was pumped,” Kiss told the press after the completion of the hammer competition that day. “I yelled, ‘Yes! It’s over! The record’s gone!’”

All-Time Top-10 Performances Collegiate History – Men’s Hammer Throw

Name
Program
Mark
Year
Balazs Kiss
Southern California
81.94m (268-10)
1995
– Kiss (2)
Southern California
80.86m (265-4)
1996
– Kiss (3)
Southern California
80.08m (262-9)
1995
– Kiss (4)
Southern California
79.86m (262-0)
1996
– Kiss (5)
Southern California
79.62m (261-3)
1995
– Kiss (6)
Southern California
79.44m (260-8)
1995
– Kiss (7)
Southern California
79.36m (260-5)
1995
– Kiss (8)
Southern California
78.96m (259-1)
1995
Andras Haklits
Georgia
78.63m (258-0)
2002
Libor Charfreitag
SMU
78.58m (257-10)
2002

Rest is a critical component of any elite athlete’s success and after Kiss got exactly how much he needed the night of the 1995 Pac-10 Championships in Tucson, Arizona, he could finally put the collegiate record in the hammer that he had dreamed about to bed.

Nothing stopped Kiss on his pursuit of collegiate history on that Friday afternoon.

By the time Kiss watched his final attempt land safely inside the sector, he notched the four best marks in collegiate history, including the current all-time best of 81.94m (268-10). Kiss hit those three others at 80.08m (262-9), 79.44m (260-8) and 79.36m (260-5), which currently sit as the No. 3, No. 6 and No. 7 marks in collegiate history, respectively, which are sandwiched between two more of his efforts.

Want to know just how strong of a mark Kiss’ collegiate record turned out to be? Not only did it break the previous standard by 11 feet, 10 inches, the closest any collegian has come since 1995 was Andras Haklits of Georgia in 2002 when he launched the implement 78.63m (258-0).

Kiss eventually won his third consecutive NCAA title that year and made it four in a row the following season, a feat only one other man had done in the history of the event (Scott Neilson of Washington from 1976-1979). It’s safe to say 1996 was an exceptional year for Kiss, as later that summer, he captured the gold medal in the hammer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games with a winning heave of 81.24m (266-6).