ON THIS DAY: Brigetta Barrett, Mondo Duplantis Make Collegiate History
One year before Brigetta Barrett and Mondo Duplantis set their gender’s current collegiate records in the high jump and pole vault, respectively, the duo proved to be heir apparent when they surpassed those marks on the biggest stages of their young careers, to that point.
From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Records & Lists
Back in 2012, Barrett won the silver medal at the London Olympic Games with a clearance of 2.03m (6-8) to establish the all-dates collegiate best. While that effort was superior to the collegiate record of 1.98m (6-6) jointly held by Amy Acuff of UCLA (1995) and Kajsa Bergqvist of SMU (1999), it wouldn’t count as the collegiate record since it didn’t happen within the parameters of the collegiate season.
So, Barrett had to wait nine months until the 2013 Pac-12 Outdoor Championships.
That’s when Barrett put on a show inside Loker Stadium on the campus of Southern California. The Arizona senior soared over her first seven heights without a miss and then topped the collegiate record on her third attempt at 1.99m (6-6¼) with room to spare.
WATCH: Brigetta Barrett Sets NCAA High Jump Record (Pac-12 Network)
“I felt a lot like the Miami Heat, the first year they did not win the NBA title, but the next year they came back with unfinished business and when they did win the NBA title, they acted like they belonged there,” Barrett said after the meet. “Last year I broke the collegiate record but since I did not do it in a collegiate meet, it didn’t count. I felt I deserved it, but I had to wait.”
There wouldn’t be as much waiting for Duplantis.
After Duplantis cleared 6.05m (19-10¼) to win the gold medal at the European Championships in 2018, it was just a matter of when – not, if – he would take down both the indoor and outdoor collegiate records as a freshman at LSU. As it turns out, that question would be answered three months apart from each other at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
We’re most concerned with the outdoor version, which came on May 11 of last year. That’s when Duplantis became the first collegian to top 6.00m (19-8¼) and took down Lawrence Johnson’s near 23-year-old standard of 5.98m (19-7½). Many took aim at Johnson’s mark, but only the one who many felt was The Chosen One ended up taking it down a peg on the chart.
Duplantis might have turned pro after his freshman year, but he wasn’t done making history in the pole vault. Eight months later, Duplantis broke the world record and then bettered it to its current height of 6.18m (20-3¼), which is taller than two regulation basketball hoops stacked on each other.
It should be noted that both Barrett and Duplantis used their incredible collegiate performances to catapult themselves into contention for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest honor. Barrett was a finalist in both 2012 and 2013 as only the second two-time finalist for the women’s award, while Duplantis graced the stage last year.