Arizona’s Skieresz Nearly Lapped The Field
Amy Skieresz of Arizona could see her nearest pursuer in both of her 10,000-meter titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
That’s because she nearly lapped the entire field both times.
Skieresz had huge margins of victory in those two races – 63.39 seconds in 1997, 62.64 seconds in 1998 – the largest, in fact, recorded in NCAA DI history in any running event, including cross country.
Amazingly, Skieresz didn’t seem to need to win so convincingly, especially considering she was doubling back each time in the 5000 meters. She won both of those 5K races comfortably, as well, and remains the only woman with a pair of outdoor distance doubles at the NCAA DI level.
“I was shocked to win both of them,” Skieresz said of her first double in 1997.
Nobody else was shocked: Skieresz had won the NCAA cross country title in the fall, the NCAA Indoor 5K with a meet record in March and then debuted in the 10K with a 2-minute victory at the Penn Relays in 32:31.65, less than 10 seconds off the collegiate record at the time.
Skieresz seemed unbeatable – and for the most part she was – never coming close to losing an NCAA track race. She explained to Jeff Hollobaugh of Track & Field News after completing the 5K/10K combo for the second time in 1998 that she takes every race seriously.
“I go into every single race, whether it’s a dual meet or the NCAA, thinking that,” said the native of Agoura Hills, California. “I get as nervous as I would for anything. You can’t count anybody out. It could be anybody’s day. You can’t say, ‘Oh well, let’s coast through this race.’ I don’t believe in that. Every time I step to the line, it’s a major race.”
In cross country, Skieresz forged a career like no other man or woman in NCAA DI history, finishing in the top-2 four times, adding runner-up finishes in 1995, 1997 and 1998 to the individual title she claimed in 1996.
The NCAA and collegiate track & field will mark a momentous milestone in the spring of 2021 -- the 100th anniversary of the NCAA Championships and with that, the NCAA Track & Field Championships. In June 1921, the University of Chicago hosted the first track & field championships in NCAA history.
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.
To celebrate, over each of the next 365 days, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) will celebrate moments, 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.
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.
Levins Kicked Past Competition In 5K/10K
Cam Levins swept the 5K & 10K at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships and won The Bowerman that same year.
Russell Dominated The 100H At NCAAs
Gillian Russell won three career 100H titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, doing so between 1993 and 1995.
Fosbury Flopped To High Jump Glory
Dick Fosbury, creator of the “Fosbury Flop,” won back-to-back high jump titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1968 and 1969 with meet records in both years.
Fleshman Starred In The 5000 Meters
Lauren Fleshman posted three victories in the 5000 meters at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in her career.
X-Man Reigned At 2006 NCAA Meet
Xavier Carter won four national titles at the 2006 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, completing the only 100-400 sweep and helping the title-winning 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.
Bakewell’s Winding Road To 800 Meter Glory
Karen Bakewell set a meet record of 2:00.85 in the Women’s 800 Meters at the 1986 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Hurdling History For Forrest “Spec” Towns
Forrest “Spec” Towns won back-to-back hurdling titles at the 1936 and 1937 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships as part of a legendary streak.
What A Finish In The 1500 Meters!
Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame beat Justine Kiprotich of Michigan State by 0.003 seconds for the 1500-meter title at the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
UCLA’s Griffith Sprinted Into History
Florence Griffith won two career individual titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which included a meet record in the 400 Meters.
Ewell Made Quite The (Penn) State-ment
Barney Ewell of Penn State completed the 100-200 double twice at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 1940 and 1941.