Hornbostel Left Mark As A Hoosier

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Hornbostel Left Mark As A Hoosier

Which 880-yard NCAA victory by Chuck Hornbostel of Indiana is the best?

It could be his last race in a Hoosier jersey, winning the 1934 half-mile to become the first man to win the 800/880 three times. Held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – site of his first Olympics in 1932 (He was sixth) – and with a winning margin of 1.2 seconds, it certainly had to be satisfying.

Another likely selection would be the thriller in 1933, when he and mile star Glenn Cunningham of Kansas came across the line in matching world record times of 1:50.9. This one – the last NCAA held at Chicago’s Soldier Field – had some writers grasping for words.

“He and Cunningham came down the stretch stride for stride,” wrote Wilfrid Smith of the Chicago Tribune. “For more than a hundred yards the pair ran a dead heat, but in the last five yards Hornbostel gained an advantage of a foot.” The Associated Press, which called Hornbostel “the Indiana iron man,” put the margin as “about two inches.”

But the native of Evansville, Indiana, and Hoosier fans might just pick his first, winning the 1932 crown in a then-meet record 1:53.5. More importantly, his 10 team points helped Indiana win its first – and still only – NCAA team title in track & field, scoring 56 points to top Ohio State’s 49¾ points. The Hoosiers were paced by Henry Brocksmith, who contributed 16 points with runner-up finishes in the mile and 2-mile.

Hornbostel, who never lost a collegiate race in the 800/880, went on to make a second Olympic team, finishing fifth in the 1936 Berlin Games.

posted: July 26, 2020
1921-2021
The NCAA's First Championships

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.

Memorable Moments
SMU’s Ezeh Hammered Out Greatness

Florence Ezeh is the only woman in the history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to win three hammer throw titles in a career.

The Tie Goes To The Buckeye

Dave Albritton of Ohio State won three consecutive high jump titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships & remains one of just two men to do so.