Montana’s Brown Set Two MRs in 1965

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Montana’s Brown Set Two MRs in 1965

Fans witnessed two meet records at the 1965 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Berkeley, California.

Both were set by Montana’s Doug Brown, who became the first – and still only – man to set meet records in the two longest races in the same year.

Brown employed his normal full-throttle strategy each time. In Thursday night’s 6-mile, his stiff pace found company from only Washington State’s Chris Westman at the halfway point (14:06.3).

By 4 miles, Brown was all alone, having begun a steady increase of the pace that saw him negative-split the race. His final time for 6 miles was 27:59.2, the first sub-28 clocking by a collegian.

Two days later, Brown was part of the meet’s most thrilling competition in the 3-mile. Again, he forced the pace and by the 2-mile split (9:08), only Westman and a fresh John Lawson of Kansas were hanging around.

The excitement level rose rapidly on the last lap. Westman took the lead, but that evaporated as Lawson passed him on the backstretch and led until the beginning of the homestretch – that’s when a fast-charging Brown pulled even with Lawson.

Back-and-forth Lawson and Brown edged ahead of each other down the final stretch, crossing the finish line virtually together.

Fortunately a Bulova Phototimer was in use and officials were able to find about three inches of difference between them, both clocking a meet-record time of 13:40.2 with Brown getting the nod for a second title.

Close followers of the NCAA meet know there is at least one other prominent athlete named Doug Brown. A steeplechaser with that name will be the subject of a forthcoming Moment.

posted: March 31, 2021
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.

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