Iowa’s Gordon Made Competition Pay In LJ

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Iowa’s Gordon Made Competition Pay In LJ

Edward Gordon of Iowa had extra motivation at the 1930 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The defending champion paid his own way to the meet, an almost 200-mile drive from Iowa City to Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in Chicago.

The Associated Press reported that Gordon “was so infuriated because he had to pay his own way that he went right out and jumped 25 feet even (7.62m) – the best leap of his life.”

That effort by Gordon came in the trials on Day 1 of the two-day meet. It gave him a lead of some 11 inches over 1928 Olympic gold medalist Edward Hamm of Georgia Tech, who won the 1927 and 1928 NCAA meets before redshirting the 1929 season.

Back then, marks from trials in field events carried over to the next day’s finals. Gordon’s 25-0 held up, even as Hamm improved to 24-6½ (7.48m).

Gordon repeated as NCAA champion in 1931 to become the event’s first three-time winner and in 1932 won gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. His collegiate career also saw him score twice in the NCAA high jump with a best of being runner-up in 1929.

Why did Gordon have to pay his own way to the 1930 NCAA meet? According to the AP, he “was reported thrown off the Hawkeye squad Thursday after a dispute with coach George Bresnahan.”

posted: April 6, 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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