Blozis Was A “Giant” In The Shot
“Giant” was a term often used to describe Al Blozis of Georgetown.
That could have been because of his massive size – about 6 foot, 6 inches and 250 pounds – or perhaps his dominance in the shot put ring.
For three years (1940-42), Blozis had no peer in the shot put. He had margins of victory of more than two feet in all three of his wins at the NCAA Championships (1940-42), the best collection by any of the seven men to accumulate three titles in this event (No one has yet to win four).
Amazingly, those were some of the closest victories in his major meets. He added three consecutive AAU and IC4A titles during the same stretch by even larger margins (His closest in a national competition was 2-4¼” (71 cm) at the 1942 NCAA Championships).
Blozis was clearly the best in the world between 1940-42, according to track & field historian Dave Johnson. His best mark – 57-0¾ (17.39m) – was a close second only to the world record of 57-1 (17.40m), set by LSU’s Jack Torrance in 1934.
Blozis, who grew up in Jersey City, New Jersey, missed a likely gold medal at the canceled 1940 Olympics due to World War II and never competed in track & field after the 1942 season. After graduating from Georgetown, Blozis became an All-Pro tackle for the New York Giants in the National Football League (NFL). That career was also cut short when he enlisted in the U.S. Army, finally being accepted in December 1943 after an exemption for his size, since the military had previously considered him too big.
The website HoyaSaxa.com has a chapter of Georgetown football history especially for Blozis – “The Greatest Hoya of Them All.” It reports, among the many accomplishments of Blozis’ career, of his untimely death on his first patrol during WWII in the Vosges Mountains of France during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1945.
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.
Unique Discus History For Oerter In 1958
Al Oerter won back-to-back discus titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which included the only tie in meet history back in 1958.
Indiana State’s Hyche Swept Sprints In 1993
No athlete – male or female – has won more individual career sprint titles at the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships than Holli Hyche of Indiana State!
Dendy’s Double-Double Put Him Among Greats
Marquis Dendy of Florida pulled off the double-double in the long jump & triple jump at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2014 and 2015.
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.
Gehrmann Starred In The Mile/1500
Don Gehrmann of Wisconsin won three consecutive 1500/mile titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships between 1948 and 1950!
Boden Dominated Javelin, Set World Record
Patrik Boden of Texas won three consecutive javelin titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships between 1989 and 1991.
Oregon’s Theisen Made Heptathlon History
Brianne Theisen is one of two women to have ever eclipsed the 6400-point barrier in the heptathlon at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
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.
Jack Davis Was Ahead Of His Time
Jack Davis won three consecutive high hurdles titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships between 1951 and 1953!
Hurdle History Fit For A Queen In 2010
Queen Harrison completed the only 100H-400H double in the history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in 2010.