SMU’s Connor Bounds To Triple Jump Greatness

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

SMU’s Connor Bounds To Triple Jump Greatness

June 5, 1982

It’s been 38 years and still no one has broken the meet record Keith Connor of SMU set in the triple jump at the 1982 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Provo, Utah. The only field event meet record that is older was achieved with an implement no longer in use.

Connor’s high-altitude mark – 17.57m (57-7¾) – broke the previous meet record by more than a foot and was the second-longest ever in the world at the time. He won the meet by a then-record margin of 76 centimeters (2-5¾”) and also notched the eighth best performance in world history of 17.29m (56-8¾).

It wasn’t the first NCAA title for Connor, a British native born in Caribbean islands of Anguilla. His previous absolute best came a year earlier when he claimed the NCAA Indoor title with a world indoor best of 17.31m (56-9½).

“I thought I could jump 57-5,” Connor said in the interview tent afterwards. “But now that I’ve hit a big jump, I want to improve my consistency. I’m reaching a good plateau in my progress. I’m sorting myself out now; I’m not record hungry. Last year I did well early indoors and then I peaked out and had a bad outdoor season. This year I’m not hitting a peak early. I’m working through the outdoor season.”

Connor repeated as NCAA Outdoor champion in 1983 with a jump of 17.26m (56-7½) – which was the best in meet history at low altitude – over Al Joyner (Arkansas State) and Michael Conley (Arkansas), a talented duo that would be Olympic gold and silver medalists in 1984.

Those first-place points Connor earned in 1983, which would be his final time competing in an SMU uniform, buoyed the Mustangs to their first of two national crowns in track & field. SMU topped Tennessee by two points, in what would be the closest 1-2 finish for the men’s team title in meet history since 1968.

posted: August 10, 2020
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.