Hail Lorenzo! Daniel Sprints To 200-Meter Records

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Hail Lorenzo! Daniel Sprints To 200-Meter Records

June 3, 1988

Lorenzo Daniel of Mississippi State saved his best for last.

In becoming just the second man in the history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships to make four 200-meter finals, Daniel won his only NCAA crown in 1988 with a meet and collegiate record of 19.87. It wasn’t even close: Daniel won by 0.33 seconds, tying the second largest margin of victory in meet history since 1948 (UCLA’s Greg Foster also won by 0.33 seconds in 1979).

The ink on the old 200 CR had barely dried, having been set less than three weeks earlier by – you guessed it – Daniel, himself, in 19.93, a mark that he used to win a record fourth-straight crown at the SEC Outdoor Championships. The old NCAA meet record of 20.16, set by Clancy Edwards of Southern California in 1978, was comparably ancient.

Daniel’s all-time standards lasted a bit longer than those he struck down. While his collegiate record would later be tied (Florida’s John Capel, 1999) and eventually broken (Tennessee’s Justin Gatlin went 19.86 in 2002 at the SEC Championships, coincidentally held on Mississippi State’s campus in Starkville), Daniel’s meet record held strong until 2019. That’s when The Bowerman finalist Divine Oduduru of Texas Tech clocked 19.73 to complete the fourth sweep of the 100-200 since the turn of the decade (Capel had also equaled the 19.87 MR in 1999).

Victory in the 200 was a long time coming for Daniel, who joined Indiana’s Charlie Peters from 1947-50 as the only men in meet history with four-straight final appearances. Daniel had been frustrated with his performances in the previous three years, which included a pair of eighth-place finishes in 1986 and 1987.

“Each year I came in with the fastest time and I disappointed everybody, including myself,” Daniel explained to Joe Illuzzi of UPI. “It was mostly because I was thinking about what the other guys were going to do. This year I forgot about that. I just felt like I was going to run a good time and not worry about anyone else.”

One of those fastest times he referred to was a 20.07 as a 19-year-old freshman at Mississippi State in 1985. It was a world U20 record that lasted 19 years until Usain Bolt ran 19.93 in 2004. It still survives as the best by an American at that age.

posted: August 9, 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.