Conley Soars; Razorbacks Complete Triple Crown

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Conley Soars; Razorbacks Complete Triple Crown

June 1, 1985

Mike Conley saved his best for last.

In 1985, Conley scored 28¾ points to lead Arkansas to its first outdoor team title, which completed the vaunted “Triple Crown,” as the program also captured the cross country and indoor titles already in the academic year.

Conley’s four-day schedule was busier than he’d ever experienced. The defending NCAA outdoor champion in the long and triple jumps was also on the 4×100 relay, plus he would be adding the 200 meters at the national meet for the first time.

His busiest day was Friday with three finals. Conley somehow made them look easy by matching his own meet record in the long jump of 8.28m (27-8) and then running the third leg on the sixth-place 4×100 team (39.48). A strong turn runner, he finished that evening’s 200 coming into the straightaway with the lead, before finishing second to Houston’s Kirk Baptiste, who was the silver medalist in the event from the previous summer’s Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Conley also had a silver medal from that same Olympics — but his came from the triple jump. However, by the time Saturday’s NCAA final came, Conley felt fatigued and in round four, he lost his lead to Tennessee’s John Tillman, who went 16.94m (55-7).

A consummate competitor, Conley responded fiercely with a three-foot improvement to 17.54m (57-6½), just an inch short of the American record held by Willie Banks. Conley then bounded a wind-aided 17.72m (58-1¾) on his fifth attempt. Both of those marks remain among the top-4 under any conditions on the all-time collegiate list.

“Tillman’s jump did it,” Conley told Dave Johnson of Track & Field News. “Whether I was tired or not, I had to jump. It was like a slap in the face. It woke me up.”

posted: June 24, 2020
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.

Memorable Moments
A Crowning Moment For Rogers In 2017
June 10, 2017

Back in 2017, Raevyn Rogers of Oregon dazzled at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a victory in the 800 and a sizzling anchor on the winning 4×400 relay.

Oxy’s Gutowski Vaults To Record Heights
June 15, 1957

Bob Gutowski of Occidental won the pole vault at the 1957 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a clearance of 4.82m (15-9¾), a mark that surpassed the world record but was never ratified.

Guthrie-Gresham Generates Greatness
June 2, 1995

Diane Guthrie-Gresham of George Mason broke the collegiate record in the heptathlon with 6527 points at the 1995 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Conway Raises The Bar In 1989
June 3, 1989

Hollis Conway of Southwestern Louisiana set the American record and collegiate record in the high jump at the 1989 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships!

Conley Soars; Razorbacks Complete Triple Crown
June 1, 1985

Mike Conley scored 28¾ points to lead Arkansas to its first outdoor team title, which completed the vaunted “Triple Crown,” as the program also captured the cross country and indoor titles already in the academic year.