BYU’s Mann Set World Record In 440 Hurdles

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

BYU’s Mann Set World Record In 440 Hurdles

June 20, 1970

In the near 100-year history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, only four athletes — men or women — have won three consecutive titles in the 400-Meter or 440-Yard Hurdles.

Ralph Mann of BYU was the first from 1969 to 1971.

Mann would later be joined by Danny Harris of Iowa State (1984-1986), Janeene Vickers of UCLA (1989-1991) and most recently, Shamier Little of Texas A&M (2014-16).

In fact, counting all of the divisions together, only nine athletes have accomplished that feat in NCAA history: Brian Moorman of Pittsburg State (1997-99), Lana Jekabsone of Lewis (2000-2002) and Tia-Adana Belle of Saint Augustine’s (2015-17) did so in NCAA Division II; Derek Toshner of UW-La Crosse (2002-04) and Luke Campbell of Salisbury (2014-16) hold it down for NCAA Division III.

Mann, though, made his star 50 years ago.

It was at the 1970 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where Mann thundered through wet conditions to shatter the world record in the 440H with his time of 48.8. Both Mann and runner-up Wayne Collett of UCLA dipped under the previous world record of 49.3 established by South Africa’s Gert Potgieter some 10 years earlier (Collett ran 49.2).

“That’s a fabulous track,” Mann said after the race. “I don’t know what I might have run if it hadn’t rained.”

Collett, who was reportedly undefeated against Mann dating back to their prep days in Southern California, jumped out to an early lead, but Mann reeled him in down the homestretch.

Mann continued to leave his mark on both the collegiate and international scene over the next few years as he completed the trifecta in 1971 and won the silver medal in the 400H at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

posted: July 25, 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 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.

Wykoff Wins Stacked NCAA 100 Final
June 7, 1930

Frank Wykoff won a stacked 100-yard final at the 1930 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships that featured six current or former world record holders.

Liquori Is Mr. Sub-4 At NCAAs

Marty Liquori won three consecutive mile titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, all in sub-4 times.