UCLA Men’s 4×400 Clocks NCAA’s First Sub-3

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

UCLA Men’s 4×400 Clocks NCAA’s First Sub-3

June 4, 1988

On this day in 1988, the UCLA men’s 4×400 relay team became the first collegiate quartet to break three minutes, clocking 2:59.91 with Steve Lewis, Kevin Young, Danny Everett and Henry Thomas. That group led the Bruins to its seventh and last men’s team title and by themselves amassed 50 points, enough to win the meet on their own.

Everett and Lewis also went 1-2 in the 400 and Young won the 400 Hurdles in a meet-record 47.85 to win by 2.22 seconds, by far the event’s largest winning margin. Thomas, battling allergies, finished third in the 200 and anchored the second-place 4×100 relay team with Everett and Lewis handling the middle two legs.

UCLA sprint coach John Smith was asked how fast the group could run if everyone was fresh. Smith, who as an athlete is the only man to run on four NCAA DI outdoor champion 4×400 relay teams as a member of the Bruins from 1969-72, told the Los Angeles Times, “I think we could run as well as the World Championship team, about 2:56.”

It didn’t take long for a few of those team members to prove him right. Later in the year, Lewis and Everett followed up Seoul Olympic gold and bronze 400 medals by leading off the U.S. 4×400 relay team on the first two legs as they equaled the world record of 2:56.16. Young would later win the 1992 Olympic gold in the 400H with a still-standing world record of 46.78.

posted: June 4, 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.