Terry Anders is the only athlete in NCAA Division III history with outdoor national titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters.
Would you believe that Anders won all three of those in the same year?
Well, back in 1996, Anders did just that – and if it wasn’t for an appeal by UW-Stout’s coaches, Anders wouldn’t have been able to compete on Friday and Saturday at all. That’s because Anders was disqualified in the triple jump – one of six events in which he was scheduled to compete – due to not reporting on time. An NCAA rule states that if an athlete doesn’t compete in an event they have qualified for, they can’t compete in the remainder of the national meet in any event. Common sense prevailed, though, allowing Anders his chance to shine.
“Terry loves the pressure,” UW-Stout coach Chris Hall unironically told Mark Andrew Trapani of the Eau-Claire (Wis.) Ledger-Telegram before the meet. “It motivates him.”
Anders relished – and took full advantage of – his second chance.
Just hours after being reinstated, Anders sprinted away from the pack to win the 200. Then, Anders defended his 400-meter crown from the previous year on Saturday and doubled back nearly one hour later to capture the 100. He won each race by an average of 0.30 seconds.
Those 30 points – and the seven he helped the Blue Devils amass in the 4×100 (sixth) and 4×400 relays (fifth) – propelled them to their best team finish in program history to that point (fifth). UW-Stout eventually reached the podium in 2012, 15 years after Anders graduated.
All told, Anders won six NCAA titles and was a 13-time All-American during his legendary career. Anders found most of his success in the 400, an event in which he topped podiums in both 1995 and 1996, both indoors and outdoors. In fact, Anders was the first man in divisional history to place first in the 400 at the NCAA DIII Indoor Championships in consecutive years.
Anders is the first athlete from UW-Stout to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division III Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.