Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ

June 12, 2008

Brittney Reese of Ole Miss had big aspirations entering the 2008 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Her aim was about as lofty as they get – the collegiate record of 6.99m (22-11¼) by Jackie Joyner that had stood since 1985.

A dominating afternoon by Reese didn’t end with the CR, but it did produce a series of leaps that remains the best in meet history.

Even though Reese was the yearly world leader at 6.93m (22-9), she got off to a shaky start, sitting in eighth place after Round 1 at 6.11m (20-0½). But Reese found her groove in Round 2 with a jump of 6.75m (22-1¾) that put her ahead of Jacksonville’s Natasha Harvey, who had led with a wind-aided 6.65m (21-10).

In Round 3, Reese essentially ended the competition by matching her PR at 22-9, just short of the meet record of 6.94m (22-9¼) set by Sheila Echols in 1987. Her biggest potential threat – defending champ Rhonda Watkins of UCLA – ended the day with three fouls.

Reese added another 22-footer in Round 4 at 6.72m (22-0¾), becoming the first in meet history with three legal jumps over 22 feet.

No one has yet matched Reese with as many legal 22-foot efforts in the NCAA meet, and she nearly made it four.

After a foul in Round 5, Reese gathered herself for a final attempt. The measurement of 6.35m (20-10) doesn’t come close to telling the story.

“She hit the board so well and was going so fast that I think she got a little scared,” Ole Miss coach Joe Walker told David Brandt of the Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi). “So she put her foot down early and didn’t go as far as she could have. That could have been a 23-foot jump.”

Reese’s venture into 23-foot territory would have to wait. After turning professional in the summer, she finished fourth in the Beijing Olympics. In 2009, she not only joined the 23-foot club but won the first of a record four gold medals in the World Championships. She won Olympic gold in 2012 and added silver in 2016.

posted: May 25, 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
Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ
June 12, 2008

Brittney Reese won the long jump at the 2008 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships with a mark of 6.93m (22-9). Reese missed the meet record by just 1cm (½ inch).

Tupuritis Shocked The Field In 1996
May 31, 1996

Einars Tupuritis won the 800 at the 1996 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships by 0.14 seconds! Turpiritis crossed the finish line in 1:45.08.

Ellis Sent USC To A Thrilling Victory
June 9, 2018

Kendall Ellis had a remarkable come-from-behind victory in the 4×400 relay at the 2018 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships that sent Southern California to the meet title.