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
Mikkola Set Javelin MR With Huge Win

Esko Mikkola was a two-time JT winner at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships. When Mikkola won in 1998, he set a MR of 81.86m (268‑7) and won by 17 feet!

Little Made Big 400H History
June 11, 2016

Shamier Little won three consecutive 400H titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships between 2014 & 2016. Little became the No. 2 performer in collegiate history with her 53.51 winner in 2016.

Ellerbe Won After Film Review In 1939

Mozelle Ellerbe won back-to-back 100-yard dash titles at the NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships in 1938 & 1939. His victory in the 2nd year was confirmed by a film review.

McCullouch Ran Legendary Times At NCAAs

Earl McCullouch of Southern California won back-to-back 120H titles at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and was a member of a WR-setting quarter-mile relay team.

Walton Started It All In The 800

Delisa Walton won the first women’s 800 at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 1982. Walton is the mother of Ebonie Floyd, who finished 2nd in the 2007 100.

Gipson, Ugen Made Long Jump History

Whitney Gipson & Lorraine Ugen were the first teammates to win women’s long jump titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in consecutive years (Gipson in 2012; Ugen in 2013).