Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ
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.
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.
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
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.
Comenentia Completed Historic Double In 2018
Denzel Comenentia became only the third man in the history of the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships to complete the HT-SP double back in 2018.
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.
Saunders Won Back-To-Back SP Titles, Set CR
Raven Saunders won back-to-back SP titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 2015 & 2016. Saunders set a CR & MR of 19.33m (63-5) in that second year.
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.
Hook ‘Em, Leo: Manzano Made 1500 History
Leo Manzano was the first male freshman in the history of the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships to win the 1500/mile in 2005. Manzano added a 2nd title to his haul in 2008.
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.
Rupp Capped Sensational Senior Year In 2009
Galen Rupp completed an unprecedented year at the 2009 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships when he swept the 5K & 10K.
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).