Comenentia Completed Historic Double In 2018
Denzel Comenentia did in three hours what only two other men could do in the near 100-year history of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Back in 2018, under crystal clear skies in Eugene, Oregon, Comenentia completed the third hammer throw-shot put double in meet history. Comenentia joined Jack Merchant of Cal (1922) and Cory Martin of Auburn (2008) in that regard, while only Merchant could also lay claim to the prestige of winning both events in one day (Merchant did so on June 17, 1922).
“It feels amazing,” Comenentia said after the meet. “It came so unexpectedly.”
Anybody watching Comenentia in the hammer, though, knew it was his title to lose. Even though Comenentia came in ranked No. 2 on the seasonal chart, he threw like the champion from the onset, hitting a mark of 74.65m (244-1) in Round 1 that would have won the event. He wasn’t content, knowing somebody could come from behind, so he launched the implement 76.41m (250-8) in Round 5 to put away the competition for good.
Comenentia returned to Hayward Field for the shot put later that afternoon, an event in which he owned the second-best mark on the Descending Order List at 20.88m (68-6). After Payton Otterdahl of North Dakota State, the collegiate leader, didn’t make the final, all eyes were on the former Georgia standout from the Netherlands.
It took a while for Comenentia to find his rhythm in the circle: he sat seventh through four rounds and needed a big effort in Round 5 to maintain his spot in the top-8, let alone win.
Comenentia maintained his poise – and his balance – in that fateful stanza, as he heaved the weighted orb 20.61m (67-7½) into the sector. That sent him to the top of the standings – but not to an automatic win. He and Josh Awotunde of South Carolina held their collective breath as officials measured Awotunde’s sixth-round effort. Comenentia could finally celebrate when the Gamecocks’ topper came out to 20.57m (67-6) for the second closest margin of victory since 2002.
Those 20 points by Comenentia proved even bigger later: Georgia won the team title.
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.
ON THIS DAY: Kerley Set 400-Meter CR In Austin
Fred Kerley set a collegiate record in the 400 on this day in 2017. Kerley went 43.70 at the NCAA DI West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.
Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ
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).
Foster Won All-Time Classic 110H In 1978
Greg Foster won an epic 110H race at the 1978 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships. Foster beat Renaldo Nehemiah & set an AR, CR & MR in the process with his 13.22.
D’Agostino Won By Slim Margin In 2012
Abbey D’Agostino won back-to-back 5K titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 2012 & 2013. When D’Agostino won in 2012, it was by just 0.03 seconds.
Tupuritis Shocked The Field In 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.
Arkansas’ Brown Notched All-Time 100H Mark
Janeek Brown won the 100H at the 2019 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 12.40, narrowly missing the collegiate record and meet record.
Brown Paced Tennessee To 1974 Team Title
Doug Brown won back-to-back steeplechase titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 1973 & 1974. His victory in 1973 was by 17.2 seconds!
EMU’s Jones Hurdled Into NCAA History
Hayes Jones completed the 120H-220H sweep at the 1959 NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships. Jones won the last 220H title ever awarded at the meet.
Ellis Sent USC To A Thrilling Victory
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.
Paige Turned Three NCAA Mid-Distance Titles
Don Paige won three career titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships, including a 800-1500 sweep in 1979.