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.
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).