Brown Paced Tennessee To 1974 Team Title
Tennessee’s chances for a team title didn’t rest entirely on Doug Brown at the 1974 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin.
The Volunteers had a strong team, and Brown tried to contribute as many points as possible.
Brown was defending champion and meet record holder in the steeplechase after a dominant win in 1973 by over 17 seconds. He had recently added the American record (8:23.2) and chose to include the 6-mile to his championship repertoire in hopes of boosting UT’s point total.
With the 6-mile race on the day between the steeple trials and finals, it wasn’t a crazy idea – Brown was third in the NCAA 6-mile as a freshman in 1971 before he even attempted the steeple.
However, after 16 laps (4 miles), Brown’s name was added to a long list of runners who didn’t finish the 6-mile race in hot conditions.
The next day Brown lined up in his specialty, the steeplechase. He was one of three Vols in the final and his goal was still all about team points.
After four laps in the steeple, Brown took the lead and forged the pace, strong enough to drop everyone but teammate Ron Addison, who stuck with Brown until the end. The Vol pair finished 1-2, Addison clocking a huge 8:36.8 PR behind Brown’s 8:36.0.
“I knew I would win it,” Brown said afterwards of the steeple. “I just hoped that Ron would stay with me.”
The steeplers combined for 18 points, helping Tennessee win its first track & field title. Brown and Addison were part of the cross country team that won the NCAA crown in 1972, and Brown added additional Vol history in 1991 when he was head coach of the UT squad that won the NCAA DI Outdoor title.
The only other person who was both a coach and athlete on championship teams in the NCAA DI Outdoor meet – and win an individual title as well – is Jess Mortensen, who coached Southern California to seven titles (1951-61) after winning the javelin in 1929 and being part of USC’s 1930 championship team.
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.
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Brown Paced Tennessee To 1974 Team Title
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