Mikkola Set Javelin MR With Huge Win

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Mikkola Set Javelin MR With Huge Win

Esko Mikkola’s third javelin throw was a big one at the 1998 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Amherst, New York.

How big? He flipped – literally.

The Arizona sophomore had opened up with a PR 76.94m (252-5), an effort that turned out to be long enough to win.

Mikkola then followed with a foul before uncorking a shocker in Round 3 at 81.86m (268-7). His huge PR was reason enough for celebration, but sailing the spear past 80 meters was the real catalyst for his back flip.

“That was my goal,” he explained. “I said if I broke 80 meters, I would do a flip.”

Winning didn’t seem like a possibility at the beginning of the week for Mikkola, who tweaked a groin muscle three days earlier in his first practice session on the campus of the University of Buffalo.

The native of Finland (a haven for javelin throwers) couldn’t explain his breakthrough performance.

“I was thinking maybe I could only win a medal,” he said. “But winning…”

Mikkola’s meet record lasted 19 years – the event’s longest duration in meet history – and he remains the meet’s third-longest thrower all-time. He was second in 1999 before closing out his collegiate career with another victory in 2000.

posted: May 16, 2021
1921-2021
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
Reese Left Her Mark On NCAA LJ
June 12, 2008

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).

Tupuritis Shocked The Field In 1996
May 31, 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.

Ellis Sent USC To A Thrilling Victory
June 9, 2018

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.