Nova’s Rhines Did NCAA 5K Three-Peat

Celebrating A Century of NCAA Track & Field Championships

Nova’s Rhines Did NCAA 5K Three-Peat

Jen Rhines of Villanova was the first woman to win three titles in the 5000 meters at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Her win in 1996 gave her a streak that since been matched just one, but her most dominant of the trio of victories came at the 1995 NCAA meet at Tom Black Track in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Rhines dictated the pace, one strong enough to have just Marie McMahon of Providence for company after four laps. After the 3K point, Rhines quickly opened up a large gap that grew to a full straightaway by the end as she won 15:56.18. Her margin of victory of 18.88 seconds was the event’s largest until 2004.

The win also gave Rhines another piece of history, becoming then the second woman to win the NCAA DI individual triple crown – titles in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track in the same academic year. She won the 1994 NCAA cross country race and 1995 NCAA Indoor 5K, in addition to anchoring the Wildcats’ winning distance medley relay indoors.

Rhines’ 1996 NCAA win in Eugene came in her final collegiate race and for the third straight year she held off a 10K champion attempting to complete a double (SMU’s Katie Swords in 1995 and 1996 and Villanova teammate Carole Zajac in 1994).

posted: April 11, 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
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.

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).

Plab Reached Lofty Heights In NCAA HJ

Darrin Plab won back-to-back HJ titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 1991 & 1992. Plab cleared 2.34m (7-8) in 1992 & tied the 2nd best bar in meet history.

Peoples Made History One Lap At A Time

Maurice Peoples won the 440-yard dash in 1973 & then really turned up the heat. Peoples split 43.4 on the Sun Devils’ mile relay team that finished third in the final.

KU’s Lokedi Set 10K MR In 2018

Sharon Lokedi won the 10K at the 2018 NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in a meet-record 32:09.20. Lokedi led five other women under the old final-site best, too.

Can Ereng Kick It? Yes, He Can!

Paul Ereng won back-to-back 800-meter titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor T&F Championships in 1988 & 1989. Ereng is still the current indoor record holder in the event.