On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 21
The track and running world has come to a screeching halt in an effort to battle the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to fill the void I’m taking a deep dive into my various archives and pulling up what I find in the history of college track and field.
1998, Fresno, CA: Fresno State’s Melissa Price broke her own collegiate pole vault record with 13-6.25/4.12, and Washington’s Aretha Hill went to #9 on the collegiate discus list with 199-4/60.76. The final score in the women’s meet was Washington 227, Fresno State 211, South Dakota State 81, San Francisco State 59. Now known by her married name of Aretha Thurmond, she is currently USATF’s Managing Director of International Teams.
1987, Houston, TX: Houston’s Joe DeLoach defeated pros Carl Lewis and Kirk Baptiste to win the invitational 100 meters at the Texas Southern Relays. The following year, DeLoach upset Lewis to win Olympic 200 meter gold. Sandie Richards of San Jacinto Junior College broke the national junior college 400 meter record with 51.79.
1981, Eugene, OR: Oregon’s Dean Crouser highlighted the Oregon Invitational by improving his lifetime best in the shot put by over 26 inches. He attributed it to his switch from the glide style of throwing to the spin. His nephew Ryan also used the spin to win Olympic gold in 2016.
Eugene Register-Guard article
1970, Fresno, CA: Oregon freshman Steve Prefontaine made his outdoor collegiate debut with an 8:40.0 in a triangular win over Stanford and Fresno State. It made his second-fastest in Duck history.
AP wire story
1964, Albuquerque, NM: Led by Clarence Robinson’2 25-2.5, New Mexico put three long jumpers beyond the 24-foot mark in a quadrangular win over Utah, Texas Tech, and UTEP.
1959, Odessa, TX: Abilene Christian’s Bobby Morrow defeated Dave Sime over 100 yards in a matchup of Olympic stars. Morrow was the 1956 Olympic champion, where Sime was unable to compete due to injury. The win evened their career head-to-head matchup at 2 wins each.
AP wire story
1953, Tucson, AZ: USC opened its dual meet season with the Trojans’ 57th straight win, pummeling Arizona 101-30. Co-captain Sim Iness came within two feet of the discus world record.