On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 19

By Jesse Squire

March 19, 2019


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.

1994, College Station, TX: Texas A&M’s men and Kansas State’s women won the team titles at the College Station Relays.

1994, Westwood, CA: UCLA picked up a pair of wins in dual/triangular competition. The final scores for the men were UCLA 84, Texas 64, Cal 55, and for the women it was UCLA 91, Cal 44. Notable names among the winners were Bruins John Godina (men’s discus) and Amy Acuff (women’s high jump), who combined for eleven Olympic appearances.

1988, Houston, TX: Texas Southern’s women’s 4×200 ran 1:34.53, good for #9 on the all-time collegiate list, at their own Texas Southern Relays.

1983, Tempe, AZ: Arizona State defeated Kansas State, Kansas, and the Los Angeles Track Club in a women’s quadrangular, but the big news was made by the Sun Devils’ Leslie Deniz. She broke the American discus record on her first throw with 64.10/210-4, fouled four times, and then broke it again on her final throw with 64.34/211-1. On the men’s side, Arizona State defeated Kansas State and New Mexico.
AP wire story

1977, Eugene, OR: The Oregon Ducks entered five men in the 10,000 meters at their own Oregon Invitational and four of them earned NCAA championships qualifiers. Two freshmen led the way: Alberto Salazar (29:03.44) and Rudy Chapa (29:03.47).
Eugene Register-Guard article

1977, Tempe, AZ: USC (76 points) defeated Arizona State (60) and BYU (54) in a triangular meet. BYU’s Henry Marsh won the steeplechase (8:50.7) and was second in the 5000 (14:18.0). At the end of the year Marsh was ranked in the world’s top ten steeplechasers by Track & Field News and stayed in the top ten for eleven more years, with #1 rankings in 1981, ’82, and ’85.
AP wire story

1977, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford football star James Lofton won the long jump (25-11¼) and ran on the winning 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400 relays at the Stanford Relays.
AP wire story

1966, Manhattan, KS: Kansas freshman Jim Ryun anchored two record-setting relays at the Kansas State Indoor Relays. His 4:02.2 run on the Kansas freshman distance medley team brought them across the line in 9:51.3, a new national collegiate freshman record. (In case you didn’t know: college freshmen were ineligible for varsity competition until 1969 and most “major” colleges had freshmen teams.)
Lawrence Journal-World article

1960, Odessa, TX: USC broke seven meet records at the West Texas Relays and scored 102 points to second-place Baylor’s 66.

1960, Manhattan, KS: Kansas broke three indoor school records at the Kansas State Indoor Relays and Billy Mills was involved in two of them. He ran a new 3000 meter record (8:33.7) and ran third leg on the distance medley (10:04.6).
Lawrence Journal-World article

1955, US Postal Service: Kansas’ freshman team defeated Notre Dame’s frosh unit, 54-50, in an indoor “postal” dual meet. Teams ran time trials, sent the results through the mail, and scores were tabulated. Listed among “also winning” was a thrower from Long Island named Al Oerter, who won the first of his four Olympic discus gold medals the following year.
Lawrence Journal-World article

Jesse Squire

I was second in the 1980 Olympic* long jump. (*Cub Scout Olympics, Pack 99, 9-10 age group.)