On This Date in College Track & Field History: March 25

By Jesse Squire

March 25, 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.

2000, Tuscaloosa, AL: South Alabama’s David Kimani won the 5000 meters at the Alabama Relays with a time of 13:25.37, which put him #9 on the all-time collegiate list. The next day he ran a 3:52.7 anchor leg on in the distance medley, roughly equivalent to 3:54.0 for a full mile. He later transferred to Alabama, and in 2003 he collapsed and died while eating lunch in a university dining hall.

1989, Austin, TX: Baylor’s Michael Johnson won the 200 meters in a wind-aided time of 20.06 as Tennessee won a quadrangular over Baylor, Texas, and Indiana. Indiana freshman Bob Kennedy finished third in the 1500 meters. The pair went on to star in the 1996 Olympics, where Johnson won the 200-400 double and Kennedy finished sixth in the 5000.

1978, Glasgow, SCO: Providence’s John Treacy, running for his native Ireland, won the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in “a sea of mud” and “blinding rain”. Four months earlier he was runner-up at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, 17.5 seconds behind Washington State’s Henry Rono.
AP wire story

1978, San Jose, CA: The above-mentioned Rono opened his outdoor track season by winning the 5000 at the San Jose Relays in 13:31.8, more than 20 seconds ahead of second place.
AP wire story

1978, Long Beach, CA: Oregon easily defeated Long Beach State, 100-54. The Ducks went 1-2 in the 1500 with Rudy Chapa (3:42.3) and Matt Centrowitz (3:43.6) and in the 5000 with Alberto Salazar (14:35.7) and Bill McChesney (14:36.0). The shot put was won by Oregon’s Jeff Stover, who went on to play defensive line for the great San Francisco 49ers teams of the 1980s, and third place went to teammate Vince Goldsmith, whose total of 130.5 sacks is still fifth-best in CFL history.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1972, Bakersfield, CA: Oregon’s Steve Prefontaine ran his first-ever 6 mile race in 27:22.3, worth roughly 28:30 for 10k. His last quarter-mile was 59.9 and he broke the stadium record co-held by Olympians Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler.
Eugene Register-Guard article

1967, Westwood, CA: Kansas’ Jim Ryun opened his outdoor season with a 4:05.1/1:48.1 double but UCLA easily defeated the Jayhawks, 88-55.
AP wire story

1967, Lewiston, ID: Washington State dominated the Banana Belt Relays behind Gerry Lindgren’s 4:07.3 and 4:11.2 anchor legs on the 4xmile and distance medley relays.
Spokane Spokesman-Review article

1961, Stillwater, OK: Kansas’ Billy Mills scored a pair of wins at the Cowboy Relays. He won the 2 mile (9:17.4) and anchored the winning distance medley relay (10:18.0). Three years later he stunned the world by winning the Olympic 10,000 meters.
Lawrence Journal-World article

Jesse Squire

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