COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) hosted its inaugural induction ceremony for the Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame on Monday night in Eugene, Oregon prior to the start of the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships this week. Ohio State alumna and four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens was among those inducted on Monday as members of his family represented him at the event.
The inaugural class is comprised of 30 individuals who combined for 205 national collegiate individual titles, 99 world records and 19 Olympic gold medals. Eligibility for induction this year was limited to men who had completed their collegiate eligibility prior to 2000 and women prior to 2010.
Owens competed at the varsity level as a Buckeye in 1935 and 1936. He became the first athlete to win four individual NCAA Championships in a season in 1935, repeating the feat in 1936. Owens remains the only athlete to accomplish this at a national collegiate competition. His eight individual NCAA titles is still a record, despite winning those eight championships in only two years. Owens held the outdoor program record in the 100m (10.20) for 83 years and currently ranks third. He also ranks third in program history in the outdoor long jump, a record he held for 77 years, and fifth in the indoor long jump, a record that stood for 55 years.
On May 25, 1935, Owens won four events at the Big Ten Championships in the span of 45 minutes, including five world records and tying a sixth. This day was later dubbed the Day of Days as he ran a 9.4 in the 100 yards (tied world record), jumped 8.13m on his lone long jump attempt (world record for 25 years) and won both the 220 yards (20.3) and the 220-yard low hurdles (22.6) with times faster than the previous records for the 200 yard events.
Owens won four gold medals in Olympic record at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He captured gold in the 100m, 200m, long jump and world record-setting 4x100m relay as the leadoff runner. Only once since has someone accomplished this feat.