The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

As always, a heavy dose of subjectivity was used to compile this assortment of athletes; it was very difficult to pick just one from some of the premier programs, so have sympathy and try your best to reserve outrage for more pressing matters.

*= NCAA champion

Note: This article has been updated since publication to correct any glaring omissions.

EAST

Duke: Megan Clark (Pole Vault)

2012-2016

North Dakota State: Payton Otterdahl* (Shot Put/Weight Throw)

2014-Present

North Carolina Central: Lee Calhoun* (High Hurdles)

Mid-1950s

VCU: Kiara Porter (200m/400m)

2011-2015

UCF: Octavious Freeman (60m/100m/200m)

2012-2013

Mississippi State: Lorenzo Daniel* (100m/200m)

1985-1988

Liberty: Sam Chelanga* (5,000m/10,000m/XC)

2008-2010

Virginia Tech: Queen Harrison* (100mH)

2007-2010

Saint Louis: Annika Gomell (5,000m/10,000m)

2013-2015

Maryland: Renaldo Nehemiah* (110mH)

1978-1979

Belmont: Hannah Wittman (5,000m/10,000m)

2012-2016

Temple: Edna Brown (400m/400mH)

1978-1982

LSU: Dawn Sowell* (100m/200m)

1989

Yale: Wendell Mottley (200m/400m)

1962-1964

Louisville: Matt Hughes* (3,000m steeplechase)

2008-2011

Minnesota: Garry Bjorklund* (6-Mile)

1969-1973

Michigan State: Leah O’Connor* (Mile/3,000m Steeplechase)

2012-2015

Bradley: Michael Ward (1,500m/Mile/3,000m)

2014-Present

WEST

Gonzaga: Troy Fraley (3,000m Steeplechase)

2013-2018

Farleigh Dickinson: Solomon Chebor* (3-Mile)

1980-1982

Prairie View A&M: Keon Campbell (100m)

2013-2017

Syracuse: Justyn Knight* (3,000m/5,000m/XC)

2014-2018

Baylor: Michael Johnson* (200m/400m)

1987-1990

Marquette: Ralph Metcalfe* (100m/200m)

1932-1936

Murray State: Heather Samuel (100m/200m)

1991-1994

Florida State: Walter Dix* (100m/200m)

2005-2008

Vermont: Judi St. Hilaire (5,000m/10,000m)

1977-1980

Buffalo: Jonathan Jones* (Shot Put)

2013-2015

St. John’s: Tom Farrell (800m)

1960s

Arizona State: Maggie Ewen* (Shot Put/Hammer)

2015-2018

Texas Tech: Sally Kipyego* (1500m/3,000m/5,000m/10,000m/XC)

2007-2010

Northern Kentucky: JJ Webber (5,000m/10,000m)

2012-2016

Nevada: Kamy Keshmiri* (Discus)

1990-1992

Florida: Grant Holloway* (60mH/110mH/Long Jump)

2017-Present

Michigan: Kevin Sullivan* (1,500m/Mile)

1994-1998

Montana: David Morris (3,000m)

1989-1993

SOUTH

Virginia: Paul Ereng* (800m)

1988-1989

Gardner-Webb: Julia O’Neal* (60m/100m/200m)

1999-2002

Ole Miss: Brittney Reese* (Long Jump/High Jump)

2007-2008

Oklahoma: Mookie Salaam* (60m/100m/200m)

2009-2011

Wisconsin: Suzy Favor* (800m/1,500m/Mile)

1986-1990

Oregon: Steve Prefontaine* (3-Mile/5,000m/XC)

1970-1973

Kansas State: Erik Kynard* (High Jump)

2009-2013

UC Irvine: Steve Scott* (1,500m/Mile)

1974-1978

Villanova: Sydney Maree* (1,500m)

1979-1981

Saint Mary’s: Zach Hansen (1,500m)

2012-2016

Purdue: Kara Winger (Javelin)

2005-2008

Old Dominion: N/A

Cincinnati: Annette Echikunwoke (Weight Throw)

2015-2018

Iowa: Kineke Alexander* (400m)

2005-2008

Tennessee: Christian Coleman* (60m/100m/200m)

2014-2017

Colgate: Ray Appenheimer (5,000m/10,000m/XC)

1991-1994

MIDWEST

North Carolina: Tony Waldrop* (800m/1,500m/Mile)

1971-1974

Iona: Leonard Korir* (5,000m/10,000m/XC)

2010-2012

Utah State: Mark Enyeart* (800m)

1974-1977

Washington: Ja’Warren Hooker* (60m/100m/200m)

1999-2000

Auburn: Kerron Stewart* (100m/200m)

2006-2008

New Mexico State: Katara Nelson (200m/400m)

2014-2018

Kansas: Jim Ryun* (800m/1,500m/Mile)

1966-1969

Northeastern: Erik Nedeau (800m/1,500m/Mile)

1990-1994

Iowa State: Betsy Saina* (5,000m/10,000m/XC)

2009-2013)

Ohio State: Jesse Owens* (100-yd/200-yd/Long Jump)

1933-1936

Houston: Carl Lewis* (Long Jump/100m/200m)

1979-1981

Georgia State: LaPorscha Wells (Weight Throw/Hammer Throw)

2013-2017

Wofford: Hannah Steelman (3,000m/5,000m)

2017-Present

Seton Hall: Andy Stanfield (100m/200m)

1948-1951

Kentucky: Keni Harrison* (60mH/100mH/400mH)

2013-2015

Abilene Christian: Bobby Morrow* (100m/200m)

Mid-1950s

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