AFTER A 2020 SEASON when there were no national titles to be had at either the NCAA or USATF level, things got back to normal in ’21, with a trio of collegiate champs also winning at the Olympic Trials (aka USATF Champs). It’s tough to join the illustrious group of superstars who have turned the feat in the 99 years of competition since the collegians started their nationals in 1921 (since then, USATF has also been known as the AAU and TAC).
The event with the most doublers is the long jump, at 22. The other leaders: 110H 21, high jump & discus 17, 200 16. Only 1 event has never had a doubler, and that’s the decathlon.
The year with the most doublers was ’71, at 8, followed by ’38 (7) and ’36 (6). On only 12 occasions there were no doublers: ’83, ’89, ’92, ’93, ’98, ’99, ’03, ’06, ’07, ’10, ’18, ’19. Predictably, those are all in the “professional era,” where older athletes have more motivation to remain in the game.
No fewer than 73 different schools have had a doubler during that period:
Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State, Long Beach State, LSU, Manhattan, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Mississippi College, Morgan State, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina Central, Notre Dame, NYU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Pittsburg State, Rice, San Diego State, San José State, SMU, Southern Illinois, Southern U, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah State, UTEP, Villanova, Washington, Washington State, Yale.
Far and away the top school in this department has been USC, with no fewer than 22 entries. The Trojans are followed by Oregon (12), LSU & Ohio State (both 9), UCLA (8) and Marquette (7).
The king of the doublers is Marquette sprinter Ralph Metcalfe, who won the 100/200 pairing 3 years in a row.
There have been 3 single-event triplers: Ralph Mann (BYU) 400H (1969–71), Dave Albritton (Ohio State) high jump (1936–38) & Al Blozis (Georgetown) shot (1940–42).
Note: In the years ’24, ’36, ’48, ’52, ’56, ’60, ’64, ’68, ’72, ’76, ’80, ’84 and ’88 the Olympic Trials was staged separately from the Nationals and is generally the more important of the two, but for the purposes of this compilation, it’s the actual Nationals which is calculated.
The list of double winners (although they are not specifically noted as such, some titles were shared, particularly in the vertical jumps in the pre-jumpoff days), through 2021: