DES MOINES, Iowa — Florida State’s Ngonidzashe Makusha got word of the first national title he won on Friday when an official called him in his hotel room to tell him he’d taken the long jump crown.
Makusha made up for that anticlimactic victory with a win that brought everyone to their feet.
Makusha broke the national collegiate record in the 100 meters Friday in the NCAA Outdoor championships, winning in 9.89 seconds to cap a stunning day in Des Moines.
It was the second dominant performance of the meet for Makusha, who won the long jump in 27 feet, 6 3/4 inches—the best mark at the NCAA meet in 18 years.
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Running on a wet track and with a slight tailwind, Makusha broke the 100 mark of 9.90 set by Ato Boldon of UCLA in 1996. Makusha joined Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard (1925), Ohio State’s Jesse Owens (1935-36) and Houston’s Carl Lewis (1981) as the only athletes to sweep the 100 and long jump at an NCAA meet.
“It’s a blessing. I’m really thankful. I never planned to do this,” said Makusha, from Zimbabwe.
Makusha made his winning jump on Thursday night, just before bad weather forced officials to postpone the final few attempts until Friday. Makusha passed on his final attempt Friday, choosing instead to rest up for the 100.
The move worked, as Makusha pushed past the field less than halfway through the race and beat Oklahoma Rakieem Salaam, who finished in 9.97. Fellow Seminole Maurice Mitchell was third, as Florida State picked up 16 quick points for the team title chase.
“When I turned back and looked at the clock, then heard everybody screaming — it’s a good feeling,” Makusha said.
The meet concludes Saturday, with Texas A&M hoping for a three-peat in both the men’s and women’s title races.
Florida State, thanks to 20 points from Makusha, leads the men’s race with 29 points. Florida, seeking its first outdoor title after winning the last two NCAA indoor meets, is tied with Virginia Tech with 28 points.
The Aggies are seventh in the men’s race at 22.