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1988 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship

NCAA Championship Collection
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Event Coverage
Available on DVD

The NCAA has started releasing their televised coverage of National Championship competitions and this title was selected for several reasons: To see if the broadcast lived up to the live action, to check the advertized content, and to watch great performers and record setting action. Having been at Hayward field for this sunny track meet, you can be assured that the energy and excitement is captured in the selected events. The initial film description, both online and printed on the back of the DVD case is unfortunately incorrect (the producers from Thought Equity Motion have been very responsive to feedback and have now corrected this error). The actual result is the UCLA men winning their second straight title and the Lady Tigers of LSU also taking home their second consecutive team trophy. As far as records are concerned, in this meet there are three meet records, two collegiate records, and two performances that are the fastest times in the world that year.

Overall this package is filled with full races of some selected races, no commercials, good commentary from Jim Nantz, Nancy Ditz (Olympic Marathon qualifier) and Craig Masback, slow motion replays, many lane assignment and on screen introductions, and interviews with coaches. There is one athlete profile where you will see Joe Falcon, the 1987 10,000 meter champion, talk about his favorite activities away from the track. It would have been nice to have the ability to select individual races from the DVD menu, yet this option is not present so you will see action from the start to finish. It also would have required extra effort to list complete results, either as a paper insert or as additional DVD footage. Instead you are given the top three finishers in each race as well as the American and Collegiate Records before the action.

Here are the featured races in order that they appear:

Men’s 400 Hurdles. From hurdle three to the finish you will see the outstanding form of UCLA’s Kevin Young as he dominates this event and finishes with an NCAA Meet Record time of 47.85.

Men’s 400 meters. Danny Everett pulls away from UCLA teammate Steve Lewis to win in 44.52. Coach John Smith, himself a two time winner in this event, is thrilled with the Bruin dominance.

Women’s 4x100 Relay. The last 100 meters is shown where Gail Devers moves from 5th to 2nd place with Arizona State taking the short relay title.

Women’s 400 Hurdles. Schowonda Williams is shown surging over the last two hurdles to be the only LSU individual title winner in a time of 55.53.

Women’s 100 meters. Coach Bob Kersey and Jackie Joyner Kersey look on as all the lanes are announced. Gail Devers runs away from the field in a wind aided time of 10.86.

Men’s 100 meters. Joe DeLoach wins in 10.03 over a field of easily recognizable sprinters: Mike March, Dennis Mitchell, Leroy Burrell and Raymond Stewart of Jamaica.

Men’s 1500 meters. Twelve participants stay gathered for the first half of this race. After Matt Taylor’s fall on the backstretch, Joe Falcon of Arkansas pulls away for a 3:38.91 finishing time.

Women’s 100 High Hurdles. Arizona State’s Lynda Tolbert (12.82) wins when Gail Devers strikes the 9th hurdle. This is Dever’s first loss since the 1986 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Men’s 110 High Hurdles. Arthur Blake hits the first hurdle throwing him out of this competition while Georgia Tech’s James Purvis (13.58) runs a clean race to edge Rod Jett of California.

Women’s 4x400 Relay. UCLA freshman Janine Vickers has an amazing last leg to pull ahead of LSU. Gail Devers also gives her all in an outstanding second leg for the Bruin squad. The team title was also decided in this final event and LSU wins the team trophy by a three point margin with 61 total points.

Men’s 4x400 Relay. The UCLA team of Steve Lewis, Kevin Young, Danny Everett, and Henry Thomas become the first ever collegiate team to break the magical three minute mark in the 4x400 event by posting 2:59.91.

Running events dominate this 35 minute production. Only a couple of throws and jumps are included. At the end of the victory laps by each school, other notable performances are listed with the event, athlete’s name and winning mark. On the men’s side the 200, 800, Steeplechase, 5k and 10k are all mentioned, with only the 200 and steeple event showing just a glimpse of action. The women have seven additional running events and it would have been great to see Vicki Huber in more than the last 100 meters of the 3,000 meter event as she ran the fastest time in 1988 with a 8:47.35 victory. University of Oregon athlete Annette Hand won the 5,000 meters and is shown crossing the line in the finishing time of 15:38.47. There is no footage of Suzy Favor winning the 1500 meters in 4:13.91.

Although it is great that the NCAA is finally releasing their broadcast footage, I was hoping for more than a commercial edited presentation. DVDs offer much flexibility, yet the technology is not fully employed in this situation. What you do get are some great athletes, young in their careers, who battle for individual and team titles, setting records and firmly implanting memories along the way. Search to see if the year of competition has been released yet by visiting the NCAA page. These would make an outstanding gift and keepsake for the athlete who competed in these championship races. Amazon.com is where you can go to place your order for this and all the other currently released titles.

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