June 10, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa (Seminoles.com) – Friday morning, Ngoni Makusha conducted an interview with CBS for the network’s broadcast of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Friday evening, he broke records.
Lots of them.
And that’s darn good television.
Just seconds after the feature story highlighting his journey from Zimbabwe to Tallahassee aired, Makusha – FSU’s sprinting and jumping superstar – won the men’s 100m dash national championship. It was his second title of the day after claiming the men’s long jump crown earlier.
In doing so, Makusha became just the fourth athlete ever to win both of those titles at the NCAA Championships, joining track & field royalty Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens and Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard.
His personal record 9.89 is the fastest 100m dash in the history of college track. It’s also the meet and Drake Stadium record and is the fourth-fastest time in the entire world this year.
“My coach (Ken Hardnen) preaches to me every day to run my own race and never look to the side,” Makusha said.” He tells me to just stay patient and drive and kick towards the end. I did that and it paid off. I owe that to my coach.”
Not to be forgotten, FSU’s Maurice Mitchell earned a bronze medal in the 100m dash as well. For Mitchell, his incredible 10.00 is a personal record and is tied with FSU great Walter Dix for the 17th-fastest in the world this year.
Remarkably, the two ’Noles reeled off those times on a wet track in the rain.
In the long jump finals on Thursday before the conclusion of the event was postponed until Friday because of inclement weather, Makusha sent the crowd into a frenzy as his high-flying, wind-legal leap of 27’6.75” proved to be good enough to withstand the weather and some final-jump attempts on Friday from the nation’s best jumpers.
Like his 100m dash, it was also a new personal record and broke the Drake Stadium mark set by Nike’s Dwight Phillips last year. His mark is the fourth best in the history of the NCAA Outdoor Championships and is the second best in the world this year.
He also had a fifth jump of 27’5.25” that is the third best in the world in 2011. He now owns the Zimbabwean national records in the long jump, triple jump and 100m dash.
Makusha now boasts three outdoor long jump titles to his credit and one indoor long jupm crown that he earned earlier this year to go along with his first 100m championship.
“It certainly was a historic day with Ngoni doing what he did,” FSU head coach Bob Braman said. “The last few days I have been asked, ‘Is he a long jumper or a sprinter?’ And I always say long jumper. Well, that’s an awfully fast long jumper. Three years ago with Walter Dix we weren’t sure if we would see another decorated athlete like that. Well, here we are and he is just amazing in his first year doing both of these events together. It’s just a great thing for FSU. He won it and he doesn’t do the chest thump or is out there running around flaunting. He’s doing it for his team.”
Added Makusha: “This is just out of my imagination. To win both of these, I am just so blessed and thankful for my coaches and for Florida State. FSU has such a strong program and I want to always give back to FSU because it has given me so much.”
Michael Putman generated three points for the Seminoles in the shot put, that — coupled with the long jump and 100m dash outcomes — has the FSU men’s team in contention for a national championship heading into the final day.
Putman placed sixth with a personal-record throw of 62’0.25”.
In addition to the dynamic duo of Makusha and Mitchell and the efforts of Putman, women’s star Kim Williams capped off her impeccable career with a silver medal performance in the triple jump. Her top mark of 44’10.25” occurred before she passed on her final two attempts because of a lingering ankle injury sustained at regionals.
Michelle Jenije placed 17th in the women’s triple jump with a leap of 41’1”.
In the men’s 10000m run, which was originally scheduled to be held Thursday night, Mike Fout finished in a time of 29:41.79 while Ciaran O’Lionaird ran a 32:06.21.
O’Lionaird will next compete in Saturday’s 5000m run. Joining O’Lionaird on the last day will be Mitchell and Brandon Byram in the men’s 200m dash final as well as the 4x100m relay final featuring Mitchell, Byram, Makusha and Kemar Hyman.
CBS will air the day’s events starting at 1 p.m. ET and will also re-air the Makusha feature story.
Darn good television, indeed.