Christian Coleman put on a historic performance at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday. The Tennessee junior and Atlanta native took home two national championships and equaled a feat set by an Olympic gold medalist.
Coleman won both the 60-meter dash and 200 meters at the indoor championships in College Station, Texas, becoming just the third sprinter in the last 30 years to do so. The other two were Kim Collins of TCU (2001) and Justin Gatlin of Tennessee (2002). Gatlin also won the gold medal in 100 meters at the 2004 Olympics.
In the 60 on Saturday, Coleman tied the collegiate record with a time of 6.45 seconds. His .09 margin of victory was the largest in NCAA history.
His victory in the 200 meters was even more dominant as he beat out Alabama’s Jereem Richards of Alabama. Richards had beaten Coleman in the 200 at the SEC Championships, but Coleman ran a blazing 20.11 in the first heat of the finals, just one-hundredth of a second short of the collegiate record. Richards came in second with a time of 20.31.
"I wasn't expecting that (20.11), honestly," Coleman told Mike Strange of the Knoxville News Sentinel. "I was just trying to drop a fast time because I was in the first heat and I knew the guys in the second heat were pretty fast too.
“I came across the line and saw that, I was amazed myself.”
It was also Coleman's second straight national championship in the 200 meters, as he won the 2016 indoor title with a time of 20.55. Both of Coleman's runs on Saturday set Tennessee school records in those events.
And per the USA Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the Tennessee junior is the first male to have all-time top-10 performances in a championship meet.
Coleman gave the Tennessee men’s track and field team all 20 of its team points in the competition. Texas A&M took home the men’s title with 46 points.
In 2016, Coleman also represented the United States at the Rio Olympics as a member of the 4×100 relay team.
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