Randolph Ross Jr. won the 400-meter NCAA outdoor national championship Friday night during the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. Ross Jr. ran a season-best 44.13 even though he was at a disadvantage coming out of the eighth lane.
It marked Ross Jr.’s third career outdoor national championship and his fifth NCAA track and field championship after winning the 4×400-meter relay indoor title in 2021 and the 400m indoor title in 2022.
His win on Friday also allowed him to repeat as the 400m outdoor champion, marking the first time an NCAA collegiate athlete has accomplished the feat since 2010 and 2011. Ross Jr. also has a 4×400 outdoor title to his credit.
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He pulled off the 400m national title double by winning the indoor title in March. In 2021, he recorded the 4×400 national title double.
His ability to win and run the NCAA’s top time this year despite coming out of a lane that made it hard to see where his competition was, displayed just how dominant Ross Jr. has been in the event.
“I’m so proud of Junior and what he has continued to do,” said Duane Ross, Ross Jr.’s father and A&T’s director of track and field programs. “We speak of our legacy all the time, and it does my heart good to see him become a man of integrity.
I thought he ran a good race. Running in Lane 8 put him in a situation where he couldn’t gauge his position well, but he’s an intelligent runner and put himself in a position to win it.”
Ross Jr. is now a 12-time first-team All-American after his 4×400 team (junior Aveon Reid, freshman Reheem Hayles, sophomore Shemar Chambers) finished eighth later in the day with a time of 3:03.15. Earlier in the day, his 4×100 team (sophomore Javonte’ Harding, senior Tavarius Wright, senior Malcolm Croom-McFadden) earned first-team All-America accolades by finishing eighth (39.35).
Six of his first-team honors have come during the outdoor season.
Courtesy: North Carolina A&T Athletics