WAS BIG-BIG WINNER
AT THE BUDAPEST WORLDS
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Check ‘em out, check ‘em out.
Yes, the official World Athletics tables will tell you that Team USA by far led the rest of the globe with 29 total medals (12 golds, 8 silvers, 9 bronzes) at the 19th World Championships of Track and Field, which raged so regally in Budapest Aug. 19-27.
Team Canada (4-2-0) was listed as number two by WA, followed by Team Spain (4-1-0.)
As we all now know, the 19th World was full of drama, debate, derring-do and an array of darn good deeds – oh so much good stuff to remember a long time.
Was it the best-ever Worlds? Maybe yes. Maybe not. Only the sport’s most dedicated historians will be able to make that call.
But here’s the story behind the story of those WA medals tables.
By my reckoning, the real Worlds winner was Team NCAA.
Score it 33 total medals, or 11-10-12.
Yes, that’s a computation of all these Budapest 1-2-3 place-winners (both Americans and globalists) not by the uniforms they sported at the National Athletics Stadium on the banks of the Danube but by the collegiate uniforms, they oh-so-happily wore en route to Hungary, either in 2023 or a while back.
Be it known that it was all that campus-based training, all that college coaching, all the collegiate logistics that got so many of them World Championships-ready.
Clearly, it’s the talent, both home-growns and the recruits from afar, in the collegiate system that’s continuing to churn out the stars now on top of the world. Where’d we in this sport all be without those campus track teams, which keep on rolling despite so many budget crises, finger-pointing at the sport’s non-revenue status, that new name-image-likeness business, and the total focus just about everywhere on those huge gorillas-in-the-room, football, and basketball ?.
But, nevertheless, and sometimes miraculously, track and field keeps rolling along, grinding ‘em out.
Team USA’s collegiately-trained gold medal list at Budapest had these stalwart, world-topping men: Grant Holloway, 110mHH, Florida, and Ryan Crouser, SP, Texas. And these brilliant ladies: Sha’Carri Richardson, 100, LSU; Katie Moon, PV, Ashland; Chase Ealey, SP, Oklahoma State; and Laulauga Tausaga, DT, Iowa. (Not counting…