June 16, 2003
Sacramento, Calif. - Penn Track and Field student-athletes Brian Chaput and Sam Burley captured the first individual track and field NCAA titles in 29 years for the Quakers at the NCAA Championships at Cal-State Sacramento. Chaput and Burley's wins in the javelin and 800m, respectively, led the Red and Blue to an 11th-place team finish.
Junior Brian Chaput (East Haven, Conn.) set a milestone on Friday night, as he became the first Ivy Leaguer to claim an NCAA javelin title as he captured the event with a throw of 258' 2" at the NCAA Championships. Chaput demolished the field as his nearest competitor, Rob Minnitti of Boise State, finished a distant second, nearly 12 feet behind.
Chaput's throw established a new Penn and Ivy League record in the event, bettering his previous record by 10 feet. Chaput's mark was also the third-best by an American this year, just three feet off the best throw this year.
Also claiming a national title for the Quakers was senior 800m runner Sam Burley (Cheyenne, Wyo.). The now five-time All-American captured his first national title on Saturday night after finishing the 800m in 1:46.50. Burley held off his nearest competitor, Texas Tech's Jonathan Johnson, by a mere hundredth of a second.
With his winning performance, Burley posted the fastest collegiate and second fastest American time this year.
Both Chaput and Burley will now shift their focus to the U.S.A. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Palo Alto, Calif on June 21-22.