ALLENDALE, Mich. – The Saginaw Valley State University track & field team completed the sweep of 2021 NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field National Championships multi events with Sam Black capturing the national title in the decathlon Friday in Allendale, Mich.
Black, a senior from Pinckney, Mich., ran away from the competition with 7,583 points accumulated across the 10 events, nearly 400 points ahead of the field. The title is the first for the SVSU men's track & field team and came just hours after freshman Cheyenne Williamson took the women's heptathlon for the Cardinals.
"I have been dreaming about this moment for the longest time," Black said.
After finding out hours before competing at the 2020 indoor nationals that the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Black was devastated, thinking he may not get the chance for a national championship again.
"I had my mindset on winning a national title and I decided to come back to see if I could do it," Black said. "I stuck to my routine, controlled what I could control. I wouldn't change anything, and I am glad it worked out the way that it did."
Day two of the decathlon started strong for Black with a first-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 14.52 seconds, followed by a first-place showing in the discus with a best throw of 38.19 meters. He cleared 4.30 meters to place sixth in the pole vault and was fourth in the javelin with a throw of 49.07 meters.
With the top spot on the podium all but wrapped up, Black finished the 1,500-meter run in eighth, with a time of 4:46.80.
The national title is in addition to Black's All-American decathlon finishes in 2017 (6th) and 2018 (7th).
The Cardinals continue competition at the NCAA DII Outdoor Championships Friday and Saturday.