With a growing number of talented Scottish athletes heading to the United States college system, here we note performances in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships.
Among the early arrivals to the colleges, USA-born "Scot" Alex Breckenridge went to Villanova and shot/discus star Mike Lindsay to Oklahoma in the 1950s, and Jim McLatchie went from Ayr Seaforth in the 1960s.
In the 1970s, Paul Bannon and Paul Buxton were successful at Memphis State and Washington State respectively.
The 1980s were notable for Scottish women's athletes heading to America, with Meg Ritchie the most successful, becoming the first ever Scot to win NCAA Championship titles, both indoors and out. There was quite a significant movement - Liz Lynch and Elspeth Turner at Alabama, Margaret Coomber at Florida, Judith Shepherd and Kerry Robinson at Clemson, Andrea Everett to Wyoming, among others.
The flow turned to a drizzle in the 1990s but picked up again in the mid-2000s and Scottish athletes, especially in middle distance, have featured prominently.
Undoubtedly the most successful has been Kathy Butler - unfortunately she was running for Canada at the time! Butler was born in Edinburgh of English parents and brought up in London until her parents emigrated to Ontario, Canada when she was 10. She attended the University of Guelph, Canada before transferring to the University of Wisconsin, USA. Although she did not elect to compete for Scotland until 2000, her record is certainly worthy of note:
1994 - 5th NCAA Cross Country
1995 - 7th NCAA 1 Mile indoor; 1st NCAA 3000m; 1st NCAA Cross Country
1996 - 1st NCAA 3000m, 2nd NCAA indoor 5000m
1997 - 1st NCAA 3000m, 2nd NCAA indoor 5000m, 3rd NCAA indoor mile
The following table sets out Scottish athletes with top 8 placings at the NCAA Division 1 Championships.
|1||Josh Kerr||New Mexico||1500m||2017||3:43.03|
|2||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||3000SC||2007||8:27.29|
|3||Josh Kerr||New Mexico||1500m||2018||3:45.02|
|4||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||10000m||1975||28:31.18|
|4||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||3000SC||2005||8:30.12|
|4||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||3000SC||2006||8:39.45|
|4||Nicole Yeargin||Southern California||400m||2021||51.02|
|5||Paul Buxton||Washington State||Hammer||1977||62.36|
|5||Andrea Paolillo *||Purdue||10000m||1987||34:55.13|
|5||Jax Thoirs||Washington||Pole V||2016||5.45|
|5||Neil Gourley||Virginia Tech||1500||2017||3:44.39|
|5||Nikki Manson||Akron||High Jump||2017||1.85|
|7||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||10000m||1977||29:10.31|
|7||Colin Sutherland||Cal State, LA||Discus||1977||56.78|
|7||Margaret Coomber||Florida State||1500m||1982||4:23.19|
|In addition, Kathy Butler (declared for Scotland 2000) was 1st in the 3000m in 1995, 1996 and 1997 in 9:09.02, 9:16.19 and 9:01.23. Luke Caldwell (2014) was 7th in the 5000m in 2013 (13:55.55) Alex Breckenridge was 4th in the 2 Miles in 1957 (9:03.4) after previously competing for Scotland. *ndrea Paolillo is the married name of Andrea Everett.|
The following table sets out Scottish athletes with top 8 placings at the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships.
|1||Jax Thoirs||Washington||Pole V||2016||5.50|
|1||Josh Kerr||New Mexico||Mile||2017||4:03.22|
|1||Neil Gourley||Virginia Tech||Medley R||2018||9:30.76|
|1||Josh Kerr||New Mexico||Mile||2018||3:57.02|
|3||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||5000m||1975||13:54.8|
|4||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||5000m||1976||14:10.20|
|4||Paul Buxton||Washington State||Weight||1977||20.01|
|4||Jax Thoirs||Washington||Pole V||2015||5.50|
|4||Neil Gourley||Virginia Tech||Mile||2017||4:06.26|
|5||Margaret Coomber||Florida State||1500m||1984||4:25.31|
|6||David Bishop||New Mexico||Med Relay||2011||9:31.50|
|6||Luke Caldwell||New Mexico||5000m||2014||13:56.66|
|7||Neil Gourley||Virginia Tech||Mile||2018||4:00.64|
|8||Jax Thoirs||Washington||Pole V||2014||5.40|
|In addition, Kathy Butler (declared for Scotland 2000) was 2nd in the 5000m in 1996 and 1997 in 15:51.91 and 15:47.74, 3rd in the mile in 1997 (4:37.07) and 7th in the mile (1995) in 4:43.68. Luke Caldwell (declared for Scotland 2014) was 8th in the 5000m in 2013 (13:46.44). Liz Lynch (Alabama) finished 2nd in the 3000m in 1986 in 9:05.94 but was disqualified.|
No Scot has medalled in the NCAA Cross Country Championships, although Kathy Butler (Wisconsin) won gold in 1995 before declaring for Scotland. The following Scottish athletes have finished in the top 50 places.
|11||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||1975|
|13||Rhona Auckland||New Mexico (TEAM WINNERS)||2015|
|21||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||1973|
|21||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||2005|
|30||Josephine Moultrie||New Mexico||2012|
|41||David Bishop||New Mexico||2010|
|43||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||2006|
|46||Paul Bannon||Memphis State||1974|
|50||Andrew Lemoncello||Florida State||2004|
|In addition, Kathy Butler (declared for Scotland 2000) was 1st in 1995 and 5th in 1994; Katie Clark (2013) was 22nd in 2012 ad 41st in 2013; . Luke Caldwell (2014) was 27th in 2012 and 10th in 2013.|