87 years ago, Jesse Owens set five world records in 45 minutes as Ohio State sprinter

Colin Gay
The Columbus Dispatch

Eighty seven years ago, Jesse Owens put on a show.

The track and field legend who later won four gold medals in seven days at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games had an unmatched performance at the 1935 Big Ten Championships for Ohio State, setting five world records and equalling a sixth in 45 minutes at the meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Starting at 3:15 p.m. according to, Owens started with equalling the 100-yard dash world record in 9.4 seconds before he set the world record with a 8.13-meter long jump 10 minutes later, the first man to breach the eight-meter mark and breaking the previous record by 15 centimeters.

A half-century later, a plaque was commemorating Jesse Owens' achievements at the 1935 Big Ten Championships was placed at the University of Michigan's Ferry Field in Ann Arbor.

Nine minutes after his long jump performance, Owens set the record for both the 220-yard dash and the 200-meter dash in the same race, finishing in 20.3 seconds, beating the world record by three-tenths of a second.

And six minutes later, to finish his Big Ten Championships run, Owens was the first man to break 23 seconds in the 220-yard hurdles, setting world records in both the 220-yard low hurdles and the 200-meter low hurdles in 22.6 seconds.

More on Jesse Owens:Jesse Owens was born on this day in 1913, what you need to know about the OSU legend

Jesse Owens has a storied career at Ohio State

Jesse Owens enrolled at Ohio State in the fall of 1933, where he competed in track and field. This photo shows Owens running hurdles at a meet in 1934 or 1935.

Known as the "Buckeye Bullet," Owens won eight individual NCAA titles in his time with Ohio State.

Along with his performance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, winning gold medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and broad jump along with helping the United States win gold in the 4x100-meter relay. Owens was undefeated in 42 events for the Buckeyes, winning four titles at the Western Conference Championships, four at the NCAA Championships and two at the N.A.A.U. Championships.

Owens is only one of a handful of athletes or coaches to earn the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, receiving it from President Gerald Ford in 1979.

Owens died at the age of 66 in Tucson, Arizona on March 31, 1980.