Tennessee sprinter Christian Coleman ran his way into history this past Friday at the NCAA outdoor track and field meet at Eugene, Ore.
The junior from Atlanta became just the second NCAA runner ever to complete a double-double — winning two sprint events at both the indoor and outdoor national championships in the same year.
Former Volunteers runner Justin Gatlin is the only other to complete the feat, which requires runners to win the 60-meter indoor, 200 indoor, 100 outdoor and 200 outdoor national titles.
"He's a friend of mine," Coleman told reporters, "so it's a special moment for both of us."
Before Gatlin was a friend for Coleman, he was an inspiration.
Coleman recalled watching Gatlin, now 35, in the 2004 Olympics after his career at Tennessee. Gatlin won gold in the 100-meter sprint that year, when Coleman was a boy. Then at the 2016 Olympics, they were teammates. Coleman's stardom has only increased since then.
He set the collegiate 100-meter record in Wednesday's semifinals when he finished in 9.82 seconds. Coleman followed that by winning the 100 and 200 finals in less than an hour in cool, windy conditions Friday.
"We really didn't have much time in between," Coleman said. "I think it was 30 or 45 minutes before we had to be back down. So you try and stay loose, stay focused and locked in."
Coleman ran a 10.04 in the 100 final, outlasting Houston's Cameron Burrell by 0.08. He followed that with a 20.25 in the 200 final.
Friday was especially sweet for Coleman, because he finished second in both events at the 2016 outdoor championships. Next up are the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento later this month.
And there's a decision to be made.
Coleman said he's not sure sure if he is going to turn professional and forgo his senior season at Tennessee. He said he'll talk to his coaches and family before announcing what he plans to do.
Perhaps he will ask for Gatlin's opinion.
"He's become a friend of mine because he also went to Tennessee," Coleman said. "He was kind of in the same position I am. He got the double-double in his collegiate career, so he gave me mentorship on how to handle myself.
"I'm a student of the sport and grew up in the sport," Coleman added. "To be able to have my name with some of those guys now, it's an unbelievable accomplishment."
Contact staff writer David Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org.