Scott Crowell ranked as one of the nation’s elite in the discus while competing for the Cyclone track & field team from 1979-83. The ISU record-holder in the discus was an instrumental part in assisting Cyclone Hall of Fame head coach Bill Bergan build his track dynasty in the early 1980s.
The Mason City, Iowa, native started his dominance of the discus as a prep at Mason City High School, where he won two Drake Relays titles, two state discus crowns and set a national high school record with a toss of 207-8. In his first two seasons with the Cyclones, Crowell showed tremendous progress while adapting to the heavier discus in the college ranks. He placed fourth in the Big Eight Conference as a freshman and sophomore, eclipsing the school record with an effort of 191-11. A broken toe kept him from competing in the 1980 NCAA Tournament.
As a junior in 1981, Crowell would make his name known nationally with arguably one of the greatest seasons in Iowa State track and field history. Crowell was almost unbeatable in 1981, winning seven of 10 invitationals. A win at the Texas Relays preceded his Big Eight title, where he shattered the school record and became the first Iowa collegian to throw over 200 feet with a toss of 206-6. Crowell’s record-breaking throw aided ISU to its first conference outdoor team championship since 1945 and the first of Bergan’s eight Big Eight outdoor crowns. Crowell solidified his spot in the Cyclone annals when he became the first ISU trackman to win an individual outdoor NCAA title since 1943 by capturing the 1981 NCAA discus crown with a hurl of 206-3. Thanks to Crowell’s effort, the Cyclones finished eighth at the 1981 NCAA Championships.
Crowell was considered the favorite to repeat as the NCAA discus champion as a senior in 1982. He busted out early by winning his second consecutive Texas Relays title, demolishing the school and Texas Relays mark with a throw of 211-9. His toss of 211-9 is still the ISU school record and it broke the Texas Relays standard that was set by Ken Stadel of Rice (209-2) in 1973. Unfortunately for Crowell, the ISU star developed soreness and tendinitis in his elbow shortly after the Texas Relays. He sat out the rest of 1982 and was granted another year of eligibility in 1983. However, his elbow problems continued and he was never able to compete at the same level.
Crowell stuck around Ames after graduation and assisted the Cyclone track & field staff while pursuing his master’s degree. He received his doctorate and is currently the associate vice president of student affairs at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minn. He is a member of the Iowa Athletic Track Coaches Hall of Fame.