A college athlete called Infinite Tucker made a name for himself over the weekend when he went airborne at the finish line to clinch the 400 meter hurdles championship.
Videos on social media clocked up millions of views, showing Tucker going the “full superman” in the final of the SEC championships, pipping his rival as he flew horizontally over the finish line, arms outstretched, several feet above the ground, before landing face first in the track.
The videos, taken on May 11, show Tucker, a junior at AT&M University, clear the final hurdle in lock-step with a rival as the rest of the field trail behind.
As they make the final approach to the line, Tucker appears to be edging ahead of his rival, but yards from the line, he seals his victory by launching himself bodily forward, his head passing the line about half a yard in front.
Although unconventional, the move is legitimate within the rules of athletics. However, it wasn’t Tucker’s dramatic outstretched arms that earned him first place, but the fact that his torso crossed the line marginally ahead.
The other athlete walks over to Tucker as he is lying on the ground and congratulates him.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) May 13, 2019
According to Rule 163 of the USA Track and Field, “Competitors shall be placed at the finish in the order in which any part of their bodies (i.e., the “torso,” as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet) reaches the finish line.”
“Honestly, I’m glad I got the win and competed against the best,” Tucker told his school’s website afterwards. “Me and my teammates all worked hard for this, and I came out with the win. I’m happy and thankful for that. The mindset was to score as many points as possible, we wanted to go 1-2-3-4. It really didn’t matter which one of us won first place, we knew if we gave it our all we would be happy with each other.”
— Ben Bloom (@benbloomsport) May 12, 2019
Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry said, “I’ve told Tucker, ‘You can’t get there faster diving, just run through and you’ll be fine.'”
“He thought he was a swim team guy today.”
His winning time was 49.38 seconds. Last year, Tucker came second.
His dive also sparked many comments on social media, with many users seemingly just as impressed with his name as his dive.
“This is the kind of finish I expect from a guy named Infinite Tucker,” wrote one person on Twitter.
“To infinity and beyond,” wrote another.
“I always wondered why this isn’t more common,” wrote another person on Twitter. “All the runners should do this.”
Some suggested that Tucker had thrown himself when he was losing balance.
“Looks like he had the speed wobbles and was about to eat it anyway,” wrote one.
Other athletes have snatched victory with a well-timed, but painful, dive from time to time.
In 2015, Shaunae Miller won the 400m Olympic gold medal in Rio by diving over the finish line.
It sparked some debate, but she was granted victory because finishing photos showed, like Tucker, her torso crossed the line before her opponent’s.