Decathlete sets world record at U.S. Olympic Trials

Posted Sunday, Jun. 24, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

EUGENE, Ore. -- On a rainy Friday, they were all there, all the greats of U.S. decathloning.

Rafer Johnson. Bruce Jenner. Bill Toomey. Dan O'Brien.

And on Saturday, with the clouds parting almost on cue, 24-year-old Ashton Eaton of Bend, Ore., eclipsed them all.

Finishing first in seven of the 10 events, Eaton broke one of track and field's most storied world records, winning the U.S. Olympic trials in the decathlon with a score of 9,039.

The mark bettered the record of 9,026 set in 2001 by Roman Seberle of the Czech Republic and establishes Eaton as the favorite next month to follow in the golden footsteps of previous Olympic champions Johnson, Jenner, et al.

Texas ex Trey Hardee finished second in the event Saturday, scoring 8,383 to earn a place on his second Olympic team.

Needing to run the final event, the 1,500 meters, in 4:16.37 or better to break Seberle's record, Eaton rode the cheers of an adoring, knowledgeable Eugene track crowd to a 4:14.48 finish.

"I'm a big believer in the Hayward magic," Eaton said. "At 600 meters I knew there was no way I wasn't going to get the record."

Eaton was asked about the challenges of what's roundly considered track and field's toughest test.

"It's like living an entire lifetime in two days," he said. "It has ups and downs and comebacks. Everybody loves life, and it seems that's why people like it.

"The decathlon chooses you. You never chose it. I was attracted to the athleticism."

The decathlon was not without its surprises. Bryan Clay, the decathlon gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics, crashed into a hurdle on the day's opening event and was later disqualified. Clay was attempting to become the first decathlete to medal in three Olympic Games.

The day's other major surprise came in the finals of the women's 100 meters. Texas A&M product Jeneba Tarmoh out-leaned Beijing gold medalist Allyson Felix to earn the third and final spot in the 100.

Favored Carmelita Jeter won the event, while the clock caught Tarmoh in 11.068 seconds and Felix in 11.069.

University of Texas products Bianca Knight and Alex Anderson both made the finals, but did not finish in the top three. Knight finished fifth and Anderson was eighth.

Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697

Twitter: @gilebreton

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
Los Angeles2Final | Box
Colorado «16
San Francisco2Top 8th | Box
Arizona2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, FSN-AZ
Toronto 9/17 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: SNET, MASN 2
Boston 9/17 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NESN, ROOT-PIT
Washington 9/17 7:10 PM ET
Atlanta TV: MASN, SPSO, ESPN
Miami 9/17 7:10 PM ET
NY Mets TV: FSN-FL, SNY
NY Yankees 9/17 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: YES, Sun Sports
Cincinnati 9/17 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: FSN-OH, CSN-CHI
Cleveland 9/17 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: STO, CSN-HOU
Chicago WSox 9/17 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: WCIU, FSN-KC
Detroit 9/17 8:10 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-DET, FSN-N
Milwaukee 9/17 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FSN-WI, FSN-MW
Seattle 9/17 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-W, ESPN
Texas 9/17 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-SW
Philadelphia 9/17 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Tampa Bay 8:25 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Monday
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, September 17Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard