Former Duck Eaton breaks decathlon world record



From U.S. Track and Field press release

EUGENE, Ore. – Ashton Eaton brought a record capacity crowd to full roar Saturday at Hayward Field as the Oregon graduate set a world record in the decathlon, scoring 9,039 points to break the previous record of 9,026 set in 2001 by the Czech Republic’s Roman Sebrle. The official attendance was 21,795. It was but one highlight of a dramatic and newsmaking day at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field.

Eaton’s record was the first world record set at the U.S. Olympic Trials since Michael Johnson’s 19.66 in the 200m at Atlanta in 1996. It was also the fifth time an American set a decathlon world record at the Trials, a feat most recently achieved in 1976 by Bruce Jenner. Former record holders Jenner and Dan O’Brien were on hand to great Eaton at the finish line.

Needing to run better than 4:16.23 in the 1500m to crack the WR, Eaton followed Curtis Beach and Joe Detmer through the first three-and-a-half laps before crossing the line in 4:14.48 as Beach waved him through the line.

2011 World champion Trey Hardee claimed the second spot on the podium with a score of 8,383 points and will join Eaton in London. Gray Horn was third at 7,954.

Reigning Olympic champion Bryan Clay faltered in the 110m hurdles where he hit the ninth hurdle and did not clear the tenth hurdle. His time of 16.81 garnered him only 644 points. Things did not get better in the next event when Clay fouled three times in the discus and did not score a mark. Though he was out of contention to make the decathlon podium, Clay continued on to finish all ten events, finishing 12th with 7109 points.

World 100m champion Carmelita Jeter dashed to her third U.S. title in the short sprint, all won at Hayward Field, with a swift 10.92. 2005 World long jump gold medalist Tianna Madison was second in 10.96. The event’s drama came in the tussle for the third spot where three-time World 200m champion Allyson Felix and former Texas A&M star Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat at 11.07 (11.068). See photo finish here.

Reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper out-sprinted Kellie Wells and Lolo Jones to win the women’s 100m hurdles in 12.73, with 2011 U.S. champion Wells second in 12.77 and two-time World Indoor 60m hurdle winner Jones surging to place third in 12.86. It was the second national title in the 100m hurdle for Harper, who also won in Eugene in 2009, and Jones makes her second straight Olympic team after winning the ‘08 Trials and finishing seventh in Beijing.