Ashton Eaton Mesmerizes On and Off the Track in World Record Decathlon at Olympic Trials

By LetsRun.com
June 23, 2012

This is first and foremost a website for distance runners so we breakdown Ashton Easton's 9039 point World Record in the decathlon by looking primarily at it from the 1500m below. Ken Goe of the Oregonian has a nice recap of Eaton using the "Hayward Field Magic" to set the record.

Post-race press conferences are usually not that interesting, but we found the one with Eaton to be fascinating. We've got the full thing below the article.

PR in the 1500m Leads to World Record
A stunning performance in often miserably raining condition culminated for Ashton Eaton having a real chance in the 1500m at the eleven year old decathlon world record of 9,026, held by Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic.

With 8189 after 9 events (a mere 11 points shy of the Olympic A standard with an event to go), Eaton needed 4:16.23 or better to break the world record and 4:36.49 to break Dan O'Brien's 20 year old American record of 8,893. Eatonwas so good up in the first nine events that even if he had skipped the 1500m he would have still finished second in the competition.

The world record however was now a possibility. Eaton said before the ninth event, the javelin, he went to talk to his coach Harry Marra. Ken Goe nicely recapped Eaton at the post-race conference (video of this segment here) where Eaton said, "(Marra) looks at me and he tells me, 'You just have to do this in the jav, Ash, and you"ll be fine,' and all this other stuff," Eaton said.

"I look at him and I go, 'All right, what do I have to throw and what do I have to run to get the American record?" He stopped and looked at me and he goes, 'Ashton. The world record.'"

Entering the 1500, Eaton's PR was 4:18.94, set in Daegu at the World Championships last August en route to claiming the silver medal.  With a PR of 2:32 for 1000, a 4:16 certainly seemed possible, especially with cool weather and relatively light wind.

How did Eaton get to this stage?  He set decathlon world records in his first two events, running 10.21 for 100 and long jumping an amazing 27-0.  He was 46-7 for the shot put, cleared 6-8 in the rain for the high jump and ran a stunning (given the downpour) 46.70 in the 400, closing day one with 4728 points.  Day two began with 13.70 in the 110 hurdles, 140-5 in the discus, a PR of 17-4 in the pole vault  and a solid 193-1 in the javelin.  

Curtis Beach Takes Out 1500m
At the post-race press conference Eaton said Curtis Beach of Duke (an NCAA qualifier in the 800) had offered to rabbit him to the world record, but Eaton declined. Beach nonetheless led the field through 200 in about 33-34 seconds, but was well clear at 400 as Eaton went through nicely at 67.2 (4:15 is 68.0 per lap). A 71.2 on the next 400 brought Eaton through 800 in 2:18.4 as the Hayward Field faithful cheered him on.  At 1100, he was 3:12.23, needing a 64.00 second final lap to get the record.  

Eaton started going at 64 second pace right away as he ran the nest 100 in about 16.1 as he hit 1200 in 3:28.3 (70.0). Eaton then showed whey he is the best ever, extending himself in a remarkable surge with a terrific final 300 of 46.0 and final 400 of 62.26 (roughly 31.4-30.8), crossing the line in 4:14.48 for a final total of 9,039, a new world record.

With the crowd roaring and Eaton coming on like a freight train, Beach, a standout middle distance runner, did a classy thing the final 100, moving to the outside and allowing Eaton to cross the line first.

It was drama at its best. World records are a rarity, but the decathlon is the one event where you know four minutes in advance, that one is a real possibility. Given Oregon's mid-d and distance obsession, it was fitting that Eaton's world record came with a 1500m PR at the distance friendly Hayward field.

Eaton not only had the support of the raucous hometown Oregon crowd, but he also had some support from announcer Frank Zarnowski who was coach Marra's college professor. Super cool with all the local angles, more on this from Ken Goe of the Oregonian.

****Will/Can Bryan Clay Chase the "A" Standard?
The other big story of the day was that Olympic Champ Bryan Clay fell and was disqualified in the hurdles. He was eventually reinstated to the hurdles, but the appeal took a long time so while he competing in the discus, Clay thought he was DQd from the hurdles and he wasn't focused and fouled three times. As a result, with one zero poitn event and a poor hurdles, Clay didn't make the Olympic "A" standard and didn't qualify for the Olympics.

Before we move on, let us state one thing, with his normal discus and hurdles, Clay would have hit the 'A' standard of 8200.

LetsRun.com's Wejo and others have advocated that USATF allow Clay and the other decathletes to go chase the Olympic "A" standard, even though USATF rules say athletes can not chase the standard after the end of their event at the Trials. We understand why USATF wants the Olympic Trials to be the end all and be all of Olympic qualification, but in this case, where there are only two with the 'A', Eaton and World Champion Trey Hardee, it makes zero sense to not allow these atheltes to chase. It's not like chasing will knock someone who is currently on the team off.

The international Olympic rules say the qualifying window ends July 8 so why not let them chase?

Clay said he learned that there were rumors that the possibility of chasing the standard might be allowed right before the press conference and he said it might be a possibility that he pursues (interview here). We also talked to his coach who said it would be a matter of how well Clay's body held up.

We also caught up with Duke's Curtis Beach who said he's willing to go along with the LetsRun.com idea of chasing the "A" standard at local high school during the off days at the Trials.

***
Eaton Mesmerizes At the Press Conference as Well

Ashton mesmerized the crowd in his post-race press-conference. He was funny, entertaining, cerebral and just a great ambassador of the sport. Eaton put it all together on and off the track on Saturday. We highly recommend you watch it all if you have 20 minutes.

One interesting point was when Eaton was asked what he thought when he crossed the line and saw the score he posted. Ashton was momentarily at a loss of words, but then was brutally honest and said one thought he had was in some way he wished he had almost NOT broken the record. Yes you read that right.

Eaton said, "It's almost like I didn't want to do it (break the record) for some reason. It's great to happen, it's just so hard to explain." (You can listen to that segment of the press conference here, but if you have 20 minutes we actually recommend the whole thing).

It's not a problem we've thought of before, but when the World Record is your goal and you attain it you need to set another goal. So breaking the World Record can be unsettling. Fortunately, Eaton can make his next goal the Olympic Gold.

More: What About the Sport? This Does Not Have to Be the End for Bryan Clay *LetsRun.com's Youtube Channel With More Video Channels

Highly Recommended Watch: Ashton Eaton Post World Record Decathlon Press Conference

 

Place Athlete Points     100m LJ SP HJ 400m 110mH DT PV JT 1500m
1 Ashton Eaton
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
9039


  10.21

w: +0.4
1044
(1044)
8.23m
27-0

w: +0.8
1120
(2164)
14.20m
46-7

741

(2905)
2.05m
6-8

850

(3755)
46.70


973

(4728)
13.70

w: -0.8
1014
(5742)
42.81m
140-5

722

(6464)
5.30m
17-4

1004

(7468)
58.87m
193-1

721

(8189)
4:14.48


850

(9039)
2 Trey Hardee
Nike
8383



(-656)
    10.50

w: +0.4
975
(975)
7.55m
24-9

w: +1.0
947
(1922)
15.72m
51-7

834

(2756)
1.99m
6-6

794

(3550)
49.11


856

(4406)
13.71

w: -0.8
1012
(5418)
49.05m
160-11

851

(6269)
5.00m
16-4

910

(7179)
57.00m
187-0

693

(7872)
5:08.67


511

(8383)
3 Gray Horn
Unattached
7954



(-1085)
    10.93

w: +0.4
876
(876)
7.60m
24-11

w: +0.0
960
(1836)
13.49m
44-3

697

(2533)
1.96m
6-5

767

(3300)
50.66


784

(4084)
14.41

w: +0.8
922
(5006)
38.34m
125-9

631

(5637)
5.00m
16-4

910

(6547)
56.31m
184-9

682

(7229)
4:33.02


725

(7954)
4 Joe Detmer
Unattached
7931



(-1108)
    10.97

w: +0.1
867
(867)
7.38m
24-2

w: +0.0
905
(1772)
13.18m
43-3

678

(2450)
1.90m
6-2

714

(3164)
49.14


855

(4019)
14.92

w: -1.1
859
(4878)
40.30m
132-2

671

(5549)
4.90m
16-0

880

(6429)
54.39m
178-5

654

(7083)
4:14.77


848

(7931)
5 Chris Helwick
Unattached
7744



(-1295)
    11.49

w: -0.2
755
(755)
6.78m
22-3

w: -0.6
762
(1517)
14.25m
46-9

744

(2261)
1.93m
6-4

740

(3001)
51.97


726

(3727)
15.30

w: +0.8
814
(4541)
43.61m
143-1

738

(5279)
4.90m
16-0

880

(6159)
68.37m
224-3

865

(7024)
4:33.85


720

(7744)
6 Ryan Harlan
Unattached
7715



(-1324)
    11.26

w: -0.2
804
(804)
6.74m
22-1

w: -1.0
753
(1557)
15.48m
50-9

819

(2376)
2.02m
6-7

822

(3198)
50.78


779

(3977)
14.43

w: +0.8
920
(4897)
44.70m
146-8

761

(5658)
4.80m
15-9

849

(6507)
60.73m
199-3

749

(7256)
5:18.20


459

(7715)
7 Miller Moss
Unattached
7712



(-1327)
    10.85

w: +0.4
894
(894)
6.91m
22-8

w: -1.4
792
(1686)
14.03m
46-0

730

(2416)
1.87m
6-1

687

(3103)
49.62


832

(3935)
14.91

w: -0.8
860
(4795)
44.76m
146-10

762

(5557)
4.70m
15-5

819

(6376)
53.22m
174-7

636

(7012)
4:36.84


700

(7712)
8 Kevin Lazas
Arkansas
7660



(-1379)
    11.10

w: +0.1
838
(838)
7.44m
24-5

w: +0.8
920
(1758)
13.95m
45-9

725

(2483)
1.93m
6-4

740

(3223)
51.44


749

(3972)
15.25

w: -1.1
820
(4792)
38.79m
127-3

640

(5432)
5.00m
16-4

910

(6342)
54.73m
179-6

659

(7001)
4:43.39


659

(7660)
9 Chris Randolph
SKECHERS
7468



(-1571)
    11.39

w: -0.2
776
(776)
6.69m
21-11

w: +0.7
741
(1517)
13.22m
43-4

681

(2198)
1.90m
6-2

714

(2912)
50.40


796

(3708)
15.28

w: -1.1
816
(4524)
45.33m
148-8

774

(5298)
4.60m
15-1

790

(6088)
60.81m
199-6

750

(6838)
4:48.09


630

(7468)
10 Isaac Murphy
Texas
7368



(-1671)
    10.77

w: +0.4
912
(912)
6.99m
22-11

w: +0.8
811
(1723)
13.04m
42-9

670

(2393)
1.81m
5-11

636

(3029)
50.45


794

(3823)
14.92

w: -0.8
859
(4682)
43.51m
142-9

736

(5418)
4.60m
15-1

790

(6208)
46.30m
151-11

534

(6742)
4:48.74


626

(7368)
11 Curtis Beach
Duke
7109



(-1930)
    10.88

w: +0.1
888
(888)
7.42m
24-4

w: +1.0
915
(1803)
11.83m
38-9

596

(2399)
1.87m
6-1

687

(3086)
47.82


918

(4004)
14.79

w: +0.8
875
(4879)
39.44m
129-4

653

(5532)
4.40m
14-5

731

(6263)
FOUL


0

(6263)
4:14.96


846

(7109)
12 Bryan Clay
Asics
7092



(-1947)
    10.45

w: +0.4
987
(987)
7.40m
24-3

w: +1.0
910
(1897)
15.63m
51-3

828

(2725)
1.96m
6-5

767

(3492)
51.21


760

(4252)
16.81

w: -0.8
644
(4896)
FOUL


0

(4896)
4.80m
15-9

849

(5745)
66.80m
219-2

841

(6586)
5:09.62


506

(7092)
13 David Grzesiak
Wisconsin
7009



(-2030)
    11.56

w: -0.2
740
(740)
6.50m
21-4

w: +1.0
697
(1437)
12.58m
41-3

642

(2079)
1.90m
6-2

714

(2793)
50.48


793

(3586)
15.36

w: -1.1
807
(4393)
34.52m
113-3

554

(4947)
4.60m
15-1

790

(5737)
50.57m
165-11

597

(6334)
4:40.91


675

(7009)
14 Edward Broadbent
HPC Elite
6652



(-2387)
    10.99

w: +0.1
863
(863)
7.31m
23-11

w: +1.0
888
(1751)
12.43m
40-9

633

(2384)
2.02m
6-7

822

(3206)
49.73


827

(4033)
14.68

w: -0.8
889
(4922)
34.43m
112-11

552

(5474)
NH


0

(5474)
46.40m
152-2

536

(6010)
4:46.10


642

(6652)
15 Corbin Duer
Unattached
6584



(-2455)
    11.36

w: -0.2
782
(782)
7.08m
23-2

w: +1.6
833
(1615)
12.62m
41-5

644

(2259)
1.96m
6-5

767

(3026)
50.96


771

(3797)
15.23

w: -0.8
822
(4619)
40.61m
133-3

677

(5296)
NH


0

(5296)
51.44m
168-9

610

(5906)
4:40.44


678

(6584)
16 Jake Arnold
Asics
6524



(-2515)
    11.20

w: +0.1
817
(817)
6.29m
20-7

w: +0.2
650
(1467)
13.72m
45-0

711

(2178)
1.90m
6-2

714

(2892)
50.71


782

(3674)
14.54

w: -0.8
906
(4580)
43.51m
142-9

736

(5316)
NH


0

(5316)
58.60m
192-3

717

(6033)
5:12.30


491

(6524)
DNF Mike Ayers
Georgia



    11.28

w: +0.1
799
(799)



0

(799)
13.10m
42-11

673

(1472)
1.84m
6-0

661

(2133)
DQ


0

(2133)
DNS


0

(2133)
DNS


0

(2133)
DNS


0

(2133)
DNS


0

(2133)
DNS


0

(2133)
DNF Dakotah Keys
Oregon



    11.37

w: -0.2
780
(780)
6.82m
22-4

w: -0.0
771
(1551)
12.76m
41-10

653

(2204)
1.84m
6-0

661

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNS


0

(2865)
DNF Wesley Bray
Unattached



    10.99

w: +0.1
863
(863)
6.97m
22-10

w: +0.2
807
(1670)
13.86m
45-5

720

(2390)
NH


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)
DNS


0

(2390)

 

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