(PHOTO) Jun 23, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Ashton Eaton takes a victory lap after setting a decathlon world record of 9,039 points in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
"It is a representation of all the work I have put in, but also my friends, family support and staff have put in," said the 2010 Oregon graduate and five-time All-American.
Eaton surpassed the previous world mark, 9,026 points set in 2001 by the Czech Republic's Roman Sebrle, by 13 points.
On a day that was both drizzly and sunny, Eaton was charged with a false start in the first event, the 110 meter hurdles, meaning a second misstep would disqualify him from the event. Instead, he sat in the blocks just a bit on the gun and ran 13.70, still the fastest time of the day.
He followed that by throwing 140-5/42.81m in the discus and then thrilled the crowd with a big clearance at 17-4.5/5.30m in the pole vault. He was a couple of meters short of a personal best in the javelin with a best toss of 193-2/58.87m, meaning he would need to PR in the 1,500 meters for the world mark.
With fellow decathletes Joe Detmer and Curtis Beach – who both excel at 1,500 meters – pushing the race out front and the Hayward crowd urging him on, Eaton hit the bell lap just at the pace he needed, but found a little extra in the tank with 300 meters to go putting on a burst of speed that the crowd responded to with a roar that nearly tore the roof off the historic venue. The Bend, Ore., native hit the homestretch with time to spare and finished in a personal best 4:14.48 to secure the world mark.
"I am a big believer in the Hayward Magic," said Eaton. "At 600 meters I knew there was no way I wasn't going to get the record.
"I love them [the fans], I love this field and it's special for it to happen here. It is a very special place."
Eaton now owns both the decathlon and indoor pentathlon world records.
Lauryn Newson continued her surprising run in the women's triple jump. The senior from Richmond, Calif., who was competing in just her fifth career triple jump event, advanced to the finals by jumping a personal best 44-4.25/13.52m.
That broke the school record of 43-5/13.23m set by Jamesha Youngblood in 2010.
"I don't know what I'm doing since I just started," said Newson. "Mostly just focusing on getting off my first step."
English Gardner wrapped an impressive sophomore season by advancing to the finals of the women's 100 meters. The Voorhees, N.J., native was second in her semifinal heat earlier on Friday in 11.10 to make the final, where she placed seventh in 11.28.
"It really just built my confidence and let me know I belong here," said Gardner.
In qualifying action, Elijah Greer ran a smart race and finished third in a tightly packed men's 800 meter semifinal to advance to the final. The junior from Lake Oswego, Ore., ran 1:46.28.
Four current or former Ducks were in action in the qualifying rounds of the men's javelin. Freshman Sam Crouser and alum Cyrus Hostetler both made the finals. Crouser had the seventh-best throw Friday at 248-0/75.60m, while Hostetler came in eighth ay 245-2/74.74m.
"I am looking forward to coming back in two days and showing what I can do," said Hostetler. "I will have lots of rest, look at video footage and fix what I wasn't able to do today."
Duck alum Ryan Brandel placed 18th with a mark of 230-6/70.27m, while alum Alex Wolff fouled on his three attempts.
Former Duck Keshia Baker advanced to the final by taking fourth in her heat of the women's 400 meters in 51.62. Sophomore Phyllis Francis was eighth in her heat in 55.46 and did not advance.
UO alum Justin Frick cleared three bars to move along to the finals. He had a best clearance at 7-1.75/2.18m on his second attempt.
In the women's 800 meters, sophomore Laura Roesler capped her sophomore season with a fourth place finish in the semifinals of the women's 800 meters. The Fargo, N.D., native timed 2:03.35.
"I'm disappointed," said Roesler. "My strategy wasn't there today…I had an amazing season. I can only get better in four years."
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