Eaton Finishes a Champion

One of the greatest athletes the University of Oregon has ever produced finished up in his signature event, the decathlon by becoming the 2010 NCAA Champion. Now senior Ashton Eaton can claim both in the indoor and outdoor NCAA championship as he finished with 8,457 points, over 600 points more than second place finisher, Michael Morrison of California.

"This is bittersweet," Eaton said following the conclusion of his last event. "The decathlon but I'm sad that no one is in the stands anymore, and it's never going to be like that for me again in an Oregon uniform."

Eaton had strong finishes in the 100-meters (10.37), 110-meter hurdles (13.68), 400 (46.28) and 1,500-meters (4:21.85) on Friday to propel him to the strong finish.

"In the end, I know I gave it all I had," said Eaton of the decathlon finish. "I had nothing left."

The Bend native remembered the Hayward crowd helping him along particularly in the 1,500. While Eaton was happy to win the championship, he was also somewhat emotional that Friday marked his last day wearing a Duck uniform and confessed he is envious of the freshmen, who have at least three more years of competition ahead of them in the green and yellow.

"It's difficult to describe," explained Eaton. "I'm not an artist, a poet or a writer so I can't put it into words like some people could. But, it is the ending of something I never wanted to see the end to."

Also today Andrew Wheating won the 800-meters in 1:45.69. Wheating will compete on Saturday for the 1,500-meter crown after earlier posting 3:45.24 to qualify. His Oregon teammates A.J. Acosta (3:40.95) and Matt Centrowitz (3:41.27) also qualified in the 1,500.

On the women's side, the lady Ducks lead the team championship competition with 30 points headed into tomorrow's action with 13 events already scored with Texas A&M second with 26 points.

"The women's team race is going to be close now," said Oregon's Vin Lananna. "We might have to defy the odds."

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