What In The World
It only seems like the beginning for Ashton Eaton, after all, he is only 24 years old. But he is now the world's greatest athlete… of all-time.
His 9,039 points in the decathlon, which concluded on Saturday, broke the world mark of Czech Roman Sebrle (9,026 in 2001), the U.S. record of Dan O'Brien (8,891 in 1992) and the Olympic Trials mark of 8,832 of Brian Clay (8,832 in 2008).
After a phenomenal series of 10 events over two days, which included a 10.21 100m dash, a 27-0 long jump, a 46.70 400m dash, a 13.70 110m hurdles and a 17-1 1/4 pole vault, Eaton broke the records with a 4:14.48 clocking in the 1,500m run. Afterward, the milestone left him drained physically and emotionally, but full of appreciation.
"It is a representation of all the work I have put in, but also my friends, family support and staff have put in," he said. There is not much I can say … I really truly love the decathlon community and track and field world.”
Eaton so thoroughly destroyed the field, runner-up Trey Hardee was more than 600 points behind (8,383) while third-place Gray Horn was more than a thousand away (7.954).
Elsewhere, never mind that Carmelita Jeter (10.92) and Tianna Madison (10.96) went 1-2 in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday night. That wasn't the story.
The story was third place. That's where Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh were close. Real close.
Initially timer Roger Jennings of Flash Results unofficially posted Tarmoh in third place and Felix in fourth, but he also immediately called for an officials' review. The review yielded a rare occurrence — a dead heat. Click here for the photo as each finished in 11.068.
LetsRun.com caught up with Jennings afterward and asked how frequently dead heats to the thousandth of a second happen. "Occasionally," he replied. "Usually it's for sixth place at some college invitational. Never for third at the Trials."
This has left USA Track & Field a bit flummoxed. There is no procedure for such an event. It would seem that some kind of re-run would be the only logical solution, but we will await a ruling for the final spot on Team USA in the 100.
Meanwhile the females heading to London in the 100-meter hurdles are very familiar — 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper (12.73), 2011 U.S. champion Kellie Wells (12.77) and pre-2008 Olympic poster-woman Lolo Jones (12.86).