Ashton Eaton

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Ashton Eaton
Ashton Eaton 2 Daegu 2011.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ashton James Eaton
Born (1988-01-21) January 21, 1988 (age 26)
Portland, Oregon, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Sport
Country United States
Sport Track and field athletics
Event(s) Decathlon, heptathlon
Club Oregon Track Club
Coached by Harry Marra
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) Decathlon: 9,039 (WR)
Heptathlon: 6,645 (WR)

Ashton James Eaton (born January 21, 1988) is an American decathlete and Olympic champion, who holds the world record in both the decathlon and heptathlon events, and is only the second decathlete (after Roman Šebrle) to break the 9,000-point barrier, with 9,039 points.

He competes for the Oregon Track Club Elite team based in Eugene, Oregon. In college, Eaton competed for the University of Oregon, where he was a five-time NCAA champion, and won The Bowerman award in 2010. In 2011, Eaton won the first international medal of his career, a silver, in the decathlon at the 2011 World Championships. The following year, Eaton broke his own world record in the heptathlon at the 2012 World Indoor Championships, and then went on to break the world record in the decathlon at the Olympic Trials. After setting the world record, Eaton easily won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Personal life[edit]

Eaton was born in Portland, Oregon, on January 21, 1988,[1] the only child of Roslyn Eaton and Terrance Wilson.[2] His father is African-American and his mother is of European descent.[3]

His maternal grandfather, Jim Eaton, played American football at Michigan State University, and his father also played the sport. His mother was an athlete and a dancer.[4] He has three paternal siblings, including Verice Bennett, a gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, who received the Silver Star in December 2011 for serving with valor in Afghanistan.

Eaton's parents separated when he was two years old. His mother, Roslyn, moved to La Pine, Oregon. He was athletic from a young age, competing in football, basketball, running, soccer, and wrestling.[1] When Eaton was in the fifth grade, he and his mother relocated to Bend, Oregon,[2] where he attended Mountain View High School in Bend.[5] Interested in track and field, he was coached by Tate Metcalf and John Nosler. In 2006, he won the state high school 400 metres championship in 48.69 seconds and the long jump championship with 24 feet 0.25 inches (7.3216 m). Only a few colleges recruited Eaton. He considered playing football at a Division III college. In the spring of 2006, Metcalf asked Eaton if he would consider the decathlon (an event Eaton had never heard of) while in college.[2] Metcalf suggested that Eaton attend a university with a strong decathlon program, and Eaton chose the University of Oregon.[1]

Eaton married his University of Oregon teammate, Canadian multi-event athlete Brianne Theisen, on July 15, 2013, one year after both competed in the London Olympics.[6][7] The two first met in 2006 during Eaton's freshman year at Oregon and fell in love at the 2007 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, held in Brazil: Theisen won the gold medal for Canada and then followed Eaton back to Eugene to enroll at the University of Oregon.[8]

Collegiate career[edit]

Eaton was initially coached at Oregon by Dan Steele, the associate director of track and a former decathlete. Under Steele, Eaton rapidly improved in the 1500 metres, high jump, hurdles, and pole vault. He improved his pole vault by nearly 4 feet (1.2 m) in one year, and reached 8,000 points by his sixth collegiate decathlon. After Steele left in 2010 to coach at Northern Iowa University, the university hired decathlon coach Harry Marra (who had trained Olympic decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson) to further develop Eaton's skills.[1]

In his first year as an Oregon "Duck" 2006-07, he was one of only three freshmen nation-wide to qualify provisionally for NCAAs in the combined events, both indoors and outdoors. Finished second in Pac-10 Championships decathlon with a season-best 7,123 points in only his second career decathlon. He then placed third at the USA Junior Championships decathlon (7,155 points) and second in the long jump (24-0.25), the latter of which earned him a trip to Brazil for the 2007 Pan American Junior Championships.

  • Comprehensive collegiate career highlights listed at University of Oregon athletics website GoDucks.com

In 2008, Eaton won the decathlon at the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship.[9]

In 2009, Eaton defended his decathlon title at the NCAA Championships to win with 8,241 points.[10] He also won the heptathlon title at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships with 5,988 points. Eaton won the Division I field athlete of the year award in 2009.[11]

At the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships, Eaton broke the heptathlon world record with a score of 6,499, eclipsing Dan O'Brien's 17-year-old mark by 23 points. In June 2010, he won his third consecutive NCAA decathlon title by finishing first in the decathlon with a personal best of 8,457 points.[12] He was the first male athlete to win 3 consecutive titles in the decathlon. In 2010, Eaton won The Bowerman, given annually to the best male and female U.S. collegiate track and field athletes.[13] Eaton graduated from the University of Oregon the same year.[1]

International career[edit]

2008–2009[edit]

At the 2008 United States Olympic Trials, Eaton placed fifth overall with 8,122 points.[14]

At the 2009 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Eaton placed second in the decathlon behind Trey Hardee with 8,075 points. This earned him a place at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, in Berlin, where he finished 18th with 8,061 points.[15][16]

2011–2012[edit]

Eaton improved his own world record in the indoor heptathlon at the International Indoor Combined Events Meeting in Tallinn in February 2011. Despite under-performing in the high jump he managed a score of 6568 points.[17]

In August 2011, at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics, Eaton won the silver medal in the decathlon competition with a final points tally of 8505, losing first place to his compatriot Trey Hardee.[18]

In March 2012, at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships held in Istanbul, Eaton won the gold medal in the heptathlon competition with a new world record 6645, winning five events (60 m, 60 m hurdles, long jump, pole vault and 1000 m) out of seven and finished third for the rest (high jump and shot put). His stand-out events were the Long Jump (scoring 1,102 points with a jump of 8.16m/26' 9-1/4") and the final event, the 1,000 meter run, where he set a Championship record of 2:32.78 (only one-tenth of a second off his personal best time). He defeated silver medal winner Oleksiy Kasyanov by 574 points (6071).

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Trials[edit]

At the 2012 United States Olympic Trials, the qualifying meet for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Eaton started day one of the decathlon competition with two world decathlon bests, the equivalent of a world record for athletes competing in a full decathlon. The first in the 100-meters (10.21), and then in the long jump (8.23 metres (27.0 ft)).[19] To emphasize the quality of Eaton's first two marks, the 100-meters time equalled the minimum (season wide) time required for men to qualify for the trials 100-meters race[20] and only .03 short of the Olympic "A" standard.[21] The long jump was 10 inches (25 cm) farther than the top qualifier in the long jump preliminary round held that same day at the trials,[22] 3 centimetres (1.2 in) beyond the "A" standard, and would have tied for second in the final. He went on to finish fifth in the shot put (14.20 metres (46.6 ft)), first in the high jump (2.05 metres (6.7 ft)), and first in the 400-meters (46.70) held in a pouring rainstorm. After day one, Eaton's points total of 4728 was more than 300 points ahead of second-place competitor Trey Hardee. On the second day of competition, Eaton finished first in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.70. In the discus, however, he had an eighth place finish. He bounced back in the pole vault, posting a height of 5.30 metres (17.4 ft), good enough for first place. In the javelin throw, Eaton had a distance of 58.87 metres (193.1 ft) for fifth place. Going into the final event, the 1500-meter run, Eaton held a 317-point lead over his closest competitor, Hardee. Eaton ran a new personal best in the 1500-meters with a time of 4:14.48, finishing first. In the process, he brought his total score for the decathlon to 9039, breaking Roman Šebrle's previous world record of 9026 points.[23] Eaton broke Dan O'Brien's American record of 8891 points set in 1992.[24]

Olympics[edit]

At the 2012 Olympics, Eaton's primary rival was (now) teammate Trey Hardee. Eaton's 10.35 100 metres was the top time of the day, with Hardee the next best. His 8.03 long jump was almost half a metre farther than any other competitor, building him a sizeable lead. His 14.66 shot put was just 12 cm short of his personal record. And his 2.05 high jump tied with several members of the field for second best. In the final first day event his 46.90 400 metres was over a full second faster than anybody else in the field. His first day total was 4661, with a 220 point lead over Hardee.

Day two started with a virtual tie between Hardee and Eaton, Eaton getting 13.56 in the 110m hurdles. Eaton's discus throw of 42.53 gave up almost 6 metres and 120 points to Hardee, but by that point Eaton still had a 100 point lead. Eaton more than gained that back with a 5.20 pole vault, the third best competition. And in the javelin throw Hardee pulled back 70 points with a good throw, an advantage limited by Eaton setting a new personal best 61.96 in the event. With Eaton holding a 150+ point lead and a superior personal record in the 1500 metres over Hardee, the medals were already determined. Nobody made a serious run at improving their position, Eaton just went through the formality of completing the event in 4:33.59 to take the gold medal.

2013 World Championships[edit]

Eaton won the 2013 world title in the decathlon with an 8809-point performance in Moscow.

2014 World Indoor Championships[edit]

Eaton during the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

In a February 2014 interview with Track & Field News (Vol. 67, no. 3), Eaton - and his coach Harry Marra - said 2014 would be a "rest" year, with no decathlon competitions. His only multi-event would be the heptathlon at World Indoors, which he entered having broken the world record in his last 3 consecutive indoor competitions. Eaton won the gold medal in the Heptathlon at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships held in Sopot, Poland on 7 & 8 March 2014. As the defending champion he received an automatic entry and did not have to enter a qualifying meet. He opened the competition at the 15th world indoor championships at Ergo Arena with his fastest time ever for the 60 meters, 6.66 seconds and never trailed. He followed that up with an excellent Long Jump, a good Shot Put and an excellent High Jump (2.06m/6' 9") for a first day score of 3,653—which was just a single point less than when he set the Heptathlon record at the 2012 World Indoor meet. On Day 2, he opened with an outstanding time of 7.64 in the 60 meter Hurdles - a Championship meet record - and an excellent Pole Vault of 5.20m/17' 0-3/4". He won the 1,000 meters by 3 seconds, however his time of 2:34.72 was 2 seconds slower than in 2012 and he fell 13 points short of his world record. His total of 6,632 points ranks as #2 all-time. Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus was 2nd with a new national record of 6,303 points, and Belgium's Thomas Van Der Plaetsen was 3rd with 6,259 (also a Belgian national record.)

Eaton told Track & Field News that during the 2014 outdoor season he plans to run some 400 meter hurdles races for the first time in his career, as means of "doing something fun" while building his stamina for the 400 and 1,500 in future decathlon competitions. He also hopes to compete in some (world class) Diamond League meets in (variously) the 100 meters, 110 meter hurdles and/or the long jump. After resting from the grueling grind of decathlon training in 2014, Eaton will resume a 3-year program aimed at defending his titles at the 2015 Worlds in Beijing, China, the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships in his hometown of Eugene, Oregon, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and then return to London, England for the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. Barring a major injury, London 2017 will likely be his last decathlon competition before retiring at age 29.

Major competition record[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing the  United States
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 18th Decathlon 8061
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 2nd Decathlon 8505
2012 World Indoor Championships Istanbul, Turkey 1st Heptathlon 6645 (WR)
Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st Decathlon 8869
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 1st Decathlon 8809
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 1st Heptathlon 6632

Personal bests[edit]

Eaton at the 2011 World Athletics Championships

Outdoor[edit]

As of August 9, 2012
Event Performance Location Date
Decathlon 9039[a] Eugene June 23, 2012
100 metres 10.21 (+0.4 m/s)[b] Eugene June 22, 2012
Long jump 8.23 m (27 ft 0 in) (+0.8 m/s)[b] Eugene June 22, 2012
Shot put 15.40 m (50 ft 614 in) Palo Alto March 30, 2013
High jump 2.1 m (6 ft 1012 in) Vancouver June 10, 2012
400 metres 45.64[c] Montecito April 5, 2013
110 metres hurdles 13.35[b] Eugene June 4, 2011
Discus throw 47.36 m (155 ft 412 in) Chula Vista August 14, 2011
Pole vault 5.3 m (17 ft 412 in) Eugene June 23, 2012
Javelin throw 66.64 m (218 ft 712 in) San Luis Obispo, Ca. March 16, 2013
1500 metres 4:14.48 Eugene June 23, 2012
a World record
b Decathlon best
c =Decathlon best (but did not participate in all events)

Indoor[edit]

Eaton en route to victory at the 2012 Indoor World Championships
As of February 15, 2014.
Event Performance Location Date
Heptathlon 6645[d] Istanbul March 10, 2012
60 metres 6.66 Tallinn February 5, 2011
Long jump 8.16 m (26 ft 914 in)[e] Istanbul March 9, 2012
Shot put 15.05 m (49 ft 412 in) Boston,MA February 8, 2014
High jump 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) Fayetteville February 5, 2010
60 metres hurdles 7.60[e] Tallinn February 6, 2011
Pole vault 5.35 m (17 ft 612 in) New York February 15, 2014
1000 metres 2:32.67 Fayetteville March 13, 2010
d World record
e Heptathlon best

World records[edit]

No. Event Points Meet Location Date Age
1 Heptathlon 6499 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships Fayetteville March 13, 2010 22
2 Heptathlon 6568 Tallinn International Indoor Combined Events Meeting Tallinn February 6, 2011 23
3 Heptathlon 6645 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships Istanbul March 10, 2012 24
4 Decathlon 9039 2012 United States Olympic Trials Eugene June 23, 2012 24

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Moore, Kenny. "Can a Runner Be the World's Greatest Athlete?" Runner's World. July 2012. Accessed June 24, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Layden, Tim. "Faster Higher Stronger." Sports Illustrated. June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  3. ^ Clarey, Christopher. "London Calling." Bend Bulletin. May 9, 2012. Accessed June 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "Multi-Event Star Talks About His Breakthrough Season." SpikesMag.com. No date. Accessed 2012-06-24; Faraudo, Jeff. "Eaton Makes Mom Proud." Eugene Register-Guard. May 10, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  5. ^ Prince, Seth. "Ashton Eaton, Rising Star in Decathlon, Readies for World Championships." The Oregonian. August 4, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  6. ^ http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/track-and-field/american-ashton-eaton-ready-to-chase-decathlon-record.html
  7. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1274468-asthon-eatons-girlfriend-pics-of-decathletes-olympic-fiance-brianne-theisen
  8. ^ Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen: An Olympic Duck Love Story; University of Oregon Alumni Association newsletter, February 2013; accessed 8 March 2014.
  9. ^ Goe, Ken (May 11, 2008). "Ashton Eaton wins dec". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Eaton does it again". The Bulletin. June 12, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ Goe, Ken (June 18, 2009). "More honors for Ashton Eaton and Galen Rupp". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  12. ^ Ken Goe (June 11, 2010). "NCAA Track & Field Championships: Ashton Eaton and Andrew Wheating come up big for the Ducks". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Harrison, Eaton Named 2010 Winners of The Bowerman". U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. December 15, 2010. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Men Decathlon." 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field. USA Track and Field. 2008. Accessed June 27, 2012.
  15. ^ Goe, Ken (June 26, 2009). "Oregon's Ashton Eaton second to Trey Hardee in decathlon". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 27, 2009. 
  16. ^ "World championships: Trey Hardee wins, Ashton Eaton 18th in decathlon". Associated Press. August 20, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2009. 
  17. ^ Lindmae, Maris (February 6, 2011). Eaton sets new World record in Tallinn with 6568 points. IAAF. Retrieved on February 12, 2011.
  18. ^ Hart, Simon (August 28, 2011). "World Athletics Championships 2011: American Trey Hardee retains decathlon title as Ashton Eaton fades". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved August 29, 2011. 
  19. ^ Eddie Pells (June 24, 2012). "Ashton Eaton Sets World Record in Decathlon". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "USA Track & Field – Status of Entries". Usatf.org. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  21. ^ Olympic Games – London 2012. Entry Standards. Approved by IAAF Council April 2011. Amended by IAAF Council November 2011. Accessed June 27, 2012.
  22. ^ "US Olympic Trials". Usatf.org. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  23. ^ Staff (June 24, 2012). "Ashton Eaton sets world mark". ESPN. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  24. ^ David Leon Moore (June 24, 2012). "Ashton Eaton breaks decathlon world record". USA Today. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
United States Dan O'Brien
Men's heptathlon world record holder
March 13, 2010 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Czech Republic Roman Šebrle
Men's decathlon world record holder
June 23, 2012 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards
Preceded by
United States Galen Rupp
The Bowerman (men's winner)
2010
Succeeded by
Zimbabwe Ngoni Makusha
Preceded by
Jesse Williams
Men's Jesse Owens Award
2012
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
United States Bryan Clay
World's Greatest Athlete
2012
Succeeded by
Incumbent