Brianne Theisen-Eaton

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Brianne Theisen-Eaton
Theisen-Eaton at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Personal information
Born (1988-12-18) 18 December 1988 (age 30)[1]
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan[1]
ResidenceEugene, Oregon
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Weight64 kg (141 lb)[1]
Country Canada
Event(s)Heptathlon, pentathlon
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)Heptathlon: 6,808 points NR, Götzis, 2015
Pentathlon: 4,881 points NR, Portland, 2016

Brianne Theisen-Eaton (born 18 December 1988) is a Canadian retired track and field athlete who competed in the heptathlon and women's pentathlon. She won the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Theisen-Eaton holds the Canadian record for the heptathlon with 6,808 points, as well as the indoor pentathlon with a score of 4768 points. Theisen-Eaton is a heptathlon silver medallist from the 2013 World Championships and 2015 World Championships, as well as a pentathlon silver medalist from the 2014 World Indoor Championships. She is the first and only Canadian woman to podium in the multi-events at the World Championships.[2] Theisen-Eaton won Commonwealth Games gold in the heptathlon at Glasgow 2014 and was the 2016 World Indoor Champion in the pentathlon. She also won a bronze medal as part of the women's 4 x 400 m relay at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.

A national junior champion in 2006, she took the heptathlon gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championships the following year. She enrolled at the University of Oregon and broke a number of school records in her first three years, winning back-to-back NCAA heptathlon titles in 2009 and 2010. She also won twice at the NCAA Indoor Championship, including a collegiate pentathlon record in 2011. She and her husband, Ashton Eaton, announced their retirement from track and field on January 3, 2017.[3][4]


Early life[edit]

Theisen-Eaton was raised in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and attended Humboldt Collegiate Institute.[5] While in high school, she took part in track and field, volleyball, and soccer.[6] She found her niche in the track and field combined events and represented Canada at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Athletics, finishing seventeenth in the girl's heptathlon.[7] She was the national junior champion in the heptathlon in 2006 and took part in the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics in Beijing.[8] In her senior year in high school, she won the gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Junior Championships.[9]


Theisen-Eaton received a sports scholarship at the University of Oregon, where she started a major in business administration in late 2007. In her first year, she was the runner-up at the Pac-10 championships and came fourth in the heptathlon at the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Theisen began her second year with a third-place finish in the pentathlon at the NCAA Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship. The outdoor season saw her establish herself among the world elite in the heptathlon. She won the Pac-10 title, then set a personal record of 6086 points to win her first NCAA outdoor title, before finally going on to take the national heptathlon title that summer.[6] This earned her a spot on the national team to make her senior international debut at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. As Canada's only representative in the event, she came in fifteenth place.[10] In addition to her athletic breakthrough, she also received a mention for All-Academic honours that year.[6]

Theisen continued her strong college form into the following year, winning her first pentathlon title at the 2010 NCAA Indoors with 4396 points and repeating as the Pac-10 Outdoor heptathlon champion.[6] She also took a second consecutive victory at the NCAA Outdoors, improving her personal record to 6094 points.[11] This total ranked her within the top twenty athletes in her discipline worldwide that year.[12] At the NCAA Outdoors, she had her second win of the competition when she helped the Oregon women's team to the 4×400-meter relay title.[6] That year, she also led Oregon to a decathlon/heptathlon double at the Texas Relays, as she claimed the win alongside her schoolmate Ashton Eaton[13] to whom she was engaged. They married in July 2013.[14][15]

In 2011, she won at the NCAA Indoor Championships for a second time and broke Jacquelyn Johnson's collegiate record mark with a total of 4540 points from five events.[16] She suffered an injury in the outdoor season that year and missed ten months as a result. She returned at the Texas A&M Challenge in January 2012 and recorded a score of 4555 points to win the meet. This was a new collegiate and Canadian national record for the event, beating Jill Ross-Giffen's previous score, and Theisen improved her personal bests in the shot put (12.87 m) and high jump (1.88 m) events.[17] A third NCAA Indoor title came two months later with a winning score of 4536 points, which included a 60 m hurdles best of 8.25 seconds.[18] She also repeated as the heptathlon champion and her personal best score of 6440 points included four new bests in individual events (hurdles, shot put, long jump and javelin).[19]


Theisen Eaton (2nd from the right) competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the 800 m portion of the heptathlon.

Theisen placed second at the Canadian Track and Field Championships and went on to finish eleventh in the heptathlon at the 2012 London Olympics.[20] A score of 6376 points at the 2013 Hypo Meeting was enough to win the high-profile event ahead of Tatyana Chernova, and she formed a rare Canadian combined events double alongside the men's winner Damian Warner.[21] The 2013 World Championships in Athletics was a wide open event in the heptathlon in that two of the world's best competitors in Chernova and Jessica Ennis-Hill both missed the competition as a result of injuries. Despite putting up a personal best 6,530 points, she had to settle for silver, just 56 points behind eventual World Champion Hanna Melnichenko.[22] After Gotzis, this was the second major competition in a row where the Canadian men and women multi-eventers had a double medal meeting after Warner won bronze at the world championships; however, a double gold for the power couple of Eaton and Eaton-Theisen was narrowly missed.[22] She commented on her achievement saying "I'm at peace getting silver knowing I gave it 110 per cent. Ashton and I talked about both being on the podium here. I watched Ashton the last couple of years winning his medals and could only imagine what that actually felt like."[22] In her last outing that year, she was third at the Decastar meet in France.[23]

At the 2014 World Indoor Championships in Poland, Theisen captured silver in pentathlon with a personal best score of 4768, breaking her own national record.[24] She next competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she went on to win the gold medal in the women's heptathlon event ahead of compatriot Jessica Zelinka.[25] After she said, "So this gold medal makes me really happy. I always said I don't think I would get choked up but I had to fight back a few tears [on the podium]. It's just representing your country and knowing everybody back home is happy and watching and supporting you. It feels really good."[26]

2015 World Championship silver[edit]

Theisen-Eaton did not compete in the Heptathlon at the 2015 Pan American Games in her home country of Canada. Instead she chose to compete in the long jump event in Toronto. There she finished fourth, just one centimetre off the podium. She also participated in the women's 4 × 400 m relay, this time helping the team to a bronze medal.

She went into the 2015 World Championships in Athletics as the favourite to win, having achieved higher scores than rival Jessica Ennis-Hill since Hill's return from pregnancy. Despite this, Hill won by 115pts with a season's best 6,669. Theisen-Eaton was disappointed with her silver medal saying "I'm disappointed. I went in as the favourite and I didn't compete how I had to to win gold. And that was my own fault. So I am disappointed with it, but there are some lessons that I have learned from it that hopefully I can take into next year...I mean, I scored 250 points less than I already have this year, and had I just done the same thing I had done already previously this year, it would have got me a gold."[27]

Theisen Eaton competes in the hurdles event at the 2016 World Indoor Championship in Portland, Oregon.

2016 World Indoor Champion and Olympics[edit]

The following season Theisen-Eaton followed up her outdoor disappointment with a world title in the indoor pentathlon. She won the title as world champion in the pentathlon, though rival Ennis-Hill was absent. In the process of her win she set a world leading score and North American record for the pentathlon.[28] During the beginning of the outdoor season, at the 2016 Hypomeeting, Theisen-Eaton continued her momentum, winning another event that was again missing Ennis-Hill. Theisen-Eaton finished with a world-leading 6765 points.[29]

Theisen-Eaton competed for Canada in the heptathlon at the 2016 Summer Olympics. After the first day she trailed in sixth place, despite going into the Olympics with the world leading score. During the second day she performed well in the long-jump and javelin events, getting near personal bests which put her into the third-place position going into the final event, the 800 metres. She would finish third in her heat and win the bronze medal scoring 6653 behind winner Nafissatou Thiam, with Jessica Ennis-Hill finishing second. She said of day two that "I'm happy with today, really happy with today. I never would have guessed after that kind of first day I would end up with a medal and actually [my] score wasn't half bad either."[30]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Canada
2005 World Youth Championships Marrakesh, Morocco 17th Girl's heptathlon 4805 pts
2006 World Junior Championships Beijing, China 17th Heptathlon 5149 pts
2007 Pan American Junior Championships São Paulo, Brazil 1st Heptathlon 5413 pts
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 15th Heptathlon 5949 pts
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 10th Heptathlon 6383 pts
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 2nd Heptathlon 6530 pts
2014 World Indoor Championships Sopot, Poland 2nd Pentathlon 4768 pts
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 2nd Heptathlon 6554 pts
2016 World Indoor Championships Portland, United States 1st Pentathlon 4881 pts
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3rd Heptathlon 6653 pts

National titles[edit]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Performance Place Date
100 metres hurdles 12.93 Götzis 28 May 2016
High jump 1.89 m Götzis 30 May 2015
Shot put 13.99 m Portland 30 July 2015
200 metres 23.33 Götzis 28 May 2016
Long jump 6.72 m Götzis 31 May 2015
Javelin throw 47.36 m Rio de Janeiro 13 August 2016
800 metres 2:09.03 Moscow 13 August 2013
Heptathlon 6808 pts Götzis 31 May 2015
Indoor Pentathlon
Event Performance Place Date
60 metres hurdles 8.04 Portland 18 March 2016
High jump 1.88 m College Station 27 January 2012
Shot put 13.86 m Sopot 7 March 2014
Long jump 6.42 m Portland 18 March 2016
800 metres 2:09.99 Portland 18 March 2016
Pentathlon 4881 pts AR Portland 18 March 2016

Personal life[edit]

She married American decathlete Ashton Eaton in July 2013. The pair met while competing together at the University of Oregon.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Brianne Theisen-Eaton". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Brianne Theisen-Eaton makes Canadian heptathlon history". CBC Sports. August 14, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Athletics Canada profile". Athletics Canada. Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d e Brianne Theisen. Oregon Ducks. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  7. ^ World Youth Championships 2005 Archived 2013-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. World Junior Athletics History (WJAH). Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  8. ^ Theisen, Brianne. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  9. ^ Pan American Junior Championships 2007 Archived 2013-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. WJAH. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  10. ^ 2009 World Championships Heptathlon Results. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-13. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Dunaway, James (2010-06-13). Impressive doubles highlight NCAA championships. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  12. ^ Rorick, Jim (2011-01-06). 2010 World Comprehensive List – Women Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. Track and Field News. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  13. ^ Dunaway, James (2010-04-04). Okagbare impresses with Long Jump/100m double at Texas Relays. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Dunaway, James (2011-03-12). Theisen sets collegiate Pentathlon record – NCAA Indoors, Day 1. IAAF. Retrieved on 2011-03-13.
  17. ^ Oh Canada! Theisen Breaks 30 Year-Old Pentathlon Mark . Go Ducks (2012-01-27). Retrieved on 2012-02-01.
  18. ^ Dunaway, James (2012-03-12). Florida and Oregon on top – NCAA Indoors . IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  19. ^ Dunaway, James (2012-06-10). Excellent sprinting at NCAA champs in Des Moines. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-06-10.
  20. ^ Brianne Theisen. London2012. Retrieved on 2013-05-31.
  21. ^ Sampaolo, Diego (2013-05-26). Canada's Warner and Theisen triumph in Gotzis – IAAF Combined Events Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-05-31.
  22. ^ a b c "Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton wins heptathlon silver". CBC Sports. August 13, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ van Kuijen, Hans (2013-09-15). Warner and Melnychenko win in Talence – IAAF Combined Events Challenge. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-09-21.
  24. ^ "Brianne Theisen-Eaton wins silver in pentathlon at world indoor track championships". Toronto Star. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Glasgow Games profile". Glasgow 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-25. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  26. ^ "Theisen-Eaton, Zelinka win gold, silver in heptathlon". CBC Sports. July 30, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  27. ^ "Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton 'disappointed' with silver medal at worlds". CBC Sports. August 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-02. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  28. ^ "Brianne Theisen-Eaton wins world indoor pentathlon gold". CBC Sports. March 19, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-02. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  29. ^ "Canadians Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Damian Warner win at Hypo Meeting". CBC Sports. May 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-02. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ "Brianne Theisen-Eaton takes bronze in Olympic heptathlon". CBC Sports. August 13, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  31. ^ "Star athletes Brianne Theisen and Ashton Eaton are track's super couple". CBC Sports. July 12, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]