Pappas, Burrell Lead USA Senior Decathlon, Heptathlon After First Day
June 19, 2002
The favorites Tom Pappas and Shelia Burrell lead after the first day of the USA Senior Combined Event National Championships at Edwards Stadium.
Pappas, who finished fifth in the decathlon at the 2000 Olympics, won the long jump and high jump to lead after the first day with 4400 points. The adidas athlete who previously starred at the University of Tennessee posted 932 points in the long jump with a mark of 24-7 and 925 points for a clearance of 6-11.75 in the high jump. But, Pappas expected more of himself in the high jump.
'I guess really the event I was really disappointed with was the high jump,' said Pappas. 'The 400 I thought I'd run a little bit faster, but I can't complain. My last decathlon was two and a half weeks ago (in Gotzis, Austria).'
Azuza Pacific's Bryan Clay took top honors in the day's first event, the 100m, in 10.73 (922) and ended the day in second with 4239 points. Stephen Moore, who is competing unattached, is third with 4212.
The big surprise was Dan O'Brien pulling out of the 400m just after the starters' gun went off due to an ongoing injury to his left foot. The 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon was in third place after four events with 3336 points but finished the day in 14th with that point total.
'I think I lacked a little bit of intensity today because (there was) not a big crowd, kind of a small field,' said the 35-year-old O'Brien, who hasn't finished a decathlon since 1998. 'That's something I'm going to have to work for, and because there's nothing at stake at this U.S. championship, it's difficult for guys like myself.
'More than anything, I'm still nursing an injury on this left foot, and I want to come back tomorrow and compete in some things.'
Former Cal star Bevan Hart, the 2000 NCAA decathlon champion, is in 10th with 3862 points. Hart currently competes for the U.S. Army.
Nike's Burrell holds an 11-point lead (3628 points) over the Indiana Invaders' Dee Dee Nathan (3617). Burrell was in second, 97 points behind Nathan heading into Wednesday's final event, the 200m, but made up the ground by winning the event in 24.12 (969). The 30-year-old UCLA grad also started the competition with a victory in the 100mH (13.34, 1074).
'Dee Dee's my buddy,' said Burrell, the 2001 World bronze medalist. 'We have different approaches. My approach is I've got to go for it in every event. If it comes down to the 800, that's alright by me, because I'm the type of girl that'll run. But if I can avoid that tomorrow, be sure that I will.'
Kim Schiemenz, who is competing unattached, also is in the title hunt in third with 3559 points.
The senior decathlon and heptathlon take center stage tomorrow as the three-day USA Combined Event National Championships conclude at Edwards Stadium. Events run from 10 a.m.-5:15 p.m.
Senior Decathlon (through five events):
1. Tom Pappas (adidas) 4400, 2. Bryan Clay (Azuza Pacific) 4239, 3. Stephen Moore (Unattached) 4212, 4. Chad Smith (Unattached) 4054, 5. Stephen Harris (Tennessee) 4038, 6. David Pope (High Output Sports) 3922, 7. Joe Cebulski (Bell Athletics) 3914, 8. Paul Terek (Michigan State) 3880, 9. Phil McMullen (Nike) 3870, 10. Bevan Hart (US Army) 3862, 11. Andrew Giesler (Oakley International) 3819, 12. Kip Janvrin (K and K Track Club) 3805, 13. James Cook (Unattached) 3725, 14. Daniel O'Brien (Ace-Racing Team) 3336, 15. Adam Bork (Montana) 2880, 16. Avery Anderson (Unattached) 2376.
Senior Heptathlon (through four events):
1. Shelia Burrell (Nike) 3628, 2. Dee Dee Nathan (Indiana Invaders) 3617, 3. Kim Schiemenz (Unattached) 3559, 4. GiGi Miller (Unattached) 3553, 5. Meredith Davis (Fibo Track Club) 3392, 6. Lindsay Taylor (Sheffield Elite) 3317, 7. Aja Frary (Nike) 3286, 8. Hyleas Fountain (Barton Community College) 3252, 9. Tacita Bass (South Carolina) 3251, 10. Robin Unger (Beach Track Club) 3241, 11. Heather Sterlin (Coti) 3178, 12. Dee Dee Brown (Arkansas) 3161, 13. Leslie Miller (San Diego State) 2338.