Pair of Bears Score in Pac-10 Decathlon
May 9, 2010
BERKELEY - Oregon's Ashton Eaton captured his third consecutive Pac-10 decathlon title at Edwards Stadium Sunday, as Cal's Mike Morrison took fourth and Kevin Kuechler claimed eighth. The results gave the Golden Bears two scorers in the decathlon at the Pac-10 championships for the first time in 10 years.
Eaton scored 8,154 points - the No. 2 mark in the world so far this year - for a 633-point victory over Washington's Jeremy Taiwo, who was second with 7,521 points. Marshall Ackley of Oregon was third at 7,331, followed by Morrison with 7,218 points. Kuechler finished with 6,529 points.
Oregon's Brianne Theisen defended her Pac-10 title in the women's heptathlon, scoring a 491-point victory over runner-up Ryann Krais of UCLA, 5,917 to 5,426. Arizona State's Keia Pinnick was third in 5,219 and ASU teammate Samantha Henderson fourth in 5,126. Theisen, the 2009 NCAA champion, won the javelin, was third in the long jump and took fourth in the 800 meters in Sunday's final three events.
Due to a sprained ankle suffered just after the Big Meet April 10, Morrison said he just decided this past Monday that he would compete in the decathlon.
'I knew my fitness would not quite be up to par,' said the junior, who has a best this season of 7,557 points in the decathlon set at the Texas Relays. 'It was all there, but I couldn't put together all the pieces when it mattered.'
Cal director of track & field Tony Sandoval said he was optimistic that Morrison would be fully ready for the NCAA Championships next month in Eugene, Ore.
'He was out three weeks with a sprained ankle,' Sandoval said. 'He's got a month to get ready before NCAAs. At NCAA Regionals in a couple of weeks, he'll fine tune some of his events.'
Sandoval added that he was also pleased with the Kuechler's effort over the weekend.
'He's worked hard the last three years to make himself a fine athlete,' Sandoval said. Last year, Kuechler was 14th at Pac-10s with a score of 5,362 points, meaning he had more than a 1,000-point improvement.
The last time Cal had two decathletes finish among the top eight at the Pac-10 meet was in 2000 when Bevan Hart, who was in attendance Sunday, captured the title and Matt Blair placed sixth.
In Sunday's first event, Morrison stumbled during the 110-meter hurdles after clipping the sixth hurdle, which slowed down considerably to a time of 16.49 seconds. Kuechler, meanwhile, was just off his PR with his time of 15.33 and was fifth among the hurdlers.
Eaton took first in the discus with a best throw of 138-9, with Taiwo second at 136-0 and Morrison third at 121-3. Kuechler placed eighth at 110-6.
The start of the pole vault was delayed slightly by a brief rain shower. Once it resumed, Morrison cleared 14-11.00 to finish fifth, with Kuechler 11th with a best of 12-3.50. Eaton had a nearly one-foot advantage over his nearest competitor with a PR 16-10.75.
Morrison came through with the best performance of the day in the javelin with a throw of 184-6 on his final attempt, a more than eight-foot improvement over his previous Cal PR of 176-0 and 10 feet further than Ackley, who was second at 174-3. Kuechler threw 157-10 to place eighth.
In the final event, the 1500 meters, Morrison and Kuechler both had season bests, Morrison in 4:49.49 and Kuechler in 4:50.14.
Next week, all 10 Pac-10 schools will be represented at Edwards Stadium when Cal hosts the Pac-10 Championships May 15-16. For more information, including schedules and ticket options, visit the Pac-10 Championships button on CalBears.com.
Pac-10 Multi-event Championships
Sunday, May 9, 2010 - Edwards Stadium
1. Ashton Eaton, Oregon 8154; 2. Jeremy Taiwo, Washington 7521; 3. Marshall Ackley, Oregon 7331; 4. Michael Morrison, California 7218; 5. Jamie Sandys, Arizona State 6909; 6. Kyle Schauble, Washington St. 6899; 7. Trent Perez, UCLA 6874; 8. Kevin Kuechler, California 6529; 9. Austin Prince, Arizona State 6515; 10. Jeremy Marcinko, Arizona State 6395; 11. Andrew Ferleman, Washingotn 6199; DNF Ramsey Hopkins, Washington St. DNF
Decathlon Final Standings
1. Ashton Eaton, Oregon 8154; 2. Jeremy Taiwo, Washington 7521; 3. Marshall Ackley, Oregon 7331; 4. Mike Morrison, California 7218; 5. Jamie Sandys, Arizona State 6909; 6. Kyle Schauble, Washington St. 6899; 7. Trent Perez, UCLA 6874; 8. Kevin Kuechler, California; 9. Austin Prince, Arizona State 6515; 10. Jeremy Marcinko, Arizona State 6395; 11. Andrew Ferleman, Washingotn 6199; DNF Ramsey Hopkins, Washington St. DNF
Pac-10 Men's Team Standings
1. Oregon 16; 2. Washington 8; 3. California 6; 4. Arizona State 4; 5. Washington State 3; 6. UCLA 2
Heptathlon Final Standings
1. Brianne Theisen, Oregon 5917; 2. Ryann Krais, UCLA 5426; 3. Keia Pinnick, Arizona State 5219; 4. Samantha Henderson, Arizona State 5126; 5. Erin Funkhouser, Oregon 5061; 6. Angela Jensen, Washington St. 5017; 7. Jasmine Johnson-McKeown, Washington St. 4962; 8. Karynn Dunn, Stanford 4811; 9. Sarah Schireman, Washington 4623; 10. Lindsey Kirschman, Washington 4382; DNF Whitney Liehr, Stanford
Pac-10 Women's Team Standings
1. Oregon 14; 2. Arizona State 11; 3. UCLA 8; 4. Washington State 5; 5. Stanford 1