Ashton Eaton set a world record in decathlon at the U.S. Olympic track-and-field trials, breaking a mark that stood for 11 years.
Eaton finished the two-day event with 9,039 points, 13 points ahead of Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic who took ownership of the world record in 2001.
“It’s like living an entire lifetime in two days,” Eaton told reporters after joining the ranks of Americans Bruce Jenner, Dan O’Brien and Rafer Johnson, who also held the world mark.
The record came down to the final the 10 decathlon events - - the 1,500-meter run -- at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.
Eaton, 24, completed the event in 4 minutes, 14.48 seconds, almost two seconds faster than the time of 4 minutes, 16.37 seconds needed for the world record.
“I wanted it to be a special event because this is my home state, my hometown, my home university,” he said. “And just from the start, I just wanted to perform well.”
Defending champion Trey Hardee finished 656 points behind Eaton. Both will compete in the London Olympics.
“Going into London, I’m not going to change a thing,” Eaton said. “Clearly.”
Dawn Harper with the fastest time of 12.73 seconds, Kellie Wells (12.77) and Lolo Jones (12.86) qualified after placing in the top three of the women’s 100-meter hurdles finals.
Carmelito Jeter (10.92 seconds) and Tianna Madison (10-96) qualified in the 100-meter sprint. The third spot will be decided between Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix, who ended in a dead heat at 11.07 seconds.
Francena McCorory covered the women’s 400-meter in 50.55 seconds, followed by Sanya Richards-Ross at 50.81 seconds, with both advancing to today’s finals.
Alysia Montano finished the women’s 800-meter run in 2 minutes, .25 seconds to reach the finals along with Alice Schmidt (2 minutes, .50 seconds) and Molly Beckwith (2 minutes, .57 seconds).
Justin Gatlin completed the men’s 100-meter in 9.90 seconds, followed by American record-holder Tyson Gay at 10.00 seconds and Ryan Bailey at 10.03 seconds to advance to the semifinals.
LaShawn Merritt ran the men’s 400-meter in 44.78 seconds to reach the finals, along with Tony McQuay (44.84) and Josh Mance (44.99).
Khadevis Robinson turned in the best time in the men’s 800- meter semifinals at 1 minute, 45.83 seconds. Duane Soloman Jr. (1 minute, 46.03 seconds) and Tyler Mulder (1 minute, 46.14 seconds) also advanced to the finals.
To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org