28 Jun

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Trey Hardee claims decathlon title at USA Outdoor Championships

trey hardee1

(Image Courtesy of Athletes101)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Trey Hardee built off a strong opening day and cruised to victory in the decathlon Friday at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships which is being held at Sacramento State University through Sunday.

Hardee, who claimed his second U.S. outdoor title, rolled up 8,599 points over the 10 events to improve on his world-leading mark of 8,518 set earlier this month at Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria.

The 2012 Olympic silver medalist entered the final day of competition at Hornet Stadium with a total of 4,441 and a 368-point lead over second-place Devin Dick of Kansas State. That quickly increased with Hardee posting the top mark in the first three events.

Hardee clocked a time of 13.69 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and then tossed the discus 166 feet, 2 inches (50.65m). By the time he cleared 16-4.75 (5.00m) in the pole vault, the eighth event, Hardee had pushed the lead to 777 points.

Wesley Bray was second with 7,807 and Thomas FitzSimons third with 7,645.

Hardee won the 2009 U.S. outdoor title en route to the world crown that year. He also captured the 2011 world decathlon championship.

Kaitlin Petrillose had a solid bounce-back performance in the pole vault. The lone collegian among 16 competitors in the field, Petrillose finished fourth by clearing 14-7 1/4 (4.45m), the third-best performance in school history. Two weeks ago at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Petrillose was unable to clear a bar. She won the 2014 NCAA indoor crown clearing a collegiate-record 15-1 (4.60m).

Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, won her sixth U.S. outdoor title with a clearance of 15-1 (4.60m).

Both UT entries in the 400-meter semifinal advance to the final. Sanya Richards-Ross won the first of two heats in 50.03, the top semifinal time. Briana Nelson was fourth in that heat in a personal-best 51.05. A four-time Olympic gold medalist, Richards-Ross will be seeking her seventh U.S. outdoor title in the 400 on Saturday.

Marielle Hall continues to impress against the top competition in the nation. Two weeks after winning the NCAA 5,000-meter title, Hall finished third in the same event Friday night and knocked more than six seconds off her school record by clocking a personal-best 15:12.79.

Hall was in the lead pack until the final two laps when Molly Huddle and Shannon Rowbury broke away. Huddle won in 15:01.56, nipping Rowbury, who clocked 15:01.71, at the finish line.

Hall posted a school-record 15:19.26 in April at the Stanford Invitational. That time ranked No. 2 on the 2014 NCAA performer's list.

Morolake Akinosun and Bianca Knight did not advance out of Friday's 100-meter semifinal. Akinosun was fifth in the first heat in 11.24 and Knight was fifth in the second heat (11.20). The top four in each reached the final.

Joe Stilin, who spent last season with the Longhorns after transferring from Princeton, finished 11th in the 5,000 meters in 13:48.05.

Part-time journalist turned full-time blogger, Brian is an online staff writer at Horns Illustrated and serves as senior staff writer for digital marketing agency Speak Social. Brian currently resides in Austin and you can read his blog at the following address: briankendall.wordpress.com