Ashton Eaton, 2011 US Outdoor, Long Jump, photo by PhotoRun.net
And in this rain, buckets of it, stood Eaton's coach, Harry Marra. Marra is the consumate coach, and a decathlon coach at that. He was beaming, beaming....
EUGENE (USA, Jun 22): Rain and 20 936 spectators, that was the first day of track action at Hayward Field with 10 000 m races. Galen Rupp won the men´s competition with 27:25.33 ahead of Matt Tegenkamp 27:33.94 and Dathan Ritzenhein 27:36.09. For all three second games after Beijing where all three competed in different events. Fast non-qualifiers Chris Derrick 27:40.23 and life-time best by Aaron Braun 27:41.54. Record number of 11 runners broke 28 minutes. Amy Hastings was the best woman in the 10 000 m in 31:58.36. But then it started to be more complicated. Second Natosha Rogers despite PB 31:59.21 will not go because no A-standard (31:45), third Shalane Flanagan wants to run only marathon in London (31:59.69). So Lisa Uhl as fourth (32:03:46) and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom as 7th (32:17.06) are the only other remaining with A-standard and will travel to London.
Ashton Eaton started superb decathlon with 4728 overnight score. It is fourth best ever first day score, only Dan O´Brien has three better (4747, 4738 and 4736). That includes 10.21 (+0.4) and 823 (+0.8), the best ever 100 m and long jump results within a decathlon. He also had 14.20, 205 and 46.70. Second is Trey Hardee 4406 (10.50-755-15.72-199-49.11) ahead of Bryan Clay 4252 (10.45-740-15.63-196-51.21), way back fourth Gray Horn (4084). Men´s 400 m heats had LaShawn Merritt as fastest 45.36 (also junior Aldrich Bailey advanced), not continuing from interesting names world indoor relay champion Greg Nixon (46.25) and Beijing bronze medalist David Neville (46.70).
Tyler Mulder was the best in 800 m heats (1:46.81) and Will Claye in long jump qualification (798, where 768 was enough to qualify). Tianna Madison was the fastest in 100 m heats (11.10, +0.5) and Kellie Wells in 100 m hurdles heats (12.68, +0.3) with no major casualties. Molly Beckwith posted the best time in 800 m first round 2:00.61 and oly winner Stephanie Brown Trafton won the discus qualification (62.83).