Sacramento Diary: Trey Hardee confounds his Wikipedia writers

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Elliott Denman was an Olympic race walker. He gets it. He knows what it is like to make an Olympic dream a reality. Trey Hardee just won his fourth USATF title, fourteen years after his first title.

"You make 4.90m look like 4.80m" - @jcoover #dieseldudestorm 🌴⌚️

A post shared by trey hardee (@treyhardee) on


Pretty darn amazing.

Trey should get some solace that Wikipedia had him listed as retired. Well, that's nice.

Here's Elliot's story on Trey Hardee!

By ELLIOTT DENMAN
Well, Hardee-Ha-Ha to you, too, Wikipedia.
Seemingly forever, the whole business of presenting certain slight inexactitudes as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but, has been Wikipedia's most frequently denoted stock in trade.

So, how do we let this latest big-time goof proferred by Mr.
W. Pedia get by without a big-time chuckle?
Easy, as long as Mr. James Edward Hardee III allows us.
And he's not about to press charges.
You know him simply, as Trey.

Try-try-and-try again, that's the real story of Trey, Trey
and Trey, trying all over again, and again, and again.
Hornet Stadium-goers last week in Sacramento were reminded of this story all over again, and again and again.

In his five designated events last Thursday, and five more on Friday,
they learned the very same thing: yes, it's time to update
the story of James Edward Hardee III.

Yes, the man best know as Trey.
Yes, the man some Wikipedia entries called "a retired
American decathlete athlete."

And a competitor often called Trey, "the greatest decathlete destined never to have won an Olympic gold medal."

Given the increadible success of America's decathletes in the recent quarter-century-witness
the achievements of Dan O'Brien, Bryan Clay and Ashton Eaton-it's sometimes easy to
overlook the greatness of Trey Hardee.

If that was a "retired" athlete that 17 rival competitors and fans gathered under a sometimes brutal sun got to see
at Hornet Stadium, well just imagine how well this man
might be doing if he truly was, officially, formally, really USATF-certified entered in the actual action.

Being the numbers game that it is - digits and decimal points within scoring tables, 10 times over, five per day, and all the infinite possibilities within the preceding - the very least they can call Trey Hardee's 8,225-point score atop the tables at the U.S. Outdoor Championships was "the best decathlon performance ever notched by a retired athlete."

3pt starts = 4pt starts - 1 #decathlon
A post shared by trey hardee (@treyhardee) on Feb 9, 2017 at 10:42am PST
He won just one of his 10 events outright, and that was the discus. But he "hung in there" for all the rest and beat back the challenges offered by every last one of them,

He opened with a 10.57 100 meters, pretty darn good for a 33-year-old. Only collegian Devin Williams (10.50) got the better of him. He followed with a 24-4 ½ long jump (rankjing fourth), a 48-11 shot put (second again) and
6-6 high jump (equal third.) With a 49.02 400 (fifth best),
he was solidly positioned for a big second-day run.

An excellent 13.97 high hurdles (bested only by
Williams' sizzling 13.61) got him rolling.

Taking the discus outright (157-7), he was now on his way.
Vaulting 16-0 ¾ (again second) and sending his javelin
197-10 (ranking fourth), he had it virtually wrapped up.

And so it didn't really matter that he labored through 1500 meters in 5:12.65, as the 15th-placer of the 15 still in the going.

Add all this up and we get to 8,225, far down from the
8,725 he netted in winning the 2015 National title, as well as his 8,599 at 2014 Nationals and 8,261 in 2009.

In fact, just once since 1987 has a U.S. National deca-title been won with a score this low (under the current
scoring tables.) That was Jake Arnold's 8,215 win in 2010.

On paper, the 8,225 doesn't augur well for American hopes for any kind of a medal at the London World Championships. At this early stage of the 2017 season, Hardee ranks 12th in the world on a list headed by Rico Freimuth of Germany (8,663) and Damian Warner of Canada (8,591.)

Austin-based Hardee isn't even number one on the Lone Star State list for 2017, where you'll note that Texas A&M's NCAA Champion, Lindon Victor, has netted a gaudy 8,539. But when the London Worlds roll around, you'll see Victor rolling 'em up for Grenada.

Then again, Worlds time has so often been Trey-time.
He took the championship of the planet at Berlin
in 2009 (totaling 8,790) and again in Daegu in 2011
(scoring 8,689.)

The jaunt to London Olympic Stadium in August will represent
familiar territory. He got there in 2012 and netted
8,671 points to claim the silver medal back of Eaton.

Like most decathletes, who are twisted, tested and torn 10 separate ways in doing their thing, Hardee has been on-and-off the injured list for years.
He had to limp off to the sidelines before completing his "dec" at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was a "DNF" at the 2016 Olympic Trials. And, with an aching foot, it was semi-miraculous, too, that he even finished the 2017 Nationals in Sacramento.


#babyfrankie very first track meet! Finally got a good shot!
A post shared by trey hardee (@treyhardee) on Apr 29, 2017 at 8:35pm PDT
These are the moments decathletes live for - putting themselves to this ultimate test, then stretching out on the track,
to denote completion of their appointed rounds.

Eventually, younger guys Zack Ziemek and Devin Williams seem destined to be
America's best deca-hopes for, say, the Worlds of 2019 (Doha) and the Olympic Games of 2020 (Tokyo).

For the momen, though, they're relegated to back seats.

To Mr. James Edward Hardee III.

He's as amused by all this "retired" conversation as anyone else.

"Here is the thing," he said in the mixed zone of Hornet Stadium, when all the numbers were totaled up and his foruth National title was safely in the books."

"I neve went anywhere, so I am not back, " he told the media crowd.

"I'm just old. (Meaning deca-years.)

"I've had weird injuries.

"If they happened earlier in my career, maybe they'd
be de-railers, and I'd never get off the ground."

These days, he's a married man and a father, and ready to deal with every form of vicissitude that comes down the pike.

Maybe, someday, he will really, truly retire from this
Deca-game that so consumes him.

But that's not for this moment in time.

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