The decathlon and heptathlon are tough events. The late, great Bob Mathias, Olympic gold in 1948 and 1952 once said that the decathlon gives you ten ways to make a mistake. Well, Garrett Scantling and Anna Hall, the winners at the USATF Combined Championships had WL and PB performances. Now, set for Eugene and the World Champs, this time to recover should be a big thing for both as the US sends a strong team in both multi-events!
Garrett Scantling, 2021 US Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris/ @kevmofoto
Our sport is about redemption. The decathlon and heptathlon are unforgiving. Last March, Garrett had to drop out of the World Indoors, and he took the win in a big PB. Last Olympic Trials, Anna Hall came crashing down in the 100m hurdles. Anna came back with focus and beautiful performance, setting a PB and World leader. The picture brought tears to my eyes, but, the honesty in the feelings and her return to great form honors her legacy.
Anna Hall, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris / @kevmofoto
I have to admit, I love the Multi-events! I saw my first one in 1968 when I watched Bill Toomey on the TV, black and white, and then, watching the film the late Bud Greenspan did on the decathlon. The history of our sport, if appreciated, allows one to see that all the great athletes are standing on the shoulders of those who preceded them. Mr. Scantling and Ms. Hall have the focus, talent, and drive to challenge the records that they set this weekend.
Multi events are one of the coolest events to watch, a two-day chess game and the athletes are the finest athletes in the world, period.
Scantling 8867 WL, Hall 6458 WL
FAYETTEVILLE (USA, May 7): Garrett Scantling won the US decathlon title and qualified for Oregon22 with huge 8867 personal best and WL. He is also with this 7th best performer ever. On the second day 13.59-51.04-515-67.16 and 4:46.37. Second Kyle Garland another big PB 8700 points and third Zach Ziemek 8573 PB. The US will so have a strong trio at World Championships in July. Anna Hall scored in heptathlon also WL and PB 6458 points. Her second day had 639, 38.44, and an impressive 2:03.11 in the 800 m. Second Ashtin Mahler 6184 and third Michelle Atherley 6154. Several favorites did not finish the competition, for example, Taliyah Brooks, Erica Bougard, and Kendell Williams. But Williams will compete as she has the wild card as the WA Challenge winner. Also, Bougard has the standard, as Mahler and Atherley are for the moment far from the necessary 6420 standard scores.