The multi-event athletes kicked off day two of the Texas Relays with the remaining events in the Men’s Decathlon.
It was Texas’ own Isaac Murphy who walked off the track victorious, breaking the 8,000 point barrier with a total of 8,067 points. He set or matched personal records in seven of the 10 events, joining former UT decathletes Trey Hardee and Aaron Fox as decathlon champions at the relays.
The two remaining Longhorns finished well within the top half of the 21 competitors. Petter Olson came in fifth with 7,857 and Kenny Greaves in seventh with 7,400 points.
It took a journey to get there.
Beginning with the running events, the athletes shot out of the blocks and set the track ablaze in the 110-meter hurdles in hopes of separating themselves early on in the competition.
Texas’ Murphy and Olson were among the top five. The top time in the event was awarded to Jake Wohlford with a time of 14.24. Idaho’s Andrew Blaser took second place, while Murphy and Olson finished third and fourth.
Next up, the men transitioned their focus from speed to brute power in the discus throw. In yesterday’s 400-meter dash, unattached competitor Wesley Bray ousted Texas’ Murphy by a hair. And he did it again — only this time by mere centimeters instead of seconds.
Bray’s toss of 41.75 meters earned him second place behind Notre Dame junior Ted Glasnow. Murphy finished third with a heave of 41.71 meters. The remaining Longhorns, Greaves and Olson weren’t able to pick up the pieces after fouling two throws apiece — ultimately finishing 10th and 14th respectively.
But Greaves was able to do what any decathlete does best: leave the former event behind and push on to the next one. And his positive mental focus proved to be the driving force behind his top jump of 16-08.75 in the pole vault. Greaves shares the first place vault with junior Heath Nickles of Ohio State.
Murphy’s height of 16-00.75 put him in fourth, just one competitor ahead of Olson who cleared 15-09.00 for sixth.
The competitors kept the throwing mentality as the men’s javelin throw brought on a new challenge. Boise State’s Kurt Felix dominated the event and jumped up a spot in the leader board into third place with his winning mark of 69.89 meters. The second and third place throws by Wesley Bray and Romain Martin of UT-Arlington, were eight meters shy of Felix.
And as the climax of the decathlon came to a close, it was senior Thomas FitzSimons of Mount St. Mary’s who sped past the finish line first in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:13.41. But the Longhorn trio of Greaves, Olson and Murphy followed in close pursuit taking 2-3-4. Seven seconds separated Greaves and Murphy coming in at 4:21.31 and 4:28.44. Olson finished in the middle of the two at 4.27:57.
The action-packed events of the Texas Relays will only continue to heat up as finals draw near.
Day three of the Relays will begin today at 9:30 a.m. with the women’s 4x100-meter relay preliminaries and javelin throw. The Division I and II high school boys and girls will conclude Friday’s evening session with the 4x400-meter relay scheduled for 7:30 p.m.