Oregon Ducks

On this date in 2012: Ashton Eaton set a new Decathlon world record

Oregon Ducks

The date was June 23, 2012 and all eyes were on Eugene, Oregon. 

It was there that Oregon's Ashton Eaton took to the track to earn a spot on Team USA for the 2012 London Olympics.

In his feature event, the Decathlon, Eaton dominated the field.

Listen & Subscribe to the Talkin' Ducks podcast

By the time he took the track for the final leg of the event, the 1,500m race, a spot in London was all but certain. Still, the eyes of the track world were fixated on the Oregon product. Why? Because Eaton was on the cusp of making world history.

The Portland native needed to finish the race in 4:16.23 to set a world record, 4:36.23 to set an American record, and  4:45.01 to set an Olympic Trials record.

Eaton ran an incredible race and came out of the last turn right at the four-minute mark. Tired but undeterred, Eaton poured his heart out and crossed the finish line at 4:14.47. The race time gave him 9,039 total points, a new decathlon world record. 

Eaton would go on to London and post a score of 8,869, winning gold for Team USA.

In August of 2015, Eaton would break his own world record with a score of 9,045 at the World Championship in Beijing, China. 

Eaton repeated his gold performance in 2016, winning the decathlon at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics while tying the Olympic decathlon record of 8,893 points.

 

Eaton's world record was broken in 2018 by Kevin Mayer of France (9,126), but his 9,039 and 9,045 remain the two best scores ever for an American in the decathlon. 

Eaton's breathtaking performance at historic Hayward Field in 2012 will always be remembered as one of the greatest moments in the history of the Track and Field trials.