NCAA Men’s Decathlon — A Big PR For Johannes Erm

Leading after 9 events, Johannes Erm left no doubt about the win by crossing the line first in the 1500. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

WHEN THE DECATHLON 100 was held in a downpour, it seemed an ominous beginning to these championships. But while there were multiple weather delays over the next several days, these were the only races held in a rainstorm. Given those conditions, the USC frosh Ayden Owens’ 10.55 seemed excellent, as it was not far from his big 10.43 PR, set at Azusa in April when he upset Harrison Williams and scored a list-leading 8130. Alas, it would be the highlight of a short-lived NCAA outdoor debut for him.

Meantime, Georgia soph Johannes Erm (10.88) and favored Stanford senior Williams (10.85), got off to solid starts. Williams had entered the meet with the No. 2 seasonal mark, a PR 8112 in losing to Owens, while Erm had scored 7913 in early April in his lone multi of the spring. Erm’s PR 8046 came in finishing 3rd at the ’18 NCAA as a frosh. Williams won the Indoor heptathlon this year, scored twice outdoors but never won. A fifth-year senior, this was his last chance.

Erm, an excellent jumper, immediately applied pressure with a big 25-4 (7.72) in the LJ, 15 inches up on Williams, to assume the points lead, while Owens fell back with a subpar 23-3¼ (7.09). Erm followed that with a PR in the shot (48-2½/14.69), increasing his advantage to 145. In the high jump, Erm mysteriously stopped after clearing 6-4¾ (1.95), while Owens, a so-so performer in the event, opened at an aggressive 6-1¼ (1.86) and no-heighted. He nonetheless continued all the way through the vault before withdrawing.

Erm PRed again in the 400 at 47.40, ending the day at 4345 and a 79-point lead. “I’m good on the first day, so I’ve got to lean on the first day,” he said. “I might have a big lead over someone who’s really good on the second day, and they might beat me.”

Not this day. Williams’s chances effectively ended in the DT when he fouled twice, followed by a conservative 128-11 (3930). Erm, meanwhile, kept pouring it on, including a PR 184-7 (56.27) jav for an 8352 total, surpassing the Olympic standard and scoring a 206-point PR. “I’m proud of winning and getting the Olympic standard,” Erm said, “but I think there’s a lot more to come, so I can’t just lay back and enjoy that.”

Williams finished at 8010, just his fourth 8000-plus score. “I’m a little disappointed,” he said. “I wanted to come out with a win. The main thing I’ve learned is just to stay consistent and put together a mark in every event, which is what I did, and I was fortunate to come out in 2nd place.”

Erm, 21, said that one of his ambitions in college is to get the Collegiate Record of 8539 by A&M’s Lindon Victor. “I have two more years,” he said. His total put him No. 6 all-time college and perhaps more impressively, No. 7 all-time Estonia. He missed Maicel Uibo’s school record—and the collegiate Estonian record—by a mere 4 points.

Gabe Moore of Arkansas won a spirited battle for 3rd with 7780, 42 points up on the PR of Michigan’s Jack Lint. Axel Hubert of Texas Tech inexplicably withdrew after seven events, while T.J. Lawson of Kent State, 3rd after the first day at 4216, fell in the highs and was carted off with a broken collarbone.


NCAA MEN’S DECATHLON RESULTS

(June 05–06)

1. **Johannes Erm’ (Ga) 8352 PR (CL) (6, 10 C; 4, 5 NCAA)

(10.88, 25-4/7.72, 48-2½/14.69 PR, 6-4¾/1.95, 47.40 PR [4345–1],

14.32, 145-9/44.42, 16-5¼/5.01, 184-7/56.27 PR, 4:33.38 [4007]);

2. Harrison Williams (Stan) 8010

(10.85, 24-¼/7.32, 45-5/13.84, 6-7/2.01, 47.19 [4266–2],

14.55, 128-11/39.30, 16-9¼/5.11, 157-2/47.91, 4:39.01 [3744]);

3. Gabe Moore (Ar) 7780

(10.99, 23-0/7.01, 48-4/14.73, 6-3½/1.92, 49.45 [4023–5],

15.02, 151-7/46.21, 14-5½/4.41, 195-3/59.53, 4:44.34 [3757]);

4. Jack Lint (Mi) 7738 PR

(11.10, 23-4/7.11, 44-9¾/13.66, 6-3½/1.92, 48.60 [3997–7],

14.49, 131-5/40.07, 15-5½/4.71, 173-3/52.82, 4:35.22 [3741]);

5. ***Max Vollmer’ (Or) 7703

(10.92, 22-9¼/6.94, 47-1½/14.36, 6-0/1.83, 48.53 [3964–9],

14.93, 128-1/39.05, 14-9½/4.51, 204-6/62.35, 4:36.86 [3739]);

6. *Aaron Booth’ (KsSt) 7680 PR

(11.12, 23-8¼/7.22, 42-8/13.00, 6-4¾/1.95, 49.73 [3952–10],

15.32, 136-¾1.54, 15-5½/4.71, 185-11/56.66, 4:35.13 [3728]);

7. **Denim Rogers (HousB) 7596 PR

(10.79, 23-3½/7.10, 39-2½/11.95, 6-8¼/2.04, 48.56 [4071–4],

14.51, 115-0/35.05, 15-5½/4.71, 163-¾9.77, 4:46.01 [3525]);

8. Trent Nytes (Wi) 7516

(11.16, 22-9/6.93, 43-2½/13.17, 6-9½/2.07, 49.85 [3990–8],

15.01, 125-3/38.18, 14-9½/4.51, 179-5/54.70, 4:48.28 [3526]);

9. Benjamin Ose (Dart) 7445

(11.12, 22-11¾/7.00, 38-2/11.63, 6-1¼/1.86, 49.50 [3749–17],

14.92, 111-0/33.83, 16-1¼/4.91, 193-6/58.98, 4:38.38 [3696]);

10. ***Isaiah Martin (Pur) 7398

(11.23, 23-10/7.26, 40-6¾/12.36, 6-3½/1.92, 49.12 [3901–13],

14.87, 119-5/36.41, 13-5¾/4.11, 186-0/56.70, 4:36.27 [3497]);

11. *Brian Matthews (BYU) 7394 PR

(11.11, 22-6¼/6.86, 47-6½/14.49, 6-2¼/1.89, 50.76 [3860–14],

15.00, 130-10/39.88, 13-9¾/4.21, 190-3/58.00, 4:46.79 [3534]);

12. Charlie Card-Childers (Rice) 7365

(11.31, 21-9½/6.64, 43-5¾/13.25, 6-6/1.98, 52.51 [3692–19],

15.07, 137-5/41.89, 15-1½/4.61, 198-6/60.50, 4:54.63 [3673]);

13. Nathan Hite (TxAM) 7348

(10.99, 21-10¼/6.66, 44-5¼/13.54, 6-2¼/1.89, 49.16 [3856–15],

15.46, 125-8/38.31, 15-5½/4.71, 168-0/51.20, 4:46.58 [3492]);

14. Ben Johnson (Wich) 7329

(10.99, 22-3/6.78, 48-9½/14.87, 6-3½/1.92, 50.48 [3931–11],

14.78, 130-2/39.68, 14-5½/4.41, 132-6/40.40, 4:39.76 [3398]);

15. *Wade Walder (Butler) 7090

(11.28, 21-5¼/6.53, 42-2¼/12.86, 5-10¾/1.80, 50.25 [3592–20],

14.79, 131-5/40.07, 14-5½/4.41, 153-10/46.90, 4:40.07 [3498]);

… dnfs—***Ayden Owens’ (USC) 5853

(10.55, 23-3¼/7.09, 44-2¾/13.48, nh, 47.10 [3448–21],

14.09, 138-2/42.13, 14-5½/4.41);

***Gary Haasbroek’ (UTSA) 5492

(11.09, 24-3½/7.40, 40-7¾/12.39, 6-4¾/1.95, 49.05 [3998–6],

14.81, 124-1/37.83, nh);

***Axel Hubert’ (TxT) 5398

(11.26, 23-2¾/7.08, 48-8¼/14.84, 6-3½/1.92, 50.85 [3924–12],

14.51, 114-10/35.00);

*TJ Lawson (Kent) 4216

(10.83, 24-3¾/7.41, 48-10¾/14.90, 6-6/1.98, 49.57 [4216–3], dnf);

Tyler Nelson (UCSB) 3791

(10.99, 20-5/6.22, 48-1¾/14.67, 6-3½/1.92, 50.47 [3791–16]);

*Paris Williams (KennSt) 3703

(11.08, 21-4¼/6.51w, 39-10½/12.15, 6-3½/1.92, 50.04 [3703–18]);

***Noah Swaby (PennSt) 3014

(11.16, 22-9¾/6.95, 44-9¾/13.66, 6-1¼/1.86);

*Simone Fassina’ (KsSt) 2949

(11.38, 22-7/6.88w, 43-4½/13.22, 6-2¼/1.89, dnf [2949–22]);

Hunter Powell (CoSt) 508

(12.77).

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