Olympic Trials Men’s Decathlon: The Return Of Garrett Scantling

A 13.88 PR in the hurdles boosted Garrett Scantling’s lead from 70 points to 154. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

WHEN WE LAST SAW Garrett Scantling in a decathlon, it was as the disappointed 4th-place finisher in ’16. He gave up the sport and had a decent attempt at making an NFL squad, but from his opening 100 here it was clear that the 10-eventer is the best fit for his athletic skills.

The 28-year-old Georgia alum won by 162 points with a PR 8647, moving to No. 8 all-time U.S.

It wasn’t supposed to be a runaway win, although Scantling (8476) entered as one of only two in the field who had the Olympic standard of 8350, with Harrison Williams (8439) being the other.

100: Two contenders were hot early as Zach Ziemek, a Rio team member and fastest on paper at 10.57, beat Kyle Garland in the first section, 10.70–10.79. It was a PR for Garland, youngest in the field at 21. Three more PRs came in the final section, with Steven Bastien (10.52) edging Scantling (10.53) and Devon Williams (10.56) with a nice 1.8mps tailwind. For Scantling, it was 69 points better than the 10.83 he ran in his 8476 score in April.

Long Jump: Scantling generated another all-time best, albeit wind-aided, at 24-11¾ (7.61) to take the lead. His jump came in round 3, an important one for Bastien and Solomon Simmons, who were staring at two fouls. Both responded well, especially Simmons with a PR 24-9¾ (7.56). Ziemek had the farthest jump at 25-4¾w (7.74).

Shot: Garland and Bastien both PRed, with Garland heaving his first outdoor 50-footer at 51-9¾ (15.79) for 3 PRs in 3 events. Scantling led everyone at 52-2½ (15.91).

High Jump: Garland’s PR tour ended, although his 7-1½ (2.17) gave him the overall lead. Also PRing were Ziemek (7-¼/2.14) and Bastien (6-9¾/2.08), while Scantling was solid at 6-8¾ (2.05).

400: Scantling regained the lead with a 48.86 lap, giving him a 4494 Day 1 total that was 88 up on his previous best. Garland was now in 2nd, 70 back. Bastien was fastest at 47.79, but the field lost one of the top contenders when reigning national champ Devon Williams didn’t start.

110 Hurdles: Scantling was impressive with a PR 13.88 as the only sub-14 performer. It more than doubled his lead, from 70 to 154. Bastien recorded his fourth PR of the meet at 14.24, opening eyes as he tied Garland for 2nd in the standings.

Discus: Markus Ballengee got the most crowd response with a PR 174-0 (53.04). Also PRing was Scantling at 158-0 (48.17), which put him a whopping 244 points of his PR score, now with a 240-point lead on the field.

Vault: Ziemek was on fire, but it wasn’t without some heart-pumping misses. He scaled 17-2¾ (5.25) on his second attempt and 17-6½ (5.35) on his third. Shockingly, he passed at his PR height of 17-10½ (5.45), then soared over 18-2½ (5.55) on a first attempt. He passed again until, all alone, he attempted a U.S. decathlon best 18-10¼ (5.75), which would better the best ever by an American decathlete. He missed twice before retiring.

Scantling and Bastien also PRed, with Harrison Williams not far from joining the party. Projections showed a clear 1-2 for Scantling and Ziemek and a battle for 3rd between Bastien and Williams.

Javelin: Scantling was solid with the best throw of 210-8 (64.21), as was Ziemek back at 182-10 (55.72). Bastien unleashed a huge PR 200-9 (61.20) on his final throw to essentially nail the final team spot. Garland PRed at 184-4 (56.19) and Williams threw well, but neither looked to threaten the top 3.

1500: Bastien’s 4:22.21 was his seventh PR of the meet, for total of 8485, a PR by an incredible 462 points. Bastien scored one of the great comethroughs of the meet, not even being formcharted in our Top 10 coming in. Ziemek came close to his PR at 4:40.69 to register a total PR of 8471 for the third OG spot. Scantling cruised into finish his 8647 total, as the top 3 all exceeded the 8350 OG standard.

“I feel like I had a great meet overall,” said the winner. “You can’t put together a perfect decathlon… well, you can, but it’s very hard. I feel like I have a lot left in the tank. I just need to do what I know I can do. Chasing the dream and hopefully ending up on the podium.”

MEN’S DECATHLON RESULTS

(June 19–20)

Dec: 1. Garrett Scantling (Nik) 8647 PR (AL) (8, x A)

(10.53 PR, 24-11¾/7.61w, 52-2½/15.91, 6-8¾/2.05, 48.86 [4494], 13.88 PR, 158-0/48.17, 16-10¾/5.15, 210-8/64.21, 4:57.75 [4153]);

2. Steven Bastien (unat) 8485 PR

(10.52 PR, 23-7½/7.20, 47-5¾/14.47 PR, 6-9¾/2.08 PR, 47.79 [4386], 14.24 PR, 138-1/42.10, 16-2¾/4.95 =PR, 200-9/61.20 PR, 4:22.21 PR [4099]);

3. Zach Ziemek (unat) 8471 PR

(10.70, 25-4¾/7.74w, 48-6¼/14.79 PR, 7-¼/2.14 PR, 50.89 [4409], 15.04, 150-4/45.83, 18-2½/5.55 PR, 182-10/55.72, 4:40.69 [4062]);

4. Harrison Williams (unat) 8306

(10.79, 24-9¼/7.55, 46-8¾/14.24, 6-6¼/1.99, 48.21 [4291], 14.37, 144-0/43.90, 17-2¾/5.25, 172-10/52.69, 4:32.49 [4015]);

5. Joseph Delgado (Navy) 8161 PR

(10.73, 24-1/7.34, 46-3¼/14.10, 6-5/1.96, 48.48 [4205], 14.96, 144-1/43.92, 15-7/4.75, 192-6/58.69, 4:20.93 [3956]);

6. Kyle Garland (Ga) 8140

(10.79, 25-1¼/7.65, 51-9¾/15.79, 7-1½/2.17, 51.58 [4424], 14.54, 144-1/43.97, 15-1/4.65, 184-4/56.19, 4:56.72 [3716]);

7. Markus Ballengee (Ar) 8097 PR

(11.21, 22-6¼/6.86, 50-¾/15.26, 6-5/1.96, 50.02 [3982], 14.49, 174-0/53.04, 16-6¾/5.05, 179-9/54.78, 4:39.55 [4115]);

8. Solomon Simmons (MSI) 8037

(10.98, 24-9¾/7.56, 49-2½/15.00, 6-2¾/1.90, 49.95 [4136], 14.37, 136-1/41.54, 15-1/4.65, 207-6/63.26, 4:38.90 [3901]);

9. Jack Flood (unat) 8036

(11.18, 24-¼/7.32, 46-10¾/14.29, 6-11/2.11, 50.54 [4154], 14.08, 140-8/42.89, 14-11/4.55, 191-11/58.51, 4:36.23 [3882]);

10. Samuel Black (SagV) 7899 PR

(10.82, 23-10/7.26, 46-7½/14.21, 6-9¾/2.08, 48.05 [4303], 14.64, 127-7/38.88, 13-11¼/4.25, 181-1/55.19, 4:35.92 [3596]);

11. Tim Ehrhardt (SBTC) 7772

(10.99, 23-6¼/7.17, 41-9¾/12.74, 6-7½/2.02, 48.62 [4069], 15.74, 132-0/40.24, 17-10½/5.45, 149-8/45.62, 4:37.40 [3703]);

12. T.J. Lawson (Kent) 7410

(10.88, 23-7¼/7.19w, 47-¾/14.34, 6-6¼/1.99, 51.81 [4023], 16.08, 147-10/45.06, 14-11/4.55, 151-5/46.16, 4:55.11 [3387]);

13. Scott Filip (unat) 6958

(10.74, 23-4¾/7.13, 45-9¼/13.95, 6-5/1.96, 49.09 [4113], 14.71, 135-0/41.15, nh, 200-2/61.03, 5:07.11 [2845]);

14. Will Daniels (Ia) 6803

(10.92, 23-2½/7.07w, 43-10½/13.37, 6-7½/2.02, dq [3220], 14.55, 129-7/39.51, 15-1/4.65, 185-8/56.61, 5:04.96 [3583]);

15. Kurtis Brondyke (unat) 6575

(11.46, 22-5¾/6.85w, 44-10¼/13.67, nh, 52.12 [2966], 14.98, 143-10/43.85, 14-7¼/4.45, 199-3/60.75, 5:07.12 [3609]);

… dnf—

Hunter Price (unat) 6288

(10.82, 21-11/6.68, 46-½/14.03, 6-9¾/2.08, 49.19 [4100], 14.56, 115-8/35.26, 14-3¼/4.35, dnc),

Devon Williams (NYAC) 3302

(10.56, 23-11/7.29, 46-9/14.25, 6-2¾/1.90, dnc).

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