Pre Classic/DL Final — Men’s Field

“It’s a crazy way to end the year,” said Mondo Duplantis of his latest flight above the crossbar, a 20-5¼ (6.23) World Record before a Hayward Field full of screaming fans. “I never had an ending like this.” (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

High Jump: Woo Had The Last Word

THE ’22 WORLD indoor titlist, Sang-hyeok Woo got back to his highest jumping since 7-8½ (2.35) had earned him silver at the Oregon22 World Champs and it was sufficient for the win.

Co-leader of the 6-man comp through the first 3 heights with no misses including at 7-6 (2.29), the South Korean found himself knotted in 1st with U.S. champion JuVaughn Harrison as the bar climbed to 7-7¾ (2.33).

Four of the five who bested Woo’s 6th in Budapest were absent, with only WC silver medalist Harrison on hand. New Zealander Hamish Kerr and Pole Norbert Kobielski each got over 7-6 (2.29) on first and remained alive in 3rd and 4th.

Kobielski, however, found inspiration at 7-7¾ and cleared on first for a welcome end-of-season PR. Woo matched that. Kerr missed three times and Harrison at last found daylight over the crosspiece on third.

Now there were three. The bar was now at 7-8½ (2.35), a centimeter below Woo’s 7-8¾ lifetime best jumped indoors in ’22 and Harrison’s also. The American had cleared that setting twice, most recently to claim his Budapest medal; prior to that in this his best season to date, Harrison had leaped 7-8½ in July to win at the London DL.

All three missed first and second tries at what in the end was the deciding height. Harrison’s first miss involved an ever-so-slight brush of the bar. He kicked his second off with his feet.

After Kobielski went out on his third, Woo rattled the bar yet it stayed. He pounded the pit, aptly communicating his happiness. Harrison knocked down the crosspiece and the trophy was Woo’s.

Whereas Woo eluded English-language post-comp interviews, 3rd-placer-on-misses Harrison declared, “Energy was great out here; it’s always great coming out to TrackTown USA to compete.

Harrison’s had been a long campaign, however: “I’m burnt out, I’m ready to go home.” Once back in Baton Rouge, he said he’d “get a 4-piece from Popeyes. My legs felt dead the whole day. I don’t make excuses, a lot went on this morning that I’m not gonna talk about, but I don’t make excuses. There were two better men on the day, and that’s just how the cookie crumbled today.”


1. Sang-hyeok Woo (SK) 7-8½ (2.35) =out NR (7-½, 7-2½, 7-4½, 7-6, 7-7¾, 7-8½ [3]) (2.15, 2.20, 2.25, 2.29, 2.33, 2.35 [3]); 2. Norbert Kobielski (Pol) 7-7¾ (2.33) (7-½, 7-2½, 7-4½ [2], 7-6 [2], 7-7¾, 7-8½ [xxx]) (2.15, 2.20, 2.25 [2], 2.29 [2], 2.33, 2.35 [xxx]); 3. JuVaughn Harrison (US) 7-7¾ (7-2½, 7-4½, 7-6, 7-7¾ [3], 7-8½ [xxx]) (2.20, 2.25, 2.29, 2.33 [3], 2.35 [xxx]); 4. Hamish Kerr (NZ) 7-6 (2.29); 5. tie, Thomas Carmoy (Bel) & Andrii Protsenko (Ukr) 7-2½ (2.20).

Pole Vault: Mondo’s 7th WR, 20-5¼ (6.23)

“I DEFINITELY HAVE something good going here at the new Hayward Field, that’s for sure,” said Mondo Duplantis. True, indeed, for an hour or so before he had lifted his World Record half an inch above the altitudinous 20-4¾ (6.23) setting he cleared indoors in February.

Lifted as well by the Swedish Louisianan was his outdoor best from the then-WR he cleared as the literal last act of the ’22 World Championships.

His march to a new level on this day was efficient, 4 vaults in all: 18-5¼ (5.62,) 19-1 (5.82), 19-9 (6.02) and then one successful jump for the record.

Mondo skipped the 18-9¼ (5.72) where Sam Kendricks, Kurtis Marschall and Chris Nilsen topped out for places 3–5. EJ Obiena got over 19-1 on second attempt for 2nd. And then came history.

Duplantis brushed the bar with his legs on the way over but it stayed put, and an ecstatic bounding rush toward his family in trackside seats ensued.

Kendricks and Marschall lifted the über-vaulter in their arms as he exulted before he hugged father Greg, leaped atop the railing for the stands with arms raised in triumph and then hugged and kissed mom Helena.

“It’s just higher,” Duplantis later told a reporter who asked him to compare the clearance with his 19-1. “You just need a better jump – and so I stayed on the same pole, everything.

“And my 6-meter jump actually was pretty sloppy, so I just tried to go in there and just try to line up the jump and time up the bend as best as I could and I just kind of was able to sneak over it.”

How did he plan to celebrate the record and season’s end?

“I got my two brothers here so that’s super fun. So we’ll enjoy tonight. I don’t know how easy it is to do that on a Sunday in Eugene, but no matter what, we’ll be hanging out together for as long as we possibly can, as long as we can stay awake.”


1. Mondo Duplantis (Swe) 20-5¼ (6.23) WR (old WR 20-4¾6.22 Duplantis ’23;) (18-5¼, 19-1, 19-9, 20-5¼) (5.62, 5.82, 6.02, 6.23);

2. EJ Obiena (Phi) 19-1 (5.82) (18-5¼, 19-1 [2], 19-9 [xxx]) (5.62, 5.82 [2], 6.02 [xxx]); 3. Sam Kendricks (US) 18-9¼ (5.72); 4. Kurtis Marschall (Aus) 18-9¼; 5. Chris Nilsen (US) 18-9¼; 6. Ben Broeders (Bel) 18-1¼ (5.52); 7. KC Lightfoot (US) 18-1¼.

Long Jump: ’22 WC Medalist’s Happy Hayward Return

Simon Ehammer made for one of the more unlikely winners in Eugene. The Swiss champion in the decathlon, he scared his PR with his 8436 this season, but shoulder problems limited him to the LJ at Worlds, where he only finished 9th after having won bronze last year.

He faced off here against Tajay Gayle, the only jumper in the Budapest top 6 to come. With the winds swirling a bit, the conditions challenged the field. In round 1, Gayle fouled, then Ehammer got off the best mark, a 26-7¾ (8.12) and American Jarrion Lawson followed with a 26-3¾ (8.02) to move into 2nd.

Gayle moved to the second spot with his second attempt, a 26-4¼ (8.03). He improved that to 26-6¼ (8.08) on his next turn, but the following jumper, Japan’s Yuki Hashioka, moved past him with a 26-7 (8.10).

The fireworks came in round 4. First Gayle leaped a 2.6mps wind-aided 26-11¾ (8.22) to move into the lead. Ehammer responded with a 26-11¾ of his own, with zero breeze. The Swiss, having the better back-up mark by 4cm, remained in the lead.

Neither would improve in the last 2 rounds, with Ehammer doing a run-through and a foul. Radek Juška of Czechia moved into 3rd briefly with his 26-7 (8.10) before Hashioka hit 26-9 (8.15) to take it back. Lawson, who never improved from his opening mark, finished 5th, while teammate Will Williams was 6th off his opener of 26-2¾ (7.99).

Ehammer was pleased. “A lot of good jumps from me, to end the season with a high level and I think I did pretty well.” He added, “Next season I hope to compete in both events at the Olympics. It will be tough but I [will] prepare hard in the winter.”


1. Simon Ehammer (Swi) 26-11¾ (8.22) (26-7¾, 26-7, 26-5½, 26-11¾, 20-6½, f) (8.12, 8.10, 8.06, 8.22, 6.26, f); 2. Tajay Gayle (Jam) 26-11¾w (8.22) (f, 26-4¼, 26-6¼, 26-11¾w, 25-10, 26-1¾w) (f, 8.03, 8.08, 8.22w, 7.87, 7.97w); 3. Yuki Hashioka (Jpn) 26-9 (8.15) (25-7½, 26-¾, 26-7, f, 26-2¼, 26-9) (7.81, 7.94, 8.10, f, 7.98, 8.15); 4. Radek Juška (CzR) 26-7 (8.10); 5. Jarrion Lawson (US) 26-3¾ (8.02); 6. Will Williams (US) 26-2¾ (7.99); 7. LaQuan Nairn (Bah) 23-10¼ (7.27).

Triple Jump: Díaz Handles Small Field

The TJ was an exercise in minimalism. Only 5 men — 3 of them Americans — showed up and among them they registered only 11 measurable jumps in 33 attempts. The best of them, 57-2¼ (17.43), came courtesy of Italy’s Andy Díaz to conclude the first round of the competition.

It seemed logical to expect that new world champ Hugues Fabrice Zango would be able to better that, but it was not to be. The best of his quartet of 17-meter-plus jumps — 56-7¼ (17.25) in the fifth round — came up a half-foot shy. The fifth round also saw Díaz record the day’s second-best effort, 56-8 (17.27).

It was a successful title defense for the 27-year-old Díaz, who had won while representing Cuba last year. WA approved his nationality change this February but he won’t be eligible to represent his new nation in international championships until August of ’24, hence his absence from Budapest.


1. Andy Díaz (Ita) 57-2¼ (17.43) (57-2¼, 55-9¼, p, p, 56-8, 55-10¼) (17.43, 17.00, p, p, 17.27, 17.02); 2. Hugues Fabrice Zango (Bur) 56-7¼ (17.25) (56-1¾, 55-11¾, f, 55-11, 56-7¼, 55-6¼) (17.11, 17.06, f, 17.04, 17.25, 16.92); 3. Donald Scott (US) 55-3 (16.84); 4. Chris Benard (US) 52-8¾ (16.07); … nm(4f, 2p)—Will Claye (US).

Shot: Kovacs Defends, 75-2 (22.91) A Non-Winner

Tom Walsh came into the meet looking for his fourth DL Trophy, having previously won in ’16, ’18 & ’19; Joe Kovacs owned a pair (’15 & ’22) and ’21 winner Ryan Crouser was looking for his second.

World champ/WR holder Crouser was favored, of course, but in a delightfully entertaining contest Kovacs emerged on top by a slim three-quarter-inch margin.

Crouser opened at 73-6¾ (22.42) but Kovacs responded with 74-5¾ (22.70). The second go-round saw a mighty Crouser response: 75-2 (22.91). Nobody had ever thrown that far and lost. Not until today that is.

But first, in round 3 Crouser produced the second-farthest put of the day, 74-8¼ (22.76). Kovacs response was 74-10¼ (22.51).

The leaderboard changed in the fourth stanza, Kovacs unleashing the second-farthest throw of his career, taking the lead at 75-2¾ (22.93). Crouser’s reaction was 4¾ inches shy at 74-10 (22.81).

Kovacs stayed solid in the penultimate sequence, taping out at 74-7¼ (22.75) but Crouser fouled.

To wrap things up, Kovacs had another 74-10¼ (22.51) and the final try of the day belonged to Crouser. At 75-0 (22.86) it was another biggie, but not big enough.

“This whole season’s been tough,” said the winner. “First time being a dad, especially with twins, it was a crazy year and I’m glad to finish strong. The whole year I feel like I’ve been foul-tipping and missing everything, and I’m glad to come today and finally get behind the ball and make it go a little farther.

“I think there’s more there but it’s a great way to go into the off-season. I’m kind of hungry. Ryan’s always gonna be in shape. Ryan knew I was in shape the whole year but my form hasn’t been perfect just because I haven’t had the reps — haven’t had the sleep — but I think he knew I was ready in those warmups. I’m never gonna count Ryan out, I thought he might have got me in the last throw but I’ve been ready to come back too.”


1. Joe Kovacs (US) 75-2¾ (22.93) (74-5¾, 71-1¼, 73-10¼, 75-2¾, 74-7¾, 73-10¼) (22.70, 21.67, 22.51, 22.93, 22.75, 22.51); 2. Ryan Crouser (US) 75-2 (22.91) (73-6¾, 75-2, 74-8¼, 74-10, f, 75-0) (22.42, 22.91, 22.76, 22.81, f, 22.86); 3. Tom Walsh (NZ) 74-5½ (22.69) (72-1¾, 74-5½, 73-2½, 71-2¾, 72-8, 73-6) (21.99, 22.69, 22.31, 21.71, 22.15, 22.40); 4. Leonardo Fabbri (Ita) 73-2½ (22.31); 5. Payton Otterdahl (US) 70-3¾ (21.43); 6. Filip Mihaljević (Cro) 68-10 (20.98).

(best-ever mark-for-place: 2)

As shots landed at 73-2½ (22.31) or longer 15 times, Joe Kovacs’ 5 best averaged 74-5 (22.68), Ryan Crouser’s 74-7¾ (22.75) yet the WR holder had to settle for 2nd. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

Discus: Denny With Aussie Record

THROWS FANS were geeked over another match between world champion Daniel Ståhl and world leader Kristjan Čeh, who had won silver in Budapest. In their 10 meetings leading up to Eugene, they had split the score 5-5. However, no one would have predicted that Aussie Matt Denny would upend the narrative with his final throw.

Denny actually led round 1 with his modest 213-2 (64.97) as Čeh fouled and Ståhl threw 211-11 (64.59). Both of the giants came through in the next stanza, Čeh reaching 221-11 (67.64) and Ståhl 220-3 (67.13). In round 3, Denny improved to 217-8 (66.36) but stayed in 3rd. Then Stǻhl went 221-0 (67.36), just short of Čeh’s leader.

Denny improved again in round 4, his 221-0 (67.37) passing the Swede by a centimeter. Čeh, looking for a big one, fouled. No one improved in round 5. In 6, Ståhl hit 215-3 (65.62). Then came Denny, who launched the best throw of his life, an Australian Record 224-6 (68.43) to pass Čeh. The Slovenian had one more attempt, but a foul sealed the win for Denny.

“I was pretty keen to make amends for Budapest, so I’m happy with that,” said the 27-year-old, who was 4th at Worlds. “I wasn’t going to count Daniel or Kristjan out. I’m just so happy to finish on such a high note for this season because it’s been a great season and I wanted to finish it the right way. To do it on the final throw is pretty good.

“I’ve always gone to the majors with the goal to win. This really cements my point that I can be the best and that’s my goal for Paris.”


1. Matt Denny (Aus) 224-6 (68.43) NR (213-2, 208-1, 217-8, 221-0, 216-10, 224-6) (64.97, 63.43, 66.36, 67.37, 66.09, 68.43); 2. Kristjan Čeh (Slo) 221-11 (67.64) (f, 221-11, 210-9, f, 207-3, f) (f, 67.64, 64.25, f, 63.19, f); 3. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 221-0 (67.36) (211-11, 220-3, 221-0, f, f, 215-3) (64.59, 67.13, 67.36, f, f, 65.62); 4. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 214-9 (65.47); 5. Lawrence Okoye (GB) 214-0 (65.23); 6. Sam Mattis (US) 211-7 (64.51).

Javelin: First 3-Time Trophy Winner

“IT’S VERY DIFFICULT, especially at my age; I’m almost 33 years old, so it’s difficult but the javelin is my life, so I love it,” said Jakub Vadlejch. The Czech star had plenty to love as he became the event’s first 3-time DL winner, adding to his trophy claims of ’16 & ’17.

The yearly list leader at 293-8 (89.51), he took the lead in the first round with a modest 275-7 (84.01) cast. Reigning Olympic/world champ Neeraj Chopra countered with 274-11 (83.80) but that was as good as it would get for him and it claimed him 2nd on a day when long throws were exceedingly hard to come by.

“It’s always tough competing with Neeraj,” said Vadlejch, who wound things up with the day’s best heave, 276-4 (84.24), “but winning is very valuable to me, very valuable.” It marked two straight wins for the WC bronze medalist, who after Budapest beat Chopra at the Zürich DL.


1. Jakub Vadlejch (CzR) 276-4 (84.24) (275-7, f, f, f, 270-11, 276-4) (84.01, f, f, f, 82.58, 84.24); 2. Neeraj Chopra (Ind) 274-11 (83.80) (f, 274-11, 266-11, f, 264-11, 265-5) (f, 83.80, 81.37, f, 80.74, 80.90); 3. Oliver Helander (Fin) 274-9 (83.74) (258-1, 274-6, 274-9, f, f, 265-8) (78.66, 83.67, 83.74, f, f, 80.98); 4. Andrian Mardare (Mol) 268-4 (81.79); 5. Curtis Thompson (US) 252-8 (77.01); 6. Anderson Peters (Grn) 245-1 (74.71).

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