USATF Men’s Decathlon — Devon Williams Takes Over After 7

Just 5th after Day 1, Devon Williams opened the second day with a 13.78w that moved him all the way to 2nd. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

ZACH ZIEMEK entered as the only American with the WC standard of 8200, and for a while it seemed that the defending champion’s place on the team was fairly secure, even with his withdrawing after four events. But it turned out to be insecure with 2—and oh-so-nearly 3—Americans reaching the standard in a competition that provided plenty of drama and guts.

Devon Williams (8295) and Solomon Simmons (8227 PR) willed their minds and bodies to go over the magic 8200 barrier. Harrison Williams fell an agonizing 12 points short. Simmons clocked a PR 10.60 to lead the field as he was nearly 0.3 faster than the 10.89 in his PR score in Dallas 2 months ago. Harrison Williams also PRed at 10.68, his fastest since a windy 10.67 as a Stanford frosh 5 years ago. Devon Williams ran 10.72 and Ziemek a solid 10.87.

After the long jump and shot put, Simmons had a lead of 92 points over Scott Filip and was projecting well over 8200, perhaps even challenging Ziemek. Ziemek PRed in the shot at 48-7½ (14.82). In the high jump—where has a PR just shy of 7-feet and has jumped 2m (6-6¾) every year of his decathlon career—he made only 6-4¼ (1.94). On his final miss at 6-6¾ (2.00) he went down in mid-approach and walked gingerly away and didn’t appear for the 400. Simmons ended Day 1 as the leader at 4281, 30 points up on Filip and 55 on Steven Bastien, whose dad Gary was 3rd in this meet in ’83. Both Williamses were projecting in 8200 territory, pending solid Day 2 performances.

Simmons, with a previous best of 14.18 scored a major hurdles PR of 14.02, but now in overall 2nd was Devon Williams after easily being the fastest at 13.78w. Devon took control in the discus, scoring 2 PRs topped by a 6-foot improvement at 162-3 (49.47). He now led a top 3 that would last through the end, with Solomon and Harrison Williams the only ones within 200 points of him. In the pole vault Devon Williams registered 2 more PRs but appeared to have abdomen pain. Also setting outdoor bests were Harrison Williams and Simmons, the latter using Harrison’s poles.

Normally, the javelin would belong to Solomon, who could catapult into the lead and cruise to victory. He threw 215-7 (65.70) in early June but here struggled and reached just 168-8 (51.42). Meanwhile, Devon Williams PRed again at 199-3 (60.74) and entered the 1500 in full control. He was the only top contender able to run an easy 1500. Both Simmons and Harrison Williams needed PRs in the last event to reach the Q. They worked together and Simmons reached his goal with 4 seconds to spare. Unfortunately, Harrison had no one else able to run as fast, and his 4:29.71 won the race but was an agonizing 2 seconds short.

Said Devon Williams, “My Day 1 didn’t go so good, but I picked it up Day 2 and put it together. I was really excited [about the vault] I’ve been playing with 5m [16-4¾] for a while, so it felt really good to get that.”

Simmons found peace by reading the Bible after the javelin disappointment. He gave repeated props to Harrison Williams—not just for the poles but also for his work in the 1500.


USATF MEN’S DECATHLON RESULTS

(July 25–26)

1. Devon Williams (unat) 8295

(10.72, 24-1¾/7.36, 46-3½/14.11, 6-3¼/1.91, 48.44 [4170–5],

13.78w, 162-3/49.47, 16-4¾/5.00, 199-3/60.74, 4:52.46 [4125]);

2. Solomon Simmons (unat) 8227 PR

(10.60, 24-7¼/7.50, 49-7/15.11, 6-4¼/1.94, 49.27 [4281–1],

14.02, 147-3/44.88, 16-¾/4.90, 168-8/51.42, 4:33.85 [3946]);

3. Harrison Williams (Stan) 8188 PR

(10.68, 23-6/7.16, 45-3½/13.80, 6-4¼/1.94, 47.60 [4179–4],

14.15w, 139-1¼2.64, 17-4½/5.30, 163-¾9.77, 4:29.71 [4009]);

4. Steven Bastien (unat) 8023 PR

(10.71, 24-7/7.49w, 43-7¾/13.30, 6-6¾/2.00, 48.63 [4226–3],

14.53w, 128-6/39.17, 15-5/4.70, 187-9/57.23, 4:32.74 [3797]);

5. Scott Filip (unat) 7993

(10.61, 24-4½/7.43, 45-8½/13.93, 6-4¼/1.94, 47.96 [4251––2],

14.51w, 125-1/38.13, 15-9/4.80, 191-10/58.49, 4:46.36 [3742]);

6. Daniel Golubovic (unat) 7824

(11.24, 22-9/6.93, 46-4¼/14.13, 6-5½/1.97, 50.93 [3889–9],

14.51, 141-4/43.09, 15-5/4.70, 202-0/61.59, 4:34.35 [3935]);

7. Kurt Brondyke (unat) 7785

(11.11, 23-6¾/7.18, 47-8/14.53, 6-3¼/1.91, 50.10 [3987–7],

14.64w, 142-5/43.41, 15-¼.60, 203-6/62.02, 4:51.03 [3798]);

8. Jack Flood (unat) 7711 PR

(11.07, 22-3½/6.79, 44-4¾/13.53, 6-9/2.06, 50.26 [3971–8],

14.04w, 135-¾1.22, 14-9/4.50, 170-10/52.09, 4:36.50 [3740]);

9. Chris Helwick (unat) 7524

(11.52, 22-1½/6.74, 43-3¾/13.20, 6-4¼/1.94, 52.03 [3652–14],

15.41w, 137-¼1.79, 15-9/4.80, 212-7/64.81, 4:35.17 [3872]);

10. Charlie Card-Childers (Rice) 7499

(11.23, 21-3½/6.49w, 44-7/13.59, 6-6¾/2.00, 51.56 [3755–13],

14.93w, 136-10/41.71, 16-¾/4.90, 191-2/58.27, 4:53.94 [3744]);

11. Mitch Modin (unat) 7408

(10.95, 22-8/6.91, 42-11½/13.09, 6-4¼/1.94, 50.33 [3885–10],

14.69w, 122-8/37.38, 15-¼.60, 179-9/54.79, 4:57.58 [3523]);

12. Denim Rogers (HousB) 7314

(10.89, 22-3/6.78, 37-8¾/11.50, 6-5½/1.97, 49.24 [3849–11],

14.49, 121-2/36.95, 14-5¼/4.40, 163-5/49.80, 4:47.58 [3465]);

13. Andrew Ghizzone (unat) 6713

(11.52, 22-1¾/6.75, 35-2½/10.73, 5-10½/1.79, 50.42 [3447–15],

15.40w, 116-7/35.53, 15-¼.60, 149-1¼5.71, 4:57.43 [3266]);

… dnf—Zach Ziemek (adi)

(10.87, 24-¼/7.32, 48-7½/14.82, 6-4¼/1.94, dnc [3309]), Gabe Moore (Ar)

(11.01, 23-10¼/7.27, 46-4/14.12, 6-4¼/1.94, 49.68 [4050–6], dnf),

Trent Nytes (Wi)

(11.14, 22-3¾/6.80, 41-3¾/12.59, 6-4¼/1.94, 50.26 [3791–12],

15.82w, 122-6/37.35, nh, 146-10/44.76, dnc).

DECATHLON LEADERS BY EVENT

100

1. Simmons 952; 2. Filip 949; 3. H. Williams 933; 4. Bastien 926; 5. D. Williams 924; 6. Ziemek 890; 7. Rogers 885; 8. Modin 872; 9. Moore 858; 10. Flood 845

Long Jump

1. Simmons 1887; 2. Filip 1867; 3. Bastien 1858; 4. D. Williams 1824; 5. H. Williams 1785; 6. Ziemek 1781; 7. Moore 1736; 8. Brondyke 1693; 9. Modin 1664; 10. Rogers 1647

Shot

1. Simmons 2683; 2. Filip 2591; 3. Ziemek 2560; 4. D. Williams 2559; 5. Bastien 2544; 6. H. Williams 2501; 7. Moore 2472; 8. Brondyke 2454; 9. Golubovic 2341; 10. Modin 2337

High Jump

1. Simmons 3432; 2. Bastien 3347; 3. Filip 3340; 4. Ziemek 3309; 5. D. Williams 3282; 6. H. Williams 3250; 7. Moore 3221; 8. Brondyke 3177; 9. Flood 3168; 10. Golubovic 3117

400 (end of first day)

1. Simmons 4281; 2. Filip 4251; 3. Bastien 4226; 4. H. Williams 4179; 5. D. Williams 4170; 6. Moore 4050; 7. Brondyke 3987; 8. Flood 3971; 9. Golubovic 3889; 10. Modin 3885

110 Hurdles

1. Simmons 5253; 2. D. Williams 5173; 3. Filip 5161; 4. H. Williams 5134; 5. Bastien 5133; 6. Flood 4940; 7. Brondyke 4881; 8. Golubovic 4799; 9. Modin 4772; 10. Rogers 4761

Discus

1. D. Williams 6032; 2. Simmons 6017; 3. H. Williams 5852; 4. Filip 5788; 5. Bastien 5781; 6. Flood 5629; 7. Brondyke 5615; 8. Golubovic 5527; 9. Modin 5384; 10. Rogers 5364

Pole Vault

1. D. Williams 6942; 2. Simmons 6897; 3. H. Williams 6856; 4. Filip 6637; 5. Bastien 6600; 6. Brondyke 6405; 7. Flood 6389; 8. Golubovic 6346; 9. Card-Childers 6192; 10. Modin 6174

Javelin

1. D. Williams 7691; 2. Simmons 7507; 3. H. Williams 7441; 4. Filip 7352; 5. Bastien 7296; 6. Brondyke 7173; 7. Golubovic 7108; 8. Flood 7009; 9. Card-Childers 6904; 10. Modin 6834 ◻︎

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