EUGENE – Grenadian and Texas A&M senior Lindon Victor successfully defended his NCAA title in the decathlon at Hayward Field on Thursday with a score of 8,390 points as he produced the seventh best performance on the collegiate all-time list.
Having broken the collegiate record in the decathlon twice this season, with 8,472 points at the Texas Relays and 8,539 points at the SEC Championships, Lindon now has five of the top eight collegiate decathlon scores, occupying performances 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8.
“This was a really tough meet for me,” stated Victor.
“I just thank God that I was able to get 10 points for my team. It was the hardest decathlon I’ve done. My experience from the Olympics in Rio last summer helped me.
“I think I did one decathlon too much coming into the NCAA meet. So, I was a little bit tired. But as Coach Henry always says, it’s what you think. Coming into here I knew I was going to win. Even if I had some subpar marks I knew I had to be consistent. That’s the decathlon, it comes down to who is mentally tough and can bounce back from a bad event.”
Victor also becomes just the fifth individual to successfully defend a NCAA title in the multi-event, joining Oregon’s Ashton Eaton (2008, 2009, 2010), Rob Muzzio of George Mason (1984, 1985), Arizona’s Jake Arnold (2006, 2007) and Georgia’s Maicel Uibo (2014, 2015).
While he came up short of breaking the NCAA meet record of 8,457 set by Eaton in 2010, Victor did better his own NCAA meet record score through nine events. Victor scored 7,805 points after nine events today to better the score of 7,723 he established in the 2016 NCAA meet.
The second day of the decathlon started with a 14.78 in the 110 hurdles for 876 points and then Victor added 940 points from a 174-11 (53.31) in the discus. A pole vault clearance of 15-1 ½ (4.61) added 793 points while a 220-7 (67.24) produced 847 points.
Heading into the final event, the 1,500m, Victor trailed the meet record by 652 points, which would require a 4:44.45 to break it by a point. With a margin of 266 points over runner-up Devon Williams of Georgia, Victor settled for securing the 10 team points instead of pursing the meet record.
“The meet record was on my mind, and I knew Devon could run a good 1500,” said Victor. “If he was going to run it, I was going to go with him. Then at a point during the race I saw him give up, so I thought ‘I’m really tired and 10 points is very valuable to my team right now’. So, Ashton Eaton’s meet record still stands.”
Williams scored 8,181 points as runner-up, finishing 209 points behind Victor. In third place was Luca Wieland of Minnesota at 8,146 points while Michigan’s Steven Bastien finished fourth at 8,015.