Leo Neugebauer in action at the NCAA Championships (© Kirby Lee)
Leo Neugebauer produced the series of his life to win the decathlon at the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, on Thursday (8), winning with a collegiate record of 8836 to move up to eighth on the world all-time list.
The University of Texas student set five PBs along the way, adding almost 400 points to his decathlon best. He also broke the long-standing German record by four points, just one day shy of the record’s 39th anniversary.
Neugebauer started with a 100m PB of 10.61, but NCAA indoor champion Kyle Garland, who set the previous collegiate decathlon record of 8720 last year, took the lead after the long jump, leaping 7.72m to Neugebauer’s 7.68m. Garland then extended his lead after the shot put (16.39m to Neugebauer’s 16.27m) and retained it in the high jump, both men clearing 2.04m. But neugebauer ended the first day with a huge 400m PB of 47.08 to regain the overall lead.
Garland fought back at the start of the second day, breezing to a 13.54 clocking in the 110m hurdles. Neugebauer managed a windy 14.10, his best in any conditions, and then followed it with an almighty 55.06m PB heave in the discus – almost 10 metres farther than Garland’s effort. A pole vault PB of 5.21m gave Neugebauer a comfortable 205-point margin over his collegiate rival.
The German set one more PB, a 57.45m throw in the javelin, by which point his tally was already up to 8205 and he still had the 1500m to come. He completed the final discipline in 4:48.00, giving him a winning score of 8836.
Gerland finished second with a score of 8630 – still comfortably above the previous championship record, but only enough for second on this occasion. Austin West was third with 8054.
Elsewhere in early NCAA Championships action, Ky Robinson led a 1-2 finish for Stanford University in the men’s 10,000m, winning in 28:10.96 from teammate Charles Hicks (28:12.20). Everlyn Kemboi of Utah Valley won the women’s title in 32:39.08.
There was a shock in the men’s pole vault as Kyle Rademeyer won on countback with 5.70m. Pre-event favourite Sondre Guttormsen finished down in sixth with 5.60m. In other field event finals, Sweden’s Axelina Johansson won the women’s shot put with 19.28m.
Several records fell in the heats on Wednesday and Thursday. Britton Wilson set a championship record of 49.36 in her heat of the 400m, then just half an hour later she posted the fastest time in the first round of the 400m hurdles, clocking 54.67. Rhasidat Adeleke also dipped under 50 seconds in the 400m semifinals, winning her race in 49.86.
Earlier in the afternoon, Adeleke had teamed up with University of Texas teammates Julien Alfred, Ezinne Abba and Kevona Davis to win their 4x100m semifinal in a world-leading collegiate record of 41.55.
Alfred also led the qualifiers from the 100m (10.99) and 200m (22.33) semifinals.
PJ Austin was the surprise leader of the men’s 100m semifinals, smashing his PB to win his heat in 9.89 (1.3m/s).
Nigeria’s 2021 world U20 200m champion Udodi Onwuzurike led the 200m qualifiers for the final, clocking a PB of 19.76 (0.6m/s) to win his semifinal.
The championships continue for two more days with the bulk of the men’s finals being held on Friday and the remainder of the women’s finals being held on Saturday.