U.S. OLYMPIC TRACK & FIELD TRIALS
Castle alumnus Bryan Clay long-jumped 24 feet, 3 inches yesterday at the Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. After half the events in the 10-event decathlon, Clay was in first place by 22 points. The decathlon wraps up today.
Clay leads decathlon
Another trip to the Olympics is on the line for the Hawaii athlete
EUGENE, Ore. » Bryan Clay grabbed a chair, sat down, leaned forward and vented.
"This was not the type of meet I would like to be having," Clay confessed.
Decathlon points standings
At Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore.
1. Brian Clay, Nike, 4,476 points.
2. Trey Hardee, Nike, 4,454.
3. Tom Pappas, Nike, 4,405.
4. Jangy Addy, unattached, 4,249.
5. Ashton Eaton, Oregon, 4,226.
6. Rickey Moody, Washington State, 4,111.
Hey, when you've been the best decathlete in the United States for the past four years, you tend be a little nit-picky.
Clay, the 2004 silver medalist and two-time U.S. Outdoor champion, was the first-day decathlon leader at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials at Hayward Field yesterday afternoon with 4,476 points.
Still, the Azusa Pacific and Castle High alum, was hoping for more in his first competition of the outdoor season as he attempts to make his second straight Olympic team.
"The way training been's going, I'm doing horrible," said Clay, who now lives in Glendora, Calif. "My training has been going absolutely amazing, but I didn't put it together today like I should've and normally I'm pretty good about doing that. Normally I'm pretty good about coming out and just getting at it from the get-go and staying on it. Today I had a good first event and just a brain lapse on the second event and I let that carry over into my third. I kind of got back on it in the high jump and actually finished up very well."
Clay won the 100-meter dash to open the competition, tying his personal-record time of 10.39 seconds in the process and earning him a quick 1,001 points.
Castle High graduate Bryan Clay soared through the air in the long jump en route to taking the first-day lead in the decathlon.
But after a sixth-place finish in the long jump and fifth-place finish in the shot put, Clay found himself in third place behind Tom Pappas, the five-time U.S. champion, and Trey Hardee, who has the best U.S. mark this season at 8,371.
Pappas had set a lifetime-best in the shot put at 56 feet, 7 1/2 inches, while Hardee did the same in the long jump at 25-5 1/4 .
"The long jump was very, very bad for me," Clay said. "I was out here on Thursday and was jumping (25-5) from six strides and today I jumped (24-3). It was just not happening for me."
But Clay came back strong with a PR in the high jump, clearing 6-9 3/4 for the win. He then finished sixth overall in the 400 to end the day back in first place.
"It started to come around toward the end of my meet and hopefully I will carry that mental focus into the second day and put up some good marks (today)," Clay said.
Hardee finished the first round in second place with 4,454 points, while Pappas was third with 4,405.
"Because my training was going so well," Clay explained, "I expected to come out and, not necessarily blow away the field, but I was expecting to do certain things in certain events and really I was not mentally prepared to have to fight for every single centimeter and every single hundredth of a second and that's what I ended up having to do."
Still, Clay was in first place -- an envious position after one day with a trip to the Olympics on the line.
"That's what my coaches had to keep reminding me of," Clay said. "We want to win, of course, but right now the main focus is top three, make the team, but my training is saying I'm ready to break the world record."
He'll have one more day to prove it.
Bryan Clay, event by event
How the Castle alum performed in yesterday's first five events
||49 feet, 9 1/4 inches
||24 feet, 3 inches
||6 feet, 9 3/4 inches
||Tied for 1st