Ayden Owens sets pair of collegiate bests to lead Mt. SAC Relays decathlon

WALNUT, California – Razorback Ayden Owens produced a pair of collegiate best times within a decathlon on the way to producing the fifth-best collegiate first day score of 4,483 points to lead the Mt. SAC Relays decathlon.

Teammates Daniel Spejcher (4,036) and Noah Swaby (3,595) are currently in fifth and 14th place, respectively.

“Ayden just executed extremely well,” said Arkansas associate head coach Travis Geopfert. “So did Daniel, who set a quite a few PRs today. The name of the game is execution. Focusing on each event and then moving on to the next.

“Tomorrow will be one event at a time with absolute focus and execution on each event. I think these guys are ready to do that.”

Just 39 points behind Owens at 4,444 is Hakim McMorris of California with Austin West of Iowa third with a 4,343 tally.

“I came in here to execute my job,” stated Owens. “I came here to conquer the 11th event, the event which is managing my emotions, not getting too excited or too down after any event and focusing on the thing right in front of me.

“It’s exactly what I did. I ran 10.2 in the 100m and was content with that. I moved onto the long jump, and I did my job there. The high jump wasn’t what I expected or what I wanted, but I came back and ran 46.1. So, that’s what we’re about, and that’s what we do.”

Owens opened the decathlon with a career best of 10.27 in the 100m, scoring 1,030 points. He bettered the previous collegiate best in the event of 10.34 (+2.6) set in 2009 by Kansas State’s Mantas Silkauskas.

The impressive time by Owens just missed making the UA all-time top 10 in the 100m, where 10.23 is the 10th best performer set by Wallace Spearmon, Sr. in 1985.

Closing out the first day with the 400m, Owens blistered a career best of 46.12, scoring 1,002 points, to better the previous collegiate best in the event of 46.28 set by Oregon’s Ashton Eaton in 2010.

In between those pair of events, Owens topped the field of 14 with a 24-7.75 (7.51) long jump for 937 points. Then he finished third in the shot put behind his pair of Arkansas teammates with an outdoor best of 48-10.25 (14.89) for 783 points.

Owens was disappointed with his high jump, where a 6-3.5 (1.92) clearance picked up 731 points.

He fueled his disappointment from the high jump into the 400m, where every ounce of performance was needed to generate the leading time of 46.12 over a 46.36 from McMorris and a 46.41 for West.

“Tomorrow, we come back and battle,” said Owens. “We come back to have a good time and compete, and just give it our best effort. That’s all I can do. We’ll see what score I put up.”

Spejcher set a career best of 10.88 in the 100m while Swaby equaled his best of 11.23. In the long jump, Spejcher collected another career best with a 23-3.75 (7.09) leap and then produced an outdoor best of 49-7.75 (15.13) to lead a Razorback 1-2-3 in the shot put with Swaby runner-up with a 49-1 (14.96) toss.

After a 6-2.25 (1.89) in the high jump, Spejcher closed out the first day with a 400m PR of 49.52 while Swaby posted a 51.17.

“I’m right around my day one PR,” noted Spejcher. “I still have that consistency, especially in April. I’m excited about the hurdles tomorrow, that starts everything off. All of it is about consistency at this point. I know I don’t need to go crazy to put up a good score. I’m just looking to be consisted the whole day tomorrow.”

Racing at Azusa Pacific in the Bryan Clay Invitational, Carter Persyn finished sixth in his section with a 8:55.86 to place 14th overall and just missed his career best of 8:55.81.

Collegiate All-Time Top 5 First Day Decathlon Scores

Score             Athlete                                                      Final Score

4516Lindon Victor (Texas A&M)8472
4500Ashton Eaton (Oregon)8457
4496Tim Duckworth (Kentucky)8336
4494Ashton Eaton (Oregon)8310
4483Ayden Owens (Arkansas) 

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