June 24, 2012 at 2:59 AM CDT - Updated June 27 at 8:56 AM
EUGENE, OR (U of A) – Competing in his first USA Olympic Trials, Kevin Lazas finished in eighth place in the decathlon with a total of 7,660 points. The Razorback multi-event standout entered day two in ninth place and bounced between seventh and 10th Saturday before settling in his final position. Lazas posted six top-10 results during the 10 events contested over the past two days at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
"I thought I competed well especially yesterday with the bad weather," Lazas said. "Today didn't go the way I wanted it to but I had some good events and some all right events. I just went out and did the best I could. Overall, it was a great experience and I'm really happy about being here."
In the first event of the day, Lazas ran to a time of 15.25 in the 110-meter hurdles to add 820 points to his overall total. He went on to have a day's best mark of 38.79m/127-3 in the discus, good for another 640 points. The Razorback sophomore finished third in the next event—the pole vault—with a final clearance of 5.00m/16-4.75. With that performance he moved from ninth to seventh place in the overall standings.
The javelin resulted in a best mark of 54.73m/179-6 for Lazas, which was worth 659 points toward his score. With a world-record performance unfolding at the front of the race by Ashton Easton, Lazas closed out the two-day, 10-event competition with a time of 4:43.39 in the 1,500 meters to tack on a final 659 points to his overall total.
Lazas was the youngest athlete in the decathlon competition at the USA Olympic Trials, having just completed his sophomore season at Arkansas. During the 2012 collegiate campaign, the Brentwood, Tenn., native was the Southeastern Conference champion in the decathlon, broke his own school record with a score of 7,955 points at the NCAA Championships and finish third at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets in the heptathlon and decathlon, respectively.
"It was an unbelievable experience," Lazas said. "Ashton Eaton broke the world record while I was still running, trying to finish the 1,500 (meters). I couldn't even feel what I was doing or hear myself think because it was so loud in there. Just unbelievable. I think I have a better feeling about myself now and what I can do next year at the (USA) championships."
In the first round of the 100 meters, Tyson Gay ran the second-fastest time of the day to qualify for Sunday's semifinal. He crossed in a wind-legal time of 10.00 to win heat four. Tomorrow's semifinal will be run at 4:30 p.m. (CT). The top eight will then advance to the event final which will is scheduled to go off later that same day at 6:48 p.m.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.