FAYETTEVILLE — The nation’s top rated two collegiate decathletes had been born the exact same day on reverse sides of Pennsylvania.
College of Arkansas junior Ayden Owens-Delerme, who on April 15 established the collegiate decathlon file by scoring 8,528 factors in the Mount San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif., was born Might 28, 2000, in Pittsburgh.
Georgia junior Kyle Garland, who broke Owens-Delerme’s collegiate document by scoring 8,720 factors on May 7 to end second at the United states Championships held at Arkansas’ John McDonnell Discipline, was born May 28, 2000, in Philadelphia.
“Definitely it can be an incredible coincidence,” mentioned Razorbacks assistant coach Travis Geopfert, who coaches Owens-Delerme. “That just adds to the point that you’ve received the two most effective ever in NCAA history about to duke it out. The complete point is really awesome.”
Owens-Delerme and Garland are set to contend in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships commencing right now at Hayward Discipline in Eugene, Ore.
“It is really really competitive, but it is really respectful,” Owens-Delerme said of going against Garland. “The decathlon neighborhood is variety of like a family. Everybody is pleasant. It is really not cutthroat.”
Owens-Delerme and Garland began competing at nationwide junior situations in the decathlon in 2016.
“We had been chatting at a fulfill a handful of many years in the past and Ayden said, ‘My birthday’s coming up,”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/jun/08/birthday-buddies-to-contend-for-decathlon-title/” Garland claimed. “I claimed, ‘Yeah, mine, as well.’
“That is how we uncovered out we have the same birthday. It really is definitely insane.”
Owens-Delerme, who competes internationally for Puerto Rico because that is wherever his mom was born, viewed Garland split his collegiate document at the Usa Championships.
“I was not a surprise,” Owens-Delerme reported. “I realized the report wasn’t likely to hold close to for very long, that it was likely to be damaged all over again by me or Kyle or a person else.”
Owens-Delerme explained he is not going to be shocked if it will take setting yet another collegiate history to gain the NCAA decathlon title.
“I feel it’s going to just maintain likely up and up,” Owens-Delerme stated. “Which is the plan at minimum. To maintain pushing the bar increased and bigger.”
Owens-Delerme, 6-2, and Garland, 6-5, deliver distinctive strengths to the decathlon.
“The two are remarkable athletes, but Kyle’s strengths are the throws,” Geopfert claimed. “Ayden’s working activities are his best.”
Owens-Delerme’s velocity is these that he would have qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries in 4 individual events this time with his prime marks in the 100 meters (10.27 seconds), 110-meter hurdles (13.80), 400 (46.12) and lengthy soar (24 toes, 73/4 inches). He ran a leg on Arkansas’ 1,600-meter relay workforce that qualified for the NCAA Championships and competed on the 400-meter relay at the West Prelims.
Owens-Delerme also is robust in the 1,500 meters with a top time of 4:13.17.
Between Garland’s marks at the United states Championships ended up 195-7 in the javelin, 151-5 in the discus and 53-41/2 in the shot put.
“Kyle is absolutely even larger in stature than I am, he is much better than I am,” Owens-Delerme claimed. “Just about anything that will involve operating on the keep track of, these are my strengths by far.
“Primarily you target on yourself and just consider to set with each other the very best 10 occasions you can and see what transpires at the end of it.”
Owens-Delerme desired to get away from the chilly winters in Pittsburgh and began his collegiate vocation at Southern California. He said he loved the heat of Los Angeles, but coaching turnover with the Trojans was an difficulty.
Ahead of Owens-Delerme arrived on the USC campus, the coach who recruited him, Sheldon Blockberger, still left for Arizona. Then Blockberger’s replacement, Carjay Lyles, still left for Mississippi Point out.
“The multi posture at USC was just a tiny also unstable,” Owens informed the Pittsburgh Journal-Critique when he transferred to Michigan immediately after the 2019 year. “For my long-phrase success, I felt like I wanted a single decathlon mentor who could genuinely get me to the subsequent amount, and I felt like USC wasn’t definitely the best area for that.”
Owens-Delerme mentioned he relished his two decades at Michigan, but his coach there, Jerry Clayton, still left past calendar year for LSU.
When Owens-Delerme graduated from Michigan with a diploma in linguistics and entered the transfer portal, he narrowed his options to Arkansas and LSU with three indoor seasons and two outdoors of eligibility remaining.
Conference Geopfert, who this yr returned to Arkansas for his 2nd stint as an assistant immediately after being at Tennessee, designed the difference.
“I virtually went to LSU to continue to be with a thing acquainted,” claimed Owens-Delerme, who is doing work toward a master’s diploma in organization at Arkansas. “I experienced to choose concerning being with my outdated mentor or attempting some thing new.
“I form of rolled the dice and said, ‘OK, I’m going to believe in this new man,’ and it can be doing work out. Coach Geopfert was the dude I preferred to get coached by, and I took that leap of faith.
“I am in wonderful palms now. Arkansas is the best location I have been so significantly. Coach Geopfert has been smart about my coaching and kept me healthy.”
Geopfert was a decathlete at Northern Iowa. He competed in 54 decathlons.
“I’ve had some activities that these athletes are going by way of,” Geopfert explained. “I completely have an understanding of what it really is like to go by way of the rigors and the teaching. As a result of that expertise, I have also realized what not to do. We want to educate intelligently.”
At the NCAA Indoor Championships this year, Owens-Delerme gained the heptathlon with 6,211 factors to edge Garland, who was second with 6,200.
“It was wonderful to get a nationwide title indoors,” Owens-Delerme said. “I think it’s going to go down to the wire once more in Eugene concerning us.”
Garland explained he’s wanting forward to the level of competition with his prolonged-time welcoming rival. Just after the NCAA satisfy, they are going to also the two be in the decathlon at the World Championships.
“For us to be the major two scorers in NCAA background, to share this stage with a male like Ayden, is absolutely outstanding,” Garland said. “We are equally likely to place up incredibly high scores.”