FAYETTEVILLE — The nation’s prime two collegiate decathletes were being born the very same day on opposite sides of Pennsylvania.
University of Arkansas junior Ayden Owens-Delerme, who on April 15 established the collegiate decathlon record by scoring 8,528 points in the Mount San Antonio Higher education Relays in Walnut, Calif., was born May perhaps 28, 2000, in Pittsburgh.
Ga junior Kyle Garland, who broke Owens-Delerme’s collegiate document by scoring 8,720 points on May perhaps 7 to end second at the United states Championships held at Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field, was born Might 28, 2000, in Philadelphia.
“Obviously it is an wonderful coincidence,” claimed Razorbacks assistant mentor Travis Geopfert, who coaches Owens-Delerme. “That just adds to the truth that you have obtained the two best at any time in NCAA background about to duke it out. The full point is very neat.”
Owens-Delerme and Garland are established to contend in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships starting these days at Hayward Subject in Eugene, Ore.
“It’s pretty aggressive, but it is respectful,” Owens-Delerme explained of likely versus Garland. “The decathlon group is variety of like a household. Everyone is pleasant. It’s not cutthroat.”
Owens-Delerme and Garland commenced competing at countrywide junior activities in the decathlon in 2016.
“We were being chatting at a satisfy a number of several years back and Ayden claimed, ‘My birthday’s coming up,’ ” Garland explained. “I mentioned, ‘Yeah, mine, also.’
“That’s how we found out we have the exact same birthday. It is definitely crazy.”
Owens-Delerme, who competes internationally for Puerto Rico since which is in which his mom was born, watched Garland break his collegiate file at the United states Championships.
“I wasn’t a surprise,” Owens-Delerme explained. “I realized the record was not going to dangle all-around for extended, that it was heading to be damaged once more by me or Kyle or an individual else.”
Owens-Delerme explained he won’t be surprised if it requires placing yet another collegiate report to win the NCAA decathlon title.
“I imagine it’ll just continue to keep heading up and up,” Owens-Delerme claimed. “That’s the prepare at least. To continue to keep pushing the bar increased and higher.”
Owens-Delerme, 6-2, and Garland, 6-5, bring diverse strengths to the decathlon.
“Both are large athletes, but Kyle’s strengths are the throws,” Geopfert mentioned. “Ayden’s jogging gatherings are his finest.”
Owens-Delerme’s speed is these types of that he would have capable for the NCAA West Preliminaries in 4 person events this season with his prime marks in the 100 meters (10.27 seconds), 110-meter hurdles (13.80), 400 (46.12) and lengthy leap (24 toes, 73/4 inches). He ran a leg on Arkansas’ 1,600-meter relay team that experienced for the NCAA Championships and competed on the 400-meter relay at the West Prelims.
Owens-Delerme also is powerful in the 1,500 meters with a major time of 4:13.17.
Amongst Garland’s marks at the Usa Championships have been 195-7 in the javelin, 151-5 in the discus and 53-41/2 in the shot place.
“Kyle is undoubtedly larger in stature than I am, he’s stronger than I am,” Owens-Delerme said. “Anything that involves managing on the observe, these are my strengths by far.
“Mostly you focus on on your own and just try to set alongside one another the finest 10 gatherings you can and see what happens at the end of it.”
Owens-Delerme needed to get absent from the chilly winters in Pittsburgh and commenced his collegiate job at Southern California. He reported he loved the heat of Los Angeles, but coaching turnover with the Trojans was an difficulty.
Just before Owens-Delerme arrived on the USC campus, the coach who recruited him, Sheldon Blockberger, remaining for Arizona. Then Blockberger’s substitution, Carjay Lyles, remaining for Mississippi Point out.
“The multi situation at USC was just a little as well unstable,” Owens explained to the Pittsburgh Journal-Assessment when he transferred to Michigan after the 2019 season. “For my extensive-term accomplishment, I felt like I essential 1 decathlon coach who could really get me to the upcoming level, and I felt like USC wasn’t definitely the most effective spot for that.”
Owens-Delerme stated he savored his two decades at Michigan, but his coach there, Jerry Clayton, left final yr for LSU.
When Owens-Delerme graduated from Michigan with a degree in linguistics and entered the transfer portal, he narrowed his choices to Arkansas and LSU with a few indoor seasons and two outdoor of eligibility remaining.
Conference Geopfert, who this calendar year returned to Arkansas for his 2nd stint as an assistant soon after remaining at Tennessee, created the distinction.
“I almost went to LSU to keep with a thing acquainted,” reported Owens-Delerme, who is working toward a master’s diploma in small business at Arkansas. “I experienced to decide between keeping with my aged mentor or seeking a thing new.
“I sort of rolled the dice and reported, ‘OK, I’m likely to have faith in this new dude,’ and it is operating out. Mentor Geopfert was the male I preferred to get coached by, and I took that leap of faith.
“I’m in good fingers now. Arkansas is the very best position I have been so much. Coach Geopfert has been sensible about my education and held me healthy.”
Geopfert was a decathlete at Northern Iowa. He competed in 54 decathlons.
“I’ve experienced some experiences that these athletes are going by,” Geopfert reported. “I completely recognize what it is like to go by the rigors and the teaching. By way of that experience, I’ve also acquired what not to do. We want to practice intelligently.”
At the NCAA Indoor Championships this 12 months, Owens-Delerme gained the heptathlon with 6,211 details to edge Garland, who was next with 6,200.
“It was terrific to acquire a national title indoors,” Owens-Delerme claimed. “I believe it’ll go down to the wire once more in Eugene concerning us.”
Garland mentioned he’s seeking ahead to the competitors with his very long-time pleasant rival. Just after the NCAA meet, they’ll also equally be in the decathlon at the Entire world Championships.
“For us to be the best two scorers in NCAA history, to share this phase with a guy like Ayden, is unquestionably extraordinary,” Garland explained. “We’re both equally likely to set up very significant scores.”