After this morning, Trey Hardee is in second place in the Decathlon. Eventhough he is the current world champion, he isn't the favorite because he is going up against the current world record holder Ashton Eaton (also USA). Hardee ran a personal best in the 100m this morning, finishing second (remember Hardee is more of throws guy compared to Eaton, so this was an excellent start for him). Eaton on the other hand was not that close to his personal best of 10.22.
You might remember Trey from his two NCAA decathlon titles while competing for UT. He still holds the UT record in the decathlon with 8465 points, which was then a NCAA record as well. You want to guess who broke that record? Yep thats right the guy he faces today and tomorrow, the one man who stands between him and a gold medal, former Oregon duck (booo...) Ashton Eaton. Watch the longhorn try to stop the man who many consider to be the greatest athlete on the planet alive today (of any sport). The conclusion of day one will go off live on nbcolympics.com today. Right now, as I am writing this, they're on the high jump, which you can watch live here. And the last event of the day, the 400m, should go off at 3:30 Central time, which you can watch live here.
A little known fact about Trey Hardee, he originally went to school at Mississippi State, but transfered after they cut their indoor track program. What a gain for the University of Texas!
So what are Hardee's chances at a gold medal? If Eaton performs at his best, he is probably unstoppable. Eaton has been slightly off his game, not approaching his season bests in any of the events so far. In the long jump Eaton is as good Marquise Goodwin (yeah he could basically be a medal contender in that event), but like Goodwin he was no where near his personal best (good to see that inconsistency doesn't just plague longhorn track athletes). However, I think Trey Hardee needs Eaton to falter a bit more if he expects to win. We need to remember that Trey tends to do better in the second day of the competition (which includes the javelin and discus, two events with a high point differential in favor of Hardee), so we don't need him to lead after day one. As long as Trey is within 150 points or so of the lead, a gold medal could be within his grasp. Even if he isn't within 150 points, anything can happen in the pole vault. I've seen many athletes blow the competition there, and Eaton is not immune to this. So Trey has a tough rode ahead, but it is entirely doable. Go go go ...