Fifteen contenders went toe-to-toe in 10 different events Thursday and Friday to test their ability to perform as well-rounded track-and-field athletes. Overall, Robbie Haynie from Eastern Oregon took first place for the decathlon, fulfilling expectations that he would win, having won four events and placed second or third in three others.
After sprints and jumps, pole vaulting and throws, the decathletes finished with a 1,500-meter run, in which Brad Higgins from Doane claimed first place.
“It’s a big meet, a lot of great competitors,” said Haynie. “You’ve got to raise your game when you’ve got great guys with you. Casey from Azusa Pacific, he’s a great athlete, and he was able to keep pushing me and making me do better. And I hope I carried him along a little bit.”
Haynie finished the decathlon with 7,598 points, and Azusa Pacific senior Casey Stevick finished second with 6,974 points. The all-time record for NAIA championships was set in 1996 at 7,818 points.
In addition to the 10 decathlon events, Haynie competed in the men’s high jump, in which he placed first, and he will also participate in the individual men’s pole vaulting contest Saturday at 1 p.m.
“I have the best trainer in the world. I swear, he’s great, so he takes care of me,” said Haynie.
The final scores demonstrate tight competition for mid-placements in the 2012 NAIA decathlon:
1st – Robbie Haynie (Eastern Oregon) – 7,598
2nd – Casey Stevick (Azusa Pacific) – 6,974
3rd – Andy Dougherty (Morningside) – 6,696
4th – Trevor Willis (Dickinson State) – 6,661
5th – Adam Thompkins (Westmont) – 6,573
6th – Brad Higgins (Doane) – 6,526
7th – Jeff Hester (Point Loma) – 6,493
8th – Calvin Sullins (Siena Heights) – 6,480
9th – Nathan Donnelon (Siena Heights) – 6,388
9th – Jason Waltman (Northwest U.) – 6,388
11th – Kale Schmidt (Lewis-Clark) – 6,112
12th – Caleb Neal (Oklahoma Baptist) – 6,112
13th – Travis Derscheid (Siena Heights) – 5,935
14th – Justin Ludwikowski (Ashford) – 5,808
15th – Jake Holmquist (Hastings) – 5,218