Morgan Griffiths Wins Inaugural Women's Open Decathlon Championship

Morgan Griffiths, a rising senior at the University of Kansas, won the inaugural Women's Open Decathlon Championship on Sunday evening with a score of 5,939 points after two days of competition in Grass Valley, California.

The 21-year-old said her coaches didn't mind her tackling the decathlon, though several high-profile coaches recently said they would never advise women to compete in one.

"My coaches were pretty supportive," Griffiths said. "It's a weird time of year; in a coach's mind, you're either finishing up your season or going hard in the weight room. They said, 'go have fun, it's a great opportunity.'"

Griffiths competes in the pole vault and heptathlon for the Jayhawks, and she's a huge advocate for the women's decathlon. She won the Great Southwest Classic decathlon as a high schooler in 2014.

"My teammates always hear me complain about only doing seven events all the time," she said. "If there's another [championship] next year and it works with my schedule, I would come back in a heartbeat. I know a lot of heptathletes wouldn't be super excited [to do the decathlon], but I would be thrilled to have more opportunities to do decathlons."

Her enthusiasm for the event is due partly to her expertise in the pole vault and discus, two disciplines that are not included on the heptathlon score sheet.

After stumbling in the hurdles on the second day of competition, Griffiths used the discus to pull into the lead ahead of Day 1 leader Anna Lee McGregor with a throw of 32.29m. No one else threw over 30 meters. 

Griffiths next won her signature event, the pole vault, with a mark 3.60m—far off her PB of 3.92m, but good enough to maintain a lead with just two more events on deck, the javelin and the 1500m.

McGregor, 30, would take second place with 5,786 points. Hanna McPhee of San Francisco, 26, placed third with 5,503 points.

See full results below:

The youngest competitor was sixteen-year-old Nicole Gysin and the oldest was Kira Malone (neé Costa), 33, who set the pole vault national high school record in 2003 at 4.18m/13-8.5.

Pre-meet interview with former national record holder Kira Malone:

The event is the first of its kind in the modern era of USATF and was sponsored independently by Pole Vault Power.

Becca Peter, the founder of Pole Vault Power and elite athlete coordinator for the event, called the weekend a success.

"It's very rewarding to see the athletes come together for this. Really, the biggest takeaway is that there are women who want to do the decathlon and if there's anyone saying women don't want to do the decathlon—well, they just aren't asking the right women."

Peter said next year's event will probably take place at the same time of year, in between the NCAA and USATF Championships as the latter event is pushed back to late July in 2019. 

For 2020 and beyond, she hopes to organize the event for three to four weeks after USAs to attract more heptathletes.

Champions Set To Return To Boston Marathon

It Still Hasn't Sunk In Yet For Des Linden

Both Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and Des Linden of the United States have been contracted to run the 2019 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, and defend their titles, John Hancock Financial announced today. Reigning wheelchair division champions, Tatyana McFadden of the United States and Marcel Hug of Switzerland, are also set to return.

Weekend Recap: Cheserek Cashes In Again, Epic Foot Locker Sprint

Ed Cheserek After Running Fastest-Ever Mile On Hawaiian Soil

With Foot Locker, the European XC Championships, and some early season indoor track events all happening over the weekend, it was particularly unique and busy few days in the running world. If that wasn’t enough, Edward Cheserek messed around and ran the fastest mile ever on Hawaiian soil to win his second straight Merrie Mile in Waikiki in a photo finish.

U-Mary's Emily Roberts Conquered Injuries, Doubts To Crush It At NCAAs

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Race Replay: 2018 DII NCAA XC Championship Women's 6k

When University of Mary senior Emily Roberts crossed the finish line in third place at the NCAA DII Cross Country Championships on Dec. 1, a remarkable comeback that had been nearly unimaginable at the beginning of the season was complete. 

Fun Stats From The 2018 European XC Championships

Courtesy of Ken Nakamura, here are some fun stats from the 2018 European XC Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Successful Marathon Debut For Donn Cabral In Honolulu

Donn Cabral Takes Fourth In Marathon Debut

(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Despite Powerful Winds, Ekiru Comes Close To Honolulu Marathon Record

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Honolulu Marathon Highlights

(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Edward Cheserek Wins Fast Kalakaua Merrie Mile In Photo Finish

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Kalakaua Merrie Mile Highlights

(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Steeplechaser Donn Cabral To Make Surprise Marathon Debut In Honolulu

(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

WATCH LIVE: 2018 Footlocker Nationals

Tara Davis Transferring From Georgia

World junior record holder Tara Davis announced on Friday that she is leaving the University of Georgia in the midst of her sophomore year.