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.

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.

FloTrack To Stream 2019 Boston Marathon In Europe

AUSTIN, Texas — March 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Boston Athletic Association, announced a partnership to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon on FloTrack.com exclusively in over 40 European countries. 

Ethiopia's Belay Tilahun, Not Included In Elite Field, Wins NYC Half

(c) 2019 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Linden, Chelimo Ready for United Airlines NYC Half On Sunday

The United Airlines NYC Half is often considered a springboard to future goals for elite runners, but that's doesn't mean they take the event lightly. American Olympians Des Linden and Paul Chelimo are approaching next Sunday's race as a critical competition, even as they use their trip to New York as an important test for upcoming targets.

Grant Holloway Is Very Close To Being The Best Hurdler In The World

Holloway After 60mH AR & 60m Title

It’s tempting to view what Grant Holloway did over the weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships-- 7.35 American record in the 60m hurdles and a 6.50 60m victory, plus third place finishes in the long jump and 4x400m-- as a man at the peak of his powers. But for an athlete with medal potential at October’s World Championships, the Florida superstar may only be scratching the surface of his ceiling in 2019.

House Of Run: Which Diamond League Events Are Getting Dropped?

Jason and Kevin discuss the exploits of Grant Holloway and Morgan McDonald at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the revamped 2020 Olympic qualifying standards, the Diamond League cutting events and losing to people wearing costumes.

The Challenge Of Doubling, Irrelevant Seed Times & Other NCAA Takeaways

null

Grant Holloway stole the show, while Florida and Arkansas walked away with team titles. But what were some of the other takeaways from Birmingham?