AZUSA, Calif. – Dante Newberg’s first decathlon of the 2018 season got off to a slow start – literally – and included a few plot twists along the way.
By the time the Florida State junior put Day 1 at the Bryan Clay Invitational behind him, he stood in 12th place with 3,534 points; well off what he had hoped for but with a chance to rebound over Thursday’s five-event finale.
Newberg’s day began with a lethargic start in the 100-meter dash, which he salvaged with a second half to finish in 11.17 at Aszua Pacific’s Cougar Stadium. It was the seventh-fastest time from the 14-man Group 3 pairing.
Then things began to get interesting. A bothersome right knee prompted the Tampa, Fla. native to switch to a left leg takeoff in both the long jump and high jump; less than ideal and more akin to being forced to complete an essay exam writing with your off hand.
Newberg persevered, and while he didn’t flourish, he didn’t flounder either. Sandwiched between a long jump mark of 6.55 meters (21-6) which netted him only 709 points and a 1.89-meter (6-2.25) high jump clearance for 705 points, was a new decathlon personal-best in the shot put.
His second-attempt throw of 13.03 meters (42-9) was not only his best effort in five career decathlons, but just five centimeters of his personal-best, set earlier this season.
With a four-event total of 2,906 points Newberg was sixth entering the final event, only to languish to the 54.27 400-meter dash time which dropped him all the way back to 12th.
Thursday’s forecast calls for cooler temperatures in the mid-50s by the time Newberg tackles the 110-meter hurdles – his first event – at 12 p.m. (ET).
The Seminole men’s and women’s distance runners will get their first taste of action Thursday, splitting up between both the Bryan Clay Invitational and the Mt. SAC Relays, which will be contested at El Camino Community College. Both meets will be streamed live to subscribers.
Redshirt freshman Steven Cross will test his 10,000-meter chops against a strong field at the Mt. SAC Relays, with his race scheduled to take place at 12:45 a.m. (ET), followed by Stanley Linton at 1:45.
The Mt. SAC Relays will be streamed live via at www.usatf.tv.
Althea Hewitt will make her 3000-meter steeplechase debut at Bryan Clay, at approximately 7:25 p.m. (ET). David Barney earned a spot in heat 2 of the men’s 5000-meter run (11:20 p.m.), with Michael Callegari and Toby Hardwick competing in heat 3 (12 a.m.). Addi Coggins wraps up the action at Azusa with a 1 a.m. (ET) 5000-meter start.
Flotrack will live stream the Bryan Clay distance races at https://www.flotrack.org/.