Eighteen months - That is roughly the time frame in which multi-event athletes have to qualify for the United States Championships / US Olympic Trials. Year to year lists are easy to come by, whether it’s world or national rankings, but finding a list that compiles decathlon scores in the United States over eighteen months is not. Who is in and who is out can be hard to tell until entries are looked over by USATF only days before the championships. The Weinstock List provided can be used as a guide to see how high a decathlete must score in the 2017 season to be accepted into the 2017 US Championships on June 22nd - 23rd in Sacramento, CA.
The Weinstock Lists - This list started when Evan Weinstock, a former Brown University decathlete and current Team USA Bobsledder, wanted to know exactly what it was going to take for him and others to qualify for the US Championships Decathlon. Since 2014, Weinstock has compiled a list that accounts for two seasons worth of scores, as well as automatic entry standards and field sizes.
Safely atop the list with the US Championships Standard as well as the World Championships standard are Jeremy Taiwo, Zach Ziemek and Devon Williams.
Jeremy Taiwo placed 11th at the 2016 Rio Games but was sidelined for some time this Winter with a groin injury. Taiwo has been active with a full rehab plan and competed on American Ninja Warrior. In late April Taiwo was cleared for track related activites and began training with the World Championships in London as the main goal. Taiwo recently competed in Switzerland in the High Jump during a pre-Hypomeeting competition. Upon entering, his first decathlon of the 2017 season will be at the U.S. Championships in Sacramento.
Zach Ziemek qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games via a third place finish at the US Olympic Trials in his final year as a Wisconsin Badger. Ziemek, like Taiwo, did not compete during the 2017 Indoor season, but will also open up his 2017 Decathlon campaign in Sacramento.
Devon Williams, the youngest of the top three, has been firing on all cylinders this season. While claiming the an NCAA Indoor Championship Heptathlon title, Williams now ranks 4th all time in NCAA History in the Heptathlon. At the Specs Town Bulldog Decathlon, Williams added 229 points to his personal best in the Decathlon. During the SEC Championships, Williams chose to do the 110m Hurdles and Long Jump to hopefully score more points for the team. He did just that and amazingly topped the leaderboard in the NCAA. 13.37 seconds is all it took for Williams to win the SEC title in the OPEN 110m Hurdles against a stacked field. Williams, unlike Taiwo and Ziemek, will compete in the NCAA Decathlon on June 7-8th, exactly two weeks before the US Championships decathlon.
The following athletes have scores from the 2016 season that would place them on the Weinstock list’s top 16, however due to their retirement from the decathlon they have been removed from the rankings.
Ashton Eaton - The GOAT, Decathlon World Record Holder, 2x Olympic Champion, 2x World Champion
Garrett Scantling - Placed 4th at the 2016 Olympic Trials. Recently signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a Wide Receiver
Kale Wolken - The NAIA record holder ended his decathlon career with a team victory in the 2016 Thorpe Cup vs Germany
Miller Moss - The Clemson All-American and 2x Olympic Trials competitor finished his career at the 2016 US Olympic Trials
Curtis Beach - No longer in the decathlon, you can find Curtis running the 400m Hurdles, 800m and even some field events
Harrison Williams - Currently red-shirting at Stanford, Williams is the only other athlete on this list who has achieved the milestone mark of 8000 points. In order to qualify for the London 2017 World Championships, he’d have to place top three and score 8100+ points in Sacramento.
Top 10 ranked athletes in the 2017 Weinstock list - Cody Walton, Steven Bastein, Scott Fillip, Wolf Mahler, Hunter Price - all have the the automatic US Championships entry standard of 7800 points, and will be competing against Devon Williams at the 2017 NCAA Championships.
Austin Bahner is fresh off a decathlon PR (nothing better than 10 events coming together!) from Texas Greatest Athlete where he scored 7850 and is the latest athlete to achieve the automatic standard of 7800+ points.
The field size of the 2017 US Championships is 16* which means athletes without the 7800 point standard but in the top 16 entries should be accepted entries. As it looks right now, Kurtis Brondyke, Mitch Modin, Mat Clark, Steele Wasik, TJ Lawson & Derek Jacobus are in the top sixteen. The lowest score is 7635 points, but in is IN when it comes to qualifying for the United States Championships.
*16 entries is the lowest amount of athletes allowed in an event in the entire championships. The Women’s Heptathlon accepts 18 athletes, as does every single field event. Events 100m - 800m accept double the amount of athletes.
Emitted from the list are Solomon Simmons (7936) and Robert Robinson (7745) who have scores that would place them on the qualifying list but are reportedly^ competing at the 2017 Capital Cup in Ottawa. The Capital Cup is only ten days after the United States Championships, which is a quick turnaround in the decathlon world. As 2x Olympic Decathlete Trey Hardee once put it, “No one runs a tune up marathon.”
As it looks right now, Phil Bailey is the odd man out, sitting at the 17th position, followed closely by Hunter Veith, Ibn Short, Tom FitzSimons, Joe Delgado and Gabe Moore. Decathlon scores must be achieved prior to Sunday, June 18th. With Texas Greatest Athlete wrapped up, the only meets The Athletic Experience is aware of are the 2017 NCAA Championships and the 7Ten Combined Events in Santa Barbara, CA.
Whether or not all the mentioned athletes have the US Championships in their plans, or are healthy and going through the entry process, there is one more interesting caveat to this year’s entries. Two-time World Champion & Olympic Silver Medalist, Trey Hardee, has been actively competing but has not put together a score in the last eighteen months to qualify him for the US Championships. There have been athletes in the past who have been accepted into the United States Championship without actually achieving the standard during the qualifying window, and Trey might be the next athlete USATF allows into the meet. There is no question that Hardee’s accomplishments warrant him being “accepted” into the 2017 Championships, but this process raises another issue. Will the accepted list extend to seventeen, or will meet management cut the sixteenth qualifier who did exactly what he was supposed to do over the past 18 months? It's a tough question and unfortunately there is no way to know prior to accepted entries being released.
“You’re a bubble guy… don’t be a bubble guy.”
Right now the score to get in the 2017 US Championships Decathlon seems to be 7635 points. The qualifying window closes on June 18th. Good luck.
^If there are any errors within the 2017 Weinstock list, please email TheAthleticExperience@gmail.com with updated information. An updated and clear Weinstock List is the only list that should be posted, so The Athletic Experience appreciates any further information.
About the author:
Tom FitzSimons is a professional decathlete who represents the Santa Barbara Track Club. Over the course of six USA National Championships / Olympic Trials appearances, Tom has placed himself on the podium once, placed 4th overall in the 2015 US Championships and competed for Team USA internationally twice. Less important, but just as entertaining, Tom holds a Guinness World Record - Check it out here. Tom is the host and owner of all things related to The Athletic Experience.
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