The USA Decathlon Team consists of three world class athletes that will represent the U.S. for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The U.S. already in my eyes has the edge in the event in terms of probable medal winners because of Bryan Clay & veteran Tom Pappas. Both have Olympic experience and Clay is the favorite to win the Gold this year as he attempts to be only the 2nd man in history to break the 9,000 point barrier.
Getting a chance to compete in the Olympics is just about every athlete's dream. After two days of fierce competition and years of training beforehand, Trey Hardee's vision of sporting the red, white and blue in Beijing is now a reality. The 24-year-old former University of Texas standout ended up with a second-place finish in the decathlon in Eugene and he posted a career-best total of 8,534 points, ranking him behind overall winner Bryan Clay and ahead of Olympic veteran Tom Pappas.
Not bad for the now 6-foot-5 track star who was once overlooked when he tried to make the basketball team in high school. Hardee's path to Beijing wasn't a smooth one. He had to overcome a hip injury, which cut his training short.
"At this time last year, I couldn't even train, I couldn't do anything," said Hardee, who lives in Austin, Texas. "My hip was pretty busted up. I couldn't run. It hurt to walk."
Once his hip healed, Hardee was forced to put his training into high gear.
"Really it wasn't until this year, until like late winter, early spring of 2008, that I was really able to train really hard again," he added.
Trey needed and had a breakout meet on the 2nd day as he set the stage for the rest of his day by an epic battle in the first event--the 110m High Hurdles. The event posted 3 world class times. Trey was trailing after 6 hurdles and over the final 4 looked like a man possessed as he sprinted to a 1st place finish and a time of 13.71 (PR) Whew! What a race!
The 24 year old at the end of the day found himself standing in 2nd place and bound for Beijing! At the Olympic Games over the course of 10 events anything can happen to anybody. Although he may not be everyone's favorite he is certainly mine. Trey is so young and so talented. His energy level cannot be matched. The title of the World's Greatest Athlete is up for grabs in Beijing and Trey Hardee wants it!
Below is the Video of the 110m HH Day 2 of the Decathlon Trials in Oregon
Trey Hardee is in Lane 7--Talk about shifting gears..