LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN -- After a strong first day of the NCAA Championship, the Ephs headed into Day Two ready to continue their momentum. Today featured the conclusion of the decathlon, in which co-captains Tobias Muellers '18 and Tommy Riley '18 competed, as well as the prelims of the 800, in which Kevin LaFleche '20 competed.
Going into the second day of the decathlon, Muellers was 2nd in the rankings, while Riley was 6th. In the first event of the day, the 110 hurdles, each had solid performances. Riley finished 5th overall in 15.56 seconds, while Muellers was 7th, with a 15.70 second performance. In the discus, Riley again threw solidly, with a 34.25m mark, good for 8th overall. Muellers shook off two fouls to throw 32.55m, for 13th.
One year ago, Riley had injured himself during pole vault warmups, and was unable to finish the decathlon. Today, he had no misses through 4.00 meters, which ended up being the highest height he cleared, for 11th overall. Muellers had a scary moment in warmups when his pole snapped on a jump, but thankfully the senior was unharmed. Muellers recovered to clear 4.30m, for 4th overall.
In the javelin, Muellers had a strong first throw of 50.56m, good for 4th overall. Riley threw 47.73m, for 11th overall. Going into the final event, the 1500, Muellers had just moved into 1st place, while Riley was in 7th. A number of athletes took the race out very hard, but Muellers stayed patient and worked his way up. Muellers finished in an impressive 4:29.86, for 3rd. Behind him, Riley ran a very brave race, hoping to run fast enough to secure a scoring position. Riley came in at 4:52.15, for 15th overall.
Through his efforts, Muellers won the decathlon by 148 points, with a school record 6969 points. Riley finished 9th overall, in a huge personal best of 6572 points.
After a lengthy rain delay, Kevin LaFleche raced in the prelims of the 800 meter run. LaFleche didn't let the delay shake him, running his trademark, nearly even-split race to finish 2nd in his heat in 1:52.09, automatically qualifying for the final.
Head Coach Ethan Barron was cautiously pleased with how the team performed, saying, "essentially we're 250m into a 400 right now. We got out well, and we're holding around the turn, but we're far from celebrating. Now is the time to double down and close hard."
The Ephs, currently 3rd with 14 points, will return to competition tomorrow for the conclusion of the NCAA Championship.