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US sweeps Thorpe Cup in Fayetteville

by Nate Allen | August 1, 2016 at 4:00 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The United States swept the Thorpe Cup's top three scoring places against Germany in both the men's decathlon and women's heptathlon Friday and Saturday at the University of Arkansas' John McDonnell Field.

The two-day meet weather delayed to a Saturday night ending marked the 11th year of the Thorpe Cup annually pitting the U.S. against Germany in the decathlon and heptathlon and annually alternating with U.S. and German hosts.

The U.S. men's team, paced by the gold, silver and bronze finish of Scott Fillip, Harrison Williams and Solomone Simmons totaling 7,871, 7,849 and 7,775 points over the decathlon's 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400, 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500, defeated the German decathletes 38,845 to 37,427.

U.S. decathletes Kurtis Brondyke and Mitch Modin tallied 7,695 and 7,669 before sixth-place Tim Nowak, 7,615, became Germany's first scorer.

The U.S. women prevailed 18,330 to 16,421 with five outscoring Germany's top scorer.

Chantae McMillan, a meet-record 6,260 points for the heptathlon's 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200, long jump, javelin and 800; Lindsay Lettow, 6,098; and Lindsay Schwartz, 5,962; scored first through third for the U.S. women with Alison Reaser fourth at 5,962.

Competing as a non-scoring guest for the U.S. team, just-graduated Razorbacks all-American heptathlete Alex Gochenour also outpointed all the German entrants with 5,749, which would have been fifth place.

Germany took the next three places with Sophie Hamann and Lea Menzel each tallying 5,442, and Anna-Lena Obermaier scoring 5,437.

Gochenour's 13.13 seconds winning Friday's 100 hurdles set a John McDonnell Field record. It marked Gochenour's first professional meet having competed in an Arkansas jersey at the U.S. Olympic trials after her fourth-place All-American finish helped coach Lance Harter's Razorbacks win the NCAA outdoor championship in June at Eugene, Ore.

Gochenour's hurdles were the brightest spot for a meet on which she said her long season had taken a toll.

"It wasn't what I wanted, nowhere my personal best of 6,027," Gochenour said. "But to have the opportunity to represent the USA on my home track at the end of my senior year, I don't think you could write a better storybook ending."

Gochenour, of Missouri Valley, Iowa, said she "just didn't have the juice" in the jumps but said with the hurdles: "Ever since I ran my 12.98 at outdoor (Southeastern Conference), I have been in kind of a rut at 13.30, so to run that great time Friday and have the record on my own home track is pretty awesome. I have been pretty banged up. I had a back problem at the Olympic trials, and it kind of flared up on me here today."

She knows she wasn't hurting alone. Heptathletes and decathletes all weather aches and pains in their two-day grind, Gochenour said, making it a more "we're all in this together" competition than competing in track's open events, which for her often is the 100 hurdles.

"We're all in this grueling event trying for personal bests, so at the end of the day you have got to pick each other up," Gochenour said. "You are competitors but you are teammates and friends first. In the open hurdles, you might exchange mean looks and have your game face on where here you are all in it together quite literally."

Sports on 08/01/2016

Print Headline: US sweeps Thorpe Cup in Fayetteville


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