May 9, 2009
By Honsen Lin
U.S. Olympic champion Jim Thorpe was once called the world's greatest athlete after winning the decathlon gold medal in the 1912 Olympics.
Although Saturday and Sunday's Pac-10 Multi-Events finals isn't top-level international competition for budding decathlete stars, it provides a stepping stone for those hoping to make the NCAA national meet in the decathlon.
For freshman All-American Jeremy Taiwo, the meet will provide a chance to show the conference what he's capable of, after he pulled himself out of competition at the Mt. Sac Relays.
"I had a groin injury, and then I wasn't mentally ready," Taiwo said. "That was a really bad week. I was really tired getting there, [and] my body was aching."
But Taiwo has recovered from his injuries in the weeks since, and track head coach Greg Metcalf is confident of Taiwo's chances.
"If he does his thing, I think he has a realistic shot at getting the national-qualifying mark," Metcalf said.
Taiwo said he needs to get reacquainted with pole-vaulting as well as hurdling -- both of which he's been practicing -- to get a good showing at the Pac-10s.
On the women's side, senior heptathlete Liz Fuller will be making her final attempt to reach the NCAA national meet.
"The goal for her is to go to Eugene and finish in the top eight," Metcalf said. "If she's able to score over 5,000 points, then she [could] get the national-qualifying mark as well."
Fuller's best heptathlon finish came in 2007 at the Cal Invite Multis meet when she scored 4,845 points.
The Huskies will also send sophomore decathlete Andrew Ferleman to the Pac-10 Multi-Events meet. Ferleman has been battling an ankle injury this season.