Bastien breaks decathlon record at georgia

What You Need to Know

» Now in his second season at U-M, Steven Bastien, who redshirted the 2015 outdoor season, competed in his first decathlon as a Wolverine and made his outdoor debut this week.

» Bastien finished in 10th place with three post-collegians ahead of him, totaling 7,417 points, a score that ranks ninth in the NCAA.

» Steven and his father Gary now own the American father-son combined decathlon record at 15,261 points, according to decathlon historian Frank Zarnowski.

» Bastien finished with 3,501 points on day two of competition, breaking his two-year-old personal best by more than 500 points and toppling the previous U-M record by five points (7,412).

» This marks the eighth program record broken under head coach Jerry Clayton, now in his third year: Indoor — 400 meters, Distance Medley Relay, shot put, weight throw, heptathlon; Outdoor — shot put, hammer throw, decathlon.

• Complete Results | Photo Gallery

Site: Athens, Ga. (Spec Towns Track)

Event: Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon (Day 2 of 2)

U-M Team Result: No team scoring

Next U-M Event: Fri-Sat., April 8-9 — at Tiger Track Classic (Auburn, Ala.), 2 p. m./11 a. m. CDT

ATHENS, Ga. — Senior/junior Steven Bastien of the University of Michigan men’s track and field team completed his first decathlon as a Wolverine on Thursday (April 9), breaking the U-M record by five points while competing at the Bulldog Decathlon/Heptathlon meet at the University of Georgia’s Spec Towns Track facility.

Head coach Jerry Claytonthanked Georgia coach Petros Kyprianou and the Bulldog staff for putting together a first-class decathlon event that aided Bastien and other competitors in putting together an excellent overall weekend.

“It’s a compliment from Georgia and Coach Petros for him to want us in this meet, and I commend them for putting together a decathlon competition at this level,” said Clayton. “They did a great job of running it, including the staffing and officials. You probably won’t see this level of decathlon unless you go to a championship event or an event specialized for the dec, like DecaNation in France. It was a great atmosphere and opportunity, and we were glad to be a part of it. It’s important to get this type of competition in because it’s going to make you better.”

Clayton commended Bastien on an excellent performance overall.

“He did an awesome job,” said Clayton. “To score that competing in his first decathlon in two years makes it a great performance. When you compete in the decathlon, you always tell yourself, ‘if I had done this or that,’ but I think this is just the beginning for Steven. There will be a lot of opportunities to improve, and this is still a great score.”

Bastien broke the program standard held by Kurt Reichenbach (7,412 points; 2013) and also shattered his own personal best (6,823 points; 2014) set at Samford University two seasons ago. He competed in a 17-man field on Thursday in what will surely be the most competitive decathlon of the 2016 season outside of the NCAA Championships, with four athletes scoring at least 7,800 points.

Through the first five events of the competition, Bastien totaled a career-best 3,916 points, a score he had matched on one previous instance but during a decathlon he did not complete. He positioned himself in seventh place entering the second day of events with the goal of scoring more than 7,400 for a strong shot of qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.

Thursday’s action brought cooler, cloudier conditions, and Bastien built on strong performances in the running events on Wednesday (April 6) by setting three personal bests during Thursday’s events: the discus, javelin and 1,500-meter run.

He opened Thursday’s competition with the 110-meter hurdles, running 15.37, a personal best by more than .20 seconds, and that time earned him 805 points to begin the afternoon. In the discus, he threw a personal-best 39.72 meters (130-04 ft.) for 659 points.

He nearly broke the 15-foot mark in the pole vault, clearing 4.55 meters (14-11) for 775 points and in the javelin, Bastien threw 46.11 meters (151-03 ft.) for 669 points.

He closed out the weekend with a time of 4:32.04 in the 1,500-meter run, scoring 731 valuable points. Bastien had entered the weekend hoping to score between 7,400 and 7,500 points and fell right within that window with his two-day total of 7,417.

Bastien admitted that competing outdoors threw him a bit, but that only encouraged him that he will score even better in the future.

“I had forgotten how important the elements are outdoor, so that caught me off guard in a couple of events,” said Bastien. “Some of the events didn’t go as well as I wanted them to because I got a little too distracted by being outside because I was so used to being in the controlled environment of indoors the last couple of years.”

“Going forward and getting the feel for going outdoors will help a lot, and it felt good to get out there and compete in the sun.”

The field, which began with 19 athletes, is made up of some of the best competitors in the NCAA and beyond it. Among the post-collegians competing were two-time Chilean Olympian Gonzalo Barriolhet (Under Armour), top-five European Championships finisher Gael Querin (France), former Duke Blue Devil Robert Rohner, former Cal Golden Bear Mike Morrison and one-time Georgia Bulldog Tommy Barrineau.

This week’s performance also brought a distinctive honor for Bastien and his father, Gary, who was a two-time All-American (1979-80) at Eastern Michigan University. Together, they have totaled a combined personal-best score of 15,261 points (Steven; 7,417 points, Gary; 7,844), a new father-son American record.

The record, documented thoroughly by noted decathlon historian Frank Zarnowski, had stood since 1998 with a total of 15,150 by Kyle (son; 7,202) and Steve Gough (father; 7,948; 1975) until it was broken just weeks ago when Arkansas sophomore Brad Culp scored 7,438 points at the Arkansas Spring Invitational (March 26). That score, combined with his father Greg’s PR of 7,812 at the 1984 Division II NCAA championship meet, set a new father-son standard of 15,250, which lasted until Bastien’s performance was completed this evening, edging that total by 14 points for the new record.

“I sort of forgot that the father-son record was on the table,” said Bastien afterwards.

“I was really happy that I ran well enough in the 1,500 to get the school record, but I think there’s still a lot left on the table as far as scoring at the Big Ten and nationals. I was happy to finish it out well and being part of history is really cool.”

Bastien now owns Michigan’s heptathlon (5,810 points) and decathlon records, in addition to the national accolade he shares with his father.

That high scoring is no surprise to Clayton, who finds Bastien a pleasure to coach.

“He’s done a great job, and he’s great to work with,” said Clayton.

“His focus, motivation and desire to be the best make things easier from a coaching standpoint. He did a great job this weekend, and I think there’s still a lot more there. Hopefully, we’ll move in that direction and he’ll continue to set personal-bests.”

U-M resumes this week’s competition with the Tiger Track Classic (April 8-9), hosted by Auburn University at the Hutsell-Rosen Track in Auburn, Alabama. Coach Clayton returns to his previous coaching stop to guide a number of Wolverine throwers, jumpers and sprinter/hurdlers against top SEC competition.


Decathlon — 7,417 points*

1,500 meters — 4:32.04

Discus — 39.72 meters (130-4 ft.)

Javelin — 46.11 meters (151-03 ft.)

* = School Record


What an awesome field at Georgia’s #DawgDecHep! @Steven_Bastien scores 7,417 to break the U-M record! #GoBlue pic. twitter. com/7hvYpp22pS

— Michigan Track&Field (@umichtrack) April 8, 2016

• Day 1 Results

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard