EUGENE, Ore. - Sophomore Curtis Beach is used to blowing away the field in the 1,500 meters, the final event of the decathlon. However, at the 2012 United States Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., he exemplified the notion that sometimes sport goes beyond points scored. Realizing that he was out of the running for Olympic qualification, Beach put his own competition aside and showed respect for his competitor by allowing the overall winner and new world record holder, Ashton Eaton, the first place finish in the final event.
“Decathletes are unique in their bond and respect for one another which was shown in Curtis’ performance during the 1,500,” Director of Track and Field Norm Ogilvie commented.
Beach finished the overall competition in 11th place with a total of 7,109, which included no mark in the javelin due to an elbow injury. During the grueling competition, the Albuquerque, N.M., native earned a personal best mark in the discus throw with a throw of 129-4 (39.44) and season best performances in the 100 and shot put.
“The experience he gained is incredible and he will be able to draw on it in the future,” Associate Head Coach Shawn Wilbourn commented as reflected over the two days. “Obviously we are disappointed in his performance overall. There was an opportunity to advance but he wasn’t able to capitalize on it.”
At the end of day one, Beach sat in seventh place with a total of 4,004 points. His highest finish of the day, and overall competition, occurred when he placed second in the 400 with a time of 47.82. Beach also placed fifth in the long jump with a mark of 24-4.25 (7.42) and sixth in the 100 by crossing the line in 10.88.
On day two, Beach started with a seventh place finish in the 110 hurdles by crossing the line in a time of 14.79. His lowest moment of the two-day competition came when he injured himself during the javelin throw and finished the event without a mark.
New world record holder, Ashton Eaton finished the ten-event competition in first place with 9,039 points and Trey Hardee finished in second with 8,383 points. The duo qualified for the 2012 London Olympics scheduled for late July.
The prestigious competition closed out a very successful winter and spring season for Beach who was crowned the NCAA indoor heptathlon champion, the ACC indoor heptathlon champion, the ACC outdoor decathlon runner-up and earned NCAA outdoor track and field All-America honors in both the long jump and 800.
Sophomore high jumper Tanner Anderson also participated in his first Olympic Trials in the men’s high where he finished in 22nd place with a mark of 6-10.75 (2.10) to close out his spring season.