|Blaser takes title|
HONOLULU, Hawai'i - University of Idaho junior Andrew Blaser took the overall lead in the second event of the decathlon on Tuesday and refused to release his grip with a strong second day on Wednesday at the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Blaser hit two more personal bests to ring up his total to six in the 10 disciplines, and finished with a career-best score of 7,037, which is also the fifth-best total in Idaho history.
He becomes the fourth Vandal man to claim a conference title in the event, and the first since Jereme Richardson's 2005 Big West title.
"It's two days of grueling athletics, but I'm glad I came in and performed well," Blaser, a junior from Meridian, Idaho, said. "I just knew that it was time to compete and it really felt good.
"With the history that Idaho has in the decathlon, being in fifth after my junior season is pretty solid, and it gives me a lot of stuff to look up to."
After hitting career bests in four of the first five events on Tuesday, Blaser roared out of the gates on Wednesday by cutting more than two-tenths of a second off his 110m hurdles best, and moving into a tie for seventh all-time at Idaho with a 14.27.
He followed it up with a 105-6 (32.15m) in the discus throw, then cleared 15-5 (4.70m) in the pole vault. He hit his second career best of the day with a 153-6 (46.80m) in the javelin, then went 5:10.93 in the 1500m to put a cap on the win.
After finishing second in the 100m to open the 10-event competition, Blaser took over the lead after the second event, the long jump, and sat atop the leaderboard throughout the event. He posted top marks in the long jump, high jump and 110m hurdles over two days.
As the saying goes, there will be no rest for the weary. Blaser will now take the evening to recuperate before Thursday and Friday, when he'll compete in the 110m hurdles, high jump and pole vault.
"I have a pretty high point goal for myself, so right now I'm going to recuperate with an ice bath and a good dinner," Blaser said. "I just have to get after it and be an athlete."