PULLMAN, Wash. – Dakotah Keys won his third-straight Pac-12 decathlon championship, Sunday, leading a group of four Ducks at the multi-event championships, each of whom brought home valuable team points.
The win for Keys continues the Ducks’ dominance in the event at the conference level, as he and Ashton Eaton have combined to win the decathlon six of the past seven years.
While the three-time champion ended up on top, proving to be the class of the conference once again, Keys noted the journey was not always as smooth as he would have liked.
“It feels good,” Keys said. “I was stressed out most of the meet. It was just a big up-and-down roller coaster and usually that’s how the decathlon goes.”
Keys entered the day in second place behind USC’s Viktor Fajoyomi, who held the lead since the second event. Fajoyomi’s 217-point lead quickly expanded to 315 after the first two events, Sunday.
“The first day I was a little too focused on what was happening with Viktor,” Keys said. “But coming into (Sunday), I wanted to focus on bettering my PRs and I was just thinking about staying confident and relaxed.”
The tables turned as Keys said he was able to find a rhythm heading into his stronger events to end the day, where he outscored Fajoyomi by more than 600 points.
The Ducks were successful in that category. The 10 points earned by Keys, combined with third- and fourth-place finishes by Mitch Modin (7,310) and Alec Fellows (7,081), respectively, give Oregon a total of 21 heading into the Pac-12 Championships next week. Those 21 points is the most scored by Oregon in the decathlon since putting up 25 in 2004.
Modin, a freshman from Bend, Ore., was in third for the entirety of the second day, helped by personal bests in the pole vault (14-9/4.50m) and javelin (184-8/56.30m). Modin’s third-place finish is the best by true freshman at the conference meet since 2009 when Jeremy Taiwo (Washington) also finished third.
Fellows entered the day in fourth, where he stayed before dropping to sixth after the javelin. With only the 1,500 remaining, the redshirt sophomore gutted out a big performance to close the weekend, setting nearly a four-second PR in the event with a winning time of 4:28.50.