Hardee begins Olympics preparation at Texas Relays
March 30, 2012
Natalie England, TexasSports.com
AUSTIN, Texas -- On Friday, Trey Hardee returned to the track where he was groomed for greatness.
Hardee, the current NCAA decathlon record-holder, claimed the decathlon title at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in 2005 and 2006 as a Texas Longhorn. He's aiming now for his second-straight Olympics this summer in London.
As preparation for that, Hardee competed in the invitational long jump and discus throw at this year's Texas Relays. Hardee finished third in the long jump with a mark of 7.29 meters. He only threw in the preliminary rounds of the discus but said he was happy with the sensations.
"Today was really just a good practice session," Hardee said. "You want to feel good, be healthy. I feel really fast, really powerful."
Hardee has evolved into a decathlete since embracing the event as a college freshman. He was the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year while competing at UT, following his record-setting 2005 national championship in the decathlon.
He's continued to set records since leaving the Forty Acres. Hardee won the World Championship in the decathlon in 2009 and 2011 -- and is just the third athlete in IAAF decathlon history to win back-to-back titles in the event.
Hardee won the 2009 title with a career-best total of 8,790 points. He came out of second place on the final day of the competition in 2011 and won with 8,607 points.
After winning the 2009 world championship, Hardee said it was relief because he didn't finish the decathlon at the 2008 Olympics after all of his pole vaults were scratched.
Hardee opened his outdoor season at the Texas Relays with higher aspirations for this summer in London.
"You really don't know where you peaked until the end of the year and you can look back on it all," Hardee said. "I'm really strong. I haven't put a lot of focus or effort in the technical events, but that's what is picking up right now.
"This weekend is just a fun practice setting. It's the relays - you get a little extra juice from the crowd."