NEW ORLEANS – Razorback junior Ayden Owens-Delerme and Arkansas associate head coach Travis Geopfert were honored with USTFCCCA region awards on Thursday. Owens-Delerme earned the South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year and Geopfert received the South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Regional winners are determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches following the conclusion of the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Owens-Delerme recently became the first Razorback to win the NCAA decathlon and his score of 8,457 points equaled the meet record held by Oregon’s Ashton Eaton. The tally also equals the eighth best performance on the collegiate all-time list.
The second and third place scores of 8,362 by Leo Neugebauer of Texas and 8,333 by Georgia’s Kyle Garland were also the best-marks-for-place in NCAA Championship history.
This marks the eighth USTFCCCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year award for Geopfert.
Having returned to Arkansas this season following a three-year stint at Tennessee, Geopfert had nine entries in the NCAA Championship field among six events. In addition to Owens-Delerme claiming the NCAA decathlon title, Daniel Spejcher earned first-team All-America by placing seventh.
Geopfert’s event group totaled 26.5 points in the conference meet as Arkansas defeated Alabama by six points to complete a second SEC Triple Crown for the Razorbacks.
With a sweep of the NCAA Indoor heptathlon and NCAA Outdoor decathlon, Owens-Delerme captured NCAA individual titles No. 12 and No. 13 for Geopfert, whose athletes have reached a total of 85 first-team All-America honors.
Spejcher and Noah Swaby finished second and fourth in the SEC decathlon, while Ryan Brown placed fifth in the triple jump and Etamar Bhastekar finished seventh in the pole vault. Owens-Delerme ran on both relays during the SEC meet which combined for 10 points, and he placed fourth in the 110m hurdles.
Named the SEC Field Athlete of the Year, the outdoor season for Owens-Delerme started with a collegiate record victory in the Mt. SAC Relays decathlon with a score of 8,528 points, which included collegiate best marks in the decathlon 100m (10.27) and 400m (46.12). He improved the 400m time to 46.10 during the NCAA meet.
Owens-Delerme became just the second collegian to produce a pair of decathlon scores better than 8,450 points in the same season. The other collegian is Texas A&M’s Lindon Victor with scores of 8,539w and 8,472.
In tabulating his score from the four running events of a decathlon, Owens-Delerme produced 3,887 points in his Mt. SAC Relays victory, bettering the previous collegiate best of 3,815 by Eaton in his 2010 NCAA performance.
Among the world level amid professional athletes, Owens-Delerme is No. 2 all-time with his running event score, trailing only Eaton’s tally of 3,944 from his then world-record score of 9,045 in 2015.
Overall, Owens-Delerme qualified in seven events for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Along with the decathlon, his individual marks would have qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in the 100m, 400m, 110m hurdles, and long jump. In addition, Owens-Delerme was part of Razorback relays that qualified in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.
During the SEC Championships, Owens-Delerme ran third leg of the silver medal 4 x 100 relay. In the NCAA West, a split of 45.9 by Owens-Delerme on the opening leg led to a season best 3:03.95 that advanced Arkansas’ 4 x 400 relay to Eugene.