NEW ORLEANS –Razorback junior Ayden Owens-Delerme and Arkansas associate head coach Travis Geopfert received the USTFCCCA region awards Thursday. Owens-Delerme won South Central Region Outfield Athlete of the Year and Geopfert received 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 tied the meet record held by Oregon’s Ashton Eaton. The tally also equates to the eighth-best performance on the collegiate roster of all time.
Second and third place scores of 8,362 by Leo Neugebauer of Texas and 8,333 by Kyle Garland of Georgia were also the highest scores for a berth in NCAA Championship history.
This is the eighth USTFCCCCA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year award for Geopfert.
Returning to Arkansas this season after a three-year stint at Tennessee, Geopfert had nine NCAA Championship starts among six events. In addition to Owens-Delerme winning the NCAA decathlon title, Daniel Spejcher won first-team All-America by placing seventh.
Geopfert’s group of events totaled 26.5 points in conference play as Arkansas beat Alabama by six points to complete a second SEC Triple Crown for the Razorbacks.
With a sweep of the NCAA indoor heptathlon and the NCAA outdoor decathlon, Owens-Delerme won NCAA individual titles No. 12 and No. 13 for Geopfert, whose athletes reached a total of 85 All-America honors. in the first team.
Spejcher and Noah Swaby were second and fourth in the SEC decathlon, while Ryan Brown was fifth in the triple jump and Etamar Bhastekar was seventh in the pole vault. Owens-Delerme ran on both stints in the SEC encounter which combined for 10 points, and he placed fourth in the 110m hurdles.
Named SEC Field Athlete of the Year, Owens-Delerme’s outdoor season began 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 100m decathlon. (10.27) and 400m (46.12). He improved the 400m time to 46.10 at the NCAA meet.
Owens-Delerme became just the second middle schooler to produce a pair of decathlon scores above 8,450 points in the same season. The other middle schooler is Lindon Victor of Texas A&M with scores of 8,539w and 8,472.
Tabulating his score from all four running events of a decathlon, Owens-Delerme produced 3,887 runs in his Mt. SAC Relays win, bettering Eaton’s previous collegiate record of 3,815 in his 2010 NCAA performance.
Among world-class professional athletes, Owens-Delerme is No. 2 all-time in running scoring, behind only Eaton’s tally of 3,944 from his world record of 9,045 in 2015.
Overall, Owens-Delerme qualified in seven events for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In addition to the decathlon, his individual scores would have qualified for the NCAA West preliminary rounds in the 100m, 400m, 110m hurdles and long jump. Additionally, Owens-Delerme was part of the Razorback stints that qualified in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400.
At the SEC Championships, Owens-Delerme ran the third leg of the silver medal-winning 4 x 100 relay. In the NCAA West, a 45.9 split by Owens-Delerme in the opener led to a season-best 3:03.95 that advanced Arkansas’ 4 x 400 relay to Eugene.