NEW ORLEANS – The multi-talented Ayden Owens-Delerme earned a second national award this season as USTFCCCA named the Razorback junior the National Field Athlete of the Year on Friday.
Voting for the honor was conducted by the coaches in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Owens-Delerme is the fourth decathlete to earn the accolade for the outdoor season and just the second collegian to claim the national indoor and outdoor honor in the same year. Oregon’s Ashton Eaton achieved the feat in 2009 and 2010.
He is also the fifth member of the Arkansas program to earn a national honor and joins Erick Walder (1994) as the only pair of Razorbacks to receive the award for the indoor and outdoor seasons in the same year.
“He is a phenomenal athlete, and his consistency is special,” noted Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “You don’t see that with a lot of kids, being able to do what he did indoors to win the NCAA heptathlon and then come outside with 10 events and do it again in winning the NCAA decathlon. Accomplishing it at a such high level is pretty amazing.”
Running events power Owens-Delerme in the decathlon and he is one of the best-ever in the world.
His combination of 10.27 (100m) – 46.12 (400m) – 13.80 (110H) – 4:13.17 (1,500m) – for 3,887 points during his collegiate record performance of 8,528 points to win the Mt. SAC Relays in mid-April surpassed the previous collegiate best of 3,815 points by Eaton in 2010.
When including professional athletes with the running event tally in the decathlon, Owens-Delerme ranks second all-time with his 3,887 behind a 3,994 by Eaton from his then world-record decathlon of 9,045 points in 2015.
“That certainly is a big weapon he has, his ability to run so well and do so whether it’s the 100m or the 1,500m,” stated Bucknam. “He has an amazing running ability with the talent he has.
“We had him on both our relays, the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400, which both qualified for the NCAA West Prelims and the 4 x 400 advanced to the national championship field.”
Owens-Delerme, who has been on The Bowerman watch list since his Mt. SAC performance, became the first Razorback to win the NCAA decathlon and his score of 8,457 points equaled the meet record held by Eaton from 2010. The tally also equals the eighth best performance on the collegiate all-time list.
In addition to generating 3,731 points from running events during his NCAA decathlon victory, which included a decathlon collegiate best of 46.10 in the 400m, career best marks in the high jump (6-7), discus (151-9), and javelin (183-11) assisted his efforts. Owens-Delerme moved into the overall lead on the second day following each throwing event.
National Field Athlete of the Year | Decathletes
|2022||Ayden Owens-Delerme (indoor & outdoor)|
|2017||Lindon Victor, Texas A&M|
|2016||Lindon Victor, Texas A&M|
|2010||Ashton Eaton, Oregon (indoor & outdoor)|
|2009||Ashton Eaton, Oregon (indoor & outdoor)|
|2007||Jake Arnold, Arizona|
Arkansas Men | National Athlete of the Year
|2022||Ayden Owens-Delerme (indoor)|
|2004||Alistair Cragg (indoor)|
|2003||Alistair Cragg (indoor)|
|1994||Erick Walder (indoor)|