Sentman Wins National Decathlon Title
Oregon Tech's Bryan Sentman
MARION, Ind. — Oregon Tech’s Bryant Sentman had a good day Friday. The senior became OIT’s fourth track and field champion when he scored a school record 7,097 points to win the NAIA national decathlon title.
“I’m extremely happy with the way things worked out,” Sentman said via telephone Friday from Indiana Wesleyan University where he won the decathlon by more than 250 points. “The primary goal this year was to win the national title, and did that,” Sentman said. That came despite a controversy in his best individual event, the javelin.
“They used an electronic laser measuring device, and everybody thought it was off,” he said. “Coaches from every school, including Indiana Wesleyan, were yelling at the meet officials. Every thrower threw about 20 feet less than his (personal best). The whole field was upset. “It was extremely frustrating,” Sentman said, noting that accurate measurements would have given him another 90 points or so, which would have been enough to qualify for the U.S. national championships this summer in Eugene.
Sentman’s official throw, easily the best of the competition, was measured at just over 189 feet. “It felt like a throw of 210 feet,” Sentman said, noting that he saw his javelin clear the 200-foot mark. Had his throw been measured at 210 feet, it would have been a school record. Despite that, Sentman had five personal bests, including chopping five seconds off his 1,500-meter run. “Going into the 1,500, we knew we had it wrapped up,” Sentman said of himself and coach Ken Coffman. “I was about 180 points ahead. Coach said he wanted me to run as hard as I could and finished strong. I ran a great race. The last lap was my fastest lap.”
Sentman had a solid first day and was almost 50 points better than any previous first-day score on his career.
“We had a down pour almost 80 percent of (Thursday’s competition),” he said. “It was cold and ugly, so I was extremely happy with my score (of 3,534 points). We had to deal with a wet track and I slipped on the wet shot put ring. In the high jump, it was tough to get a good plant. “(Friday) was an almost perfect day.”
If the javelin was scored correctly and Thursday’s weather a little better, Sentman said he thought his score could have pushed 7,300 points.
“Last year I had seven PRs and people here didn’t think I could do that again,” he said. “I had five this year. It feels outstanding. I have my whole family here supporting me. And my coaches were here. “We put in a lot of hard work and spent the last week or two going through everything I wanted to do,” he said. “I don’t think this is the end of my (decathlon) road, by any means. I will try to continue to do the decathlon after my college career (which includes basketball next winter). This makes me that much more excited to see what the possibilities are for me in the decathlon."
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