Ashton Eaton crossing the finish line in the heptathlon 1000, one second too slow for a world record // photo Getty Images

Ashton Eaton crossing the finish line in the heptathlon 1000, one second too slow for a world record // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Is winning gold ever ‘failure’?

SOPOT, Poland — Over two days, the drama and excitement built, Ashton Eaton chasing his own world record through seven events of the heptathlon.

It came down to, ultimately, the final event, the 1000-meter run. To set a new mark, the math tables said he needed to run a time that was, actually, one second slower than his personal best.

Ashton Eaton in the long jump portion of the heptathlon // photo Getty Images

Ashton Eaton in the long jump portion of the heptathlon // photo Getty Images

Track and field

This Eaton couple is really good

SOPOT, Poland — From the bang of the first gun Friday, it was crystal-clear Ashton Eaton is truly one of the most remarkable and versatile athletes of our time. On the track, he seemingly does everything so well. Why doesn’t he get more due?

Running in Lane 8 in the 60-meter dash, Eaton got off to a quick start and, outlined in Team USA red against the blue track, an even-faster finish. He crossed in 6.66 seconds, equaling a personal best.

The winning team. That's decathlon team Ashton Eaton back left and distance champ Hicham el Guerrouj back right.

The winning team. That's decathlon team Ashton Eaton back left and distance champ Hicham el Guerrouj back right.

Track and field

Portland wins 2016 world indoors

MONACO — The U.S. team has long been No. 1 in the world in track and field.

Hosting the world in track and field? Not so much. The U.S. has not played host to a major championship since 1992, in Boston. Before that, Indianapolis staged the world indoor championships, in 1987. Of course, Atlanta and Los Angeles put on the Summer Olympic Games. That was 1996. And 1984.

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Ashton Eaton: decathlon world record

EUGENE, Ore. — Bruce Jenner, before he became the guy who hung around with the Kardashians, was once the best athlete in the world. This was 1976. That was a special summer. It was the Bicentennial. Sixteen Tall Ships sailed into New York Harbor. And Bruce Jenner was larger than life.

During the Montreal Olympics, Bruce Jenner rocked. He won the gold medal in the decathlon, and ABC’s cameras followed his every move. He was the living embodiment of all that was red, white and blue, and he understood then what he understands now. As he said,  ”They were looking for stories.” America doesn’t really know or understand the complexities of the decathlon. Americans just love stories.

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‘…Big things’ for 2011 U.S. track team

DAEGU, South Korea — Christian Taylor, 21 years old, won the triple jump Sunday at the 2011 track championships with an audacious leap of 17.96 meters, 58 feet, 11 1/4 inches, the fifth-best in history. He declared afterward, in the tone of a respectful competitor, not a jerk, “I came to win.”

Will Claye is just 20 years old. Both Claye and Taylor were going to be seniors at the University of Florida until turning pro. What are the odds that these would be the two guys finishing 1-3 at the worlds in the same event? Yet that’s what happened, Claye jumping a personal-best 17.5, or 57-5. He said, “We came out here, did our best and ended up doing big things.”