Ayden Owens Breaks Decathlon U20 National Record

Former North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) standout Ayden Owens broke the U.S. U20 national record and took over the current world lead in the decathlon at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Arizona.

The University of Southern California (USC) freshman posted 8,130 points over two days in the multi-event competition, which was filled with personal bests. Owens now currently sits at No. 1 in the world with his performance, passing Karl-Robert Saluri's (Estonia) previous world lead of 8,060 points. It's also the No. 3 all-time U20 performance in the world.

Owens outlasted reigning Pac-12 decathlon champion Harrison Williams of Stanford University for the win, thanks in large part to a big PR of 4:28.90 in the final event, the 1,500 meters. Owens passed Williams late in the race and earned the decathlon win by 18 points.

His 8,130 smashed the previous U20 record (with senior implements) of 7,892 points by Gunnar Nixon from 2012. Owens' point total is also better than the decathlon national record with junior implements, which his closest competitor from Bryan Clay, Williams, holds at 8,037 points from 2015.

On the first day of competition, Owens racked up 4,266 points. He set personal bests in the 100 meters (10.43), long jump (24-08.5), and the 400 meters (47.66). On day two, PR'd in the discus (141-6), the pole vault (15-1), the javelin throw (168-0), and then the 1,500 meters. He scored wins in the 100 dash, 400, and 110 hurdles.

Owens was a multi-time PIAA state champion while at North Allegheny, winning three AAA state titles in the 300-meter hurdles and two in the 110-meter hurdles outdoors. Indoors, he was a national champion and PA state record holder in the 60-meter hurdles (7.59). 

Here's a rundown of Owens record-setting performances event-by-event from the Bryan Clay Invitational:

  • 100 Meters: 10.43 (992 points) -  1st
  • Long Jump: 7.53m; 24-08.5 feet (942 points) - 2nd
  • Shot Put: 13.41m; 44-00 feet (692 points) - 8th
  • High Jump: 1.90m; 6-2.75 feet (714 points) - 11th
  • 400 Meters: 47.66 (926 points) - 1st
  • 110 Meter Hurdles: 13.91 (986 points) - 1st 
  • Discus Throw: 43.14m; 141-6 feet (729 points) - 4th
  • Pole Vault: 4.60m; 15-1 feet (790 points) - 8th
  • Javelin Throw: 51.21m; 168-0 feet (607 points) - 9th
  • 1,500 Meters: 4:28.90 (752 points) - 3rd