Checking in at 6 feet, 5 inches, Kyle Garland always comes at you in a big way, going back to his standout years at Germantown Academy.
He completed his biggest and arguably best performance to date Saturday at the USATF Combined Events Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. A junior at Georgia, Garland added more than 500 points to his decathlon PR and more importantly almost 200 points to the collegiate record in the 10-eventer.
Garland scored 8,720 points to finish second in the qualifying meet for the World Championships this July in Eugene, Ore. His two-day performance erased the college standard of 8,528 points set less than a month ago by long-time Pennsylvania rival Ayden Owens-Delerme of Arkansas and also bettered a wind-aided performance of 8,539 by Lindon Victor of Texas A&M back in 2017.
Garland opened the competition at the University of Arkansas with a PR 10.63 seconds in the 100 meters before taking the overall lead with another PR in the long jump at 25 feet, 9.5 inches. He was not far from his lifetime bests in the shot put, high jump and 400 to close day 1 at 4,660, the best-ever midway score for a collegian and a 157-point margin over eventual winner Garrett Scantling.
Garland, who like Owens-Delerme turns 22 on May 28, started day 2 with another PR of 13.71 in the 110 hurdles to add to the overall lead he held until the completion of the pole vault. He also closed the competition with two more best-evers in the javelin (195-8) and 1,500 (4:43.21) to secure a decathlon spot on Team USA at this year's global meet and move to No. 7 on the all-time U.S. list and No. 16 in the all-time worldwide rankings, according to World Athletics.