Oregon Track and Field: Former Duck Brianne Theisen-Eaton Starts World Championships


Fomer Oregon Duck track and field standout Brianne Theisen-Eaton will one of the first athletes to compete at the 2015 Track and Field World Championships in Beijing this weekend. There’s some speculation that she and her husband, 2012 Olympic decathlon mold medalist and former Duck Ashton Eaton, will make history by achieving a “golden double” and winning both events.

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27-year-old Theisen-Eaton is in the heptahlon, and her first day’s events on Friday are the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meter dash. She set a personal best and Canadian national record of 6,808 points at a meet in May.

After that win, though, she took a bit of a break and felt it. According to the Eatons’ primary coach Harry Marra, in an interview with GoTrackTownUsa.com, “She came to me and said, ‘You know what? I’m just going through the motions,’” he said. “She told me, ‘I have to get fired up again. I have to start throwing and kicking stuff in practice. Just be aware I’m going to start doing that.’”

Track and Field news predicts that extra fire will do the trick and the Eatons will both win gold, becoming the first married couple to win the multi-event competitions at the same international meet.

“I think there is a good chance for this husband and wife team.”

Decathlon analyst Frank Zarnowski said “I think there is a good chance for this husband and wife team,” in an article with Reuters. “Ashton is a pretty safe bet to win,” he told the news organization. “I think Brianne can win but it’ll be closer.”

Theisen-Eaton’s closest challengers are Britain’s Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Ennis-Hill, age 29, is the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, while the 22-year-old Johnson-Thompson’s PR is just ahead of Theisen-Eaton’s.

Theisen-Eaton’s toughest event, according to an article she wrote for WeAreEaton.com, is the javelin.

“I made up my mind that I was going to accept the reality of the situation,” she wrote. “I told myself, ‘If you (practice as well as you can) and still don’t throw far, it’ll be okay because at least you’ll know that you did everything you could to give yourself the best chance for improvement.'”

The javelin is the second-to-last event of the heptathlon on Saturday. It may very well make-or-break her chance at a gold medal.

The decathlon at Worlds, Ashton’s event, is next weekend. That the Eatons even have a chance at the golden double before competition begins is a testament to how hard they are trying to be two of the best athletes in the world.

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