April 15, 2005
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Austra Skujyte, the silver medalist in the 2004 Olympics in the heptathlon, broke the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world record in the women's decathlon on Friday. The event was part of the University of Missouri's second-annual Audrey Walton Combined Events in Columbia, Mo. Skujyte, a native of Lithuania, scored 8366 points to take the world record from Marie Collonville of France in the first IAAF-sanctioned women's decathlon competition held in North America.
Skujyte scored 3898 points on day one, marking a personal-best in the 400-meter dash (57.19). To start day two, Skujyte ran the 100-meter hurdles in 14.22. Following in the long jump, she leaped 20 feet, 1 inch (6.12m). And then Skujyte separated herself from Collonville's record pace, throwing the shot put 53-10½ (16.42m), topping her French counterpart's throw in the discipline by more than 14 feet. The former Kansas State Wildcat, then went to the high jump, the second to last event, clearing the bar at 5-10 (1.78m).
The 1500-meter run was the final event in Skujyte's way. Needing only to run the race in 5:53.82 to break the record, Skujyte ran a 5:15.86, breaking the old mark by 216 points.
The world record still needs to be ratified by the IAAF to become official.
The collegiate record in the women's decathlon was established by Kansas State's Breanna Eveland. Eveland scored 6821 points, helped by a stadium record effort in yesterday's pole vault event. Sophomore Wildcat Lindsay Grigoriev placed third in the event, scoring 6641 points.
Liz Young (Jefferson City, Mo.) became the first women from the University of Missouri to compete in the women's decathlon, and she will now stand as the school's record holder, scoring 6019 points.
The women's decathlon has been added recently to the track and field competition program as the IAAF recognized France's Marie Collinville's women's decathlon score of 8,160, set in Talence, France, in September 2004. Currently, the IAAF women's program for the Olympic Games and World Championships includes the seven-event heptathlon. No time table has yet been set to add the 10-event decathlon to normal competition. The pole vault, an event in which the decathlon adds, was just added to the women's program in 1998.
The athletes were aided by fair skies and cool breezes over both days of the meet.
A full recap of today's women's heptathlon, men's decathlon, and the first day of the Tom Botts Invitational will be available on mutigers.com later this evening.
For complete results, visit mutigers.com, click on track and field, and then find the Audrey Walton Combined Event page.
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