Bates junior David Hardison's inspirational win in the decathlon placed a final stamp on the Bobcat men's track and field team's third consecutive ECAC Division III team title last week.
Hardison (South Portland, Maine) won the two-day event at ECACs with a career-best 6,235 points, moving to third place on Bates’ all-time list in the process. In the final event, the 1,500 meters, Hardison knew he’d need to slice at least five seconds off of his personal best, and he ended up cutting more than eight seconds off of it, using a huge final lap to time in at 4:41.34, second-best in the field of 11.
Entering the second day in third place out of 11, Hardison was first in the field in the first event of the second day, the 110-meter hurdles, in 15.65 seconds. He finished up the day by outscoring the entire field in the javelin throw, at 47.63 meters, then taking second in the 1,500, in the final event of the entire meet, with the full attention of his teammates on him.
Hardison's big score earned him a spot in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships this week. The decathlon begins Thursday at 2pm Pacific Time, and concludes on Friday at Fritz Burns Stadium in Claremont, Calif. He is joined at the meet by three teammates: junior David Pless is competing in the discus throw, hammer throw and shot put, while junior James LePage runs the 800 meters on Friday, and junior Andrew Wortham competes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Thursday.