goodBYE Illinois, Hello La Crosse?

Sophomore Matt Bye recorded a career-best 6,300 points in the decathlon at the North Central Gregory Meet and unofficially qualified for the NCAA National Meet.
Sophomore Matt Bye recorded a career-best 6,300 points in the decathlon at the North Central Gregory Meet and unofficially qualified for the NCAA National Meet.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/17/18)---In a rare case of a last chance meet living up to its name, sophomore Matt Bye used the North Central Gregory Meet to unofficially qualify for nationals in the decathlon.

Bye finished the 2-day event with a career-best 6,300 points which pushes him into the No.18 spot in Division III. The NCAA National Meet takes the Top 20 in each event so Bye is currently inside the cut line and should be headed to the national meet at Wis.-La Crosse on May 25-26.

Bye's final point total was good for third place in the meet but second by a collegiate athlete. He missed the top score by an NCAA athlete by a mere five points.

His score of 6,300 points is also the fifth highest in school history.  

Bye positioned himself to have a chance at a national berth by posting career best numbers in three of the five events on Day 1. He scored PRs in the long jump, shot put and 400 meters on Wednesday. He scored over 575 in all five events on the first day and totaled 3,190 points heading into Day 2.

Bye's biggest point total on the opening day came in the very first race where he clocked an 11.79 and recorded 693 points in the event.

Bye then recorded a career-best distance of 20-04.25 in the long jump which earned him 630 points. He then won the shot put event with a mark of 38-04.75. His career-best distance gave him 588 points. Bye then finished off the day by clearing 5-10.50 in the high jump and then clocked a PR time of 53.50 in the 400 meters. Both events saw him add more than 600 points to his score.

Bye started the second day by winning his second event of the decathlon. He ran a 15.30 in the 110-meter hurdles which gave him his high for a single event with 814 points. Bye then went 2-for-2 in event wins by hurling the discus 118-11 which was four feet farther than any other competitor and got him 589 points.

Bye won his third straight event on Day 2 when he cleared 12-05.50 in the pole vault. His point total of 562 points pushed him into the lead in the event and suddenly an NCAA qualifying mark was in range.          

Bye had a brief stumble in the javelin as he came away with a distance of 154-05 which only scored him 545 points – his lowest point total of the 10 events.

Bye finished off the decathlon by getting back in the 600-point range as he crossed the line in the 1500 meters in a time of 4:53.11 which gave him 600 points and jumped him into the Top 20 in the nation in the decathlon.

Bye will find out if he has qualified for the NCAA Meet on Friday morning. If he qualifies for nationals he will be the second Cobber decathlete in as many years to qualify for nationals. Last year Jackson Schepp earned a trip to the NCAA Meet and finished 16th with 5,725 points.

Bye could become the sixth Concordia decathlete to qualify for the NCAA National Meet since 2000. The highest finish by a Cobber decathlete in that group was by Adam Strainer who finished sixth in 2000.     

1. Adams, Andrew - Augustana (Ill.)- 6305
2. Bye, Matt - Concordia-Moorhead - 6300 
3. Izenbart, Joshua - Hope - 6257 
4. Oddo, Dominic - Case Western - 5864 
5. Kleiman, Noah - St. Norbert - 5847 
6. Gelhar, Cole - Wis.-Superior - 5840 
7. Cerar, Frank - St. Scholastica - 5785 
8. Petersen, Todd - Ripon - 5362 
9. Stevens, Mason - Webster - 5206