A Top 15 NCAA Decathlon Finish

Sophomore Matt Bye recorded a Top 15 finish in his very first NCAA Championship Meet decathlon.
Sophomore Matt Bye recorded a Top 15 finish in his very first NCAA Championship Meet decathlon.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (5/25/18)---Matt Bye finished off his unlikely trek to the Division III NCAA National Outdoor Meet by placing 15th in the decathlon.

Bye, who hadn't competed in a collegiate decathlon until a little over a month ago, put up career best numbers in four of the 10 events and finished with 6,212 points. His final score is the second-best of his brief collegiate decathlon career. Bye recorded 6,300 total points when he qualified for the national meet last week.

Bye finished six points behind the No.14 finisher and was 262 points shy of a Tip 10 finish.

Bye's 15th-place finish is the highest by a Cobber decathlete since 2002 when Joe Schmidgall earned All-American honors with a seventh-place finish. Bye ties the 15th-place finish posted by Paul Westmark in 2009 and edges out former teammate Jackson Schepp who placed 16th in the decathlon at last year's NCAA National Outdoor Meet.  

Bye used his strength in the sprints and high jump to get to his Top 15 finish. He scored more than 625 points in three of the 10 events and all came from his more experienced collegiate events. Bye's top scoring event came in the opener on Day 2 when he crossed the line in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 15.27 and earned 817 points. He put up the second fastest time of any of the 18 competitors in the event.

Bye, who competed in the high jump and 110-meter hurdles during last year's outdoor track and field season, recorded a career-best height in the high jump in the second-to-last  event on the first day of competition for his second-best point total. He cleared 6-01.50 which gave him 687 points.

Bye's third 625-point plus event came in the very first race on Day 1. He clocked a 12.03 in the 100 meters which was good for 645 points.

Besides the high jump, Bye also bested, or tied, his career best marks in the shot put, pole vault and 1500 meters.

Bye came away with a distance of 38-05.50 in the shot put which was the third-to-last event on Day 1. His previous best in the shot put was 38-04.75 which came last week at the North Central meet.

Bye tied his career-best mark in the pole vault in the third event on the second day. He cleared the bar at 12-05.50 which was also the height he cleared to finish second at the MIAC Championship Meet.

Bye capped off his national-meet experience by shattering his PR in the 1500 meters by almost three full seconds. He gutted out the final event to post a time of 4:50.57 which earned him 615 points.

NCAA Decathlon Final Results
1. Tobias Muellers, Sr., Williams – 6,969
2. Alex Canchola, Sr., George Fox – 6,821
3. Will Daniels, So., Central – 6,793
4. Nate Newman, Sr., Ohio Wesleyan – 6,708
5. Nicholas McGill, So., Whitworth – 6,654
6. Leif Van Grinsven, Jr., Wheaton (Ill.) – 6,600
7. Cody Faust, Jr., Wis-Platteville – 6,596
8. Seth Spicer, Sr., Alfred – 6,580
9. Tommy Riley, Sr., Williams – 6,572
10. Jeremy Lee, Jr., Wis.-Stevens Point – 6,474
11. Zachary Haskin, Jr., Cobleskill – 6,402
12. Preston Huddleston, Sr., St. Thomas – 6,278
13. Michael Amerlan, Wis.-Eau Claire – 6,250
14. William Canty, So., Westfield St. – 6,218
15. Matt Bye, So., Concordia-Moorhead – 6,212
16. Joshua Izenbart, So., Hope – 6,162
17. Andrew Adams, Sr., Augustana (Ill.) – 6,128
18. Noah Meeteer, Jr., Wis.-La Crosse – 6,063  
19. Keaton Wood, Fr., Linfield - DNF
20. Matt Wells, So., Puget Sound - DNF