U of M Men - Bastien Posts Historic Fourth-Place NCAA Decathlon Finish

U of M Men - Bastien Posts Historic Fourth-Place NCAA Decathlon Finish

Provided by U of M

» Steven Bastien scored a school-record 8,015 points to finish fourth in the NCAA Championships decathlon.

» He became just the 56th man in college history to surpass the 8,000-point threshold in the event.

» Combined with eighth-place hammer thrower Joe Ellis, Michigan collected its most top-eight finishes in a single championship since 2007.

Site: Eugene, Ore. (Hayward Field)

Event: NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 2)

U-M Team Score: T14th Place (6 points) after Day 2

Next U-M Event: Season Complete

EUGENE, Ore. -- With as much University of Michigan track and field history as Steven Bastien has set throughout his storied career, it was only fitting his final day donning the Maize and Blue -- Thursday (June 8) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships -- was his most historic yet.

The redshirt senior scored 8,015 points to finish fourth nationally in the men's decathlon, shattering his own school record from a year ago by 98 points and making him just the 56th man in collegiate history to surpass the 8,000-point threshold.

A graduate of Saline High School just outside of Ann Arbor, Bastien also became just the fourth-ever man who graduated from a high school in the state of Michigan to break 8,000 points, joining, among others, current volunteer assistant coach Chad Smith.

With the decathlon technically considered a field event, his fourth-place finish was the best in a field event at nationals since Michael Whitehead was the national runner-up in the triple jump at the 2006 edition of the meet.

Of the 10 events that comprise the grueling test of endurance, strength and talent that is the decathlon, Bastien registered new career-best marks in five of them with numerous critical crunch-time moments throughout the two days.

Those personal records and critical moments coalesced into the finest decathlon in the history of the University of Michigan, and one of the finest in NCAA Championships history. By virtue of his fourth-place finish, his score registered on the all-time list as the 50th 8,000-point score in the deep archives of this meet.

On the strength of three career-best performances on day one of the decathlon, Bastien entered the second-and-final day of the competition up 125 points on his eventual school-record score at this juncture a year ago. With two more personal-record efforts on Thursday, that margin more or less held throughout the afternoon.

Bastien set the tone right off the bat as he battled through cold, windy and rainy conditions in the opening 110-meter hurdles to run a lifetime-best 14.73 (+2.0m/s). The performance was .04 of a second superior to his previous PR from earlier this season -- run under much better conditions at Georgia.

The performance was good for 882 points and kept him in fourth place in the overall standings.

Only 37 centimeters separated Bastien from his season's best performance in the discus as he launched the disc 40.10m (131-7) on his second attempt for 667 points. The mark was a significant improvement on his first attempt of 37.65m (123-6), to the tune of 50 points in the overall scoring, and was enough to keep him firmly entrenched in fourth.

After a scary moment in the pole vault warmups when his pole snapped on a practice attempt, Bastien bounced back in the biggest way possible with a new outdoor career best in the event at 4.81m (15-9.25).

After clearing his first two bars on first attempts and his third on a second attempt, Bastien was faced with a do-or-die third try at 4.71m (15-5.5). As he did all throughout the two-day event, he came through when it counted with a big make to stay alive. He eventually made his best height of the day on his second go at it.

The third-attempt make secured him 30 more points -- another ultimately crucial moment that paved the road to 8,000 points.

A mark of 51.42m (168-8) in the penultimate javelin event secured him 610 more points and set the stage for his 1,500-meter pursuit of history.

Needing to run no slower than 4:36.65 to secure his place in history, Bastien once again exceeded expectations with a 4:34.31 clocking -- the third-fastest of his career -- to seal the deal, crossing the line with arms outstretched in victory.

With the exhaustion of 10 events in two days weighing on him, he fell to the track. Splayed out on his back on the running surface just past the finish line, he pumped his fists into the air in triumph.

Bastien's performance capped off the 2017 Michigan outdoor season in style, joined in All-America status by first-team hammer thrower Joe Ellis and second-team 400-meter hurdler Taylor McLaughlin.

Combined with Ellis, this marked Michigan's first NCAA Outdoor Championships with multiple top-eight finishers since 2007.

Though his Michigan career has come to a close, Bastien's competitive career is far from finished. He will compete at the USATF Outdoor Championships June 22-25 in Sacramento, California, with berths to the IAAF World Championships later this summer up for grabs.

Communications Contact: Kyle Terwillegar