Clark Wins Drake Relays Decathlon - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Clark Wins Drake Relays Decathlon

DES MOINES, Iowa - *After taking the runner-up spot in 2008, two-time All-American Mat Clark powered his way to his first Drake Relays decathlon title Thursday afternoon at Drake Stadium. Clark, who sat in third place after the first day, used a 400 meter run of 4:16.89 to steal the title from Minnesota's R.J McGinnis.

Clark finished strong in the final three events, recording the top height in the pole vault, second farthest toss in the javelin and fastest 400 meter time. The Ames, Iowa native cleared a season-best

15-01 in the pole vault to pick up 790 points. He then heaved 188-11 in the javelin to gain another 702 points and jump into second place.

Sitting in second place behind McGinnis heading into the last event, Clark needed to finish 28-seconds faster than McGinnis in the 400 meter race to take the title. Clark clocked in at 4:16.89, 33-seconds ahead of McGinnis, to pick up 833 points and clinch the title with 7,663 points.

In addition to the Drake Relays title, Clark automatically qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. His point total of 7,663 currently puts him second in the nation behind North Carolina's Mateo Sossah.

In other events taking place at the Drake Relays, freshman Danielle Nowasell finished fifth in the women's 10,000 meter race, clocking in at 37:10.29. Her time lands her fifth on the UNI all-time best list.

In the women's 5,000 meter race, senior Caedryn Schrunk took 12^th place with a time of 17:21.87.


Clark's decathlon title marks the fourth time in six years the Drake Relays decathlon title has gone to an athlete with ties to UNI. UNI head coach Travis Geopfert took the title in 2004 and 2006 and former Panther Raven Cepeda took the title in 2007.

Clarks score of 7,663 was just shy of his career-best of 7,691 set last season at the Drake Relays.

{Courtesy: University of Northern Iowa Athletics}

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