May 13, 2010
Deal, a junior, scored a career-best 6,743 points to take third place, first-team All-WAC honors and six team points. Bushnell, also a junior, nabbed 6,435 points for fourth. He also earned All-WAC honors, with second-team All-WAC honors, and picked up four points for the team. Both Bulldogs are repeat All-WAC honorees, having finished among the top competitors in the decathlon in 2008 and 2009.
"Both of these guys did really well," said head coach Scott Winsor. "They both showed a lot of heart and a lot of character today.
"I told the team that these two guys set an example to the rest of the team. They laid everything out there today and got us off to a good start. Now it's up to the rest of the team to follow suit."
The rest of the Bulldog track and field squad gets into action Friday. Field events begin at 10:30 a.m. with the women's pole vault and the men's hammer throw, while the track events start at 1 p.m. with the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Deal picked up 743 points in the 110-meter hurdles to open the day. In the second event, the discus, he had the third-best throw of the day to pick up 525 points.
The junior from Placerville, Calif., cleared a career-best 15-7 (4.75m) in the pole vault, picking up first and 834 points in the event. He followed that up with a third-place showing in the javelin with a throw of 164-9 (50.21m) for 592 points.
Deal took third in the 1,500, closing out the decathlon with a career-best time of 4:51.09 for 612 points.
"David had some really good events and some that he didn't feel real good about," said Winsor. "And there were some times he could have packed it in. But he came back and had some great events. He came really close to making 16 feet in the pole vault. He showed a lot of resolve through it all."
"I got a PR by over 200 points," said Deal. "There were a few events where I could have done better and didn't, but it was a great decathlon. Going into this, (Philip) Noble and I were separated by 12 points. So it was exciting going back and forth between second and third on the second day. At the end, he had what it took in the 1500."
Bushnell, who has been sidelined due to injury most of the season, scored 6,435 points to take fourth and win his third All-WAC honor.
The junior from Fair Oaks, Calif., came within a few hundredths of a second of tying his career-best in the 100 hurdles. Bushnell timed in at 15.87 for third and 747 points in the event. After two fouls in the discus throw, Bushnell got a clean toss off to grab 371 points.
"Matt could easily have laid down and died after the discus," said Winsor. "It really hurt him. But he came back and performed very well, getting PRs in the pole vault and the javelin."
Bushnell vaulted to a career-best 14-7.25 (4.45m) in the day's third event, the pole vault, for a second-place tie and 746 points. He picked up another career-best in the javelin, bettering his previous best by more than 11 feet to take second in the event and earning 649 points.
He rounded out the day with a strong showing the 1,500 to finish in fourth in the decathlon overall.
"The guys did a really great job today," said Winsor. "I was very happy with the way they started us off."
The rest of the events of the conference championship will begin Friday.
"We Are Your Team!" Follow the Bulldogs live at the 2010 WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships here.
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