FILE: Lindon Victor/Oregon News, Photo by Dillon Vibes

By Maverick Pallack – Special for GrenadaSports

EUGENE, Oregon, June 9, 2017 — Texas A&M decathlete Lindon Victor, the collegiate record holder, closed out his collegiate career Thursday by defending his title at the NCAA track and field championships at Hayward Field.

Victor concluded his collegiate career with a 4:55.71 time in the 1,500 meters. This brought his score to a winning total of 8,390. He beat runner-up Devon Williams of Georgia by 209 points.

“I think defending a title is really really hard,” Victor said. “There is a lot of pressure to defend your title, and being the collegiate record holder is even more pressure. You’re expected to win this meet. It’s really fulfilling. I’m just blessed to be in this situation.”

Victor and fellow Olympian Karl Saluri were favorites along with Saluri’s Georgia teammate Williams and Minnesota decathlete Luca Wieland.

Victor began day two in third place with 4,349 points, trailing the leader, Wieland, by 91 points. He said competing in three decathlons since March 29, he was tired.

“It was the hardest decathlon I’ve ever done,” he said.

He started with a time of 14.78 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles and a best of 4.61 meters in the pole vault.

His finest events of the day were in the discus, which he won with a throw of 53.31 meters, and the javelin, which he won, throwing 67.24 meters.

After his performance in the javelin, Victor broke his own record through nine events at the NCAA track and field championships.

With one event to go, Victor had a chance to break Ashton Eaton’s NCAA championship meet record from 2010 with a time of 4:44.45. With the 10 points secured for his Texas A&M squad and his energy low, Victor allowed the record to live another year.

“I’m really tired,” he said. “Ten points is very valuable to my team right now. Ashton Eaton’s record still stands. So hopefully somebody can break it.”

On the first day, he finished eighth in the 100 meters in 10.72 seconds and ninth in the long jump with a best of 7.34 meters. Victor then won the shot put with a best of 16.31 meters, jumped a 2.01 in the high jump to finish fifth and ended his day with a time of 49.33 seconds in the 400 meters, which placed him 13th.

That 400 meters concerned Victor as he prepared for the second day of the competition.

“My 400 was really bad,” Victor said. “I don’t know why. I think probably my body was really tired. Unfortunately, some of the other guys had bad events that helped me. But that’s the decathlon: who is more mentally tough and who can bounce back from a bad event.”

Following his record-breaking performance earlier this year and this NCAA track and field championship, Victor will now turn his attention toward representing his country, Grenada, and his family in the 2017 IAAF World Championships, which will be held in London.

Despite fatigue being a factor in what Victor called a “terrible meet,” he is still looking forward to his next competition

“I’m gonna compete at worlds,” Victor said. “I got two months to rest. You can believe that.”

The NCAA champion was proud of his accomplishment and said, “It meant a lot for me personally. It meant a lot for my country and my school.”

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