Tate Metcalf was at a business conference for health club owners in San Diego on Saturday, burning with the anxiety of trying to keep his cell phone quiet.
All the while, he was frantically updating Oregonlive.com trying to stay abreast of Ashton Eaton’s NCAA heptathlon.
Eaton broke the world record, held for 17 years by Dan O’Brien, with 6,499 points.
Metcalf, Eaton’s high school coach at Mountain View High of Bend, could barely contain his excitement.
“I bolted out of the conference with tears in my eyes,” Metcalf said.
Metcalf was the coach that first suggested to Eaton that he might have a future as a multi athlete.
“The thing that sticks with me about Ashton — he loved having his name on record boards,” Metcalf said. “He might even struggle with head to head competition, but he liked seeing his name on those boards.”
Now, Eaton has his name attached to a world record. The indoor heptathlon plays to Eaton’s strengths — with only one throwing event out of the seven.
“The potential was there,” Metcalf said. “He’s getting so much more consistent. The 6-11 high jump was fantastic, and he runs the second-fastest 60 (ever) for the U of O? Wow.
“(The world record) came earlier than anyone expected, but that’s sort of been his way since he got started.”