Former North Allegheny decathlete Ayden Owens-Delerme finishes 4th at World Championships

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Monday, July 25, 2022 | 1:23 AM


Since his days running track at North Allegheny, Ayden Owens-Delerme has talked about winning world titles and Olympic medals. This weekend, the NCAA champion decathlete made his World Championships debut and proved those dreams aren’t too far off.

Competing against the sport’s best professional athletes, the 22-year-old college star finished fourth Sunday night at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., with a personal-best 8,532 points.

France’s Kevin Mayer won the world title with 8,816 points. Mayer, 30, is now a two-time world champion and has owned the world record since 2018.

Owens-Delerme was the youngest athlete to finish among the top five, meaning he should have more chances to earn medals in the future. In fact, he held the overall lead after Day 1, which included a world-class time in the 400 meters (45.07 seconds).

He finished Saturday’s five events with 4,606 points and continued to hold a slim lead after a second-place finish early Sunday in the 110-meter hurdles (13.88 seconds). He dropped in the standings after consecutive 16th-place finishes in the discus and pole vault and an 18th-place finish in the javelin.

Still, Owens-Delerme ended his World Championships debut strong with a winning time in the 1,500-meters, crossing the line in a personal-best 4 minutes, 13.02 seconds in the finale of the 10-event schedule.

His cumulative score was 75 points better than his NCAA-winning mark on the same track a month earlier. His best scores at Worlds came in the 400 meters (1,056 points), 110-meter hurdles (990), 100 meters (970 points) and long jump (970).

He added 860 points in the 1,500-meter run, 822 in the high jump, 788 in the shot put, 760 in the pole vault, 713 in the discus and 603 in the javelin.

Canada’s Pierce LePage finished second with 8,701 points, and American Zachery Ziemek was third with 8,676. Owens-Delerme was competing for Puerto Rico.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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