Aug. 11, 2009
Five-time U.S. champion and 2003 World Championships decathlon gold medalist Tom Pappas posted the second best score in the world this year in leading Team USA to victory over Germany at the annual Thorpe Cup combined events challenge in Marburg, Germany.
The University of Tennessee product (1997-99), who was injured earlier in the year and did not compete at the USA Outdoor Championships, posted his best decathlon score in five years of 8,569 points in leading the Team USA men's squad to victory. This was the best performance by the three-time Olympian since 2004, when he totaled 8,732 points at Gotzis, and it is the highest total by an American this year.
Former University of Wisconsin standout Joe Detmer was the runner-up to Pappas in the individual competition with 7,892 points, with German world junior champion Jan Felix Knobel finishing third with 7,758 points. Team USA, which has won the Thorpe Cup 13 times in 16 outings, won this year's event convincingly with 39,462 points to Germany's 35,297.
A two-time Big 10 Conference champion while at Minnesota, Liz Roehrig led the U.S. women's heptathlon squad by winning the individual competition with 5,990 points. Germany bounced back to win the team heptathlon competition with 17,680 points over Team USA's 16,650 points. The heptathlon was added to the Thorpe Cup in 2006.
For more information on Team USA at the 2009 Thorpe Cup in Germany, visit: www.usatf.org.