Just a quick note...we're headed over to the track to watch the 1500.

Joe no--heighted in the pole vault, which meant he didn't get any points for that event. Big bummer. More details later.

Bryan Clay is in a position to set an American record in the decathlon (current AR is 8891) but he has to run a 4:41 to get it. He usually runs slower than that in the 1500....so he asked Joe to pace him so he can get the record. It's a big honor for him to ask Joe to do that....so if he sets the AR, they will definitely show that race on TV. USA station has coverage from 11:00-1:00...if you get that station, catch it tonight!

More about today later....we have to run!


Trials Day 1

To see a full list of results from Day 1, click here.

Here were Joe's numbers:
100 meters: 11.68
Long Jump: 6.57 meters
Shot Put: 13.46 meters (44'2")
High Jump: 1.99 meters (6'6.25")
400 meters: 50.93
Total Day One: 3689

He's sitting in 17th place out of 20 guys. One guy fouled out in the long jump, so there are really only 19 left. Today's scores were disappointing. Each mark was a little worse than what he did in Texas Day 1....adding up to a cumulative of over 200 points lower than his Day 1 total there. To put it in perspective, he needed to score at least 200 points MORE over the two days (than he did in Texas) to realistically be in contention for top 3.

I'm sitting here with Joe and Rowan in the little apartment across from the field. Joe is in good spirits. In his words: "that was as good as I was today." He felt good this morning, had a good night's sleep, and felt ready to go. But then everything was just flat. From event to event, nothing was spectacular. But he is a really strong Day 2 guy, and he could come up with some big PRs tomorrow!

There have been some really fun events to watch today. The crowd here in Eugene is amazing...they know track, they cheer wildly....it's a lot of fun to be a part of. There were some big marks in a few individual events in the decathlon today (a few huge long jumps, and the farthest shot put I've seen in a dec....over 56 feet!) plus we got to watch the finals for the men's pole vault (our roomie Brad made it...had a bad day, but still got 3rd place....and then 2 old friends from Jonesboro, Hartwig and Miles, also made the team) and the finals for the women's discus (Joe's training partner Suzy made the team). My folks and brother, Joe's folks and sister, my aunt and uncle, cousin and her boyfriend, and 2 other sets of really good friends all came out for the meet...so it's been a fun reunion and good day to enjoy track (albeit really hot!) Rowan was a trooper with the long day of sitting in the stands....but she was also surrounded by lots of people she loves!

Joe was interviewed after the meet by someone from NBC who is friends with Jack Doles back in Grand Rapids...he was tasked with getting some footage of Joe. So if you're in GR, make sure to catch the NBC news tonight....Joe will probably be on. He said they interviewed him for awhile.

I'll post again tomorrow....but you can also check at USATF's site for more up-to-date results. The meet won't get done until 8:30 west coast time...so it will be a late one for all you mid-westerners.

Thanks for your love, support, and prayers. No matter the outcome tomorrow, this has been a journey that we do not regret...and I am proud beyond measure of Joe and all that he has accomplished and given towards this goal.



We arrived in Eugene this evening. Rowan and I drove down to Portland to pick Joe up, then came the rest of the way to Eugene in heavy traffic. We're renting a one-bedroom apartment that is directly across the street from Hayward Field...we can hear all the announcers as I type. It's a short walk to the entrance of the track so it will be great not to have to worry about parking every day. It's craziness around here! Eugene is a huge track town, and the place is hopping. Joe went to get checked in and see if he could catch the end of the women's discus pre-lims.

Mostly I wanted to post a link to a story that appeared on the front page of the Stockton Record today. They have been doing a series of articles on different athletes training at Tri-Valley and last week they interviewed Joe, interviewed me, and took some photos. Click here to see the story.

They also took a photo of us with most of the people that live at our house...but they didn't publish it. I'll include it here so you can see the group. Behind us, left to right, is Nikki, Carly, Brian, Yoo, Katherine (holding Bentley), and Preya. Brad was missing and Stephanie was out of town.


Trials Update

We're coming down the homestretch before the Trials and wanted to thank everyone for their well-wishes and encouragement. Rowan and I are actually up in Burlington, WA, visiting a good friend of mine from high school and college (plus we got to spend the weekend in Portland with my amazing aunt, uncle, and cousins...and the night in Seattle with another great, old friend...but more on all these fun adventures later, once I get photos downloaded and some time on the computer!) We decided to take a road trip for the week before Trials, partly to give Joe some space and alone time and lots of uninterrupted sleep... but also, of course, because I love to see people I love and explore fabulous cities! Rowan and I will drive back down to Portland on Friday to pick Joe up at the airport and then head down to Eugene. I drove over 13 hours north on less than one tank of veggie oil...feels great to go that far and never have to re-fuel! I collected another 40 gallons yesterday (lots of folks do biodiesel in these parts, so it was a challenge to find some unclaimed oil!), and now we're in good shape to do the next leg of our journey.

If you are interested in following the decathlon live, check out this site here . It's called Flashresults and they usually have truly live results. You might also check at USATF's site here. I will post an update after Day 1 and then again after it is all over!

People have also been asking about TV coverage. It will be pretty spotty, and pretty frustrating if you're hoping to get a glimpse of the decathlon. TV coverage in the US usually focuses on the running events and gives tiny little re-caps of the field events. So they might do a 30 second montage on the decathlon of whoever is in the lead after Day 1 (NBC has coverage that day from 7-8 PM), and even if Joe is having a great meet, unless he runs so fast that he beats the really fast guys, you probably won't see him (Day 1 favors speed!) For what it's worth, here is the TV schedule for the Trials. Joe competes on the 29th and 30th of June.

Date Times Network
June 28 12:00-1:00 a.m. USA
June 28 8:00-9:00 p.m. NBC
June 29 7:00-8:00 p.m. NBC
June 30 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 3 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 4 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. USA
July 5 5:00-6:00 p.m. NBC
July 6 7:00-9:00 p.m. NBC



We have been sparing our blog readers from the drama and stress of our last week. But now that it has been resolved, we'll fill you in on the chaos!

Remember when I said Joe had the A standard and he was FOR SURE going to the Trials? Well, we were in for a surprise.

When Joe's decathlon was done, he had to submit his score to USATF (USA Track and Field) and it was entered on a list of other scores. Once USATF receives a score, they go through and verify that it was a sanctioned meet, etc, and then the listing goes from "open" or "provisional" to "qualified." A few days after Joe entered his meet info, I went to USATF to look at the list. There was Joe's name, with the 7907 beside it, with a big fat "NOT QUALIFIED" listed next to it.

Hmmm, we thought. What's this about? We investigated more closely, and saw a little rule that we had never noticed before. Under the qualifying standards, it said that no wind-aided marks would be accepted....and then specified that for multi-events, a wind-reading above 4.0 meters/s would not be allowed. We looked back at Joe's scores, and in the decathlon at Texas, the wind-reading for the 100 meters was 4.3!

In the past, wind-aided rules for the multi-events have only ever mattered for RECORD purposes, but not for QUALIFYING purposes. So Joe's score wouldn't qualify for a record, but it could for qualifying for US Nationals or other big meets. We went back through the scores from the last several years, and each year there has been more than one "wind-aided" decathlon that got in to US Championships (which are basically the same thing as the Trials, just during non-Olympic years). Apparently this year, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) made a new rule that for qualifying for the Olympic Games, wind-aided marks in the multi-events would not be accepted. Somebody at USATF (we have yet to get any real answers from USATF on anything) decided that the rule would apply for the US and our qualifying, too.

Had this new rule been communicated properly by USATF, Joe would have quit his decathlon in Texas after the first event. They (athletes, officials, meet director) would have looked at the wind reading, known it was too high, and he would have packed up and headed to another last-chance meet in Oregon. Obviously this wasn't the case. And in the last week, Joe has talked to dozens of people in the track and field and decathlon world, from athletes to coaches to officials, and NO ONE was aware of this rule. Everyone was very encouraging that wind should not matter for qualifying, only for records...and assured Joe that they couldn't keep him out of the Trials for this.

Problem was, nobody at USATF was telling us that. One person told us sorry, the rule was the rule. We couldn't get straight answers...one guy even told Joe that he was over-reacting and "looking too deep" by calling in to inquire about his "NOT QUALIFIED" (how exactly can you be over-reacting when the very thing you've worked so hard for is in question and you might not get to compete at the Trials?) Then they said he had to file an appeal...but no-one could tell him what the appeals process was, who was on the appeals committee, or when they would be meeting. He finally talked to a lady who "took down his information" (that felt satisfying, yeah right!), and said the appeals committee might be meeting sometime NEXT WEEK (just days before the Trials).

As you can imagine, we've been living within the reality that Joe might not be competing at the Trials. Joe has been on the phone a lot, missing practice a few days, trying to get to the right people and do everything he could to get into the meet. While it may be true that the new rule exists (although even on that, we couldn't get a straight answer from USATF....like who instituted the rule, at what meeting was it approved, etc....nothing), it still seemed unfair that Joe should be kept out when the rule was never communicated to the decathlon community. Not to mention there was another wind-aided decathlon score already listed as qualified (wonder if the fact that it was the #2 score this year had anything to do with it?) That wasn't fair. Either they should both be in, or both be out. Not to mention the rule itself is ridiculous for the decathlon....if you convert what Joe would have run without the wind-aiding, it would have dropped his score by under 20 points....he'd still have a top score in the nation. Wind-aiding can really help in the open, individual events....but when spread out over 10 events, wind-aiding in 3 (100, long jump, and hurdles) is questionably helpful at best. For example, the wind that gave him a boost in the 100 gave him a horrible wind for the discus. That's why it has never mattered for qualifying purposes.

As you can tell, we have been knee-deep in all of this since last Thursday. Of course one of the things Joe is supposed to be doing right now is managing cortisol levels....ha. I think he's been doing a good job of that...but I've been super stressed. I guess that's why he's the one competing, not me!

The end of this story is that we have an angel, and his name is Kip Janvrin, and when I see him at the Trials he is going to get a big hug and I'll have to restrain myself from kissing him. Kip is a former decathlete (went to the Olympics in 2000) who competed for many years...had an amazing, consistent, highly respected career....and is known for his ability to always finish a meet, no matter what. He also holds the world-record for the double decathlon (click here if you want to know more...it's an unreal event) Anyways, Kip is an "athlete liaison" for USATF, and took that job partly because, in his words, he "wanted to prevent things like this from happening to people like Joe." So Kip has been on the war-path this week, making all kinds of calls, pleading Joe's case to USATF, finding out about the appeals committee (which he was apparently on!), and finally, today, getting Joe into the meet! Praise the Lord! I literally cried when Joe called to tell me. It was that much relief. The thought of having come this far....and then not getting to go to the Trials...was almost too much to bear. Kip put in a lot of hours and effort to make sure Joe got in...this wouldn't have happened without him. We are grateful.

Now...Joe has a week and a half to live within this new reality that he is FOR SURE going to compete at the Trials....get a few more good training days in, keep his body healthy and injury-free, and then give it all he has! We can't wait!

Now aren't you glad to have just read the whole story with the happy ending, rather than the stress of the unknown?


Rowan usually does NOT like to get her picture taken. She came with me to a photo shoot last week...and decided she wanted to be a part of it. She actually got on the backdrop and asked me to take some pictures---not normal Rowan behavior! I just snapped a few, her hair was wild and her face was dirty, but I thought these were pretty cute. She was totally posing!The other day Rowan was fanning me with a paper fan and she said "do you want me to warm you up?" and I said "you mean, cool me down?" and she laughed, then replied: "Sometimes I get mixed-up. I'm just a kid, so I can't always remember the right word!"

I went down to LA for the weekend (more on that later) so Rowan and Joe got to hang out a lot. Out of the blue one day while they were in the car, Rowan said to Joe: "Sometimes I like to just be with you. Mommy's cool, and sometimes it's fun to just be with her. But I like to just be with you, too." Another time over the weekend, she told him "you're like my best friend!" Not a bad Father's Day weekend!



Joe not only met the necessary 7800 point total to make it to the Trials...he made the A standard, which means he is an automatic qualifier (which basically means it doesn't matter how many others score over 7900, he WILL compete at the Trials!) This was above and beyond what we expected from this meet--a huge accomplishment and confidence booster!

Here are the numbers:

11o hurdles: 15.03 for 846 points
Discus: 46.29 or 151'10" for 793 points
Pole Vault: 4.70 or 15'5" for 819 points
Javelin: 60.89 or 199'9" for 751 points
1500 meters: 4:29.41 for 749 points
Total day 2: 3957
Overall total: 7907

So what some of those numbers mean.....the hurdles were the best he's run this season (many years ago he ran a few in the 14.8 range...but it's been awhile since those marks), discus was right were he should be, pole vault was also right where he should be (could have been worse, could have been better). And then the 2 big scores of the day---he saved them for last! The javelin was one centimeter off a PR (personal record)....he threw 199' something right after college, and usually throws around 190'....so 199'9" was a HUGE throw!

And then the 1500. The 1500 is a gut event. They're tired from full days of competing. It was hot. It hurts to run this length race (just short of a mile) for a bunch of bigger guys who are more trained for speed. Most decathletes dread the 1500. But it's also an event that carries the potential for a huge point swing. Each second in the 1500 is worth 7 points. So the difference between running it in 5:00 and running it in 4:30 is 210 points....a huge amount in the decathlon. Joe has consistently put up times in the 4:40s range....and when pressed has run 4:38 or 9. Once a long time ago he ran 4:32. We all knew going into the 1500 that in order to achieve 7800 points, Joe would have to run about a 4:45. I was confident he could do it, but still really nervous!

Then we got the call: 4:29.41!!! A 2 second PR! Good enough not just for 7800, but for the automatic A qualifier! Joy!

It was a very fun day at my house...one great part about living in community (and with a bunch of other athletes) is that they all know the stakes, they all know what the numbers mean, they all love Joe and want to see him do his best. So we were all (5 of us) sitting around our computer waiting for the final results....and there was some hooping and hollering going on when we heard! Plus, about an hour earlier, our roommate Brad Walker jumped 6.04 (19'9") and set a new American Record in the pole vault (broke our old friend from Jonesboro, Jeff Hartwig's, 8 year record!) We were watching it live on NBC (of course they didn't really show the field events...just the running, and the false starts, and the sprinters putting their warm-ups on....really aggravating that there is no focus on the field stuff!!) We were watching results online, too...and there was some excitement when he cleared 6.04!

It was a good day for the house.

To see the complete decathlon results (Joe won the meet!) click here.

Also, there is this great decathlon guru in the US named Frank Zarnowski, and he keeps a blog/website of all things decathlon...results, records, schedules, etc....and he already posted a little newsletter with the results (and for all you numbers people, lots of other statistical stuff, and the standings going into the Trials...Joe has the 10th best score going in!) If you want to see it, click here.

Joe flies back tomorrow...I can't wait to give him a big hug and kiss!


Joe scored 7907!!! That's a huge score, meets the A standard (automatically goes to Trials), and is the second highest score of his career!!!

More details to follow (haven't even talked to Joe yet)....just wanted to quick post the great news!


Live Results Link

I didn't know this during the competition today...but there is a site that is posting live results during the decathlon. You can click here and then on the left column, each event is listed...plus cumulative scores after each event...so just click on them to see what's been completed. You can see complete results from Day 1 and where Joe is standing in the pack. He's in second place by only 13 points....but remember that where he finishes doesn't affect his score...he could finish 5th and still have a lifetime best and qualify for Trials...he's just competing against the tables.

Also, tomorrow (Sunday) on NBC they are showing 2 hours of live coverage (from 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific time) of the Prefontaine Classic which is a big track meet up in Eugene. One of our roommates, Brad Walker (current world champ), will be vaulting...and another vaulter, Tommy Skipper, will be too. Suzy Powell, who is the American Record Holder in the discus and trains with Joe every day and has become a good friend...will also be throwing. The vault and the discus are both being contested during that 2 hour block....so they should show some of those events live. Just in case you're interested.

Great Day 1 at Texas!

Joe has completed Day 1 of the Texas decathlon. I just spoke to him on the phone and he is really happy. Another decathlete's wife, Lauri Marsh, was sweet enough to text me results throughout the day, so I was able to stay up to the minute on results! It's hard to not be at the meet...and to be thinking all day about how things are going...so it was a real gift that Lauri diligently sent me updates!

Here they are:

100 meters: 11.35 seconds for 784 points
Long Jump: 6.82 meters, or 22'4.5" for 771 points
Shot Put: 13.82 meters, or 45'4" for 717 points
High Jump: 2.03 meters, or almost 6'8" for 831 points
400 meters: 49.3 seconds for 847 points
TOTAL DAY 1: 3950

I know that for many of you, these numbers don't mean much. This is a very good day 1 score...the 100 was okay (not lightening quick, but acceptable), the long jump was very good (he would have liked to jump 7 meters, but he was close..fouled 2 of the 3 jumps and said they both went farther than 6.82), the shot was acceptable, high jump was right where he should be (plus he said he felt great and like he could have jumped higher), and then the 400 was the score of the day. He has consistently run the 400 in around 50.0 seconds (fastest this season was 50.15)...and is really happy when he goes under 50 seconds. So to go 49.3 was huge....probably the fastest he's run it since college. While he said it took him awhile to recover from the effort in the 400, it was a great way to end Day 1!

One of the quirks of the scoring table in the decathlon is that Day 1 seems to be weighted heavier than Day 2....so even though Joe is a really strong Day 2 decathlete, it is harder to accumulate as many points on Day 2. So some people will look at 3950, double it in their head, and think he's in the clear to reach 7800 points...but it doesn't really work that way. Joe will have to put up solid scores in each event tomorrow to reach 3850 for a Day 2 total. I just know he can do it!

The competition starts at 9:00 am central time tomorrow (that's earlier than he would prefer!)...but with the pole vault in there, Day 2 usually takes longer. I'll post the results when it's all done! Pray for something big tomorrow!


Joe to Texas

Joe is competing in a decathlon in Dallas, Texas on Saturday and Sunday. He still needs to get a high enough score to qualify for the Trials on June 29-30. Looks like he will need a score in the 7800 point range to be safe. It's been a bit of a stressful couple of months because Joe never expected it to be this late in the season without a qualifier. Say lots of prayers that everything goes well this weekend! There shouldn't be any rain...but it looks like it will be really hot!

I'll post results on the blog after each day. There will not be live results available, so I'll post in the evening after each day is done.

In other Cebulski news, my pregnancy must be progressing well because I feel like I have the flu all day, every day. I wish I had the stereotypical food cravings...instead, I have a food aversion to just about everything. Problem is, I'm hungry all the time! I haven't been able to cook a meal in weeks (I would just puke in it)...and am subsisting on cheerios, cheese pizza, popsicles, and ginger ale. Those are the only things that consistently sound like they will make it past the gag reflex.

During my early months of pregnancy when it is not yet obvious that I am pregnant, I want to wear a t-shirt that reads something like this:

"Yes, my belly is pooching. I did not just eat a big lunch, or drink too much beer, or forget to exercise enough for the last 3 years (ok, maybe that one). I am growing an actual live human being inside of me, complete with a heart, ten fingers, and eyelashes, thank you very much."


BBQ at Nylens

Out at the building there are a few master's athletes who train....they usually come during the late afternoon, and are working on various fitness goals. It's been fun for the athletes to have these more mature men around...they are really good guys, and help keep things in perspective. One of these athletes, Jim Nylen, had all of the athletes over for a BBQ at his house this afternoon. It was a fun opportunity to relax at a beautiful home, swim, play games, and eat a fabulous meal. The athletes are mostly around each other while training or competing...so it's fun to be together just to relax and laugh. The above photo is of Rowan and Tye playing...it's a joy to watch Rowan having such a good time with our friends.

I posted a set of photos to Flickr...nothing too exciting, just a lot of faces that we see on a regular basis out here. Click here to see them. The above shot is of Brad Walker and Tommy Skipper. Brad is one of our roommates...he's one of the top-rated vaulters in the world (maybe even #1 right now? I'm sure my brother can fill us in) and is a stand-up guy. We've really enjoyed living with him.

This is Joe with Coach Dan Pfaff...the man, the legend...the reason most of us are here. Dan is an amazing coach, but more than that...he is a spiritual leader who has had life experiences that just bubble out of him in these nuggets of truth. Under Dan, Joe has grown a lot not only as an athlete, but also as a coach.

Pre-School Picnic

Rowan had her last days of pre-school last week. On Thursday they had a class picnic and Rowan didn't understand why she had to say good-bye to all her friends and teachers! She really loved pre-school this year. I am so thankful that her first experience with school was so positive--that she felt safe, loved, and eager to go every Tuesday and Thursday. She loved her teachers, Mrs. Richards and Mrs. Mettler, and I appreciated how nurturing and positive they were towards Rowan. Rowan's class was mostly boys....so she really bonded with the 3 other girls, especially Julianna. I took a few other photos at the picnic, but realized later that I didn't get ANY of the boys. To see a few more photos, click here. I also included a few other random shots from around the house...never sure where to put those, so here they are!