Brianne Theisen-Eaton: Canada's Multi-Events Champion

Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton clears the high jump bar during the 2015 World Championship heptathlon competition. Ian Walton/Getty Images

Brianne Theisen was an active child who played a variety of sports in her native Saskatchewan, Canada, including soccer, softball and volleyball. But she discovered track and field in the seventh grade, and soon began making Canadian athletic history.

The Mighty Duck

By the time Theisen had entered the University of Oregon, she’d already won the Candian Junior and Pan American Junior heptathlon titles.

While competing for the Ducks she earned three NCAA indoor pentathlon championships, three national outdoor heptathlon titles, and also ran on Oregon’s NCAA-winning 4 x 400-meter relay team once. She also set the NCAA record in the pentathlon, with 4,555 points.

Dynamic Duo

When high school senior Theisen took her recruiting trip to Oregon, she met several members of the Oregon track and field team, including freshman Ashton Eaton. The two met again shortly before Theisen began attending Oregon, when they both competed in the 2007 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship, where their romance began to bloom. They eventually began dating and were married in 2013. She’s since been known as Brianne Theisen-Eaton.

Parade of Silver

Theisen-Eaton started strongly at the 2013 World Championship heptathlon competition by leading all competitors in the first event, the 100-meter hurdles, with a time of 13.17 seconds.

She was sixth in the high jump, 16th in the shot put and then sixth in the 200 meters, dropping to fourth overall after four events, 26 points behind the bronze medal spot and 102 points behind leader Hanna Melnychenko. Theisen-Eaton began the second day by recording a personal best 6.37 meters (20 feet, 10¾ inches) in the long jump, good for fourth overall, but she remained fourth in the standings.

Her season-best 45.64/149-8 javelin throw was tenth best overall, but it easily out-paced the other medal contenders, shooting her into second place in the standings, 68 points behind Melnychenko. Theisen-Eaton then closed with a personal best 2:09.03 in the 800 meters – beating Melnychenko, but only gaining 12 points in the overall standings. Still, Theisen-Eaton finished with a then-career best 6,530 points, earning her the silver medal.

Similarly, Theisen-Eaton led after the 60-meter hurdles event of the 2014 World Indoor Championship pentathlon, as her personal best 8.13 seconds was good for 1,100 points. She dropped to second overall after tying for third in the high jump, and then to third overall after the shot put, despite registering another personal best. She remained in third overall after taking fifth in the long jump, but her then-personal best 2:10.07 in the final event, the 800 meters, left her in second place overall with a Canadian record 4,768 points, 62 points behind gold medalist Nadine Broersen.

Theisen-Eaton entered the 2015 World Championships as the heptathlon world leader, with a personal best (and national record) 6,808-point performance in Gotzis about 10 weeks earlier.

At the Championships, Theisen-Eaton ran a personal best 12.98 in the 100-meter hurdles, but 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill was 0.07 better, to give her an early 11-point lead. Ennis-Hill was also better in the day's remaining three events and led with 4,005 points, while Theisen-Eaton was fourth with 3,865. Theisen-Eaton enjoyed another solid start to day two, with a long jump of 6.55/21-5¾. That moved her into second place with 4,888 points, 102 behind Ennis-Hill. Neither woman was strong in the shot put, with Theisen-Eaton 18th overall and Ennis-Hill 20th. Although Theisen-Eaton had gained eight points on Ennis-Hill, the Canadian also fell to third overall, eight points behind Broersen. Theisen-Eaton was third best in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:11.52, but Ennis-Hill was second, to clinch the gold medal.

Nevertheless, Theisen-Eaton’s performance put her back in second place, for yet another World Championship silver medal.

Stats

  • Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
  • Weight: 141 pounds
  • Birth date: December 18, 1988
  • Hometown: Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Personal best: 6,808 points (heptathlon); 4,768 points (indoor pentathlon)

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