FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Razorback men’s track and field assistant coach Travis Geopfert recently served on the Team USA staff for the 2009 Thorpe Cup, a Team USA vs. Team Germany decathlon competition.
Geopfert, with Mario Sategna of the University of Texas’ men’s track and field staff, lead Team USA’s decathletes to a victory over Team Germany. Members of Team USA included three-time Olympian Tom Pappas, 2004 Olympian Paul Terek, former Wisconsin stand-out Joe Detmer and current Missouri Tiger Nick Adcock. Geopfert, himself, is a three-time participant in the Thorpe Cup (2003, 2005, 2006).
"I had another great experience in Germany at the Thorpe Cup," Geopfert said. "It was a phenomenal performance by Team USA. We are excited to get a win over a competitive German team. It was an amazing feeling to have American troops, who were stationed in Germany and had recently returned from Iraq, in the stands cheering us on."
A five-time U.S. champion and 2003 World Championships decathlon gold medalist, Pappas posted the second-best score in the world this year in leading Team USA to victory over Team Germany at the 16th annual Thorpe Cup combined events challenge in Marburg, Germany.
"It was great to see Tom Pappas return to form after his injury," Geopfert said. "He really had a great meet. Joe Detmer’s performance was also impressive. He has been training well and it’s showing in competition."
Pappas, who was injured earlier this year and did not compete at the USA Outdoor Championships, posted 8,569 points, his best score in five years, leading the Team USA men’s squad to victory. This was the best performance by Pappas since 2004 when he totaled 8,732 points at Gotzis, and it is the highest total by an American this year.
Detmer, one of the professional athlete’s Geopfert coaches, was the runner-up to Pappas in the individual competition with 7,892 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. The 2009 event marked the largest point differential between Team USA and Germany.
For more information on USA Track and Field and Arkansas Athletics, visit usatf.org and ArkansasRazorbacks.com.