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Oregon's Gold Medalist Eaton Wins Another Honor

Tom Banse
Northwest News Network

Eugene-based track star Ashton Eaton already has a world record to his name and a gold medal in decathlon from this year's London Olympics. 

Monday, the central Oregon native got to add another honor to his crowded shelf. The sport federation USA Track & Field named Eaton as its male athlete of the year.

Still, in a conference call with reporters, Eaton said winning the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene ranks as the biggest highlight of his year.

"The fact that Oregon is where I'm from -- University of Oregon is kind of where track & field started for me -- to have it be the 100th year anniversary of my event and to have all the past American Olympic medalists there watching, you really just can't get any better than that."

Eaton's next big competition is an international decathlon invitational in Austria next May. He also hopes to compete at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships. Those are in Moscow next summer.

On the Web:

Jesse Owens Award Winners (USATF)

Ashton Eaton profile (USATF)

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.