'It's still kind of setting in': Philadelphia native sets NCAA decathlon record

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Northeast Philly's Kyle Garland sets NCAA decathlon record
Northeast Philly native and Georgia Bulldog Kyle Garland sets NCAA decathlon record. Jamie Apody reports for Action News on May 16, 2022.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Participants in the decathlon, competitors at the highest levels, are considered the world's greatest athletes.

"There are not many people on the Earth that can do what we do across the board, just the all-around," says Kyle Garland.

The decathlon includes 100 Meters, 400 Meters, 1,500 Meters, High Jump, Hurdles, Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Pole Vault and Long Jump.

After Garland's feat last weekend, the Northeast Philadelphia native and Germantown Academy grad can now be dubbed the best athlete in college history.

The senior at the University of Georgia set the NCAA decathlon record by scoring 8,720 points at the USATF Combined Events Championship in Arkansas.

It was an emotional moment that hit him as he fell into the waiting arms of his father, and longtime coach, Keith.

"It's absolutely incredible, it's still kind of setting in," Garland said. "Just kind of putting myself into the conversation and on top of the conversation as some guys that I've been watching since I started the decathlon at 12 years old. It's super incredible just to be in that conversation, and just really say nobody in the NCAA has done what I've done and put up a better score. It's absolutely incredible."

So, how do you cap the best week ever? With a cap and gown of course.

On Friday, Garland graduated with a degree in Communication Studies.

"It's a huge honor to graduate in four years from this university and to start that next chapter in my life," he said.

As he turns the page, he'll focus on earning a spot on the Olympic team, and cheering for his hometown Eagles, who just drafted two of his Georgia classmates and friends, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.

"(Jordan's) a massive man. I'm a big guy I'm 6'5" weigh 223 pounds and he makes me feel like an ant. He is an absolute giant of a guy. I was telling them it's a different kind of city. It's something to get used to but when it comes to the fans they're gonna have the best fan base in the NFL," Garland said.