Jon Ryan Harlan, track and field coach at The Awty International School, will be competing in the Decathlon at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on June 22-23.
This is Coach Harlan’s third time to compete at the Olympic Trials. In 2004, Coach Harlan was named the NCAA Champion in the decathlon. This great accomplishment naturally opened several doors for Coach Harlan that enabled him to compete at his first Olympic Trials. Despite a severe staph infection, Harlan placed fourteenth at the trials. In 2008, he again made it to the trials, where he placed twelfth. This year, with Awty’s financial support, Coach Harlan will travel to Oregon for the 2012 Olympic Trials, where he will be competing against the top 18 decathlon athletes in the country including fellow Texan and two-time World Outdoor gold medalist Trey Hardee.
Coach Harlan began training for this moment back in August 1999 when he was a freshman at Rice University. Before entering Rice University, he had never competed in three of the ten events in the decathlon including pole vault, shot put, and javelin. With training and hard work, Coach Harlan was named the Junior National Champion in the spring of 2000. Today, the pole vault and shot put are two of his favorite events.
In addition to the 2004 NCAA Champion and 2000 Junior National Champion titles, Coach Harlan is also the two-time USA Outdoor runner-up in 2006 and 2011, the two-time USA Indoor Champion in 2005 and 2006 and the NACAC Champion in 2007.
Coach Harlan credits his coach at Rice, Darryl Robinson, for his accomplishments in the sport. Robinson was and remains Coach Harlan’s biggest influence for competing in the decathlon events.
Coach Harlan says he’s ready for the competition. He’s been training for this event for nearly 13 years and he is anxious and excited about the trials and the potential of joining the U.S. Olympic Team. Awty is proud to be a contributor towards Harlan’s longtime goal and dream.
About Jon Ryan Harlan
Originally from Hewitt, Texas, Jon Ryan Harlan, 31, now claims Houston as his home. An avid athlete since junior high, Harlan primarily competed in basketball and track and field in high school. He continued his track and field career at Rice University, where he is still the record holder in the decathlon (8,171 points) today. He graduated from Rice in 2004 with a double major in business management studies and visual arts. Coach Harlan firmly established himself as a major player in 2006 with his win at the USA Indoor Combined Events Championships and runner-up finish at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships. Today, he coaches track and field at The Awty International School and spends three to four hours six days a week training for the upcoming Olympic Trials on June 22-23. After the trials, and potentially the Olympic Games, are over, Coach Harlan plans to keep coaching and possibly attend seminary school.