Instead of one victory lap, Ashton Eaton got four.
His Olympic gold medal in the decathlon was all but sealed when he reached the last event, the 1,500 meters, where he simply needed to finish in an average time to win the event on Thursday night.
The world-record holder cruised over the four laps, crossed the line and - even as exhausted as he was - started celebrating.
Eaton finished the two-day competition with 8,869 points to defeat fellow American Trey Hardee by 198. It's the first time the Americans have gone 1-2 in the Olympic decathlon since Milton Gray Campbell and Rafer Johnson in 1956.
"That's what Trey and I really, really wanted," said Eaton, who's from Eugene, Ore.
Especially this year, on the 100th anniversary of the event. At the 1912 Olympics, Jim Thorpe won the inaugural title.
Thanks to Eaton, the decathlon gold is staying in the United States. Eaton joins 2008 winner Bryan Clay and, of course, Bruce Jenner, in earning the honor as "The World's Greatest Athlete."
Even Usain Bolt, the star of the night with his victory in the 200 meters, was impressed.
"I'm a great athlete, but to do 10 events, especially the 1,500 - I've got to give it to him," Bolt said.
Though the warm-and-sunny conditions in London were far better than the rain, wind and cold at U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon where Eaton broke the record earlier this summer, he fell short of the mark by 170 points.
Not that it mattered. His goal was simply to win a medal, not eclipse his world mark of 9,039 points.
"I'm satisfied," Eaton said as he struggled to put his accomplishment into words.
So Hardee did that for him.
Given that Eaton is just 24 and heading into his prime, Hardee's not sure anyone is going to catch up to him anytime soon.
"It's safe to say my reign is over," said Hardee, a two-time world champion. "I still think my best decathlon is ahead of me, but Ashton's are, too.
"As the days and weeks and months and years pass, I think Ashton and I will look back on this and realize how special it really is and what this really meant."
Eaton was consistent throughout the schedule. He started off by breaking Bill Toomey's 44-year-old Olympic record in the decathlon 100-meter dash and took off from there. He also scored the most points in the long jump and 400 meters.
His only lackluster event was the discus, where he finished 22nd and lost points to the field. But it really didn't matter as he built his lead back up in the pole vault, where he wound up third.
Soon after finishing the 1,500, Eaton was greeted by his fellow competitors, each giving him a congratulatory slap on the back. After hugging Hardee, Eaton dashed over to embrace his fiancee, Brianne Theisen.
"This is super hard to grasp," Eaton said. "For me, I want 10 perfect events. If I really felt like I was the world's greatest athlete, I'd get 10 great events. But I know that's pretty much not possible. That's the toughness of the decathlon."
Asked if winning gold was more difficult than breaking the world mark, Eaton chuckled and said, "Yeah."
"Decathlons in the U.S. are so much easier, because of the time frame," he said. "I think I competed in Eugene for the world record for a total of 13 hours. That's what we competed just today. These are way harder."
More satisfying, too.
Instead of one victory lap, Ashton Eaton got four.
BASEBALL: Howe’s RBI-double rallies Zebras past Vinita
Claremore senior designated hitter Bryce Howe delivered an RBI-double in the bottom of the fifth inning that helped rally the Zebras to a 6-3 win over Vinita in the 4-State Festival Friday night at American Legion Park.
BASEBALL: Zebras rock Memorial, 9-0
Going, going, gone...
With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning, Claremore senior designated hitter Bryce Howe made Tulsa Memorial pay for intentionally walking senior catcher Matt Whatley.
Howe’s grand slam — his second of his varsity career — boosted Claremore to a 9-0 victory over Tulsa Memorial Thursday afternoon in Metro Lakes Conference action.
BASEBALL: McGill’s seventh-inning hit propels Sequoyah past Sallisaw
Logan McGill’s bases loaded ground ball with one out in the bottom of the seventh scored McKaine Foster, giving Sequoyah a 5-4 victory over Sallisaw Friday evening in the 4-State Baseball Festival.
SOCCER: Lady Zebras blast Metro Christian, 3-0
The No. 3-ranked Class 5A Claremore Lady Zebras scored two goals in the first half to complete the 3-0 win over Metro Christian Friday night.
BASEBALL: ‘Cats sweep Aggies
The Rogers State University baseball team swept a doubleheader against Heartland Conference opponent Oklahoma Panhandle State Friday afternoon at the Diamond Sports Complex.
The Hillcats took advantage of four Aggie errors and tallied eight hits en route to a 4-0 victory.
In the nightcap, RSU belted 10 hits to register a 5-2 win.
WNBA DRAFT: Phoenix Mercury select OSU's Tiffany Bias
Tiffany Bias became the third player in Oklahoma State history taken in the WNBA Draft, going to the Phoenix Mercury with the fifth pick (17th overall) of the second round on Monday evening.
Arkansas hosts A-Club Spring Reunion on April 25-26
The A Club is hosting its annual Spring Reunion weekend April 25-26 around the Razorback football team's Red-White Spring Game.
WNBA DRAFT: Tulsa Shock add Hooper, Plaisance to 2014 roster
The Tulsa Shock have selected Jordan Hooper with the 13th overall pick and Theresa Plaisance with the 27th overall pick, respectively, in the WNBA Draft.
WNBA DRAFT: Tulsa Shock select Baylor's Odyssey Sims
The Tulsa Shock have selected guard Odyssey Sims with the second overall pick in the WNBA Draft.
At Baylor, Sims finished her career averaging 28.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game her senior year.
NCAA MEN'S BB: Kentucky's Cauley-Stein returns for junior season
Kentucky has announced that 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein will return for his junior season.
Cauley-Stein missed the final three games of the Wildcats' run to the NCAA championship game after sustaining a left ankle injury in the Midwest Region semifinal against Louisville.
- More Sports Headlines
- BASEBALL: Howe’s RBI-double rallies Zebras past Vinita