Coming within inches of your greatest dream only to see it slip away can lead someone to dark and lonely places. Fortunately Trey Hardee, a decathlete, pole vaulter and Texas alumnus, took his crushing fourth-place finish in the decathlon during the 2008 Olympics as a source of inspiration for the future.
Born in 1984 in Birmingham, Ala., Hardee has been no stranger to fighting through adversity. In 2002 he enrolled at Mississippi State on a pole vault scholarship. It was there that coaches noticed Hardee’s 6-foot-5 frame, strength and speed — attributes needed to be a decathlete. In 2004 Mississippi State dropped its indoor track team, shaking Hardee’s career and forcing him to transfer.
“There was a whole tornado of reasons why I ended up in Austin,” Hardee said Wednesday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. “I was really happy at Mississippi State. I loved it there. [I] had a lot of friends there, loved my coaches. One of my coaches decided to leave, and there was a little uncertainty about what would happen. And then they dropped the men’s indoor program, so there were just a lot of things that led to me wanting to take a look elsewhere to see what else was out there. I took one trip to Texas, and that was all it took.”
Hardee began his career at Texas in barn-burning fashion. In 2005 he finished third in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships, but 2006 brought more hardships for Hardee.
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