Mark Rubin of Barclays Plc won the RBC Decathlon for a third straight year, successfully defending his title as Wall Street’s best all-around athlete by winning the final event in the competition by less than a second.
Rubin, a former Pennsylvania State University safety who spent time in training camp with a few National Football League teams, beat Jay Li of Trafelet Brokaw & Co. in a sprint to the finish line of the 800-meter run yesterday at St. John’s University. It’s the second year in a row Rubin, 28, and Li, 32, finished atop the field of about 150 financial industry workers in the 10-event challenge, which raised about $1.5 million for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“To get the trophy back is pretty exciting,” Rubin said in an interview. “It all boiled down to the last event. We knew whoever won was going to win the whole competition. I was able to sneak it out at the very end.”
Rubin, who finished the 800 meter race in a time of 2 minutes, 27.17 seconds, totaled 7,272 points for the 10 events. Li, who was timed in 2:27.61, finished with 7,262. Collin Zych of Cogent Partners, a former Harvard University football captain who was briefly with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, placed third for the second straight year with 7,060 points.
Rubin, an assistant vice president of future sales trading in his fourth year at Barclays, led Li by seven points entering the final event at St. John’s DaSilva Memorial Field in the Queens Borough of New York City. With just over 150 meters remaining in the two-lap race, Rubin said he made his move.
“Jay and Collin are great sprinters,” he said. “I knew if it came down to a pure sprint of a certain distance, I might be in trouble with their sprinter skills. I tried to open it up a little bit longer out and I was able to hold on.”
In addition to the 800, there were running events at distances of 40 yards and 400 meters. Also in the one-day competition were pull-ups, a football throw, an agility drill, rowing, vertical jump, bench press and dips -- a triceps exercise using one’s own weight.
Jennifer Lidel, 39, of TradeLink Securities LLC in Chicago won the women’s competition with 6,805 points, 41 ahead of Stephanie Setyadi of Ares Management. Evelyn Konrad of Standard & Poor’s, the 2013 champion, was third.
Clinton Biondo, a managing director at Fir Tree Partners defended his top executive title at the RBC Decathlon and was fourth overall, one spot ahead of former Yale University football captain Tom McCarthy of Morgan Stanley, who spent time with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I can’t complain with how I ended up,” said Biondo, 34, who traveled from Miami for the event. “It’s virtually a football combine event, with many ex-players. Being more of a recreational athlete, it’s a fun thing to test myself and see how I stack up against some more accomplished athletes.”
JP Morgan Chase won the team competition with a group featuring ex-Harvard defensive back Jonathan Mason; Jason Price, a former All-American sprinter from the University of Southern California; and Phillip Alexander, who had a brief NFL stint after playing linebacker at Duke University.
A three-man team from Lord Abbett & Co. LLC was second, followed by RBC Capital Markets in New York, whose team featured 44-year-old director Rick Tejpaul, a cancer survivor.
Andrew Hogue, 41, of Goldman Sachs was the top finisher in the 40-and-over division. Hogue finished ahead of former Olympic decathlon gold medalist Dan O’Brien, 47, who competed in the charity event for the second time.
Former decathlete Dave Johnson, who had a rivalry with O’Brien built up in a series of television commercials before winning an Olympic bronze medal in 1992, took part in the RBC Decathlon for the first time. While his 74-yard football throw was the best in the event, Johnson, 51, aggravated a hip injury and had to withdraw from the overall competition.
Rubin, who joined Barclays in 2010 after failing to land an NFL roster spot with the St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings, again couldn’t be beat in the overall test of speed, strength and agility. Rubin said he intends to defend his title next year.
“It’s just a privilege to be a part of a tremendous event and tremendous cause,” said Rubin, who raised over $12,000 in donations for pediatric cancer research. “So I definitely want to stay involved any way I can. But the competition is right there. It’s neck and neck all the way through.”