MURFREESBORO – Ben Waldecker’s first state decathlon ended Tuesday with him on the podium stand.
Waldecker, a Central Magnet junior, finished fourth in the Class A/AA state decathlon. He accumulated 5,359 points — 102 points from tying for third place.
William Stout of Christ Presbyterian Academy won with 5,663 points.
“I feel really good,” Waldecker said. “It was tough, but very rewarding.”
He was the first in Central Magnet’s five-year history to compete in the state decathlon.
Waldecker’s performance came in just his second-ever decathlon. His first was the Class A/AA sectional, where he qualified for state with the seventh-best point total.
“This is really my first time doing this, so I think I’ll be a lot more confident coming into next year,” he said. “It’ll give me the chance to work on stuff and really improve.
“I know my coach is really proud of me. I’m the first person to come from my school and to do this — he’s just happy that I got here and did it.”
Waldecker entered the second day of the event in fifth place with 2,412 points. He was helped by clearing 10 feet in the pole vault.
In Tuesday’s events, Waldecker had the third-fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles (16.20 seconds) for 710 points. He had the fourth-best distance in the high jump, leaping 20 feet 5 1/4 inches for 637 points. And his 1,500 time of 4:33.34 was fastest in Class A/AA, giving him him 723 points.
That helped him overcome his high jump (5 feet 3 3/4 inches) that got him 480 points and a shot put throw of 27 feet 11 inches that got him 397 points.
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.
Contributing: Sam Brown