Cougar grad Rhodes is East County’s ‘Man of Steele’

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The San Diego Multi-Event Championships featured a record-breaking field this year. The event caters to the all-around track and field athlete. Recent Steele Canyon High School graduate Cody Rhodes had to be counted among the top contenders.

The San Diego Multi-Event Championships featured a record-breaking field this year. The event caters to the all-around track and field athlete. Recent Steele Canyon High School graduate Cody Rhodes had to be counted among the top contenders.

Rhodes, who is headed to UC Riverside to compete in track and field, finished fourth among the 10 challengers for this year’s boys decathlon title. He was satisfied with his showing, though he admitted he was somewhat drained by the grueling 10-event schedule over the two days of competition June 21-22 at Cuyamaca College.

“I felt really great about it because I usually don’t do all these events,” Rhodes explained. “It was a lot of fun. I got to try new events that I might eventually gravitate to in college.”

Rhodes was among four East County entrants in this year’s decathlon field. He finished with 4,203 points. Poway grad Charlie Bush captured this year’s decathlon title with a total of 6,017 points, followed by Calvin Christian’s Ryan Thomsen (second with 5,154 points) and Serra’s Ronald Lyons (third with 4,538 points).

Following Rhodes were Central Union’s Julio Rodriguez (fifth with 4,130 points), Grossmont Middle College High School’s Carter Jewel (sixth with 3,552 points), West Hills’ Mitchell Holder (seventh with 3,361 points), Bonita Vista’s Luis Carson (eighth with 2,958 points) and Calvin Christian’s Jordan Thomsen (ninth with 2,956 points).

Vincent Hauser was the 10th competitor in the field. He placed first in the junior boys decathlon with 1,175 points.

Hanging Ten

The decathlon was divided into five events each day. The opening day featured the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 dash; the final day of competition featured the 110 high hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 run.

Rhodes and his Steele Canyon teammates faced a disappointing ending to the 2014 high school track season. After being picked as one of the favorites to contend for a CIF team title, the Cougars suffered a personnel drain down the stretch run to post a 14th-place finish in the Division I standings at the section finals May 31 at Mt. Carmel High School.

Rhodes qualified to compete in two events at the section’s state qualifying meet, placing eighth in the 800-meter run (1:58.73) and fifth in the 4×400 relay (3:22.55).

Though he was not experienced in all 10 events that comprise the decathlon, Rhodes did expect to do well in the 400 dash, 1500 run and pole vault at the multi-event championships. He termed the shot put an event suited more for “brute force.”

Not everyone can be expected to excel at all 10 events; for many first-time decathletes, the thrill is just experiencing all the events.

Rhodes’ marks in the various events included 12.38 in the 100 dash, 17-6.75 in the long jump, 28-1.5 in the shot put, 4-7 in the high jump, 51.78 in the 400 dash, 20.04 in the hurdles, 76-6 in the discus throw, 7-2.5 in the pole vault, 68-8 in the javelin throw and 4:38.30 in the 1500 run.

Rhodes turned in the best marks in both the 400 dash and 1500 run. In fact, he lapped the field in the latter event, which is not an easy thing to do at that distance.

“For me, this was a pretty a slow time but it came after doing 10 events,” the newly minted Steele Canyon grad noted after competing in the taxing 1500. “I averaged 4:10 a month ago when I was completely fresh.”

Jewel, who competed in gymnastics for seven years before participating this past season in Grossmont High School’s cross country and track and field programs, recorded marks of 13.36 in the 100 dash, 15-10.5 in the long jump, 26-9.25 in the shot put, 4-9 in the high jump, 1:01.45 in the 400 dash, 21.15 in the hurdles, 74-8 in the discus throw, 11-3 in the pole vault, 74-0 in the javelin throw and 5:16.54 in the 1500 run.

The mark in the pole vault was a new personal record.

“I want to get 14-0 next year— that’s my ultimate goal for next year,” said Jewel, who placed fourth in rings (level 6) at regionals in gymnastics. “I enjoyed trying everything out.”

Holder, who won the freshman pole vault event at this year’s county frosh-soph championships, recorded marks of 13.36 in the 100 dash, 16-8 in the long jump, 26-2.75 in the shot put, 5-7 in the high jump, 1:06.05 in the 400 dash, 21.38 in the hurdles, 81-5 in the discus throw, 6-2.75 in the pole vault, 87-0 in the javelin throw and 5:24.05 in the 1500 run. 

Hauser recorded marks of 14.38 in the 100 dash, 14-7.25 in the long jump, 18-0.5 in the shot put and 1:10.36 in the 400 dash.

Record-setter

Bush, who is headed to the University of Montana after earning a sixth-place state medal in the pole vault, became only the third San Diego County winner in the 17-year history of the local multi-even championship meet to break the 6,000-point barrier.

Bush recorded marks of 11.90 in the 100 dash, 20-6.25 in the long jump, 33-5.75 in the shot put, 6-2.75 in the high jump, 57.06 in the 400 dash, 111-11 in the discus throw, 15-9 in the pole vault, 126-10 in the javelin throw and 5:07.28 in the 1500 run.

The 15-9 mark in the pole vault was a new meet record. Bush topped all competitors in seven of the 10 events: 100 dash, long jump, high jump, hurdles, discus throw, pole vault and javelin throw.

Meet director Lyle Barton said Bush’s ability to “compete and move from one event to another” was the key to his success.

“I’m really comfortable doing 10 events,” said Bush, the reigning Division I champion in the pole vault. “It really doesn’t matter which event will be my best. On any given day, my best event could be a different event.”

Lyons recorded the best mark in the shot put (49-5). Ryan Thomsen notched the second-best marks in the 100 dash (11.96), long jump (20-5.25), high jump (5-8.75), high hurdles (17.61), pole vault (11-9) and javelin throw (125-4).

Poway’s Anna Nunez won the seven-event girls heptathlon with 3,051 points. Poway teammates Shannon Spragg and Delaney Toth finished second and third, respectively, with 2,650 and 2,481 points.

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