McFadden Decathlon Champion at Provo

    After nine events, Lander senior Reed McFadden was in fourth place in a field of 28 high school decathletes last weekend in Provo, Utah at the Brigham Young University Multi/Steeple/Distance Medley Relay Championships.

    Only the 1500-meter run remained, but one event can generate a lot of points if you post a good time. McFadden is a hurdler and 400-meter runner in track and field and had a previous 1500-meter run last summer at his first decathlon in Eugene, Oregon.

    “Going into the 1500, I was in fourth,” McFadden said. “I knew I could run in the 4:20s from Eugene. I hadn’t done any over-distance training. I knew I had to get as far ahead of them as possible.”


    Utah athlete Teige White led going into the final event with 5540 points, Kai Barker of Evanston had 5530 and Brevin Egbert, another Utah competitor had 5470. McFadden had 5410.

    Reed McFadden sprinting to the finish in the 1500 and winning the BYU Decathlon – h/t Chase McFadden

    I knew what I needed to do if I wanted to win,” McFadden said. “I was happy with 4:25, that was enough to get ahead of them to pass them. I ended up running not much slower than I did in Eugene.” (Provo is 4,000 feet higher than Eugene)

    The decathlon Olympic champion is often referred to as the “The World’s Greatest Athlete.” When you see the 10 events these talented men must complete in two days of competition, you quickly learn that the statement is true.

    The first modern decathlon came in the 1880s in the United States and was an Olympic event in 1912 at the games in Stockholm.


    Jim Thorpe, often considered the greatest American athlete of all time, was the gold medal winner. King Gustav V of Sweden shook Thorpe’s hand after winning the event and said, “Sir, you are the world’s greatest athlete.”

    Extra lights were added to the track when night began to fall late in the competition – h/t Chase McFadden

    McFadden began competition at the Clarence Robison Track on Friday with the 100-meter, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400-meter dash.

    “My running times weren’t overall PRs but they were decathlon PRs,” McFadden said.


    Day two brought the 110-meter high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and the final event, the 1500-meter run.

    The decathlon requires a unique mix of athletic talent. Speed, agility, power, and coordination are all requirements of a competitive multi-event track and field athlete.

    Each of the 10 events is scored on an established system of points. Better efforts generate more points and all 10 are tallied at the end to determine the eventual champion.


    You can be a decathlon champion and not be the best in any single event.

    BYU Decathlon champion Reed McFadden with runner-up and third-place finishers Teige White of Bear River, Utah and Brevin Egbert of Sky View High School – h/t Chase McFadden

    McFadden scored 6,184 points to win the event. He was in a battle with Teige White of Bear River, Utah who scored 6,144, and Brevin Egbert of Sky View High School, also in Utah with 6,084 points.

    McFadden is a talented hurdler and pole vaulter with the rare mix of sprinters speed and a distance runners’ endurance.

    McFadden won every running event. He tied Egbert in the 100-meter dash at 11.53, then ran 50.09 in the 400-meters, 4:26.63 in the 1500-meters, and a brisk 15.16 in the 110-meter high hurdles.

    The 3,133 points in those four running events accounted for over half of his total points.

    In the decathlon, a powerful thrower can gain tremendous points in the shot, discus, and javelin, but fade in the 1500 and not high jump, long jump, or pole vault well.

    “I thought all in all it was pretty good, I was happy with it as an opener this year,” McFadden said. “I hadn’t really high jumped this year. “It was my first time. I hadn’t done a whole lot with the shot, the long jump, and the javelin either.”

    A slightly built athlete can do just the opposite, sail over the bar in the high jump, hurdle, run the 400 and the 1500 at top speed and long jump well, but they lack the strength to pole vault or throw.

    It is a balance.

    Here are McFadden’s performances in each event with the points earned:

    Montana, Utah, and Colorado throw the javelin in high school, but we don’t in Wyoming. McFadden’s lowest point total was in the javelin with 358.

    “My best event for the weekend was the 1500 obviously, that was about as well as I could do it,” McFadden said. “The 400 at the end of the day was good when I was tired. I felt like that was closest to doing what I could do.”

    McFadden currently leads Class 3-A in both hurdle events and is second in the 400-meter dash.

    After high school, he will continue as a multi-athlete at Princeton University.

    Reed McFadden with his grandparents Carolyn and Mike Harris – h/t Chase McFadden

    He is the son of Chase and Stacie McFadden, and grandson of Mike and Carolyn Harris and Nancy McFadden.


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