Greatest Athlete In Alabama- Decathlon Champion Benjamin Thomason
HOOVER- He posted the fourth best performance among high school athletes in the country and with his efforts Benjamin Thomason of James Clemens High won the AHSAA Decathlon State Championship for 2023.
“I did my best in all the events, but I could have done better in a couple of them, but I just didn’t have the time to practice,” said Thomason.
The junior Jet scored 6,166 points to outdistance runner-up Heath Whigham of McGill-Toolen Catholic who posted 5,844 points. Thomason’s three James Clemens junior class teammates also participated in the state title event with the end results: 10. Isaac Pollard 5,249, 15. Austin Abney 5,100 and 28. Brandon Fisher 3,930.
For Thomason, who won the Indoor Penthalon State Championship just a few months ago, scored well in all the 10 events that make up Decathlon. His final results in each individual event included: 100m, 6., 11.20; 400m, 5., 51.62; 1500m, 5., 4:44.66; 110m hurdles, 2., 15.26; high jump, 9., 5-07.75; long jump, 4., 21-06.75; pole vault, 25., 9-00.25; discus, 14., 95-10.00; javelin, 4., 139-11.00; shot put, 3., 41-01.00.
Pollard was second in the 1500m with a time of 4:41.01 while Abney was second in the shot put (42-02.00) and fifth in the pole vault (12-05.50).
“My best event was the hurdles, but I could have gone faster, but I need to work on my overall stamina for this event,” said the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Thomason. “I did well in the hurdles as I spent a lot of practice time on that event. To do well, you must concentrate, be focused and remember to run over the hurdle and not jump over them. You must trust yourself.”
Thomason started in track through mutual friends, and he said he used to partake in mile runs in both elementary and middle school activities. Once among the track program at James Clemens he was enticed to try his shot at the decathlon by an assistant coach. “I was open to the idea and the first day me and my friends tried the sport we really enjoyed it. Now, there are four of us on the team and we’ll all be back next year, and will fight it out for the state championship,” added Thomason.
A college education in his future as he hopes to tag up with a Div. I school to study mechanical engineering as he will carry a 3.4 grade point average into his senior year. When not partaking in track events this time of year he works his neighborhood lawn mowing business where he currently has nine lawns he mows with his push mower. He said it’s a great workout and good income he may be able to use for college in 2024.