Landon Helms is a pole vaulter. In every sense of the word. But he also has these other skills he just is itching to use. Last week he took his toying attraction to other track and field events and participated in his first decathlon.
The ten event two-day marathon is often described in Olympic years (this is one I hear) as the competition for the title of World’s Greatest Athlete. The Emmett senior-to-be fared pretty well for a debut.
Helms took second place in the USTA Regional Decathlon Championship at Thunder Ridge High school in Washington. Helms point total of 6,286 was nearly 2,000 points ahead of third place. He trailed only Jaxson Bair of Kimberly, a three-event 3A state champion this spring in Idaho.
Some of the events he competed in were one’s he has flirted with all season — others, however, were new territory. The decathlon is made up of 100 meter run, the 400 meter run, the 110 hurdles (he was 4A state champ there this spring), the long jump, the pole vault (4A champ twice now at that event), the high jump, the weight events of shot put, discus, and javelin, and then concludes its two-day run with the 1,500 meter run.
Helms and Richards top 20 at Nationals
Following the second place finish in Washington, Helms and fellow Emmett High pole vaulter Tatum Richards traveled on to Eugene, Oregon late last week for the The Outdoor Nationals presented by NIKE. Considered the premier summer event for high school age track and field athletes the event is held at the famed Hayward Field where the NCAA Championships were held just a week prior.
In an elite field from across the country, the opening heights were considerably higher than what either faced during the regular season. Richards cleared the opening height of 12’1.5 inches on her third attempt but was unable to clear the next step up to 12’7.5 in three tries. A junior-to-be she still placed 19th with the effort.
Helms sailed over his opening height of 14’8.25” on his first attempt. He could not get over the 15’02.5 second round, however, and settled for 12th.
Helms has been invited to the Junior Olympics later this summer in Florida.