Thirty-two seconds couldn’t have been any more important to Alec Fellows as he prepared to compete in the 1,500 meter run Saturday at the state high school decathlon championships.
Finish within 32 seconds, and Fellows is a state champion.
In the end, Fellows finished within eight seconds of 2009 champion Kale Schmidt from Stanwood in the event, out-dueling Schmidt to win the boys decathlon title during the 39th annual Dennis McDonald Multi Events State Championships, a two-day competition held at Lake Stevens High School.
“I knew it was going to be a tough battle between me and Kale,” said Fellows, a junior from Edmonds-Woodway High School. “I knew it would probably come down to the last couple events to see who would win.”
The last two events were the javelin and 1,500, with Fellows needing a big throw in the javelin to create some space from Schmidt, who’s the better 1500-meter runner.
Fellows had a bad throw in the javelin before throwing a personal best 161-3, which put him in a position to win — depending on his performance in the 1,500.
“First thing that went through my head was that I knew I needed to finish within 32 seconds of Kale,” Fellows said. He ran hard, burning out on the last lap to finish within eight seconds of Schmidt.
At that point, he realized his hard work was a culmination of everything he had done this season, recording personal-best marks in each of the competition’s 10 events. He finished with a two-day score of 6,308 points, which was 203 better than Schmidt, a senior who ended up settling for second.
“It felt really good knowing that all my hard work paid off,” Fellows said. “You have to give it all you have in one event, then reboot, and give it all you have the next one.”
But no time was more important to Fellows than the 15.76 he ran in the 110-hurdles, which helped give him some breathing room heading into day two.
Fellows, who finished sixth in last year’s decathlon, is looking forward to returning next year with an opportunity to repeat as champion.
“I’m excited to come back and defend it,” Fellows said. “It’s going to be fun, so hopefully there will be some good competition.”
(Story by Michael Johnson, MyEdmondsNews.com)