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AHS' Ford places second in GSW decathlon; ATC's Koseuglu wins heptathlon

Jun. 7—Fredrick Ford was counting them up.

Three.

No, four.

"No, five!" he said with a laugh.

"I came in here not knowing five events and I came out really pleased with my outcome," Ford said.

The Albuquerque High graduate, arguably the state's most versatile boys track and field athlete, hadn't ever competed in a decathlon until this week's Great Southwest Track and Field Classic at the University of New Mexico.

Ford was a three-time state champion last month for AHS, but many of the events in the two-day decathlon, which began Thursday, were foreign to him.

But after two long, hot days at UNM, Ford had an impressive second-place showing, scoring 6,087 points in his 10 events.

He finished 256 points behind the champion, Brevin Egbert of Utah (6,343).

"I put in that incredible work ethic and I feel like I got a great result," Ford said. "I've been training hard."

Ford on Thursday won the 100-meter dash and the 400 as well. He was second in the long jump, one of the events where he won state at the Class 5A meet three weeks earlier at this very same facility. And he was fourth in the high jump.

He didn't fare as well in the shot put, where he was ninth.

Friday, he was third in the 110-meter high hurdles (one of those aforementioned events in which he had no experience), second in the discus, ninth in the technically demanding pole vault, seventh in the javelin and third in the 1,500. The 1,500 was the final race of the event and was run in hot, fierce winds in the middle of Friday afternoon.

Ford is competing in a handful of individual events on Saturday as the GSW comes to a close.

On Tuesday, he is planning to announce his college choice. Smiling, he said he wouldn't give that up Friday.

His four finalists are UNM, Oregon, Arizona State and Arkansas State.

"I'm incredibly excited," Ford said. "I've been looking forward to collegiate athletics since I was a little kid. I feel like this is the next step in something greater."

Egbert, whose hometown, Smithfield, is just north of Logan, placed first in only one of the 10 events — Friday's 110-meter high hurdles, one of his speciality events — but his consistently solid finishes in Thursday's five events staked him to a lead that he didn't relinquish.

"There was a ton of preparation that went into it," Egbert said, adding, "It was definitely a grind. It was super hot, and I was not used to that, so coming in here we had to prepare for that."

Egbert did have one significant advantage on Ford: He has done a couple of decathlons before.

He considered this decathlon victory to be highly satisfying.

"It's been awesome," he said. "It's been a ton of work, a lot of training, lots of support that's gone into it. Hard work pays off, truly."

The girls heptathlon champion was Charli Koseoglu, who recently graduated from the Academy for Technology and the Classics in Santa Fe.

She won four of the seven events — 100 hurdles, 200, long jump and javelin — and scored 4,380 points during the two days, and a 364-point victory over Arizona's Jayci Ballard.

St. Michael's Jada Lujan, the high jump winner, placed third overall. Los Alamos' Anna Wetteland, the 800-meter winner, was fourth overall.

The majority of the program is Saturday, with the elite running finals all scheduled between 5 and 9 p.m. The opening ceremonies are set for 4:30.