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November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015

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Jonathan "JJ" Ply wins Nationals

July 27, 2017

Well it actually happened, Jonathan "JJ" Ply has won the USATF Junior Olympic National Decathlon title.  



After getting a bad start in the 100 meters (12.05) and looking a little sluggish in the long jump (19'9.25"), JJ pulled it together to put on an amazing string of performances in the final 8 events to demolish the field by 624 points.  In the shot put he threw for a new personal best by over 2 feet at 42' 1.5" then on to the high jump where he posted a 6'8.75" mark.  In the final event for the first day he ran a personal best 51.77 seconds in the 400 meter run.  JJ scored 3478 points for the first day leading the field of 22 competitors by 82 points.



On Day 2 JJ came out blazing in the 110 meter hurdles setting a decathlon person record of 14.70 seconds.  With his momentum building and his excitement skyrocketing JJ threw the discus to another personal record of 122' 4.75".  Now on to the pole vault!  JJ has been working hard over the last month and a half to overcome the fear of breaking two poles in two weeks his junior year at Dayton High School.  JJ a 14'6" vaulter his junior year was only able to negotiate an 11'6" mark during the high school season, but with a lot of hard work in a very short time started to become the JJ of old in the vault.  He jumped a seasonal personal record at 13' 5.75" to win the event and continue to increase his lead.  He came oh so close to 14' - he's back in the vault.  Now on to the javelin.  JJ busts out a new personal record of 182' 10".  On his second throw he had a throw of over 200' (my estimate) but fouled.  Going into the 1500 meter run and final event JJ only had to run a 4:35 to break 7000 points.  His personal best was 4:21.6, but being the champion that he is he refused to dog the race and led from start to finish setting a personal best (again!) of 4:18.99.  This was a grueling 2 day event that lasted more than 15 hours in 100 degree temperatures and high humidity.  His final score was 7111 points beating the second place finisher by 624 points (these guys were all regional champions from all over the country - the best of the best).


What most people don't know is that JJ had to compete in a decathlon at Regionals to qualify for Nationals just 7 days earlier when the rest of the field had at least 3 to 4 weeks to recover.  This was a feat that defies reason.  So proud of you JJ!


Kudos to Chris Holloman for making the time and effort to work with JJ on the technical aspects of all the decathlon events.  This was Chris's first time seriously coaching any athlete and he did a stellar job.  Chris, you should be coaching at the collegiate level if not the elite level.  A job well done my friend!



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