Mastering one event in track and field is not a particularly simple undertaking.
Being able to do well in 10 different events ... well, that’s simply the sign of a special athlete.
Salem High seniors Jerry Canada, Aaron Palmer and Jon Crimble certainly fit that bill. The Witches trio combined for 16,188 points at the Mass. State Track Coaches Association’s Decathlon held at Burlington, the most points of any school.
“This was the third time they’ve gone to the event, and this was as big a goal for them as anything,” said Salem High head coach Gary Lavoie.
At the decathlon, athletes compete in the 100-yard dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110 hurdles, discus, triple jump, javelin and mile. Points as assigned for finishes in each event and then totaled up.
Palmer was Salem’s top finisher and the second-best in the field with 5,714 points. He finished third overall in the 100 and second in both the long and triple jumps to set himself up for a strong finish.
“Aaron was consistent across the board,” said Lavoie. “He’s a strong kid, so he’s pretty good in the throws too and that helps him.”
Crimble was third overall with 5,685 points and topped the field of 65 competitors in the 100 and 400 sprint events.
Canada, who is one of the best hurdlers in the Northeastern Conference and will be competing that in that event at nationals next weekend, was 17th with 4,789 points.
“We’re going to miss them so much it’s not funny,” Lavoie said of Palmer, Crimble and Canada. “The three of them are all great athletes and terrific young men to be around for our track program.”
Also competing among local athletes was Masconomet’s David Drigo, who finished seventh with 5,335 points. Marblehead’s Ian McIver was eighth with 5,317 points, and Peabody’s Ben Britton was 14th at 4,808.