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Decathlon champ Kyle Sullivan wants more

University of Wyoming’s Kyle Sullivan stands atop the podium after the Powell native won the decathlon at the Mountain West Championships May 15 in Laramie. University of Wyoming’s Kyle Sullivan stands atop the podium after the Powell native won the decathlon at the Mountain West Championships May 15 in Laramie. Photo courtesy Wyoming Athletics Media Relations

2011 PHS grad grateful for community’s support  

Just five days after former Powell High School track star Kyle Sullivan won the Mountain West Conference’s decathlon title, he had one thing on his mind.

“I just want to go out and do it again,” Sullivan said in an interview with the Tribune.

The junior has two more years of eligibility to run outdoor track at the University of Wyoming and has already planned a training schedule that is underway.

“I’m actually staying in Laramie for the majority of this summer so I can work, take some time out of my schedule and get a feel for some events,” Sullivan said.

Never mind that he just proved he’s the best at what he does in his conference, Sullivan is focused on what he doesn’t do well. Or well enough, anyway.

Sullivan’s score of 6,776 points was 184 ahead of the runner-up, but well below his goal of 7,000.

The tall but slender Sullivan said he excels in the hurdles and high jump but doesn’t think he’s reached his peak in any of the decathlon’s diverse events.

“Honestly I think I have a lot of room (to grow) in all of them,” he said. “It’s hard for me to pick out one or two events. I think I’m capable of improving in all of them.”

The two-time Class 3A high jump champion said the decathlon’s trio of throws have proven to be a tough skill to master.

“All three of the throws — shot put, discus and javelin — can all go quite a bit better,” said Sullivan, who finished in the top three in each event at the Mountain West Championships.

Sullivan entered the second day of the decathlon in third place, but made a big move in Day 2’s first event, the 110-meter hurdles.

Sullivan won the event with a time of 14.73 and former decathlon champion Richard York of New Mexico was disqualified, catapulting Sullivan to first place.

But it wasn’t until the second-to-last event that Sullivan realized he was in position for a conference title.

“It didn’t really sink until we were pole vaulting, which was two events later,” Sullivan said.

He thought to himself, “If I just perform and stay steady I have a chance to win this.”

Focus and dedication so extreme that you forget you’re about to win a conference title is necessary for decathletes.

Sullivan said training for decathlons is a grueling and constant endeavor.

“It’s kind of demanding on your body,” he said. “I will say decathletes, at least here, [freshman] Caleb [Seeton] and I spend the most time in the training room.”

Such an intense sport requires lots of rest and refueling.

Between Day 1 (May 15) and Day 2 (May 16) of the Mountain West decathlon, Sullivan took full advantage of competing on his home turf.

Sullivan said he focused on “getting a good meal, lots of protein (and) lots of water” following the first five events and before getting as much sleep as he could.

“It was really nice here being at home,” Sullivan said. “I was able to go to my house and sleep in my own bed, which was amazing.”

Sullivan calls Laramie home currently but still regards Powell as his hometown.

After all, this is where Sullivan got his start in track and realized he could pursue it beyond high school.

“Probably about my junior year I started to really think, ‘You know, this is what I want to do, I want to go to college and run track and field,’” Sullivan said.

PHS head coach Scott Smith saw Sullivan’s talent early on and recruited him to run indoor track his freshman year.

Sullivan credits Smith for pushing him toward track even though he admits to running it “to stay in shape for football” his first two years at PHS.

“I had a lot of great coaches up there,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he is proud to run for UW and represent his family, “which includes the Sullivans and the Powell community.”

He said current Powell athletes “shouldn’t feel limited because of the community they live in or the state they live in.”

Powell is willing to get behind those who deserve it.

“If there’s talent and hard work combined, you’ll feel the suport,” Sullivan said. “Don’t feel like you’re tackling it all on your own, you got support you can rely on.”

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