Zach Choboter’s predominant emotion upon winning the B.C. high school boys decathlon wasn’t that of elation, but surprise.
That in itself is surprising, in light of how decisively he crushed the competition at the provincial combined events championship last Friday and Saturday at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium.
The senior from St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary won the first seven legs of the 10-event competition – the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles and discus – en route to victory.
“I wasn’t really expecting to do as well as I did,” admitted Choboter, who finished eighth in the decathlon in 2012 and did not compete last year. “I trained pretty hard, but there were different aspects of the decathlon where I think I could have trained harder. But it worked out. I surprised myself in a couple of events, so it was good.”
Choboter, a member of the Valley Royals track and field club, racked up 5,484 points for a comfortable victory over Glen Johnston of White Rock Christian (4,529) and Oak Bay’s Derek Brougham (4,468). MEI’s Tim Bertness (4,360) finished just off the podium in fourth place.
Choboter’s specialties are the 100m dash and the long jump – he finished fourth in the long jump last year at the Canadian Legion Youth Championships.
He also plays hockey, suiting up for the Aldergrove A1 midget team last season, and has plans to try out for junior A and junior B teams in the coming months.
But winning the provincial decathlon has this dual-sport athlete leaning more towards track and field.
“I’ve always been pursuing (track and field) . . . but doing well kind of motivated me to pursue it in college,” he said.