SAN TAN VALLEY — Competing in four events at the Division III state track meet didn’t seem like much of a challenge for Poston Butte’s Octavious Joe, so he tried out his skills at the Arizona Decathlon State Championships.

“Competing in the decathlon was a fun experience,” Joe said. “I got to try out different events I had not tried during the season. I just wanted to do something different because the track season was already over, and I felt like it happened so fast. I just wanted to do something else before I got back into football.”

The junior took fifth out of the 23 competitors and scored 5,370 points at the event, held May 24-25 at Red Mountain High School in Mesa. Kaden Passey, also a junior out of Surprise Shadow Ridge, came in first place with 6,218 points.

The 10 events in the decathlon were javelin, pole vault, discus, high jump, shot put, long jump, 110-meter hurdles, 1,500-meter run and the 100- and 400-meter dash.

Joe placed second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.36, and third in the 400-meter dash (51.99) as well as the 110-meter hurdles (15.42). He added this was the second time he competed in the 100-meter dash and improved his personal record.

“I felt comfortable (in those events),” he said. “I feel like after state my legs were kind of dead, so on the first day when I competed in hurdles, my legs were kind of just dead from running at state.”

The Division III state track meet was held May 14-15 at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, and Joe only had about a week to prepare for the decathlon. Also, he still had classes taking up part of his day and the track was unavailable in the afternoon, so he had extremely limited time to train.

“I really didn’t do as much as I should have been doing, so it kind of felt like practice when I was competing,” he said. “I only had like two or three practices. I’d practice during my fourth hour of school, so I had about an hour. When I first started practicing it was hard, but the more I did it, the easier it got.”

In other events at the decathlon, he finished in the top 10 in shot put, discus, pole vault and long jump.

“It was kind of surprising,” Joe said. “I thought I could have done better than that, but I tried my best. There were just a lot of good athletes out there. Throughout my track season, my coach had the team going to the meets with schools from different divisions, so I was kind of used to that part.”

Joe said he found the discus throw, shot put and javelin to be difficult because there’s a lot of technique involved.

“When I got there, I forgot some of the techniques I was supposed to do, so that was kind of hard,” he said. “I wasn’t used to that.”

Joe will be a senior next season and while he did well in many of the decathlon events, he said he will likely stick to his usual events once track season begins.

“I’ll probably just keep the same events and work on those because I really don’t want to go into a new event when I can use that time to improve on the events, I’m currently in," he said.

Those events include the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, the triple jump and either the 4X400 or 4X100 relay. Joe said he wants to compete in the decathlon again next year.


Maria Vasquez is a reporter covering Eloy, Arizona City and sports. She can be reached at