Smith repeats as decathlon champion at Great Southwest meet

Jordan Smith didn't do as well as he wanted at the Great Southwest meet, but he did pretty well.

The Park Hill product, representing Missouri, repeated as champion of the decathlon in Albuquerque, New Mexico earlier this month.

After 10 days, he won the meet at the University of New Mexico with 6,247 points and upped his total by more than 400 points from last year's victory.

However, he recorded the repeat coming off an arm injury that kept him from qualifying for the MSHSAA Class 5 State Championship in javelin. 

"I was expecting to do well in most of my events in the decathlon, but I really wasn't sure how javelin was going to go," said the soon-to-be senior. "But, I wasn't surprised by how I did."

He came a little bit shy of the pre-meet goal of 6,500 points he and coach Vernon Birmingham set.

"It is alright, we got work we have to do," Birmingham said. "We had a goal and we didn't get to it, so we will get back to work. That is what you want; you want your athletes to be able to persevere when things aren't 100%"

Smith threw the javelin in New Mexico but won't throw it again until this week at the AAU Region 16 meet held in Yukon, Oklahoma. He will have a chance to qualify for the AAU Jr. Olympics if he places high enough.

Birmingham said that Smith wouldn't throw the javelin to try to recover more from an elbow issue that popped up late in the high school season.

He won the 100-meter dash (11.20 seconds) and long jump (21 feet, 5 1/2 inches) on the first day and then won the discus (115-2) and javelin (162-6) on Friday. 

Smith reinjured the elbow on the javelin throw, he said. 

"I will watch a lot of video going back and analyzing things to make sure I'm doing things right so I don't continue to hurt myself," Smith said. 

The goal heading into the meet at Yukon High School is to score between 6,600-6,800 points, Birmingham said. The end goal is to get to 7,000 points soon - a mark that will help catch the attention of colleges.

Birmingham noted a Big 12 school expressed interest in Smith after the showing in New Mexico and expects the interest to grow. 

"He will have a lot of options; it is why we starting with point totals; that is what college want to see how many points you can score," Birmingham said. "If we can get him to 7,000 points he will have more schools knocking on his door."