James Clemens had two athletes finish among the top five at the Decathlon State Championships. Isaac Pollard, center, finished third, while Benjamin Thomason, second from right, was runner-up in the multi-sport event. Photo: AHSAA/Jeff Segars

James Clemens Athletes Finish 2-3 At Decathlon State Championships

HOOVER- Halfway through the AHSAA Decathlon State Championship, James Clemens senior Benjamin Thomason had 107-point lead and was geared to defend his 2023 state title, but junior William Numnum of Northridge High had different thoughts coming from fourth place and nearly 200 points behind to win the 2024 Decathlon state title with a 158-point victory over runner-up Thomason.

Fellow James Clemens decathletes Isaac Pollard finished third (6,063) and Austin Abney was tenth (5,198) in the competition which featured 50 athletes from across Alabama at the meet held in Hoover.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Thomason emerged as the first-day leader after five events which included the senior Jet tied for the best effort in the long jump at 21-feet, 10-inches. In day two of the highly specialized competition, he took the top honor in the 110-meter hurdles race with a winning time of 14.64. Meanwhile, Numnum turned in a strong finish winning both the discus and pole vault competition on his way to scoring 6,494 points while Thomason finished with 6,341 points, Pollard with 6,063 and Abney’s 5,198.

For Thomason, a disappointing outcome after such a marvelous start, but he’ll have the memories to last a lifetime winning the 2023 state title with the fourth best performance in the country and finishing as two-time state champion in the Penthalon, which is the equivalent of the decathlon for the indoor track season.

Thomason signed to run track at Samford University.

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