Soon after Alex Worley completed the 1,500 meter run in the 10th and final event of the decathlon last Friday at High Point University, Sandhills Community College coach Jef Moody asked him how he thought he did.
"Alex gave me the quote of the day," the coach recalled during the team's workout at the Pinecrest High School track on Monday afternoon. "He told me, 'I could have run faster, coach. Everybody else is lying on the ground and I'm still standing.'"
If Worley wasn't quite sure he left it all on the track, the Pinecrest grad's performance was good enough to finish second in the 1,500 and fifth overall in the field of eight contestants. His 5,087 points project him as a contender in the event at the NJCAA Division III National Championships in Utica, N.Y. in May.
"He's a competitor, he loves to compete," his coach said.
Also, as a part of what is called the Bill Webb Combined Events Classic, Emily Doorey of the Lady Flyers finished 11th in the seven-event heptathlon with a point total of 2,619 points that also establishes her as a contender at nationals.
"It's just amazing," Moody said of the effort required to compete in what are considered the most demanding athletic events for male and female athletes. "You have to change hats so many times. I always respected them, but I really respect decathletes and heptathletes now."
Pablo Romero of High Point won the men's event with a point total of 6,599. CeAnna Soper, also of the host college, was first in the heptathlon with 4,613 points. The other men's team represented was North Carolina Central. The field for the heptathlon also included athletes from North Carolina Central, Davidson, Gardner-Webb and Concord.
Five events in the decathlon were held on Thursday and the other five on Friday. It was four and three respectively for the heptathlon. The scoring for both is based on performance tables for each event that are revised periodically. The world records are 9,026 points in the decathlon and 7,291 in the women's heptathlon.
In addition to the strong performance in the 1,500, Worley took third in both the discus and the pole vault. Doorey's best results were ninth place finishes in the high jump and shot put.
Both were given Monday off to recuperate, but Doorey, also a product of Pinecrest, attended the practice. They will not compete again in the events before the nationals.
"It takes so much out of you," Moody said.
Doorey's point total would have been good for fourth place at last year's national meet. First and second place earn All-American honors.
"Our goal, her goal, should at least be to be an All-American," her coach said.
According to Doorey the fellow competitors encouraged each other.
"I would say it is exhausting," she said of the two days of events, "but it's definitely a challenge and really fun."
Preparations are underway for the full squad to compete at the Aggie Invitational at North Carolina A & T on April 13-14.