Jack Charlton was up for the challenge of competing in a 10-event decathlon. With some new events on his docket, the North Creek High junior-to-be pushed himself through the two-day 48th Annual Dennis McDonald Washington State Combined Events Championship at Lake Stevens High on May 31 and June 1.
The Jaguar proved to be a quick study of the pole vault, discus and mile run and finished sixth overall and first in the freshman/sophomore group with a total of 5,244 points in his first decathlon.
“It was really fun. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, just ‘cause it’s such a big variety and so many things to do,” said Charlton, adding that he enjoyed trying the events he hadn’t tackled before. “The hardest part was definitely just powering through towards the end.”
North Creek coach Faith Jaeger provided the impetus for getting Charlton on board with the decathlon. During track and field season, she encouraged him to add more events to his arsenal. Jaeger knew he could take them on with verve, and she was correct.
Charlton — also the starting varsity quarterback and a small forward/shooting guard on the varsity basketball scene — qualified for the state track and field meet in the 110-meter hurdles in late May at Mount Tahoma High in Tacoma. He took fifth in 4A KingCo in a personal-record time of 15.50, notched second at districts in 16.04 and 15th in the state prelims in 15.76.
His favorite events are the 110 hurdles, javelin (162-4.75 PR and school record) and high jump (6-0 PR and school record). He launched a PR of 35-6.5 in the shot put for another school record.
Charlton started behind center last season for the Jaguar football squad and has been preparing this summer for the fall campaign. He tries to hit the weight room a few days a week, gather his wide receivers to get everyone in sync and the team recently returned from a camp at Central Washington University.
“I thought last year was definitely an improvement from the first year, going from 1-9 to 5-4. I just think the best part of it was getting closer to everybody and building more chemistry for this year, which I think we’re gonna be very exciting to watch,” Charlton said.
Time management is paramount to playing a trio of sports and succeeding off the field as well: “You gotta make sure you’ve got time for school. My dream is to play in college in one of those sports, and none of that can happen if the grades aren’t good,” said Charlton, who enjoys his art and history classes.
The Reporter asked Charlton a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What superpower would you like to have?
I’d definitely want the ability to fly.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Hip-hop and rap.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
“The Blind Side.”
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People not turning off lights and closing doors when they leave the room.
Who was your idol growing up?
Growing up, I’ve always looked up to my dad mostly. Celebrity-wise, it’s Russell Wilson. I love the way he goes about life and plays football.
What special skill would you like to learn?
The ability to have a photographic memory.
What kind of advice would you give a young player coming up to your team?
Everybody wants, when they play football and you’re on the main stage, they think of all the crowd and all the hype and all the attention, but you’re never gonna get any of that if you don’t put the grind in when nobody’s watching.