Track: Cargo medals in decathlon

YPSILANTI, Mich. — Rantoul’s Charles Cargo excelled during the AAU Junior Olympics this weekend at Eastern Michigan University by finishing eighth in the decathlon.

Cargo, an incoming senior at Rantoul Township High School, finished with 5,353 points, a 1,035-point improvement from last year. He came in eighth out of 27 decathletes.

Steele Wasik of Medina, Ohio, won by collecting 7,037 points.

“Charles Cargo had a very good meet,” AAU head coach Harbert Jones said. “He’s climbing up there. He’s eligible to compete again next year. He may be a top three athlete.”

On Saturday, Cargo was 15th in the 100-meter dash (12.18), 17th in the long jump (18-6 1/2), 12th in the shot put (34-7), 10th in the high jump (5-5 1/4) and 14th in the 400-meter run (54.15).

Sunday was a stronger day for Cargo. He placed seventh in the discus (107-3), fifth in the javelin (124-10), had a four-way tie for fourth in the pole vault (10-5 1/4), 16th in the 110-meter high hurdles (17.2) and fifth in the 1,500-meter run (4:48.7).

"Going into the 1,500, I saw that I was in 10th place, and I was in the second heat," Cargo said. "It's the first time I've ever broke five minutes. During the entire race, I was like 'don't stop and keep going.' I wanted to place top eight for a medal."

Entering the second day, Cargo was in 15th place, and climbed seven spots.

"The first day, I struggled a little, but I came back stronger on the second day like I usually do," Cargo said. "I surprised myself in the 1,500-meter run getting a personal record by a whole minute. I didn't clear the height that I wanted to in the pole vault because the weather there was kind of icky all day. It was raining, then hot and rained again. Everyone was struggling."

Cargo came short of his 6,000-point goal, but Jones said he made large gains.

“That was one of his goals,” Jones said. “He fell a little bit short of 6,000, but finishing eighth gets him a medal, and he qualifies for All-American. He and I are real happy with that.”

Cargo said his goal is to improve in all his events and get first place in 2014.

Rantoul’s Mercedes Porter is competing in the triple jump and will compete this morning.

"I feel like when she jumps well, she could be top eight there," Cargo said. 

bbajek@rantoulpress.com

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