AIKEN, SC--- "They see what I'm doing and probably realize I'm not getting the coaching I shoud be getting, but I'm doing pretty good for what I've been given." Trey Blanton isn't knocking his current coaches. By their own admission, the 17-year-old has outgrown what they can teach him.
You don't find many decathletes in our area and the South Aiken rising Senior is one of the best in the nation in his age group.
Impressive at first blush but amazing when you consider he's only been interested in track and field a little over 3 years and has now become an elite performer in the one event that requires skills in ten different disciplines, including pole vault, javelin, hurdles and so on.
Blanton ranked 13th in the nation his first year competing as a decathlete and was ranked 4th in America last year in the 15-16 year old age group. He only went out for the track team because he needed a spring sport to help with football but found a new obsession and left the pigskin behind.
Blanton works with coaches in Aiken but for expert tutelage he has to travel to Columbia and USC's track coach. He also serves as his own instructor, picking up techniques on the internet.
Being a decathlete has given Blanton a chance to truly become a jack of all trades and master of none.
"You don't have to master them, you can be an overall athlete, that's why," Blanton explains. "When you see these guys, they aren't the best in each event, but they're good at them all. So you have to be very technical in what you do and you have to pick up on it quick or you're gonna fall behind."
Blanton is getting interest from some big name colleges like Georgia, South Carolina, Louisville and Harvard.
His next event is the AAU Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee next weekend.