Competing in a decathlon for the first time, College of the Siskiyous freshman Myke Tavarres won the NorCal Community College championship Wednesday in Redding.

An all-Golden Valley Conference linebacker for the Eagles last fall, Tavarres placed first in three of the 10 events during the two-day competition at Shasta College.

He scored 6,475 points to top Monterey Peninsula sophomore Nicholas Pfeiffer, who placed third in last year’s state championship.

Siskiyous head track coach Shannon Maas described how Tavarres moved into first place by winning the ninth event, the javelin, with a throw of 177 feet, 5 inches. That was more than 17 feet further than he had ever thrown before.

Tavarres went into the final event, the 1500 meter, knowing he needed to finish within 9 seconds of Pfeiffer to win the championship.

Maas said he and his father, Phil, positioned themselves on opposite sides of the track to let Tavarres know how far behind Pfeiffer he was on each lap of the 1500.

“For most of the race he was three to five seconds behind,” said Shannon, who was standing at the finish line. “With about one and a quarter laps to go, the other kid kicked, and Myke stayed with him. The last 200 meters you could see the look of determination on Myke’s face; he was giving 110 percent.”

Tavarres placed 4th in the 1500 with a time of 4:43.57, about 3 seconds behind  Pfeiffer, who was third in 4:40.39.

Tavarres’s total of 6,475 points was 47 points better than Pfeiffer and just 30 less than former Eagle Dustin Abel scored when he won the state championship in 1993.

“He has phenomenal athletic talent,” Maas said of Tavarres. “He’s by far the fiercest competitor I’ve ever seen... he’ll probably go down as one of the best athletes in the history of COS.”

Maas said all the credit for bringing Tavarres to COS goes to Eagle football coach Charlie Roche.

Roche said universities are lining up to talk to Tavarres, including Arkansas, Texas Tech, Kansas, and Oregon State. Rutgers has already offered him a full ride scholarship.

“He has unlimited potential,” said Roche, who confirmed that Tavarres will return to play another year of football with the Eagles while he finishes his Associates degree.

Maas said Tavarres “has a great chance” to accomplish three things at the state decathlon championships May 18 and 19:?be the state champion, break the school record, and become an All-American by posting a score in the top 12 among all community college athletes in the nation.

Following are Tavarres’s marks in all 10 events at the NorCal Decathlon:

Day 1:
100m – 11.65
Long Jump – 6.45m (21' 2")
Shot Put – 10.68m (35' .5")
High Jump – 1.94m (6' 4.25")
400m – 50.41

Day 2:
110 Hurdles – 15.57
Discus – 29.93m (98' 2")
Pole Vault – 3.35m (10' 11.75")
Javelin – 54.09m (177' 5")
1500m – 4:43.57