By Michael Bower
Charlie Bush started on the track at Poway High running the hurdles as a freshman. He since has done pole vaulting, high jumping and last week finished his first 100-meter race in 12.06 seconds.
Now the junior, who always wanted to be a pole vaulter since watching his brother, James, compete at Poway High and Cal State University Long Beach, is beginning to think about becoming a decathlete. Something his coaches believe he can excel at in college.
“In order to be a decathlete, you have to have discipline and a certain mind set,” Poway track and field coach Bruce Jackson said. “I look at Charlie and he is smart and gets the technical aspect of things really well. I look at his (6-foot-1) frame and I know he can put on some muscle. I think he can be a great decathlete at the next level.”
A decathlon consists of 10 events (100, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400, 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500) and is usually held over a two-day competition. It takes an amazing athlete to excel at them all, which Titans’ high jump coach Brett Williams says will not be a problem for Bush.
“He is just a great athlete, period,” Williams said. “It seems like everything he does he is pretty good at and he also works really hard. I think as a freshman high jumper he cleared around 5 feet, 3 inches and now he has cleared 6-3. He has matured and improved so much with his work ethic.”
Bush, who also is a star defender on the soccer team, always seems to be full of energy. He has a high motor and is willing to put his body on the line. It is the kind of mentality that is perfect for a pole vaulter and a high jumper ... and a decathlete.
Bush will try to gain as much experience as he can in each of the decathlon events before he graduates from Poway. He was thrilled to get a chance to run in the 100.
“It was interesting and fun,” he said. “It was something different because I haven’t been in a running event since the beginning of my sophomore year. I was fairly happy with the time I ran.”
“I think we threw him in the 100 so we can get a time on him and colleges can be aware of him,” Williams said.
Right now, Bush ranks fifth in the section in the high jump and fourth in the pole vault with a season-best mark of 14-6. Those two rankings put him right on the cusp of having a shot to reach the state meet in early June.
“I think he can do it,” Williams said. “Especially, if he starts focusing on one or two events. The problem is there are times at a meet where he is running back and forth between the high jump and the pole vault ... He would have to jump his best, but he is mentally strong and he can make it happen.”