Kurt Felixs obligations were many over the past few months taking on extra events to help the Boise State track and field team compete for Mountain West titles, serving as one of the faces of the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa and finishing his psychology degree.
His obligations are few now as he prepares for the two biggest events of his career.
Felix, a senior making his final appearance in blue and orange, is ranked fourth in the decathlon going into the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa. His event begins Wednesday morning and ends Thursday evening.
The gap between the top competitors is narrow.
All the guys are good, Boise State coach J.W. Hardy said. Its a matter of being on your game at that event.
As his college career ends, Felix will begin preparing for the London Olympics, which open July 27. He will wear the red, yellow and green of his homeland, Grenada, after clinching his spot on the Olympic team with a Boise State- and Grenada-record 7,972 points in the decathlon earlier this season.
Im going to prepare myself as best I can and go (to the Olympics) for the experience and hopefully everything works out in my favor, Felix said.
Felix should benefit in his two big events from a more streamlined training schedule, Hardy said. Felix competed in four events at the Mountain West outdoor meet four weeks ago and elected not to enter the NCAA preliminary meet in the javelin and long jump, for which he qualified. He advanced to the NCAA meet in the decathlon based on his national ranking.
He still hasnt come close to his potential in the 10-event decathlon, which includes the javelin, long jump, high jump, shot put, discus, pole vault, 100 meters, 400, 1,500 and 110 hurdles.
Felix set the school record with average or worse performances in several events.
If he hits all his PRs, he will crush that, Hardy said. Its certainly possible. A lot of it is timing and precision. One thing about this time of the year is there is not a lot being asked or demanded of you from the head coachs standpoint. Youre not thinking about your teammates. Now is the time where youre thinking about training and being efficient. Thats what makes it a little bit more possible.
Hes a young man who has shown in the past, if you rest him and dont overwork him, he performs pretty consistently.
Felix is on a rapid ascent in the decathlon world and hopes to make the sport his profession. He plans to train at Boise State and perhaps attend graduate school.
His track and field career began with the javelin.
In the islands, we throw a lot of rocks, he said. It just sort of came natural.
He won gold in the heptathlon in the 2007 CARIFTA Games, an inter-island meet in the Caribbean, and landed at Central Arizona College. There, he developed some of his lesser skills, such as the pole vault, and was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Most Outstanding Field Athlete in 2008 and 2009.
During a three-year stay at Boise State he redshirted the outdoor season last year he has won all five possible conference titles in the multi-discipline events, three in the indoor heptathlon and two in the outdoor decathlon.
He also reached the 2010 NCAA outdoor, 2011 NCAA indoor and 2012 NCAA indoor meets leaving the 2010 indoor meet as his only missed opportunity.
Hardy said he will miss Felixs attitude as much as his production. At conference meets, Felix was willing to put his body on the line by competing in individual events for team points after completing his grueling multi event, Hardy said.
He has brought a positive dynamic to our program, Hardy said. Hes what I would call a quiet leader. Hes a man of few words at times, but hes one who speaks loudly with how he performs on the track.
Felix has a second set of teammates who he will see for the final time this week. The multi athletes spend two days together each time they compete.
That group has helped push, and support, Felix during his college career.
The multi guys are pretty close, Felix said. Its like a little brotherhood going on there. Although we compete with each other, we encourage each other. A lot of us stay in touch.
Theyre close in the standings, too, which gives Felix hope of contending for a national title.
The top four guys, he said, its basically anybodys game.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398