PODCAST: Jasper’s Barbay takes 9th at New Balance Nationals
Photo Credit: Tracy Barbay
The best athlete in SETX made a strong statement at the recent New Balance Nationals Outdoor track meet held in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Jasper's Bryce Barbay (5947 pts) placed ninth out of seventeen competitors in the decathlon with fellow Texan's Gerard Bryant (Killeen, 2019, 5930 pts) and Peyton Lowery (Lewisville, 2019,5508 pts) finishing eleventh and thirteenth respectively.
The invitational meet included over 5,300 high school athletes from the United States and Canada where participants had to qualify for their appearance. One of only four juniors to qualify, Barbay garnered his invitation back in March after posting a decathlon score of 5,968 at the Jasper Relays.
"I felt like I competed really good for it being only my second decathlon ever," said Barbay.
"We had the top 20 decathletes in North America competing, the winner (Yariel Soto, 2019, Centerville, Oh, 7509 pts) scored over 7500."
Barbay timed his training leading up to the New Balance meet perfectly as he earned personal best scores the 100 meter dash (11.89), 400 meter dash (54.14), 1500 meter run (5.26.41), 300 meter hurdles (41.95), high jump (5'7 3/4"), shot put (38-9) and the decathlon(5947 pts) itself.
"Competing on the type of high level we had in North Caroline really helped," said Barbay.
"With adrenaline, and focus, and speed, it made everything a bit more serious, competing against some of the top athletes in North America."
Two of the decathlon events, the pole vault and the 100 meter hurdles, are Barbay specialities. Barbay captured the pole vault silver medal at the UIL Texas 4A state meet in May and placed third in the 100 meter hurdle competition at regional meet in April.
"I knew coming into this meet that my pole vault was going to be solid," said Barbay.
"My focus was mostly on the running events and being sure I was in good condition. The decathlon is mostly mental so you have to push through everything. I wanted on concentrate on the events I wasn't strong in like the shot put and the 1500."
For now Barbay will concentrate on football season as the Jasper Bulldogs are ranked #2 in most 4A state polls and Barbay returns as an all-district receiver for his senior season.
"We have the skill and talent to win a state championship," said Barbay.
"We have to stay together as a team, stay healthy, and pass our classes."
Barbay had 6 touchdown catches last year with 454 yards receiving.