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Orchard Park native Kegan Mancabelli places 5th in national decathlon

After he crossed that final finish line in his first decathlon, the 18-year-old was headed to the podium for his 5th place finish on a national stage.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Orchard Park native Kegan Mancabelli is back in Western New York after a trip to Eugene, Oregon last weekend to compete in the Nike Outdoor Nationals track and field meet. 

In his first decathlon, he came home with a fifth-place finish and a score of 6390.

"It was very tiring. I mean, I was dead afterward," Mancabelli told 2 On Your Side's Julianne Pelusi about competing in 10 events over two days for the first time.

That 10th event is the 1500-meter run, a grueling final test of strength, just shy of a mile.

"I pretty much gave it all I got. I was like groaning as I was finishing just from like trying to breathe through the last 100 meters," Mancabelli said.

After he crossed that final finish line, the 18-year-old was headed to the podium for his 5th place finish on a national stage.

"We went into it with the idea that the placement isn't really the biggest of deals. I didn't know where I would finish," Mancabelli said.

"We were just going to try to go and have fun, and the cards played and it turned out that we did good."

A personal best in the 400-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles, and a tie for second in the pole vault, helped catapult Mancabelli onto the podium.

His success in the pole vault came as no surprise, as he is a two-time New York state champion in the event, and his family built a pit in their backyard during the pandemic.

Now, he is off to Cornell University to compete in the multi-event, raising the bar, yet again.

"I would love to make it to a national championship," Mancabelli said.

"I don't know where I can take it. I haven't been able to really focus on one sport in my whole high school career, and I think I'm really going to make some big strides once I can do that."

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