July 19, 2011
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Lobo Richard York does it better indoors than anyone in the Mountain West Conference. He also does it better outdoors than anyone else in the MWC.
What York does so well is run and jump and throw things. If you buy into the line about how decathletes are the best athletes in the world, then this University of New Mexico junior-to-be is the best all-around athlete in the Mountain West.
He won the heptathlon crown at the MWC Indoor Championships in Albuquerque and added on the decathlon title in the MWC Outdoor Championships.
York obviously was "on" for both meets. His crown indoors handed him the award for the meet's most outstanding performance. He totaled 5,533 points to register the third-best score ever posted in the MWC Indoor Championships.
York got his indoor/outdoor sweep by rolling out 7,213 points at the MWC Outdoor Championships to hand UNM only its fourth decathlon crown outdoors. York won the outdoor decathlon for the second straight season to become the first Lobo to win consecutive decathlon titles.
It's not easy to be a multi-event athlete. Of course, you have to be a multi-talented athlete. You need many skills -- skills that demand excellence in quickness, strength, endurance. You also have to have some technique.
You have to do things like jump over hurdles, throw a discus, pole vault, toss a javelin, run 1,500-meters, sprint 100 meters -- and leap over tall buildings in a single bound.
OK, we were kidding about that building jump, but you do have to be kind of a Superman rolled into a jack-of-all-trades. York obviously is multi-talented.
In high school at St. Clair High (Mo), he was a four-time All-State performer. He competed in the pole vault, the 300m hurdles, the 100m hurdles, the high jump, triple jump and long jump.
It is no wonder that when Lobo Coach Joe Franklin saw this multi-talented kid in action that Franklin was thinking decathlete. Did we mention that York was an all-conference athlete at St. Clair in basketball and football?
Is York good enough to play for Mike Locksley or Steve Alford's Lobos, too? For sure, we'll never find out. Coach Franklin is going to keep York away from University Stadium and The Pit -- and help York become even better.
York's best meets are still ahead of him. He was good as a freshman and better as a sophomore. Is it possible he really will become a Superman by his senior year? If so, Coach Franklin might have to go out and buy York a tall building to practice on.