Track and Field

Walburn Earns All-American Honors in Decathlon

The Whitefish graduate finished 7th at the NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Championships decathlon

By Micah Drew
Whitefish High School graduate Lee Walburn finished 7th in the decathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on June 7, 2024. Courtesy photo

Whitefish High School graduate and Washington State University senior Lee Walburn earned First-Team All-America honors with a seventh-place finish in the decathlon at the 2024 NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Walburn ended the first day of the 10-event competition in 11th place after posting three personal best marks in the 100m, 400m and shot put.

He began the second day at Hayward Field the same way he ended the first, running a personal best 14.89 in the 110m hurdles. He followed that up with a discus throw of 45.54 meters, fourth overall; a 4.71 meter pole vault, eighth overall; a javelin throw of 56.62 meters, fifth overall; and a ninth place finish in the 1500m, running 4:38.42.

His overall score of 7,816 points was a lifetime best by more than 100 points and is the second-best mark in WSU history. The automatic qualifying mark for the Olympic Trials later this month is 7,900 points, but the field will be filled with the top 18-athletes in the country who meet a lower minimum standard. Following Thursday’s competition, Walburn currently sits 10th on the descending list, and is likely to return to Hayward Field for his shot at making the Olympic Team later this month.

“It’s surreal, but if you know Lee, I’d expect nothing less from him,” said Whitefish track and field coach Willie Roche. “It’s something our community can be very proud of. It makes me happy that we might get someone to the Olympic Trials. He’s not the first Bulldog to compete at this level, and I also doubt he’ll be the last.”

Prior to transferring to WSU for his final year of eligibility, Walburn competed at Carroll College where he was a two-time NAIA national champion in the decathlon.

Decathlete Lee Walburn, formerly of Carroll College, practices at Whitefish High School on June 8, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon