While playing three sports at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Brock Emory never saw himself as a college track athlete.
"I thought I'd be a football guy," he said.
Colorado assistant track and field coach Lindsey Malone saw something special in Emory, however, and four years after graduating high school, he is excelling in the decathlon.
Last Friday at the Jim Click Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., Emory set a personal best in the decathlon, scoring 6,832 points to finish sixth.
"I was pretty happy with it," said Emory, who tied his personal bests in the high jump (6 feet, 6.25 inches) and 400 meters (51.35 seconds) during that meet.
Emory was a three-sport athlete in high school, participating in football, wrestling and track and field. It was in track and field that he got the most attention from recruiters.
"It turns out I was really gifted in the hurdles and high jump in high school, so that's all I ever really did," he said.
He was recruited by Malone, who wanted him to compete in the decathlon for the Buffs.
"It's working out so far," he said. "I'm loving doing everything. It doesn't burn you out."
He was solid as a freshman in 2010 and as a sophomore in 2011, but hit a bump in the road last year. A high ankle sprain during the indoor season put him on the sidelines. He decided to redshirt the entire season in 2012. It wasn't what he wanted to do at first, but said, "It seems like that redshirt year helped a lot."
Once he regained his health, Emory was able to compete as an unattached athlete, so he still gained some valuable experience. He spent the entire season focusing on his improvement in all events. He believes that helped propel him into what has been his best year yet.
During the indoor season, he set a personal record in the heptathlon (4,990 points). Along the way, he set personal bests in the 60 meters, long jump, shot put, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters.
So far in the outdoor season, he has set PRs in the 100 meters, 400 meters, 110-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump and javelin.
"I've had a whole lot of improvement across the board, from running, throwing and even jumping," he said. "A lot of improvements, which is really nice because I got off to a slow start and it's finally paying off.
"I'm pleased with where this season is going."
His performance in Tucson last weekend gives him hope and confidence that he will only get better from here. The Buffs have several big meets coming up, including the Colorado Invitational on Friday and Saturday, the Pac-12 Championships in early May and the NCAA West Preliminary meet in late May.
In the decathlon, Emory currently ranks seventh in the Pac-12, 18th in the West region and 28th nationally.
He said his goal is to earn a medal at the Pac-12 Championships, and he's got every reason to believe he can do that -- and more.
"If I improve like I've improved the past couple of meets, who knows?" he said.
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