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David Toussaint
Class of 1980

Perhaps the most challenging competition in Connecticut high school sports is the boys’ state track & field decathlon. Among those who have conquered the decathlon is David Toussaint, a gifted Green Wave multi-sport athlete from the New Milford High School Class of 1980.


David earned the gold medal in the state decathlon in June, 1980, climaxing a two-year run of brilliance as an athlete on coach Russell Devin’s Green Wave teams. Five years earlier, another NMHS track & field athlete, Howie Stone, had come up just short in claiming the silver in the state decathlon. David made certain he was not to be bettered, excelling throughout the grueling, two-day competition.


Before that event, David had already established himself as one of the most versatile and talented athletes in NMHS’ illustrious track & field history.


Understandably overshadowed by his springtime achievements, David had also been a member of the Green Wave football program, spending three years on the varsity and finishing as a senior running back. The team enjoyed little success during David’s time spent on the gridiron, but some of the fitness he derived from playing football quite possibly enabled him to ascend to the heights in track & field.


David first distinguished himself during his sophomore season, bouncing back from an early-season injury to earn second place in the shot put at the Western Connecticut Conference meet.


He became wholly invested in his track & field skills when he decided as a junior to compete on the Green Wave’s indoor track & field team during the winter of 1978-79. The results were ample and impressive.In the league indoor meet, David won the shot put with a 49’7 ½” heave, more than three feet farther than his outdoor best the spring before. He also earned fifth-place finishes in the 60-yard high hurdles and high jump to help his team to fourth place.


Even better, the experience taught David that his ability in the sport was remarkably diverse. That spring, David flourished in dual meets, often sweeping the shot put, discus and 120-yard high hurdles while establishing himself as a potent force in the league. He capped his junior year by throwing the shot 51’5 1/4” in the state ‘M’ meet to advance to the state open.


All the while, coach Devin and his assistants were nurturing the various skills that David would need to compete the following spring in the state decathlon. When it came time for his final Green Wave season, David was ready. In order to prep David for the state decathlon, he competed in the annual Big ‘B’ event in Hartford. His results offered a promising look at his capabilities, while giving David a taste of what the 10-event test would be in June.


Among his many regular-season highlights that spring were firsts in the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, a second in the discus and third in the javelin in an important team win over Bethel, and four individual first places each in Green Wave romps over Newtown, Abbott Tech, Immaculate and Pomperaug, plus three wins and a second vs. Brookfield.


At the WCC meet, David demonstrated his versatility by winning the shot put in 52’ 1¾” and the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.4, and adding seconds in the discus and 300-meter hurdles.


His efforts in the state ‘M’ sectional meet included a 53’4” shot put, just four inches shy of the NMHS school record. David then won the state ‘M’ 300-meter hurdles, finished third in the shot put with 52’4” and fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.4 before finishing his pre-state decathlon career with high finishes in the state open 300-meter hurdles and shot put.


All that training and competition had fine-tuned the Green Wave standout for two days of grueling decathlon. The time had come, and David was ready for the challenge.


Performing near or at his personal-best levels throughout the event, David ran the 100 meters in 11.9 seconds, long-jumped 17’3”, offered a 49’10” shot put, high jumped 5’7” and ran a 53.2 in the 400 meters on the first day. On the climactic second day, he clocked 15.62 in the 110-meter high hurdles, tossed the discus 130’5”, cleared a personal best 10’4” in the pole vault (in an event that has spoiled many a decathlete’s hopes), flung the javelin 166’4” and, with the title on the line and knowing he needed a 4:41 or better time to win, checked in at 4:39.1 in the 1,500 meters.


David’s 6,286 points earned him the state decathlon championship by a narrow 14 points, and etched his name forever in Green Wave sports history. By comparison, at the time of David’s induction into the NMHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2024, 44 years later, the record point total for South-West Conference athletes was 6,200.


Thus, while he has plenty of remarkable Green Wave athletes for company in the AHOF, David is sole claimant to victory in that most challenging of sports competitions, the state decathlon.

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