Edmond Santa Fe’s Gunnar Nixon went to Albuquerque, N.M., this week with the number 8,000 in his mind. That was his target point total in the decathlon at the Great Southwest Track Meet Thursday and Friday.
Nixon finished with 8,035, setting the national high school record for total points in a decathlon, surpassing the previous record of 7,909 held by Curtis Beach of New Mexico.
Nixon battled cramps during the final event, the 1,500-meter run, but pushed through to conclude his record-setting performance.
Nixon, who has signed with Arkansas, set or tied personal-best marks in five events. His distance of 24 feet 5 1/2 inches was one inch better than his winning long jump distance at the Class 6A state meet last month. He set a personal best with 14-11 in the pole vault and matched his best in the high jump at 7-0 1/2.
He clocked a time of 10.89 seconds in the 100 meters, 14.16 in the 110 hurdles, 49.66 in the 400 and 5:01.74 in the 1,500. He recorded distances of 49-11 in the shot put, 142-1 in the discus and 175-5 in the javelin.
Earlier this year, Nixon set the national points record for a high school decathlon using international implements with 7,524 points at the Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational.
Sulphur’s Caleb Neal also competed in the Great Southwest decathlon and finished fifth with 5,773 points.
Several other Oklahoma athletes will compete in the single-event portion of the Great Southwest meet on Saturday.
Here’s a pretty cool link comparing Nixon’s performance this week to the performance by Beach when he set the previous record. Nixon posted better marks than Beach in eight of the 10 events.
– Scott Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org