FAYETTEVILLE – On day one of the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Gunnar Nixon leads the decathlon through the first five events with 4,164 points. The soon-to-be sophomore owns a 10-point lead over Tim Dekker of the Netherlands in the overall standings. In other action, Razorback signees Stefan Fennell and Jarrion Lawson qualified for the next round of the 110-meter hurdles and long jump, respectively.
The international meet will continue through Sunday at Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium, site of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. Nixon and hammer thrower Shelby Ashe were named captains for the U.S. men’s and women’s teams during Monday’s squad meeting.
Nixon began the day in 12th place overall after a time of 11.23 and 810 points at 100 meters, the first event of the decathlon. In the long jump, he had a best attempt of 7.12m/23-4.5 to add 842 points to his total. Nixon moved into seventh place overall after the shot put with his mark of 14.54m/47-8.5, a personal best using the junior-size implement.
He won the high jump competition with a final clearance of 2.10m/6-10.75 which was worth 896 points and moved Nixon into third place overall. In the final event of the day, he posted a 400-meter time of 49.13 to take over first place in the decathlon standings. Nixon won the USA junior national title in the decathlon in June with a score of 7,660 points.
Fennell, representing his native Jamaica, finished second in heat four of eight to secure an automatic berth into the semifinal round of the 110-meter hurdles. Running into a steady headwind, he crossed the finish in a time of 13.81 and was 10th overall in the standings. The next round of the event is set for Wednesday afternoon.
In the qualifying round of the long jump, Lawson finished sixth overall with a day’s best mark of 7.58m/24-10.5. He opened the competition with a jump of 7.27m/23-10.25 in the first round and a foul on his second attempt. Lawson moved from 10th to sixth with his final jump. The 12-man final of the long jump is scheduled for Wednesday.
Competition at the IAAF World Junior Championships continues Wednesday with day two of the decathlon for Nixon, finals of the long jump for Lawson and semifinal round of the 110-meter hurdles for Fennell. Lawson is also scheduled compete in the triple jump which begins Thursday with qualifying.
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Decathlon (day one)
1. Gunnar Nixon (USA) – 4,164 points
12. 100m – 11.23 (810 points)
10. Long jump – 7.12m/23-4.5 (842 points)
6. Shot put – 14.54m/47-8.5 (761 points)
1. High jump – 2.10m/6-10.75 (896 points)
2. 400m – 49.13 (855 points)
110m Hurdles (first round)
10. Stefan Fennel (JAM) – 13.81Q
Long Jump (qualifying)
6. Jarrion Lawson (USA) – 7.58m/24-10.5Q
Q – qualified for next round