FAYETTEVILLE – As the No. 5 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team were away from competition to prepare for the 2011 SEC Championships, a pair of future Razorbacks turned in big performances this weekend. Andrew Irwin on the pole vault at the Arkansas state indoor meet while Gunnar Nixon had three top-two results at the Simplot Games in Idaho.
Irwin added to his stellar high school credits with a victory in the pole vault Friday at the Arkansas state indoor meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville. The Mt. Ida, Ark., native soared to victory with a clearance of 17-4.5, more than three feet clear of the second-place performer. With the win in hand and having established a national-leading prep mark, Irwin went on to take attempts at the high school record.
Competing at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, Nixon collected a handful of top performances. The Edmond, Okla., native won the long jump competition with a mark of 23-3.25 and had runner-up results in the 60-meter hurdles (7.98) and high jump (6-9). Held on the campus of Idaho State University, the Simplot Games draws the nation’s top prep athletes for a weekend of indoor track and field competition.
Irwin and Nixon were part of the Razorbacks’ initial signing group for the 2011-12 season. Joining the two in that class were Kyle Dunn (Marion, Iowa), Anthony May II (Hoover, Ala.) and Devin Randall (Bartlesville, Okla.). This group includes the No. 1-ranked prep decathlete in 2010 (Nixon, top-ranked pole vaulter (Irwin) and second-ranked 400-meter hurdler (Dunn).