FAYETTEVILLE – Kevin Lazas, a member of the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team, won the gold medal in the decathlon Saturday at the 2011 Pan American Junior Championships in Miramar, Fla. With the help of three event wins Saturday, the soon-to-be Razorback sophomore totaled 7,979 points over the two-day competition to outpace the field. Future teammate Gunnar Nixon finished second in the decathlon with 7,669 points.
Entering the day, Lazas held just a 16-point lead over Nixon. The duo finished 1-2, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles to begin the day with Lazas adding five points to his lead. He took full control of the decathlon with back-to-back wins in the pole vault and javelin. Over that span, his lead over Nixon grew from 103 to 355 points. With point spread in his favor, Lazas crossed sixth in the 1,500 meters, the final event of the day. During the two days, he set personal bests in the 100 meters and javelin.
The Brentwood, Tenn., has now won the two post collegiate season events he has entered. He qualified for the Pan Am Junior Championships with his victory at the USA Junior event back in June. During that meet, Lazas set the American junior record with his finishing total of 8,016 points.
For the second time in as many months, Nixon finishes second behind Lazas in a decathlon competition; he was also the runner-up at the USA Junior Championships. On the second day of the Pan Am event, Nixon picked up a win in the 1,500 meters and a pair of second-place results in the 110-meter hurdles and pole vault.
The performance by Lazas and Nixon adds 18 points to Team USA’s total at the international competition. The decathlon event at the Pan Am Juniors also featured competitors from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Venezuela and the Bahamas.
Pan American Junior Championships – Final Results
Decathlon1. Kevin Lazas – 7,979 points2. 100m – 10.92 (PR) (878 points)2. Long Jump – 7.30m/23-11.5 (886)1. Shot Put – 15.40m/50-6.25 (814)5. High Jump – 1.91m/6-3.25 (723)5. 400m – 51.10 (765)1. 110m Hurdles – 14.35 (930)2. Discus – 43.90m/144-0 (744)1. Pole Vault – 4.90m/16-0.75 (880)1. Javelin – 60.34m/197-11 (PR) (743)6. 1,500m – 4:50.50 (616)2. Gunnar Nixon – 7669 points5. 100m – 11.15 (827 points)3. Long Jump – 7.14m/23-5.25 (847)2. Shot Put – 14.64m/48-0.5 (768)1. High Jump – 2.00m/6-6.75 (803) 3. 400m – 50.20 (805)2. 110m Hurdles – 14.39 (925)6. Discus – 39.89m/130-10 (662)2. Pole Vault – 4.30m/14-1.25 (702)4. Javelin – 55.93m/181-9 (669)1. 1,500m – 4:43.06 (661)