FAYETTEVILLE – Gunnar Nixon, a member of the 2011-12 recruiting class for the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team, set the national high school record in the decathlon with international implements last weekend at the Arcadia Invitational in Arcadia, Calif. His international-implements point total of 7,577 surpasses the previous record of 7,466 set by Curtis Beach in 2009.
"Anytime an athlete breaks a high school national record, it’s something very special," head coach Chris Bucknam said. "Gunnar showed a lot of poise and perseverance in breaking that record under some difficult circumstances and conditions. That’s the mark of a great athlete, battling and getting things done when everything isn’t perfect."
Nixon won his second consecutive decathlon title at the Arcadia Invitational while setting the record. He completed the 10-event decathlon using both high school and international implements, effecting the 110-meter hurdles, discus and shot put. Along the way, Nixon set personal bests in the 100 meters (11.06), 400 meters (48.57) and long jump (24-1.75).
The Edmond, Okla., native began day two of the weekend’s decathlon in fourth place but used a surge to grab the lead. Nixon ran 4:39.64 in the 1,500 meters, the final event of the competition, to complete his record performance; he needed a time of 4:49. Despite not receiving a mark in the shot put using the high-school implement, his high-school total of 7,036 was still good enough for the win.
The decathlon result is the second national-record performance of the year for Nixon. During the indoor season, Nixon set the national high school record in the pentathlon at the New Balance meet in March.
In other signee highlights, Anthony May II finished first in the ‘B’ section of the high jump with a clearance of 7-0.5 at the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin. Competing for South Plains College, the sophomore standout also finished fifth in the ‘B’ section of the triple jump (50-2) and 11th in the ‘A’ section of the long jump (24-6.5).
Nixon and May are part of the Razorbacks’ signing class for the 2011-12 season. In addition to Nixon and May, that group includes Aaron Allen (McKinney, Texas), Kyle Dunn (Marion, Iowa), Andrew Irwin (Mt. Ida, Ark.) and Devin Randall (Bartlesville, Okla.). The class includes the No. 1-ranked prep decathlete in 2010 (Nixon), top-ranked pole vaulter (Irwin) and second-ranked 400-meter hurdler (Dunn).