FAYETTEVILLE – Soon-to-be Razorback Gunnar Nixon set the national high school record in the decathlon competing this weekend at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, N. M. Using high school implements, Nixon scored 8,035 points in the two-day competition with the help of four personal bests over the course of the 10 events.
After day one, the Edmond, Okla., native led the way with 4,384 points and first-place finishes in four of the five events Thursday. In addition to meet records in the long jump and high jump, his point total was a day-one high school record. Nixon closed out his record-setting performance with five wins Friday, including a 5:01.74 effort in the 1,500 meters, the final event of the decathlon. He only needed to post a 5:08 to eclipse the 8,000-point mark.
The previous national record of 7,909 points was set in 2009 by Curtis Beach. In addition to establishing the national mark, Nixon also set the Great Southwest Classic meet record; the previous mark of 7,719 was set in 2009 and also belonged to Beach. Nixon finished more than 1,500 points ahead of the second-place competitor in Albuquerque.
Earlier this outdoor season, Nixon set the national high school record using international implements. He scored 7,577 points at the Arcadia Invitational in April to surpass the previous record of 7,466 points. Most recently, Nixon won four titles at the Class 6A Oklahoma state meet with victories in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump. He set the state record en route to the long jump win.
Nixon is part of the 2011-12 signing class for head coach Chris Bucknam and the University of Arkansas men’s track and field team. He is part of the recruit group that includes Aaron Allen (McKinney, Texas), Kyle Dunn (Marion, Iowa), Andrew Irwin (Mt. Ida, Ark.), Anthony Lieghio (Dublin, Ireland), Anthony May II (Hoover, Ala.) and Devin Randall (Bartlesville, Okla.).