FAYETTEVILLE – On the heels of his record-breaking performance at the Razorback Invitational, freshman Gunnar Nixon has been named the USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week and earned a spot on The Bowerman Watch List in Wednesday’s update from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
In his first collegiate heptathlon, Nixon set the world junior record in the seven-event competition with 6,022 points. The mark also represents the American junior record, an NCAA automatic-qualifying total, the No. 1 performance in the NCAA and a University of Arkansas school record. Nixon, now the fifth collegian to eclipse the 6,000-point barrier, surpassed the previous world junior record of 5,953 set by Michael Kohnle of West Germany in 1989.
With his addition to The Bowerman Watch List, Nixon is the second-ever member of Arkansas’ men’s track and field team to be recognized by the committee. Alain Bailey was the first Razorback to earn a spot on the list in May 2010. Nixon is the only freshman and one of three Southeastern Conference competitors listed among the 10 student-athletes on the Watch List.
Nixon was named the SEC Co-Field Athlete of the Week and Freshman of the Week in Tuesday’s release by the conference office. He also earned a spot on the CollegeSports360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll and was one of four National Primetime Pacesetters on that list.
Now in its 11th year, the USATF Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation. For more information on The Bowerman and its history, visit TheBowerman.org.
For more information regarding Razorback track and field or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.