Six national track and field marks fall over weekend by Fred Baer, Special for on Jun. 05, 2011, under USA Today Sports
Gunnar Nixon of Santa Fe (Edmond, Okla.) became the first high school decathlete to surpass the 8,000 mark on Friday with a total of 8,035 points at the Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque.
Nixon’s mark was one of six national high school marks set over the weekend.
Nixon, a junior, equaled or bettered his bests in half of the 10 events to smash the record of 7,909 set by Curtis Beach of Albuquerque Academy in 2009. Nixon set a record of 7,524 points with college and international implements earlier this season at the Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational, topping Beach’s old mark by 58 points.
Other records set:
•At the California state championships Saturday, Amy Weissenbach, a junior at Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood), defended her title in the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 2.04 seconds to better the National Federation record of 2:02.90 set by Chanelle Price of Easton Area (Easton, Pa.) in 2008.
•At the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., Lukas Verzbicas of Sandburg (Orland Park, Ill.) became the first high school runner to better 8:30 for two miles (and 3,200 meters which also counts as a record). In Saturday’s nationally televised race, won by 3K and 5K American record holder Bernard Lagat in 8:13.62, Verzbicas was timed in 8:29.46 to take nearly five seconds off the high school bests.
•At the New York Section 11 state qualifier in Port Jefferson Saturday, Mary Kate Anselmini of Ward Melville (East Setauket) ran the 2,000-meter steeplechase in 6:33.01 to nip the record of 6:33.7 set by Shelby Greany of Suffern, N.Y. in 2009.
•In an unusual June indoor pole vault competition at Black Springs, Ark., Andrew Irwin of Mount Ida, Ark., vaulted 17-7 on Saturday to better the oldest high school indoor field record — the altitude-favored 17-6½ by Pat Manson of Aurora (Colo.) Central, set in 1986 at Flagstaff, Ariz.
Irwin is also the USA outdoor leader this season at 17-6. But that is well shy of the record of 18-3 set in 2003 by Tommy Skipper of Sandy, Ore.
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