INDIANAPOLIS - 2010 Youth Olympics qualifier Gunnar Nixon (Edmond, Okla.) has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after he set the high school record for the decathlon using international implements at the Arcadia Invitational last weekend.
Nixon’s record setting performance is even more impressive as he competed in three events twice using both the high school and international implements (the international shot put and discus are heavier, and the hurdles are three inches higher). Nixon’s goal of setting records using both implements was derailed when he fouled on all three attempts with the high school shot put. However, even with no mark in the shot put, he was still able to win the overall high school title for the second year in a row.
Using the international implements, the Arkansas-bound senior racked up 7,577 points, to best the record set by Curtis Beach in 2009. En route to his record, Nixon also set new PR’s in the 100m, long jump and 400m as well as established his first-ever marks in the 16 pound shot put and the 110m hurdles.
“Right after my 1,500m race, my family came up to me.” Nixon said. “Once I saw my mom and dad, it started to sink in that I had set the record.”
Nixon started his career as a decathlete after his freshman season of track and field. By asking his teammates to teach him different disciplines, the runner and high-jumper, quickly added the throws and vault to his repertoire. Later that summer, Nixon won the Intermediate division of the 2008 USATF National Junior Olympic Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and he admits that is when he first fell in love with the decathlon.
Now in its tenth year, USATF's 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January 20, Josh Cox; January 26,Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February 9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat; February 23, Ryan Crouser; March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins; March 16, Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan; March 30, John Nunn; April 6, Aries Merritt; April 13, Gunnar Nixon