DES MOINES, Iowa – The second day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships started just as it ended, delayed. Rain, hail and thunderstorms pushed back the starting time of the second half of the decathlon by an hour and a half.
That however did not stop the momentum sophomore Curtis Beach had built up coming out of a record setting day one of the decathlon. Sitting in second place after day one, Beach ran within two tenths of his best in the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.76 seconds, moving him from second to third place.
The second event of the day, the men’s discus, saw an average throw on his first attempt and foul on second. With the possibility of dropping into a hole impossible to dig out of, Beach stepped up and threw another personal best of 124’1” in his third round; finishing 19th in the event but keeping him in the top 4 in points.
Next up for Beach was the pole vault, where the young man truly found his stride as he cleared height after height with ease. Beach cleared 15’9” to set yet another personal record and moved up to a larger pole for his 16’ attempts. On his third try, he cleared the bar, but came down on top of the bar, ending his run.
While Beach was pole vaulting, other Duke athletes were busy in their respective events.
The women’s javelin saw sophomore roommates Andrea Hopkins and Shannon Sullivan try their hand at All-America honors. Sullivan was up first in the first flight, and after stumbling on her first throw, was able to put out a mark of 139’4” on her second round toss. Hopkins could never quite find her stride and finished the meet with a 138’10” toss. It was an excellent learning experience for both young athletes as they continue their Duke careers.
On the track competing was fifth year standout Kate Van Buskirk in the women’s 1,500m. Buskirk pushed out to early lead for the first 200 but slowly found herself in the back of the pack. A nasty fall on the second lap could have cost Van Buskirk her shot at the finals but she deftly avoided the tangle and kept with the lead pack. When the bell sounded to signify the final lap and athletes began to make their move, Van Buskirk maintained calm and held down the fourth position in 4:18.71 automatically qualify for Saturday’s finals.
The next event up went back to Beach for the javelin, where he wasted no time setting yet another personal best of 158’10”. Feeling good after his first throw, Beach chose to pass on the rest of his throws. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as midway through the event, the poor weather picked up again. After an hour and half of debate, meet officials decided to call the meet and resume on Friday morning.
NCAA has announced a new schedule for the completion of the second day of the Outdoor Championships
Decathlon Javelin: 10:30 am
Decathlon 1,500: Immediately following 4x400
Men's Long Jump: 3 pm
Men's 10k: 4 pm
Additional information on the meet can be found at the NCAA's official website