NAMPA, Idaho- Curtis Beach broke one world record and six personal records on his way to being crowned the 2012 NCAA Indoor Heptathlon Champion on Saturday in Nampa, Idaho. In his final event of the day, Beach shattered his own previous world record in the 1,000 meters by running a time of 2:23.63. The Albuquerque native finished the record setting weekend with 6,138 total points.
"This is the greatest weekend ever for a Duke track and field athlete" Director of track and field Norm Ogilvie commented. "It was an incredibly gutsy performance for Curtis to go out and run the world record time at altitude. It was also an incredible coaching performance by Shawn Wilbourn."
In the first event of the day, Beach won his heat by setting a personal record of 8.15 which was good enough for seventh in the event and earned him 944 points. This mark also began his gradual move to the top putting him in seventh overall.
In the pole vault, the junior had an outstanding performance by setting three personal records. In the event, he cleared 15-05.00, 15-09.00 and an impressive 16-00.75 to score 880 points in the event and catapult him into fourth place. In order to win the national crown, Beach needed to beat the current leader, Japheth Cato from Wisconsin, by 21 seconds in the 1,000 meter run.
Beach showed his eagerness to start the final event with a false start. He settled himself and when the gun went off to start the race, Beach shot out and gained an immediate lead over the pack. He never looked back. The determination in his eyes was evident as he consistently extended his lead during the five lap race. His world record performance earned him the crown and places him second on Duke's all-time list in the 1,000 meter run behind Duke great Bob Wheeler.
"I was obviously a little antsy with the false start but I just tried to stay focused and relaxed." Beach commented. "I knew that I was going to have to run a hard race so I decided to not think about anyone else and run the best that I could. That's how I approached the entire competition, just focusing on my own performance. I think that's why I did so well."
Beach's point total of 6,138 puts him third on the all-time collegiate heptathlon list and broke the Jacksons Track facility record set by Donovan Kilmartin in 2006. The mark also broke the all-time Duke and ACC record for the event.
On the other side of the world, the 2012 IAAF World Championships have also been taking place in Istanbul, Turkey. With their marks, Beach and Wisconsin's Cato would have place second and third in the international event.
Only twelve out of sixteen competitors completed the grueling seven event competition.
"It's great that my entire family was able to come and share this with me. It feels good. I can't really describe it. It's a good day for Duke."