AUSTIN, Texas - On day two of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, redshirt junior Curtis Beach set a new personal record in the pole vault on his way to finishing first in the men’s decathlon Thursday, March 28 in Austin, Texas. He broke the 8,000 point barrier for the second time in his career earning a point total of 8,011. Sophomore Ian Rock also had a record breaking day, finishing tenth overall with a personal record 7,030 points.
Beach started the day with a near personal best in the 110 meter hurdles running a time of 14.67 to place fifth in the event and maintain his lead. The Albuquerque, N.M., native struggled in the discus with his best throw measuring 119-04 (36.37) but he bounced back quickly in the next event setting a new personal record in the pole vault by clearing 16-8.75 (5.10). In the javelin, the ninth event of the two day competition, Beach threw a mark of 154-03 (47.01) which dropped him down to second for the first time since the completion of the second event. However, he didn’t stay there long because he was able to run away from the field in the 1,500m and clench the overall victory by crossing the line in 4:17.96.
“Today was a great day for Curtis,” commented Associate Head Coach Shawn Wilbourn. “Winning the Texas Relays, one of the biggest collegiate multi-event competitions in the country, is a big deal. Most of the big guys in the country are here and trying to qualifying for NCAA’s. We came here to win and break 8,000 points to get the Olympic B standard and we got both of those. He was also able to get some really big marks, especially in the pole vault today. A performance like this will definitely prepare Curtis for the bigger stage of the NCAA and USA Championships.”
Rock, who earned three personal records on the first day of the decathlon, set personal records in every event Thursday. In the 110 hurdles he ran a 16.19 which was followed by a mark of 108-03 (33.00) in the discus. Then, Rock cleared 16-4.75 (5.00) in the pole vault. In the javelin throw, Rock earned a mark of 171-09 (52.36) to place him sixth in the event, his highest finish of the two day competition. Finally, he complete the 1,500m in 4:43.85 to solidify his spot in the top ten overall and give him a personal best point total of 7,030. This mark bested his old personal record by 445 points and moves him up to third on Duke’s all-time list.
“For Ian to break through the 7,000 point barrier as a sophomore was really big for him. Also for him to finish tenth in a NCAA caliber field gives him tremendous confidence for future events.”
In the women’s heptathlon, Karli Johonnot started the day with a long jump mark of 16-11.5 (5.17). Then, she smashed her personal record in the javelin throw by over ten feet with a mark of 101-04 (30.89). The Las Vegas, Nev., native concluded the two-day competition with a 2:29.20 in the 800, giving her 4,849 total points and a 19th place finish overall. The point total also placed her third on Duke’s all-time list.
In other events of the day, junior pole vaulter Justin Amezquita cleared an outdoor personal best height of 17-1 (5.21) to finish in 11th place overall. Already holding the second place slot on Duke’s all-time list, Amezquita moved closer to the school record set at 17-2.75 (5.25) by Brent Warner in 2004.
“In his first outdoor meet of the year. He jumped similar to what he ended the meet with last year and earned himself a qualifying mark for regionals which is what he came here to do.”
In the javelin throw, senior Austin Carpenter finished in 15th place with his best throw measuring at 171-00 (52.12).
On the track, sophomore Elizabeth Kerpon finished 32nd in the women’s 400m hurdles, crossing the line 1:02.36. In the same event, junior Hannah Goranson finished in 1:04.75 to finish 62nd. To close out the evening for the Blue Devils, sophomore Shaun Thompson clocked a time of 9:07.57 to finish 13th in the men’s steeplechase.
The Blue Devils will continue action Friday, March 29, at the Texas Relays while also commencing competition at the Stanford Invitational and the Raleigh Relays. A full recap of all three meets will be available at the end of competition on www.GoDuke.com.