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I normally do not respond to Internet postings, but since you have posted under your own name (which I admire) and have a legitimate point to make, I felt that is was necessary that you have accurate and FACTUAL information. I do not want to see misinformation spread on this particular topic.

First of all, I know that High School Decathlon records can be confusing since three different sets of implements are used. So here goes; as of 2005 Track and Field News, the statisticians of the sport listed the high school decathlon records holders as follows:
Craig Brigham (7359-’72), International Implements (Shot – 7.26kg, Disc – 2kg, Jav – 800g OLD, 42” Hurdles).
Donovan Kilmartin (7440-’02) Junior Implements (Shot – 6kg, Disc – 1.75kg, Jav – 800g, 42” Hurdles).
Ryan Theriault (7417-’93) HS Implements (Shot – 5.44kg, Disc – 1.62kg, Jav – 800g, 39” Hurdles).

In 2009, Curtis had the following personal bests using each of the three sets of implements:

International (College) Implements: 7466 (Albuquerque, NM – AGE:18) 6/09
Junior Implements: 7599 (Eugene, OR - AGE:18) 6/09
High School Implements: 7909 (Arcadia, CA – AGE:18) 4/09

As you can see, Curtis surpassed the previous records using INTERNATIONAL (COLLEGE) Implements, Junior Implements, and HS Implements.

This year these marks were again surpassed by Gunner Nixon, a humble and very talented athlete:

International (College) Implements: 7524 (Arcadia, CA – AGE:18) 4/09
Junior Implements: 7748 (Eugene, OR - AGE:18) 6/09
High School Implements: 8035 (Albuquerque, NM – AGE:18) 4/09

The American Junior record holder using International Implements, until this year, was Keith Robinson of BYU (7638), now currently Kevin Lazas (Arkansas) (7802). Curtis was NEVER the American Junior record holder using International Implements.

Now to your point; if you feel that decathletes of your era have been slighted by the changes in implements and you believe that there have been legitimate High School decathlon scores with International Implements higher than Craig Brigham’s 7359, Curtis’s 7466, and now Gunnar Nixon’s 7524 show the evidence (marks, dates, locations, etc.) and take it to the keepers of the records like Track and Field News or Jack Shepard. I highly doubt that they will accept conversions between the different set of implements; so good luck with that! But do not diminish and downplay the efforts and accomplishments of the athletes who worked hard for their marks.

Another point of clarification in your posting, we started Curtis in first grade as a young six year old rather than a young five year old, he graduated from high school at the age of 18, just like many of his classmates. He is on track to graduate from Duke University with the Class of 2013 as a 22 year old Senior just like many of his classmates. He was listed as a freshman this year in the NCAA Outdoor season due to an application for a medical redshirt.

Because you seem to have to have an interest in his decathlon career here are some other FACTS:

Curtis is currently 20 years old, and will continue to be until July 22 when he will turn 21. He has competed in a total of 5 decathlons using International (College) Implements with the following scores:

2009 – 7466 Great Southwest Classic – Age 18
2010 – DNF (Injury) ACC Outdoor Championships – Age 19
2011 – 7543 ACC Outdoor Championships – Age 20
2011 – 8084 NCAA Division I Championships – Age 20
2011 – 7573 USA Outdoor Championships – Age 20

I am not sure how old you were when you broke the 8000 point barrier, but I think that doing so at age 20 puts him in good company, and does not warrant a call for him to give up the event.

It has always been my experience that the decathlon was an event where all of the athletes supported each other and applauded their brethren’s accomplishments. Very rarely, if ever have I seen a former decathlete diminish one of their fellow decathlete's accomplishments, much less, encourage them to give up the event because he was out pointed by more than a 1000 points.

Curtis is very passionate about the decathlon and will continue to strive for improvement. He may or may not achieve “elite” status, but it is HIS choice not anyone else.

As a coach, I would hope you do not take the same approach of discouragement with your athletes or your son, who I understand is a decathlete as well. I hope to see him compete in the NCAA Championships in the near future, and I can assure you that Curtis and I will be encouraging his efforts.

David Beach
“A very proud father”