11-YEAR-OLD RECORD SHAT­TERED AT TEXAS RE­LAYS

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Randy Riggs rriggs@states­man.com

Sev­eral min­utes af­ter col­laps­ing across the fin­ish line, Lin­don Vic­tor was sit­ting and re­cu­per­at­ing on a dif­fer­ent por­tion of the My­ers Sta­dium track Thurs­day.

Vic­tor glanced up at Pat Henry, his Texas A&M coach.

“Records are hard,” the Ag­gies’ se­nior de­cath­lete from Gre­nada said.

Ap­par­ently. The Texas Re­lays record Vic­tor had just bro­ken had stood 11 years. And it took a tum­bling lunge at the fin­ish of the 1,500-me­ter run — the 10th and fi­nal event of the de­cathlon — to as­sure that he would sup­plant for­mer Longhorns star Trey Hardee as the na­tional col­le­giate record-holder in the de­cathlon.

Hardee set the record on this same track at the 2006 Re­lays. For Vic­tor to be­come the eighth cur­rent Ag­gie to hold a col­le­giate na­tional record, he needed a time of at least 4 min- utes, 50 sec­onds in the fi­nal event.

Af­ter Vic­tor fell across the line, all eyes turned to the score­board to see his time. It flashed 4:48.89. And that trans­lated into 8,472 to­tal points to move him ahead of Hardee’s for­mer mark of 8,465.

“To be hon­est,” Vic­tor said af­ter fi­nally catch­ing his breath, “I didn’t like the score. I think I was on pace to do some­thing re­ally good.”

Not that what he did wasn’t re­ally good. But Vic­tor felt like he left some points off the board in the pole vault. He also had a nar­row es­cape in the dis­cus. But he stepped up when he had to and per­se­vered to claim a long­stand­ing record.

Rice’s Scott Filip fin­ished a dis­tant sec­ond with 7,915 points. Texas se­nior Wolf Mahler was third with a per­sonal-best 7,897, ty­ing him as the fourth-best de­cath­lete in Longhorns’ his­tory.

First-day leader Erica Bougard won her sec­ond Re­lays heptathlon to go with her 2013 crown. Un­like her first vic­tory, this one came with a meet record. Com­pet­ing for Chula Vista Elite, the for­mer Mis­sis­sippi State stand­out to­taled 6,246 points. That eclipsed the mark of 6,217 set by Kelly Blair-LaBounty in 2002. “That’s pretty awe­some,” Bougard said when told of her record. “I didn’t even know.”

Bougard nursed a 52-point lead over de­fend­ing Re­lays cham­pion Taliyah Brooks of Arkansas en­ter­ing the fi­nal event, the 800 me­ters. Bougard quashed any sem­blance of sus­pense, though, by win­ning the 800 with a time of 2 min­utes, 9.79 sec­onds for 968 points.

Brooks, who be­gan her high school ca­reer at Pflugerville be­fore mov­ing to Wi­chita Falls, fin­ished 10th in the 800 and sec­ond in the stand­ings with 6,075 to­tal points.

Vic­tor’s dan­ger­ous high­wire act be­gan in the dis­cus, where he fouled on the first two of his three at­tempts. One more would have been fa­tal. On his last try, though, he un­corked a throw of 173 feet, 11 inches.

It was the best ef­fort of the com­pe­ti­tion, by al­most 38 feet, and more im­por­tant, gave Vic­tor 933 points and kept him on pace to bet­ter Hardee’s record.

“Prac­tice had been go­ing re­ally good in the dis­cus, be­lieve it or not,” he said. “I think I was try­ing to throw it too hard.”

He also didn’t per­form as well as he wanted in the pole vault. He en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion at 14-1¼ and got an open­ing clear­ance, but then missed all three at­tempts at the next height of 14-5¼.

“That’s just (what hap­pens in) a multi,” he said. “I’m just learn­ing from my first one (of the sea­son).”

JAY JAN­NER / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Texas A&M de­cath­lete Lin­don Vic­tor gets sup­port af­ter fall­ing across the 1,500-me­ter fin­ish line in the Texas Re­lays. With 8,472 points, Vic­tor topped the mark pre­vi­ously held by Texas’ Trey Hardee.

PHO­TOS BY JAY JAN­NER / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Ni­cole Wad­den of Ne­vada (left), Erica Bougard of Chula Vista Elite and Lu­cia Mokrasova of UTEP com­pete in 800-me­ter por­tion of the heptathlon. Bougard won her sec­ond Re­lays heptathlon to go with her 2013 crown.

Texas se­nior Wolf Mahler com­petes in the 110-hur­dles por­tion of the de­cathlon at My­ers Sta­dium. With 7,897 points, Mahler fin­ished as dis­tant third to Lin­don Vic­tor.

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