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National Scholastic Indoor Championships
March 13-15, 2009 - New York Armory

Curtis Beach climbs to #2
on all time pentathlon list

by Jim Lambert

NEW YORK NY 3/14/09 – Curtis Beach dumped a bottle of water on his head and took a quick sip as he walked to his spot on the starting line. The multi-event star was on his way to a third straight pentathlon title as he prepared for the final event, the 1,000-meter run.  But there was more than just victory on his mind.

Beach, a senior at Albuquerque Academy NM, was also chasing some of the biggest names on the All-Time US list in the event.

``I tried not to think about points this year because it messed me up a little last  year,’’ said the Duke-bound Beach. ``But I have to admit that getting over 4000 points was something I was hoping to have a chance at doing.

With 3150 points in his pocket, Beach knew that a good time in the 1,000 could put him on the short list of 4000-point producers.

But he didn’t run a good time, he ran a great time, a career best 2:30.98 to give him 977 points and a final point total of 4127, a US #2 All-Time performance.   That’s seven more points than Darius Pemberton of  Hackensack NJ scored when he accumulated 4120 in 1993, which stood as the national record for 10 years.

Beach, just the fourth athlete to go over 4000, trails only the 4303 racked up by Donovan Kilmartin of  Eagle CO at this meet in 2003.  Beach finished 449 points ahead of runner-up Taylor Stewart of London, Ontario.

``It’s just great to see all the hard work I’ve done over the years pay off like this,’’ said Beach. ``To score that many points is really unbelievable, but it just goes to show that if you just put the time into something and focus on executing each event one at a time, anything is possible.’’

Last year, Beach won a tiebreaker after he and best friend and training partner Dan Gooris of Cibola, Albuquerque each scored 3,866.  ``This year I just tried to do better in each of my events than I did a year ago,’’ said Beach. ``I knew if I did that, I’d do pretty well.’’

Beach surpassed all his point total from last year in the five events. Here is what Beach did in each event in the order they were contested:

  • 60-meter hurdles: a personal best 8.26 for 917 points.
  • Long jump: 21-11 for 739 points
  • Shot put: a personal best 44-11 for 709 points.
  • High jump:  6-6 for 785 points.
  • 1,000-meter run: a personal best 2:30.90.
``It was feeling a little sick earlier in the week and was worried about how I’d do, especially in the 1,000,’’ said Beach, a 1:53 half miler who was the seventh man on his cross-country team that advanced to the Nike Team Nationals in the fall. ``But everything worked out better than I expected. It was a great day for me.''


4303 - Donovan Kilmartin, Eagle CO, 2003
4127 - Curtis Beach, Albuquerque NM, 2009
4120 - Darius Pemberton, Hackensack NJ, 1993
4011 - Brian Kelley, Attelboro MA, 1990