Curtis Beach wins Texas decathlon

AUSTIN, Texas -- Duke's Curtis Beach won the Texas Relays decathlon on Thursday, topping the field in the closing 1,500-meter run to secure the victory.

Trailing Texas-Arlington's Romain Martin by 53 points after nine events, Beach won the 1,500 in 4 minutes, 17.94 second -- more than 12 seconds ahead of everyone else -- to finish with 8,011 points. Martin was second, 107 points back, and defending champion Isaac Murphy of Texas was third, 253 points behind.

"I knew that Isaac and Romain Martin would bring incredible competition," Beach said. "The 1,500 is my strongest event. I come from a cross country background. If I'm close to the lead, I'm pretty confident I'm going to win."

Beach won the pole vault at 16 feet, 8 3/4 inches Thursday after winning the 400 in 48.21 and the long jump at 24-10 Wednesday. Last year in the meet, he withdrew after seven events.

"A year ago I wasn't necessarily in a place in training to put up a good score," Beach said. "So I can't say that I was super disappointed with how it went last year. I was definitely going for a big score here. It's nice to come here and perform well."

Mississippi State's Erica Bougard won the heptathlon with 5,649 points. Bougard passed Kansas' Lindsay Vollmer with a fifth-place finish in the 800, the final event.

Louisiana State won the women's 3,200 relay for the fourth time in six years, finishing in 8:41.25. Texas took the men's race in 7:29.51.