Guadalajara, Mexico - On the strength of a pair of personal best event performances, Florida State senior Gonzalo Barriolhet enters the final day of decathlon competition in the XVI Pan American Games in sixth place, just 132 points of a spot on the podium.
Barriolhet, representing his native country of Chile, put together a 4,029-point performance Monday after five events at Telmex Athletics Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. The one-time All-American for the Seminoles is competing for just the second time since missing the 2011 outdoor season following shoulder surgery.
Solid throughout, Barriolhet made up significant ground on the field in the shot put and high jump, where he recorded all-time best performances. He opened the competition with the 10th-best time in the 100 meters at 11.06, good for 847 points, and followed with the eighth-best mark in the long jump at 7.05 meters (23-1 ½), good for 826 points. Barriolhet finished fifth overall in the shot put with a personal best of 14.21m (46-7 ½), which tacked 741 points to this total, then finished second in the high jump with another individual best of 2.05 meters (6-8 ¾), that produced 850 points and temporarily pushed him into fifth place.
With a 51.08 time in the 400-meter dash worth 765 points, the FSU graduate student pulled 765 points to remain in medal contention.
Historically, Barriolhet’s final day of the decathlon has been his most productive, thanks in large part to his strength in the 110-meter hurdles and the pole vault, which are the first and third events in the second day of competition. He will also compete in the discus, javelin and 1,500-meter run.
Jamaica’s Maurice Smith leads after the opening day with 4,370 points, followed by Cuba’s Leonel Suarez (4,238), a medalist at the World Championships in Korea this past summer. Argentina’s Roman Andres Gastaldi (4,202) is third.
In addition to Monday’s opening day of the decathlon, FSU senior thrower Michael Putman competed in the discus, represented Peru. Putman narrowly missed advancing to the finals following his best effort of 52.62m (172-7 ½), which ultimately placed him ninth.
Putman, an All-American in the discus in 2010 and in the shot put in 2011, will compete again Tuesday afternoon in the shot put.
Competition resumes today at 2 p.m. (ET) inside Telmex Athletics Stadium. ESPN Deportes will provide complete television coverage of the competition beginning at 4 p.m., at which time the action will also be streamed on ESPN3. Additional coverage will be available at ESPN2.