Oct. 25, 2011
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Gonzalo Barriolhet’s bid to bring some hardware home for the XVI Pan American Games came up short Tuesday, but did not keep the Florida State graduate student from establishing a new personal best and Florida State school record in the decathlon.
Buoyed by a personal best-tying 5.30 meter (17-4 2/3) performance in the pole vault – worth a whopping 1,004 points – Barriolhet finished fourth overall with 7,986 points. Though he came up short of his goal of 8,000 points, he shattered his own FSU mark of 7,907, set back in 2008 at the Texas Relays.
Representing Chile, Barriolhet was on the cusp of collecting his country’s second track & field medal of the Games at Telmex Athletics Stadium. He leaped from sixth to third place after the pole vault with a 56-point lead over fourth place entering the final two events- the javelin and 1,500 meters.
Unfortunately, he was unable to stave off Cuba’s Yordani Garcia, who outscored Barriolhet 1,418-1,274 in those events to claim the bronze medal.
Cuba’s Leonel Suarez claimed the gold medal with 8,373 points, followed by Jamaica’s Maurice Smith (8,214) and Garcia (8,074).
Despite establishing a new personal best for total points, Barriolhet’s bid to join the elite 8,000-point club was ultimately undone earlier in the day. In sixth place when the day began, he opened Tuesday’s competition in by running 14.23 into +1.4 headwind in the 110-meter hurdles, more than two-tenths off his personal best. He followed with a toss of 43.40 (142-4 2/3) in the discus.
Though he left points unclaimed, Barriolhet rebounded in the pole vault to get into the thick of medal contention, only to be disappointed when his 56.24 (184-6) effort in the javelin netted him 681 points. He closed the grueling competition by running 4:54.34 in the 1,500, which was only good for 593 points. A mere four seconds was all that separated Florida State’s all-time best multi-event performer and 2008 Olympian from the magical mark.
Seminole senior Michael Putman, representing Peru, failed to reach the finals in the shot put and was 10th overall with a qualifying round best throw of 17.74m (58-2).