State Record Snapshot - Pat Buckheit Sets National Pent Best

Last year in June, Kyle Brazeil printed the following discovery for MileSplit's Larry Byrne archive of the last event that needed to have a record holder filled in. Because of a change of the scoring system for track and field multi-events like the decathlon and pentathlon  in 1985, there was some confusion about old-time marks and no mark for the pentathlon was cited in the Byrne records. The article stated the following.


The Pentathlon is a grueling two day event at the New York State Spring Track And Field Championships. It was also the last remaining Boys' event not chronicled in the "Larry Byrne Archives," which tracks the Top 50 All-Time Marks in each event in State History.  Consider that hole filled, as we tracked down all the results we could, and compiled them all below.  We did not differentiate between two-day and one-day competitions, although that surely has an effect on scoring potential.

The current State Record Holder is Pat Buckheit (Hamburg), pictured above, who set, and reset his mark numerous times in 1995.  First setting the Record at the Carl Roesch Classic, he rebroke it at the ECIC Champs, before settling at the current record of 3848.  His marks consisted of 110H at 14.54 (906pts), High Jump at 6-7 (813pts), Shot Put at 47-2 (752pts), Long Jump at 22-6.5 (783pts), and a 1500m at 4:54.37 (594pts).  His 110HH mark was originally reported as 14.2 (faster than the open hurdle winner), but was adjusted to account for the reported Point Total.  The total is also believed to be the National Record.


Although the info for Pat Buckheit is not plentiful online, there are a few more pieces that we can add in for the Snapshot Series. He has a special place among NY guys as the only NY record holder who is also the all-time best nationally in the events being profiled here in the Snapshot series based on events performed at our States meet. The other NY guy who is also tops at the national level is Rudy Winkler in the hammer throw, which is not yet a part of the States events. In addition, Buckheit set his mark at a States championship, so he has the meet record, SR, and NR, a very neat package.

In 1995 Buckheit was 5th at the National Scholastic Indoors Championship with a score of 3640, while the winning score was 3720. The indoors pentathlon substitutes the 60H for the outdoors 110H and the 1000m for the outdoors 1500m, but the other three events are similar. Buckheit ran an 8.40 in the 55H (884 pts.), did 6-0.75 in the HJ (691 pts.), 45-3.75 in the shot put (717 pts.), 21.275 in the long jump (670 pts.), and 2:58.63 in the 1000m (678 pts.). Between his indoors pentathlon Nationals mark for 5th place and his record setter at outdoor States for a National all-time best, we can pull out that though Buckheit dropped 84 points in the final running event outdoors, he more than made up for that with gains of 22 in the hurdles, 122 in the HJ, 35 in the shot put, and 113 in the long jump. Clearly it was the jumps outdoors where he made his big leap in scoring.

The only other track info we can dig up on Buckheit was that following his sophomore season  in 1993 he won the decathlon at the Empire Games in the summer. He was a three-sport star in lacrosse, basketball, and track for Hamburg. After HS, he went on to the University of Tennessee and won the SEC decathlon title in 1998 and was captain of the Vols team in his senior year. He became a police officer in Boca Rotan FL and kept active by winning numerous fitness awards for his department.

The question about who held the Pentathalon state record previous to Buckheit is a little murky, though two names of greats in multi-event action from earlier years should be mentioned. Way back in 1966, Alvin Pearman of Roosevelt HS on Long Island scored 6945 points in the decathlon, which after the 1985 standards revision was adjusted to a score of 6779, still the best for an NY athlete. Pearman could go over 24 feet in the long jump, and though the triple jump is not a decathlon event, his 48+ feet there proves that he had good hops for the multi-events. Pearman's big figure came at the 1966 AAU Nationals where he finished 8th with the second best ever mark by a high school student. His biggest score for the ten events would have come from a 24-1.5 long jump that would have netted him more than 900 points back then and 898 points today. His score for the five events included in the pentathlon was 3472, which is extremely impressive considering that he had to do ten events over the course of two days.

Another guy in the pentathlon to be mentioned is Mike Loturco of Canisius who in 1987 set the indoor pentathlon mark at 3808. Loturco was 2nd at NSIC Nationals in 1987, at which he scored 3587 points.