Bahamian multi-event specialist Ken Mullings lowered his own national record in the men’s indoor heptathlon at the Illini Challenge at the University of Illinois Armory in Champaign, Illinois, on Saturday.
Mullings scored a total of 5,933 points after completing all seven disciplines to shatter his old national record of 5,678 points, that was set in January 2020, by 255 points. Mullings, who competed unattached, won that event as he took down the rest of the field – 11 competitors. It was his season opener, and lists him as number six on the World Athletics top list for 2022/2023.
The former University of The Bahamas (UB) athlete never dropped in the standings, leading from start to finish. The indoor events included the men’s 60 meter (m) dash, the men’s long jump, the shot put, the high jump, the 60m hurdles, the pole vault and the 1000m. He had a personal best in six of those events.
In the 60m dash, Mullings clocked 6.90 seconds to get the win and 918 points. It was the first time he went under the seven-second mark. Mullings went on to set a personal best in the long jump when he leaped 7.24m (23’ 9”) to secure 871 points and a second-place finish in that event.
Mullings crossed the 13m mark in the shot put event for the first time. He almost reached the 14m mark when he posted a distance of 13.71m (44’ 11-3/4”) to finish second and picked up 711 points. Mullings cleared 2.08m (6’ 10”) in the men’s high jump and scored 878 points in that event. That was the only event in which he did not record a personal best.
Mullings scored 999 points in the 60m hurdles in which he set a personal best of 7.93 seconds. He had another personal best at the meet when he cleared 4.77m (15’ 7-3/4”) in the men’s pole vault competition, scoring 840 points. In the 1000m, Mullings finished fourth, clocking 2:54.83. He scored 716 points in that event.
The multi-event athlete made history last year becoming the first Bahamian to compete in the men’s decathlon at a world championships event. He finished 17th place overall at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in the men’s decathlon, finishing with 7,866 points which topped the previous national record of 7,734 points which he set in June 2021.