A pair of Alaskans were solid gold at this weekend’s Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico City.
David Registe soared to a personal best to win the long jump, and Jordan Clarke triumphed in the shot put.
Registe, a former NCAA Division II champion for UAA, jumped 8.08 meters -- 26 feet, 5.5 inches -- for a big personal record. His previous PR was 7.89 (25-10.75), a mark he set in 2009 and duplicated in 2011.
The effort was a huge improvement over the 7.52 (24-8.25) Registe jumped at the Commonwealth Games earlier this summer in Scotland. At that meet, Registe struggled with his takeoff. He was planting his takeoff leg too far in front of his body, slowing his momentum, but at the time he said it was a problem with an easy fix.
“I told you what I did wrong in Scotland,” Registe said in an email. “We fixed it.”
Registe beat Peru’s Jorge McFarlane (8.01 meters) for the gold.
Clarke, a three-time NCAA Division I shot put champion at Arizona State who is in his first season as a pro, captured the shot put title with a throw of 20.57 meters (67-8).
The Bartlett High grad was well off his personal best of 21.37 (70-1.5), but he threw far enough to win with ease. Second place went to Brazil’s Stephen Saenz (20.03).
The medals for Clarke and Registe came during two days of track and field competition at the sports festival, which features athletes from 41 countries and a variety of sports.
Clarke competed for Team USA, and Registe competed for the Caribbean Island of Dominca. A Palmer High grad, Registe was born in the United States to parents who came to Alaska from Dominica.