IRVINE, Calif.--The Gaucho decathlon squad had quite the showing this past weekend, with Derek Masterson leading the competition again on day two to win his first Big West Decathlon Championship. Masterson totalled 7,355 while teammate Mikael Powers scored 6,966 to finish second on the podium. Senior Josh Codding rounded out his track career with a hard-faught seventh place finish and a total score of 6,389 to assist the Gauchos for a combined team score of 20-points.
Masterson lead two of the five events on day two with a huge mark of 178-3 in the javelin hurling 125-7 in the discus. Mikael Powers had the fastest 110m hurdles with a time of 15.03 and held the second fastest 1,500m time of the day, crossing the line at 4:39.68. Josh Codding had a life-time best throw in the shot put, tossing 41-1.5.
"A stellar note for me was that I had a day one PR and I came in and was excited for day two, but when your young you still have to respect the decathlon and I forgot that a little bit today but luckily enough I was able to secure a victory," comments Big West Decathlete Champion, Derek Masterson. "It was a lot of fun, a great experience and I was happy to bring home points for the team."
Runner-up Mikael Powers was also pleased he was able to contribute to the team. "Some things went well, my discus and pole vault turned out pretty good and I was able to bring it together and take second for the team. There's always room for improvement but we did what we came here for, we took one-two and that was the plan."
While Masterson and Powers will have one more year to compete in the decathlon for UCSB, this decathlon meet will be the last in Josh Codding's collegiate track career.
"Today's decathlon wasn't the best but I went out there and competed and especially with the 1,500m. The point of the 1,500m is to put effort in and I believe if you leave a decathlon putting in your best effort in the 1,500m then you can be proud. Although I wish it was better, every decathlete wishes he could do better. I went out and scored some points for the team and I'm happy with my career here and I'm sad to see it go but life goes on," says Codding.
UCSB's decathlon coach, Cody Fleming agreed that the decathletes have much to be proud of.
"The guys competed really well today and I'm really proud of them and the work they put in and I believe its a real testament to their lifestyle, they eat well, they take care of themselves, they make a lot of sacrifices in their social life so they can excel in the decathlon and I think that shows taking one-two in the Conference Finals and Josh fighting for a hard-faught seventh place finish for us which is just awesome," says Fleming.
Next week, all three athletes will return to the UC Irvine track to compete in the regular Conference finals while Masterson will have his sights set on the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
"Derek is at the point where he has all the fire power to put up a big time score nationally and even internationally and for him its just gaining more experience and getting more comfortable in the events and just trying to put ten together at one time which is the goal for a multi-event," stated Fleming.