Sacramento, Calif- Three former UCSB track and field athletes competed in the USA Championships this past weekend at Sacramento State. Barbara Nwaba, Derek Masterson and Ryan Martin, a trio of former Big West Champions, left their mark on the championship meet.
Barbara Nwaba captured the silver medal in the women's heptathlon in spectacular fashion. Nwaba recorded three personal bests in the seven event competition. At the half-way point Nwaba was sitting at 3802 points as the athletes went into the club house after the first day of competition- a world class first day.
Nwaba exploded off the long jump board on her second attempt of day two, sailing to a new personal best of 19'9. She finished the day strong and went onto establish a new personal best of 6307 points- bettering her previous best of 6043.
Former Cal Poly Mustang, Sharon Day captured the heptathlon title with a score of 6470
Nwaba's breakthrough has serious national and world implications as she exceeded the current IAAF "A" Standard of 6100 by over 200 points! Next summer the 15th IAAF World Championships will be held in Beijing, China. Nwaba has achieved the A standard.
Nwaba's score is now the 14th best ever by an American in the heptathlon. Only 15 American women have ever exceeded 6300 in the event.
An interesting fact is that the #2 American, Jane Frederick (6803) was a former Gaucho Assistant Coach under current Director Pete Dolan.
Nwaba will now have the option to compete in the Thorpe Cup (USA vs. Germany Dual) in Marburg, Germany or in the Pan American Cup, held in Ottawa, Canada.
Nwaba's marks were:
13.63, 5'10, 47'8.5, 23.92 (3802) 19'9, 143'6, 2:13.76
In the men's decathlon, Derek Masterson put together a consistent two days work and found himself running for a place on the US National Team with one event to go. Masterson answered the call and went on to record a ninth place finish with a score of 7423.
Trey Hardee of Nike won the meet with a score of 8599.
The top ten finishers will represent the US in either the Thorpe Cup or the Pan American Cup. Masterson will wait to hear which team he will be selected to compete on.
Masterson finished day one sitting in 12th overall. He flexed his muscle on day two by placing in the top three in the discus and pole vault and fired a solid javelin throw off to steadily move up spots. His 1500m time of 4:43.31 was the second fastest of his career.
Masterson's marks were:
11.55, 21'10.25, 45'4.5, 6'1.5, 50.86 (3656) 15.33, 145'2, 15'5, 194'7, 4:43.31
In the men's 800m, Ryan Martin went on to finish 6th. But not without a bit of drama. Sitting in mid-pack at the 200m point, two runners got tied up in the peloton and a crash ensued. Martin, in an effort to avoid the collision came to a near dead stop on the turn. He re-accelerated without going down but it was too late as the lead pack sped off.
Martin finished in 1:52.62.
Only four runners recovered enough to break the 1:50 barrier in the race.
Duane Solomon of Saucony won in 1:44.30.
Martin ran qualifying rounds of 1:47.43 in the prelims and 1:47.65 in the semis. He will now turn his attention to the European circuit for the remainder of the summer.