Santa Barbara, Calif. - The multi-event groups upped the ante at the Westmont Classic these past two days with redshirt senior Tyler Nelson winning the men's decathlon and sophomore Sam Pica taking second in a No. 4 UCSB All-Time performance. Junior Josephine Graeber made an excellent debut to her first heptathlon after transitioning from the long and triple jump to a No. 5 UCSB All-Time performance, taking fourth overall in the field.
Down in San Diego at the Aztec Invitational, the first wave of open events took place along with Friday's distance carnival portion of the meet, resulting in a few personal bests and some individual wins as the Gauchos prepare to ramp up for day two of the meet.
Nelson and Pica 1-2; Graeber Makes Heptathlon Debut
It's been nearly two years since redshirt senior Tyler Nelson stepped onto the track for a full decathlon, so he made the best of his return to the ten event gauntlet by putting up a score of 7366 points take first place overall. Showing fair consistency across the board, he'd also set new personal bests in the 110m hurdles and the pole vault to best his previous score by 116 points, still standing at No. 2 All-Time for UCSB. The 2016 Big West Conference Champion looks to be back to form going into his final year.
Pica would leave this meet with over five personal bests across the board enroute to his new best decathlon score of 6899 points, upgrading to No. 4 All-Time after just getting onto the list at No. 10 last year at the conference meet. With how he's been setting individual bests in multiple events in just the first half of the season along with this new score put up at Westmont, he may be knocking on the door of 7000 points soon as the season continues.
Graeber has been known traditionally as a long and triple jumper, having already hit 5.90m in the long jump earlier this year, but her recent exposure to new events this year at the start of the season may have just cemented her as a permanent fixture in the multis from now on thanks to her total score of 4817 points at the Classic. After getting onto the UCSB All-Time List in 2018 at No. 7 for both the long and triple jump, she'll add a third performance to her count as she now sits at No. 5 for the heptathlon.
"Watching this group pull it all together has been exciting this year," said Interim Head Coach Gray Horn. "They have great chemistry and each individual adds a special kind of fire to day-to-day training. I'm excited to watch them continue to grow."
Aztec Day 1 Recap
Senior Kordell Hampton was able to win the open section of the discus in 54.97m. After having a rough start with two straight fouls, Hampton would regain his composure in the third round with a 54.91m throw before he'd settle with his better mark in the fourth. He'll be in the invitational section tomorrow with six possible throws total to give more wiggle room as he closes in on the 55m mark.
Redshirt freshman Brian Schulz would throw down a 3:52.99 clocking in the men's invitational 1500m to take seventh overall behind a few international competitors from Qatar as well as UCSB alumni and 1500m school record holder Shyan Vaziri, putting him at No. 3 this year for the Big West Conference 1500m performance list. Junior Ramon Flores would win the open section of the 1500m in 4:01.11, leading from start to finish just like he did in his heat at the Beach Opener.
The jumps squad had a lot of youthful energy on day 1, with true freshman Glenn Mbamo taking second in the triple jump to set a new season's best mark of 14.17m, besting his 14.12m jump at the Beach Opener a few weeks back. Redshirt freshman Brook Surafel would set a new personal best in the long jump to take third overall in 6.74m, while Graham Michiels would set a personal best in the high jump to take second overall in 2.03m, his second time over 2.00m this season.
True freshman Gabriela Sanchez would set a new personal best in the shot put to win the open section in 12.64m. She would never relinquish the lead in the competition once she made her best throw in the second round.
Junior Tori Palma would take sixth overall in a stacked field for the invitational hammer throw, putting up a mark of 48.92m which would be less than half a meter off her personal best.
Redshirt sophomore Astrid Rosvall would put on a blistering last 200m to take first in the open 800m in 2:10.89. Sophomore Maddie Meade would take second right behind in 2:14.01, both women posting up huge negative splits as they prepare for tomorrow's invite section.
Junior Katie Camarena would take second in the invitational section of the women's 1500m, setting a season's best time of 4:32.68, improving on her previous mark at the Cal Poly/UC Riverside Tri Meet by nearly five seconds.
Lastly, sophomore transfer Megan Satterfield would take the win in the open section of the women's 3000m, winning by over 10 seconds in the last 400m and setting a huge personal best of 10:36.15, cutting over 16 seconds off her previous mark.