NAMPA, Ida.—Earlier this Saturday, Senior Barbara Nwaba placed fourth in the nation in the pentathlon with her score of 4,241 at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, earning First Team All-American honors. Nwaba not only represented UC Santa Barbara at this national meet, but the Big West Conference as well.
This was Nwaba's second NCAA Indoor Championships appearance, last year she finished ninth in the nation with 4,020 points. Coming into the Indoor Championships this year, Nwaba was ranked number two in the nation with her PR of 4,244 she earned at the University of Washington Invite.
Nwaba had a shaky start in the first two events, unable to duplicate her clearance of 6-0.5 in the high jump but refused to let that stop her from giving it her all.
"The way she battled and fought throughout the meet was very encouraging and inspiring" comments Josh Priester, Associate Head Coach for the UCSB track team and multi-event coach. "[Barbara] had a bad high jump but came out and set three PR's in a row inside of multi-event. The way she battled through till the last event, the 800m showed how much she wanted to place top three."
While the first two events were not what Nwaba was looking for, she went on to throw a 44-3.5 in the shot put, clear 18-5 in the long jump and run 2:17.94 in the 800m which were all new personal records for her.
"Nine out of ten multi-event athletes who have two bad events are easily susceptible to packing it in but Barbara didn't do that. She blasted the shot put and gave a tremendous effort in the 800m that speaks a lot for her character," said Priester.
Nwaba very well could have given up after her first two events but with her eyes set on a podium finish, she made sure to give her best effort till the very end. "Overall, I'm happy, I'm definitely happy that I pushed through the high jump when I could have just given up but I'm happy it feels good to compete hard," comments Nwaba.
With only a few days to rest, Nwaba will soon be back on the track training for the heptathlon during the outdoor season. Her first heptathlon meet will be in three weeks at the Sam Adam's Multi-Events."I'm looking forward to the Sam Adams meet, hopefully I'll have a clean meet all the way through."
"We're definitely really excited for the outdoor season," added Priester.