March 11, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas--Earlier this morning Junior Barbara Nwaba scored 4,020 to finish ninth place in the indoor pentathlon and earning Second Team All-American Honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships, hosted by Gilliam Indoor Track. Nwaba placed ninth out of 16 athletes who competed in the women's indoor pentathlon. She was able to improve on her previous 800m time at the UW Invitational by running 2:21.84 and setting a new indoor personal best.
"I think Barbara was expecting more but she ran a tough 800m and laid it all on the line. She didn't give up even after a few events didn't go her way and kept fighting till the end" declares Associate Director and combined events coach Josh Priester. Despite the enormous pressure, Nwaba has accomplished an incredible feat by being the first UCSB athlete to place top- ten in an indoor event. What makes this even more impressive is that she did so at her very first NCAA Indoor Championship.
Earlier this year, Nwaba made the decision to redshirt her outdoor season in preparation for competing in the combined events next year. "The combined events take time, and Barb is still relatively young in the event. Redshirting will give her the best opportunity to reach her full potential in college and it will set her up very well heading into the 2012 Olympic Trials. For now, we have to take it one step at a time" states Priester.
Nwaba views her decision to redshirt as probably the smartest decision she's made with her coach and will be competing unattached in a few heptathlons throughout the rest of the outdoor season in preparation for the USA Outdoor Championships.
"My main concern was really setting up a training schedule, and this way I'll be able to work out with the team and keep the same routine," comments Nwaba. "It will be bitter sweet not to be in a UCSB uniform this year and competing with my team. But, with all the meets my coach [Priester] has planned for me, I'll be kept very busy." With her determination and ability to bounce back from setbacks, Nwaba most certainly has the potential to achieve great things.
The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign