Former Gaucho Nwaba Qualifies for Rio after Winning Olympic Trials Heptathlon

Barbara Nwaba
Barbara Nwaba

EUGENE, Ore. - Barbara Nwaba, a former UCSB All-American won the 2016 Olympic Trials in the heptathlon at Oregon's Hayward Field on Sunday afternoon, qualifying her for the Rio Olympics. Nwaba's final score of 6494 was 71 points ahead of the nearest competitor. Nwaba graduated from UCSB in 2012 and holds the Big West record in the heptathlon, a mark she set to earn NCAA runner-up honors. 

Nwaba held the lead after the first day of competition on Saturday, propelled by her winning 6'2.75 clearance in the high jump. She headed to the clubhouse with a total of 3903. 

She faced some early adversity in the long jump after fouling her first attempt. She settled for a leap of 19'2.75, over a foot off her lifetime best, moving her to fourth overall with two events remaining. 

She wouldn't stay there for long. 

Nwaba delivered three big throws in the javelin, her best sailing out to 161'4, good enough to recapture the lead by 30 points headed into the final event, the 800m. 

Nwaba, a world-class runner in the final event, would go on to finish in 2:11.71, placing her third in the event and punching her ticket to Rio. 

With nine women over 6000 points and the top-five over 6300, this will go down as the highest scoring meet in US history, making Nwaba's feat even more impressive. 

Nwaba competes for the Santa Barbara Track Club and is sponsored by ABEO. She will now face the best heptathletes in the world in Rio. The heptathlon will be on the first and second days of the track and field portion of the games, August 12th and 13th.