Gauchos Earn Head Start For Championships



This past weekend, the UCSB heptathlete and decathletes headed to UC Davis to compete in their portion of the Big West Championship.

Of the three Gauchos that were sent up north, two of them cracked the top five in this competition.

Sophomore Tori Usgaard was the sole heptathlete from the Santa Barbara side, and represented the team well as she took third place in a pool of 15 athletes.

Freshman Darion Williams would take fifth place in the decathlon and sophomore Ike Okpara landed himself eighth out of eleventh.

After a very long and successful season from Usgaard, the sophomore capped it off with a third-place outing in the championship, improving on her fourth-place mark from last season.

Her score of 4,747 was enough to earn her team six points towards the overall championship this upcoming weekend.

In her seven events, Usgaard worked to finish in the top five in four of them, including a third-place outing in the shot put event.

Going into the second day of competition, Usgaard found herself in just fifth place after the first four events.

With a tremendous effort in the long jump, she earned herself enough points to stay in sixth place heading into the final event, the 800m race.

Usgaard turned in a dominant performance in this race with a time of 2:22.61, which was enough to climb the polls up to the bronze medal in the meet.

Williams took fifth place in his first attempt at the Big West Championship. His score of 6,271 came off of his powerful performances on the throwing events.

He took first place in the javelin with a distance of 53.38m, setting a new personal best. In addition, he tied for third in the shot put with a heave of 12.37m.

Okpara took eighth place out if the competing 11 decathletes. His score of 5,880 improves off of his meet from last year where he took 11th place with a score of 5,802.

His performance in the high jump this weekend gave him a boost in points, as he tied for first place with a jump of 1.89m.

These decathlete’s performances earned Santa Barbara a total of five points towards the rest of the Big West Championship. The events are set to resume this Friday.

 

A version of this article appeared on page 5 of May 12, 2014′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.

Photo courtesy of UCSB Athletics.

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