Following impressive performances at the Cal Poly Invitational and Cal/Nevada Championships this past week, UCSB track & field turned its attention to the Sam Adams Multi-Event that took place here in Santa Barbara at Westmont College on Apr. 2 and 3.
Three-time NCAA All-American and UCSB record-breaking red-shirt junior Barbara Nwaba represented for the women’s team, while seniors Josh Codding and Mikael Powers, as well as junior Derek Masterson, held it down for the men’s squad.
The athletes faced some stiff competition throughout the event against a playing field filled with not only NCAA Champions, but also Olympians, World Record Holders and National Champions.
In the women’s events, Nwaba was competing against some of the best in the sport — most notably four-time NCAA Champion Brianne Theisen and 2011 U.S. Champion Sharon Day. Day ultimately squeaked out a first-place finish in front of Nwaba, narrowly emerging victorious by only a margin of 51 overall points.
In the men’s events, Masterson, Powers, and Codding were facing off against a notable opponent, 2012 World Indoor Champion and five-time NCAA Champion Ashton Eaton of Eugene, Oregon.
Nwaba turned in an excellent showing in the women’s heptathlon and was ultimately able to take second place overall in the competition with a career-best 5986 points.
These points were accumulated by a first-place finish in high jump, tying a career high with 1.84m, two second-place finishes in shot put (13.49m) and javelin throw (43.17m), and three third-place finishes in 100m hurdles (13.98), 200m dash (24.37) and 800m run (2:17.70).
Nwaba only once finished outside of the top three in any one of the individual competitions (sixth in long jump) and was spectacular throughout the entirety of the event, just as she has been since she first began competing for UCSB.
In the men’s decathlon, the Gauchos performed excellently, ultimately securing 3 of the top 10 spots in the competition. Masterson finished third, Powers finished fifth and Codding took eighth place.
Masterson was masterful throughout the competition and placed no lower than seventh in any one of the events, accumulating an overall score of 7558 points, good enough for third place overall. Most notably, he placed third in the discuss throw (42.81m), javelin throw (57.68m) and long jump (6.90m).
Powers was powerful in his performance, securing a fifth-place finish overall. Powers accrued 7138 points throughout the event, highlighted by his second place finishes in four of the 10 events: the 100m dash (10.98), high jump (1.93m), 110m hurdles (14.94) and 400m dash (48.55). Powers also took third in the 1500m run (4:30.22).
UCSB will now turn its sights to the Stanford Invitational on April 6 and 7 in Palo Alto, CA, and continue to drive toward their ultimate goals of a championship.