Davis, Calif- Sophomore Tori Usgaard finished third in the Big West Combined Event Championships in the heptathlon with a score of 4,747. Competing in a field of 15 athletes Usgaard put together a consistent two days of work to move onto the Big West podium, improving her fourth place finish in the event one year ago.
The heptathlon winner was Kaleigh Morrison from Hawaii. Morrison compiled a personal best score of 5,210 to best the field.
Usgaard's first day marks were 14.74 in the 100m hurdles, 5'3.75 in the high jump, 31'1.25 in the shot put and 26.79 in the 200m, running into a stiff -3.2 headwind.
She started day two with a jump of 17'11.5 in the long jump before fouling her first two throws in the javelin- being ruled flat. On her third effort Usgaard speared a mark of 87'2, nearly 25 feet off her personal best, moving her into sixth place with one event left.
In the final event, Usgaard laced up her spikes tight and ran 2:22.61 in the 800m to move up three spots and capture Big West bronze.
Coach Cody Fleming was impressed with how she handled the second day.
"Tori competed well and stayed composed on the second day when things got dicey. Before the 800m, sitting in sixth, she switched to her sprint spikes instead of her usual mid-distance spikes and that told me everything about her mentality going into the last race. She is a competitor. In a multi-event we're always looking for ideal conditions for good scoring but at the Big West meet, with team scoring on the line your personal score comes second. Tori didn't find a personal best but she found the Big West podium." Fleming said.
On the men's side Darion Williams and Ike Okpara competed in the deacthlon. Williams, a freshman from Murrieta took fifth with a score of 6,271. Okpara scored his first points in the Big West decathlon, taking eighth with a score of 5,880. Okpara was 11th last season with a score of 5,802.
The men's decathlon was won by Long Beach State's Garrett Demirjian with a score of 7,014.
Williams threw a lifetime best of 175'1 in the javelin to highlight his second day.
Okpara ran 51.01 in the 400m and leaped 6'2.25 in the high jump on day one. On day two Okpara ran 16.73 in the 110 hurdles and threw 119.10 in the discus to pace his score.
The Big West Championships Resume Friday-Saturday May 16-17.