Santa Barbara, Calif- Three former Gauchos will take the track next week at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium, taking part in the 2014 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Barbara Nwaba, class of 2012, will compete in the women's heptathlon. Ryan Martin, class of 2012, will compete in the men's 800m. Derek Masterson, class of 2013, will compete in the men's decathlon. The trio of former Gauchos combined to win 11 Big West individual championships while in their collegiate blues. Martin and Masterson made history in 2012 when they combined to lead the Gauchos to the first men's Big West team championship.
The USA Track and Field Championships will start Wednesday, June 25th with a shot put competition held in front of the California State Capitol. The remainder of events will start Thursday, June 26th and run until Sunday, June 29th.
The Barbara Nwaba File
Barbara Nwaba had a stellar career as a Gaucho. She was the 2012 NCAA Runner-Up in the heptathlon. In total, she earned a combined 4 All-American Awards. She is the Big West All-Time record holder in the heptathlon (5,986). Throughout her career, Nwaba won 6 Individual Big West Championships for the Gauchos in 5 different events (High Jump, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 4 x 400m relays & Heptathlon x 2).
Nwaba placed fifth at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the heptathlon with a score of 5,986. She went on that summer to take fourth in the USA vs. Germany Dual Meet Heptathlon known as the Thorpe Cup.
Her personal best of 6,043 came this spring at the Mt. Sac Relays and puts her at 19th on the current world list. She scored a personal best 4,406 indoor in the pentathlon to take third at the USA Indoor Championships back in March.
Multi-Event athletes will need to place in the top 10 this year to earn a birth onto an international team- either the Thorpe Cup in Germany or the Pan Am Games in Ottawa, Canada.
Nwaba will represent the newly formed Santa Barbara Track Club. She is coached by former UCSB Coach, Josh Priester. Priester's post-collegiate group will send three athletes to the USA Track and Field Championships. They train at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
Nwaba By the Numbers (PR's)
100m Hurdles 13.59
High Jump 6'1.5
Shot Put 46'5
Long Jump 19'4
Nwaba will start her two day competition on Friday, June 27th at 12:15pm.
The Ryan Martin File
Ryan Martin graduated from UCSB as the 9th fastest 800m runner in NCAA history. He made the cover of Track and Field News in June of 2011, battling UCI's Charles Jock in perhaps the best 800m conference dual in collegiate history. That was until 2012 rolled around.
As the afternoon sun faded over UC Irvine's Anteater Stadium, Martin and Jock took the Big West line for the last time as collegiate seniors. Jock set a blazing pace through the first quarter, Martin was about 5m back at the bell. Both men unleashed world class kicks through the final straight and battled all the way to the tape. Jock got the lean in 1:44.75 to Martin's 1:44.77. A near capacity crowd was left in awe as both men embraced each other near the timing clock. It will go down as one of the best collegiate 800m duals in history.
Martin capped off his senior year with a fourth place NCAA finish. He kept his hot streak going right into the 2012 Olympic Trials. Martin showed poise through the qualifying rounds and earned a spot in the final. On a cloudy day in Eugene, under the Hayward Field lights, Martin would go on to record a fourth place finish in 1:44.90, narrowly missing a trip to the London Olympic Games. Martin has been ranked as high as 35th in the world throughout his career. He has broken 1:47, 16 times throughout his career.
Martin will represent Asics. He is coached by UCSB Head Track and Field Coach, Pete Dolan.
Martin By the Numbers (PR)
Martin will take to the track on Thursday, June 26th at 4:40pm for the first round of 800m races. The semi's will be Friday, June 27th at 8:26pm and the 800m final will be Sunday, June 29th at 1:40pm.
The Derek Masterson File
Derek Masterson will be making his USA Track and Field Championship debut. Masterson collected three Big West Championships as a Gaucho and was a vital piece to the 2012 Big West team title run. He qualified for the 2012 NCAA Championships in the decathlon with a score of 7,558. He is the UCSB school record holder in the decathlon on the new scoring tables with a mark of 7,631. Tom Harris amassed a higher score (7,660) but with the old scoring tables, so both records will be recognized.
Masterson won his first Big West title in the decathlon in 2012. He repeated in the event in 2013 and also added a Big West Championship in the javelin, winning by nearly 20 feet (218'4). Twice he qualified for the NCAA Preliminary Round Competition in the javelin.
Masterson's field event talents helped the Gauchos come out on top in several close dual meets. He helped with the UCSB multi-eventers in 2013 as a volunteer assistant coach.
Masterson By the Numbers (PR's)
Long Jump 23'7.25
Shot Put 48'6
High Jump 6'6.75
110m Hurdles 15.05
Pole Vault 16'2.75
Masterson will compete unattached. He is coached by UCSB Associate Head Coach, Cody Fleming.
Masterson will take the blocks in the 100m to start the men's decathlon on Thursday, June 26th at 10:30am.