EUGENE, Ore. – UCSB's Barbara Nwaba finished fifth on Saturday in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon. The collegiate All-American finished with a total of 5,986 points.
Nwaba entered Saturday in fourth place after the first four events. She had accumulated 3,736 points during the first day's competition.
In Saturday's first event, the long jump, Nwaba took 14th place. Her best mark – 18'5 ½" - came during the first round. The score kept her in fourth-place.
The javelin followed and Nwaba recorded a mark of 124'3" on her second throw to place 10th. The finish dropped her into fifth place with 5,101 points, which put her 232 points out of the top-three heading into the final event.
Nwaba ran the final event - the 800 meter - in 2:15.55, which was third in her heat and seventh overall. The run brought her point total to 5,986 and helped her hold onto her fifth-place standing.
Hyleas Fountain won the heptathlon with 6,419 points and former Cal Poly star Sharon Day of San Luis Obispo took second with 6,343 points. Third-place finisher Chantae McMillan was the big success story, pumping her best score from 6,003 to 6,188 – putting her over the Olympic qualifying standard of 6,150.
Bettie Wade (6,018) and Nwaba (5,986) rounded out the top five. Nwaba's score equaled her best, which she tallied in April at the Sam Adams Invite at Westmont College. The margin by which she missed 6,000 points was the equivalent of one second faster in the last event, the 800-meter run.
"Six thousand is definitely there," said Nwaba, who also had a score of 5,927 when she finished second in the NCAA Championships earlier in June. She hopes to get it at the Thorpe Cup, a multi-event competition between teams from the U.S. and Germany that will take place July 21-22 in Marburg, Germany.
Portions of this release courtesy of the Santa Barbara Independent.