March 8, 2009

Nwaba and Smith Reach Top-10, Lead Gauchos at Ben Brown Invitational

March 8, 2009

Link to Results (note: be sure to scroll down to "Saturday" events)

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Barbara Nwaba and Scott Smith led the Gauchos at the Ben Brown Invitational, as both athletes etched their names into the UCSB record books with good early-season performances.

Smith competed late in the evening, running in the fast section of the 5000m at the distance carnival. He completed the race in 14:14.09 to finish fourth overall and first amongst collegiate athletes, barely missing the Regional qualifying standard of 14:12. Smith's time places him at eighth all-time in the 5000m, and he is now in the Gaucho record books in three different events.

Nwaba broke 15 seconds in the 100m hurdles by running 14.94, which won section two. That time is a new personal best and places her in a tie for eighth on the UCSB all-time list. She is now in the record books in two events, as she also sits at seventh on the all-time 400m hurdles list.

Nwaba also had a good day in the high jump and 200m, clearing 5-5 (1.65m) in the high jump to place fifth and running 25.47 in the 200m to place first in section three and ninth overall. Both of those marks are Conference-qualifying. Amanda Lee qualified for Conference in the high jump as well, clearing 5-3 (1.60m) to place sixth.

In the middle distances, Jeff Campbell ran 1:54.42 to place sixth out of 35 runners. Sarah Vitug was seventh in the women's 800m with a time of 2:17.43.

Max Bellissimo dipped below 49 seconds in the 400m for the first time this season, running 48.49 to take second in section two. Bellissimo placed fifth out of 45 runners and has now qualified for Conference.

Dominique Augustus was the winner of section two of the women's 400m, crossing the line in 59.89. Lauren Kodama followed that up with a winning performance of 59.84 in section three. Overall, Kodama placed ninth and Augustus 10th.

Alvin Go hit 54 seconds in the 400m hurdles, crossing the line in 54.95 to take fifth in section one and fifth overall. Drew Johnston was sixth overall at 55.16. Both of those times are Conference-qualifying.

Next weekend UCSB will be hosting the Sam Adams Combined Events, which is a decathlon/heptathlon competition that takes place over two days. The next full meet for the Gauchos will be the USC Trojan Invitational on Saturday, March 21.

-- UCSBgauchos.com --