Barbara Nwaba ranked second in Heptathlon; seven total athletes from Santa Barbara area competing at this weekend’s national championships
SANTA BARBARA, Calif- Celebrating its inaugural year, the Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) is sending three multi-event athletes to the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, CA. The five-day championships features the best athletes in the country beginning Wednesday, June 25 and ending Sunday, June 29.
Leading Ladies: SBTC Qualify Two in Top Ten
Leading the way for the SBTC are heptathletes Barbara Nwaba and Lindsay Schwartz who begin the two-day Heptathlon competition on Friday. Nwaba, a UC-Santa Barbara alumni (2012) and Los Angeles, CA native, enters the national championships as the second ranked Heptathlete in the country off the heals of a personal best 6,043 points and title at the Mt. SAC Invitational in mid-April. Nwaba is behind another central coast star and Cal Poly SLO alumni, Sharon Day, who was a 2012 Olympian in the Heptathlon.
Schwartz, a University of South Alabama graduate (2012) from Watertown, WI has also had a stellar season, setting a personal best of 5,982 at the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational, ranking her sixth entering the national championships. No other club has qualified two Heptathletes to the national championships.
“It’s difficult for many athletes, especially Heptathletes in the U.S., to continue competing at the highest level two years removed from college. Barbara and Lindsay have proven that with the right support structure and work ethic we can cultivate great talent right here in Santa Barbara,” commented SBTC’s Executive Director, Josh Priester.
A First for FitzSimons
In the Decathlon, Tom FitzSimons Jr., qualified for his first outdoor national championship after a gutsy late season performance at the San Diego Imperial Association Track & Field Championships on June 14. The Mount St. Mary’s (MD) graduate (2012) and Hamden, CT native, FitzSimons Jr. won the championships with 7,642 points and is currently ranked 13th heading into this weekend’s Decathlon.
“Between being a Youth Track Club leader, a filmmaker and holding another job or two, it’s humbling to see a lot of hard work pay off for Tom,” stated Priester. “He will continue to surprise his competition in the years to come.”
Additional Santa Barbara Qualifiers
Other athletes qualifying for this weekend’s national championships that train and live in Santa Barbara include:
- Becky Collier (Westmont), Junior Heptathlon; ranked 10th
- Ryan Martin (ASICS), 800m – UCSB, 2012; ranked 14th
- Derek Masterson (unattached), Decathlon – UCSB, 2012; ranked 14th
- Tommy Schmitz (Speed Factory Athletics), 1500m – Marquette (WI), 2007; ranked 19th
About the Santa Barbara Track Club
The Santa Barbara Track Club aims to create a progressive and cohesive Track & Field experience for members of our community from youth to masters as well as the development of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls alike. The professional athletes are composed of combined events athletes and middle distance athletes who also work within the community by serving as coaches and mentors to youth. The coaching and personal training efforts of the athletes help to fund the continued growth of Santa Barbara as an international training hub as well as to promote cultural exchange and shared education.