Nwaba off to a great start this season with a 2015 world’s best performance; FitzSimons, Jr. records two personal bests on day two to take his first Sam Adams title.
Santa Barbara, Calif. – The “World’s Greatest Athletes,” Track & Field decathletes and heptathletes, completed another physically & mentally grueling two-day competition at the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational presented by the Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) and Westmont College. SBTC’s own Barbara Nwaba and Thomas FitzSimons, Jr. ran, jumped and threw their way to titles with 6,292 and 7,791 points respectively. Nwaba’s score currently ranks her number one in the world in 2015.
Combined events competitions have a rich history dating back to the Ancient Greek Olympics and for present-day athletes, the 2015 edition of Sam Adams represents the start of the outdoor Track & Field season, which will culminate with the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China from August 22-30.
Day 2 in the Heptathlon
Nwaba entered day two with a strong lead in the competition after one of her best Heptathlon starts. In the Long Jump she lept to a near personal best 5.94m (19’06.00”) maintaining her lead and on pace to break 6,000 points; a great mark this early in the season. Teammates Lindsay Schwartz (5.82m / 19’01.25”) and Lindsay Lettow (5.97m / 19’07.00”) also had a great series, maintaining their second and third place positions through five of seven events. While local resident Annett Fleming (GER), began to make a move into the top three.
In the Javelin, the second event of the day, Nwaba threw to 41.20m (135’02.00”), a bit off her best, but nonetheless remained in the lead through six events and on pace for a world’s best mark. Fleming set a personal best with a 51.58m (169’02.00”) toss that launched her into second place with one event to go.
Nwaba who is aiming to qualify for her first IAAF World Championship squad for Team USA, capped off the two-day competition with a massive four-plus second personal best 2:07.47 in the 800m. Her mark was a meet and stadium record. Nwaba’s 6,292 points in the Heptathlon is also currently ranked number one in the world.
Fleming coming off the energy of the Javelin, ran a 2:14.80 giving her 6,051pts, her first time over 6,000 points. Schwartz and Lettow finished third and fourth with 5,998pts and 5,929pts respectively.
Day 2 in the Decathlon
The men started their day with the 110m High Hurdles with guest athlete, Damian Warner (CAN), the 2013 IAAF World Championship bronze medalist setting a meet record in 13.51, just a tenth of a second off his personal best. Thomas Hopkins who led the competition after day one with 4,047 points, also ran well in 14.62, a best for him in only his third time competing in the event. FitzSimons, Jr. kept Hopkins close in the overall points race netting a personal best himself, crossing the line in 15.16.
Moving on to the second event, the Discus, FitzSimons, Jr. threw 40.40m (132’06.00”), his second personal best of the day, narrowing the gap between him and SBTC teammate, Hopkins, for the lead.
In the Pole Vault, an unfortunate series of misses for Hopkins, left him with a no height and put him out of the title race. While FitzSimons, Jr. tied his personal best of 4.60m (15’01.00”), continuing his record day through eight of ten events.
The Javelin, the penultimate event of the two-day competition, FitzSimons, Jr. continued to compete well tossing the spear 59.45m (195’0.00”) extending his lead with 6,949pts after nine events. University of Wisconsin athlete, Charlie Foss, was in second with 6,319pts.
After nine events he had 6,949pts and was on pace for a personal record with only the 1500m remaining. Running uncontested in one of his best events, FitzSimons, Jr. finished thirty seconds ahead of the second finisher at 1500m, with a 4:15.64, just five seconds off his personal best.
FitzSimons, Jr. recorded 7,791pts over the two-day competition, besting a personal record that he set en route to his bronze medal finish at the 2014 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Evening with the World’s Greatest Athletes Caps off Weekend
Celebrating the two-day competition and in support of the Santa Barbara Track Club, all competitors, coaches and community are invited to The LAB in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone Saturday, April 4 at 7:00pm. Join us for a fun evening with hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music, and raffles.
Evening With the World’s Greatest Athletes information:
Complete Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational Results and information: