Williams, Jewett Capture Decathlon, Heptathlon Titles
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2015 Big West Track and Field Championships Central
UC Santa Barbara sophomore Darion Williams and CSUN senior Olympia Jewett claimed the decathlon and heptathlon titles to conclude the multi-events portion of the 2015 Big West Track and Field Championships at the UCR Track Facility Saturday.
Williams, who performed well enough to move up from fourth place after Friday’s first day of competition, scored a total of 6,844 points for the victory. The Gauchos have now won the decathlon title in three of the last four years. It was a big day overall for the UCSB program, which picked up 20 points from its stable of decathlon participants. In addition to Williams earning 10 points for his first-place showing, Billy Britt finished in fourth place (6,436, 5 points), Zach Tombol sixth (6,344, 3) and Jeff Oechsli seventh (6,267, 2).
Buoyed by first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles and javelin, Williams stepped to the top of the podium. He chipped away at his deficit to day one leader Teddy Scranton of Cal Poly in the first event, the 110 hurdles, finishing with a time of 14.99 seconds. Scranton was third in 15.64. After placing third in the discus with a best throw of 129-05, Williams tied for second in the pole vault and won the javelin in his next two events. His top pole vault leap of 13-05.25 cut further into Scranton’s lead, and his distance of 185-04 gave him an additional 685 points, putting him into the lead heading into the final event – the 1,500 meters.
Scranton out-pointed Williams in the 1,500 after finishing in 4:54.38, compared to Williams in 5:05.20, but Williams had built enough of a lead to emerge as gold medalist.
Still, it was a solid showing the Mustangs, who picked up eight points as a result of Scranton’s runner-up finish, and six more from sophomore Ivy Adair, who came in third with 6,497 points.
Long Beach State freshman Herman Day notched 6,394 points for fifth place.
CSUN dominated the heptathlon competition, taking all three top spots on the medal stand and accumulating 28 points going into next weekend’s main meet.
In the closest heptathlon competition since 2006, senior Olympia Jewett held on for the narrow one point victory over teammate Shawnta Barnes. Jewett scored 4,981 points.
Coincidentally, the 2006 event also featured a pair of CSUN one-two finishers. LaShana Verdon outdistanced Brittany Ricketts by five points – 4,960 to 4,955.
Jewett scored 1,308 points over the final three events on Saturday. She began the day with a third-place finish in the long jump posting a best leap of 18-4.25 (5.59m). Jewett finished third again in the javelin with a season-best heave of 111-6, and ended with a ninth place showing in the 800 meters (2:33.18).
Fellow senior Barnes trailed Jewett by just 21 points entering the final day, and just about made up enough to overtake her teammate. Barnes won both the long jump (18-9) and javelin (122-11), but placed 12th in the 800 meters with a time of 2:40.19.
Matador junior Marissa Rossi ensured that a full complement of red and black would adorn the podium as she came in third overall with 4,806 points in an impressive heptathlon debut. Another first time heptathlon participant, junior Marie Veale, came in fifth place for the Matadors with 4,729 points.
UC Davis sophomore Tori Edwards was fourth overall with 4,767 points.
The main portion of the Big West Track and Field Championships begins Friday, May 15 and finishes on Saturday, May 16 at the UCR Track Facility.