Cooks, Nelson Claim Multi-Event Titles
Links associated with this release:
2016 Track and Field Championships Central
Heptathlon – Final Results | Decathlon – Final Results
Long Beach State junior Riley Cooks and UC Santa Barbara sophomore Tyler Nelson captured medalist honors in the heptathlon and decathlon to conclude the multi-events portion of the Big West Track and Field Championships at Jack Rose Track on Saturday.
Cooks, who led after day one, maintained her advantage throughout as she finished with a winning score of 5,414 points in the field of 17 competitors. She is the first 49er to claim the heptathlon title since Ami Goldhammer in 2004.
A native of Coarsegold, Calif., Cooks won her third event in the competition with a toss of 129-03 in the javelin. On Friday, she posted victories in the 100m hurdles and 200m.
Junior Tayler Fleming was the runner-up with 5,124 points, moving up one spot after day one. Fleming won the long jump with a leap of 20-11.75. UC Santa Barbara freshman Hope Bender finished third with 5,114 points, just 10 behind Fleming. Bender, in second place after day one, ran a 2:16.91 in the 800m to finish second for her best performance on the final day.
In the decathlon, Nelson came out on top in a see-saw battle with Long Beach State sophomore Herman Day. The Gaucho sophomore picked up important points with his win in the first event of the day – the 110m hurdles. Nelson crossed the line in 14.78 seconds, just four-tenths ahead of Kyle Clancy of UC Davis.
But the winner was not determined until the final event of the competition – the 1,500-meters. Down 22 points to Day, Nelson ran a 4:45.72 in finish runner-up to Cal Poly's Devin Bennett and picked up 645 points for his total. Day came in eighth at 4:52.93 and tallied 601 points.
Nelson continued a recent trend of domination for the Gauchos in the decathlon. UCSB has won four of the last five competitions.