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Day sets heptathlon PR at Sam Adams meet

Ashton Eaton Day sets heptathlon PR at Sam Adams meet

Ashton Eaton tosses the shotput on Monday at Westmont. (Presidio Sports Photo)

World Indoor Men’s Heptathlon Champion Ashton Eaton and U.S. Women’s Heptathlon Champion Sharon Day were among 29 athletes who competed in the inaugural Sam Adams Multi-Events held at Westmont College on April 2-3.

Day set a personal record of 6,337 points to win the heptathlon, bettering her previous best mark by 220 points. In the process, Day established a new Westmont Track stadium records in the long jump (6.06 meters) and in the high jump (1.84 meters). The latter record she will share with UC Santa Barbara’s Barbara Nwaba who finished second in the heptathlon with 5,986 points.

Day’s heptathlon point total met the Olympic “A” qualifying standard for the 2012 summer games while Nwaba’s point total exceeded the “A” qualifying standard for the US Olympic Team trials.

Finishing third in the heptathlon was Annett Fleming a former UC Santa Barbara student-athlete who competes for Germany. Flemming tallied 5757 points, just three off her personal best.

Competing in selected events was Brianne Theissen from the University of Oregon. Theissen was the 2009 Canadian Champion in the heptathlon and is a two-time NCAA outdoor heptathlon champion and two-time NCAA indoor pentathlon champion. Theissen won the 100 meter hurdles, with a time of 13.48, edging out Day by 0.09 seconds. She also won the 200 meter dash in a time of 24.21 seconds. Both marks established new stadium records.

Among the field of 11 women’s heptathlon competitors was Westmont’s Kristin Hempy who posted the second best heptathlon score in Westmont history with 4,199 points. She missed tying Lisa Sartoris’ Westmont record (4204) established in 1997. To date, Hempy’s mark is the third best in the NAIA this year.

“Competing against such high caliber athletes can be a little intimidating,” acknowledged Hempy. “But in the 200, I ran with them and was competitive. I think that pushed me to get a good mark there. Other than the high jump where I felt the most vulnerable, it was challenging but also inspirational. It was an honor for me to be out here with such quality and professional athletes and compete with them.

“I feel pretty good about (my performance) overall,” said Hempy. “It is a big PR for me. My last score was 4065 so that is over a 100-point PR. It is a little bit bittersweet because I got five points under the school record.”

Hempy set personal records in four events: shot put (9.79m), 200 meters (26.61), the long jump (5.13m) and 800 meters (2:42.97). Her best finish of the seven events was in the javelin where she threw for 37.90 meters and sixth place.

“I jumped 4.82 on Saturday (in the long jump) and that was a PR,” said Hempy. “I was stoked to bust out a 5.13. In the 800, I had a little bit of a kick with one hundred to go and was able to pass one person.”

The men’s decathlon was won by Chris Randolph, a graduate of Seattle Pacific who is a two-time NCAA Division II national champion. Randolph, who lives in Lompoc and competes internationally for team USA, accumulated 7,840 points. Dakotah Keys of the University of Oregon placed second with 7.628 points while UC Santa Barbara’s Derek Masterson finished third with 7,558.

Eaton competed in half of the decathlon’s ten events, placing first in the 100 meters (10.45), the shot put (14.62m), the 400 meters (45.68) and the discus (43.34m). His mark in the 100 and 400 established new stadium records. His mark in the 400 meters equaled the world record for the decathlon set by Bill Toomey at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Eaton will not be credited with tying the record, however, because he did not compete in all of the decathlon events.

Three Warriors competed in the decathlon, led by Adam Thompkins who finished in seventh place (out of 18) with 6,715 points. The point tally is the best in the NAIA so far this year and is 449 points better than the next best mark.

“It was inspiring to compete with this group,” said Thompkins. “You don’t want to be the guy in the back watching everyone else. You want to be up there with them, so it makes you work harder. It is amazing to see that level. We see some great athletes throughout the year, but these guys are phenomenal. I also got to compete with Brian Clay (2008 Olympic decathlon champion) this year. This summer I’ll be watching the Olympics and know that I got to compete with those guys.”

“There is still a lot of room to grow for me. I don’t think 7,000 points is out of the question,” continued Thompkins.

“My running felt strong yesterday and today,” noted Thompkins who finished third in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.12 and the 400 meters with a time of 49.19.

“I’ve been waiting to make over 12 meters in the shot for a long time,” said Thompkins. “I’ve seen it in practice but never in a meet. So it was an “about-time” kind of moment when I threw for 12.19. The 1500 meters shocked me. I was tired, but it felt good to get that PR (4:42.86).”

Also competing for the Warriors was Kyle Kemper who finished with 4,614 points and Ben McCollum who accumulated 3,523 points before an injury during the 110 meter hurdles caused him to drop out of the last four events.