Westmont hosting track meet in tribute of Sam Adams

Some of the world’s greatest athletes will be converging in Santa Barbara for the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational held on April 2–3 at Westmont College.

The Sam Adams Invitational is named for legendary UC Santa Barbara Track & Field coach Sam Adams who passed away in 2010.

This year’s field includes a star studded cast of past Olympians, World Record holders, World Champions, National Champions and NCAA Champions. Athletes from Canada, Germany, Bermuda and the United States will take part in this first annual event in honor of Sam Adams. Coach Adams was an integral part of the re-emergence of the decathlon in the United States and throughout the course of his career he served in a wide variety of roles to promote the sport.

Admission is free and the meet will start at noon on both Monday and Tuesday at Westmont College.

“It is very exciting to have this caliber of national and international competitors coming to Santa Barbara in an Olympic Year,” said meet director and UCSB Associate Director of Track & Field, Josh Priester. “We are thankful to Coach Russell Smelly and Westmont College for playing hosts to this incredible event.”

Among the competitors will be recently crowned 2012 World Indoor Champion and Olympic Gold Medal hopeful Ashton Eaton from Eugene, Ore. Eaton holds a decathlon personal best of 8,729 points and was a five-time NCAA Champion at the University of Oregon. In 2010, he earned The Bowerman Award, NCAA Track & Field’s top student-athlete accolade.

On the Women’s side, central coast resident and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate, Sharon Day, leads an incredible roster of heptathletes. Day was the 2011 U.S. National Champion. Also competing is new local Santa Barbara resident Annett Fleming. A personal trainer and massage therapist, Fleming was the under 18 IAAF World Champion competing for her native country, Germany. She was an NCAA All-American at the University of Hawaii.

On the collegiate side, Canadian Brianne Theisen, four-time NCAA Champion and Indoor Pentathlon record holder from the University of Oregon will kick-off her Outdoor season. UCSB school record holder and three-time NCAA All-American, Barbara Nwaba, will make her Olympic year debut. Nwaba made her first U.S. National team in 2011 as a junior and is already qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Westmont athletes include Adam Thompkins who is expected to compete for an NAIA National Championship in May. Thompkins placed eighth at last year’s NAIA Championships.