SB Track Club sends three to USA Track & Field Championships

SANTA BARBARA – Celebrating its inaugural year, the Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) is sending three multi-event athletes to the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, CA. The five-day championships features the best athletes in the country beginning Wednesday, June 25 and ending Sunday, June 29.

Leading the way for the SBTC are heptathletes Barbara Nwaba and Lindsay Schwartz who begin the two-day Heptathlon competition on Friday. Nwaba, a UC-Santa Barbara alumni (2012) and Los Angeles, CA native, enters the national championships as the second ranked Heptathlete in the country off the heals of a personal best 6,043 points and title at the Mt. SAC Invitational in mid-April. Nwaba is behind another central coast star and Cal Poly SLO alumni, Sharon Day, who was a 2012 Olympian in the Heptathlon.

Schwartz, a University of South Alabama graduate (2012) from Watertown, WI has also had a stellar season, setting a personal best of 5,982 at the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational, ranking her sixth entering the national championships. No other club has qualified two Heptathletes to the national championships.

“It’s difficult for many athletes, especially Heptathletes in the U.S., to continue competing at the highest level two years removed from college. Barbara and Lindsay have proven that with the right support structure and work ethic we can cultivate great talent right here in Santa Barbara,” commented SBTC’s Executive Director, Josh Priester.

In the Decathlon, Tom FitzSimons Jr., qualified for his first outdoor national championship after a gutsy late season performance at the San Diego Imperial Association Track & Field Championships on June 14. The Mount St. Mary’s (MD) graduate (2012) and Hamden, CT native, FitzSimons Jr. won the championships with 7,642 points and is currently ranked 13th heading into this weekend’s Decathlon.

“Between being a Youth Track Club leader, a filmmaker and holding another job or two, it’s humbling to see a lot of hard work pay off for Tom,” stated Priester. “He will continue to surprise his competition in the years to come.”

Other athletes qualifying for this weekend’s national championships that train and live in Santa Barbara include:

Becky Collier (Westmont), Junior Heptathlon; ranked 10th
Ryan Martin (ASICS), 800m – UCSB, 2012; ranked 14th
Derek Masterson (unattached), Decathlon – UCSB, 2012; ranked 14th
Tommy Schmitz (Speed Factory Athletics), 1500m – Marquette (WI), 2007; ranked 19th