Schwartz, Nwaba lead SB Track Club to USATF West Region title

Lindsay Schwartz of Santa Barbara Track Club finished second in the long jump. (Presidio File Photo)

Lindsay Schwartz of Santa Barbara Track Club finished second in the long jump. (Presidio File Photo)

LOS ANGELES – The Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) made its presence felt in the club’s inaugural appearance at the Jim Bush Southern California & USATF West Region Championships on the campus of UCLA on Saturday at Drake Stadium. The SBTC women’s team captured the championship title, while the men’s team finished the competition as runner ups.

A trio of SBTC women collected its points in five events – Long Jump, High Jump, Javelin Throw, 100m Hurdles and the 200m Dash.


Lindsay Schwartz placed second in the Long Jump with a 2014 season best of 5.96 meters (19’07ft.) and also added team points in the 100 Hurdles (14.24) and 200m (25.26).

Barbara Nwaba, currently ranked as the top heptathlete in the United States, enjoyed a solid day with a second place finish in the Javelin Throw (42.36m / 139’09 ft.), a surprise fourth place finish in the Long Jump with a new personal best of 5.79 meters (19’01 ft.) and snuck in for a third place finish in the 200m (24.52) into heavy headwinds at Drake Stadium.

The final SBTC women’s team member to factor into the scoring was high jumper, Megan Tice. Tice finished the competition in fourth place and a seasons best mark of 1.76 meters (5’09”¼ ft.). A native of Manhattan, New York, Tice is the newest member of the Santa Barbara Track Club and is coached by local high jump great, Kaylene Wagner.

The SBTC men finished as the runner up with Tom FitzSimons and Keegan Cooke garnering points for the club. FitzSimons contested the 110m Hurdles, Long Jump and Discus Throw as he prepares for the Imperial Championship Decathlon next weekend.

Cooke, SBTC’s most recent Decathlon addition, contested the High Jump and the 100 Meters Dash. Cooke tied his personal best in the high jump of 1.93 meters (6’04) in his first competition for the SBTC. Cooke is a native of Harari, Zimbabwe and holds the national record in the decathlon in his home country.

“Overall, today was a great day for us as we prepare for the upcoming USA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento,” states SBTC Head Coach, Josh Priester. “This was a great measure of where we are currently at and I am looking forward to the next few weeks. Considering this is our first year as a formal track club, I couldn’t be more excited about the team. We have a tremendous group of elite athletes, our youth track program started this spring, and we have a great group of people in Santa Barbara who care about our mission within the community. We competed well against a lot of great clubs today, including clubs that have been around for decades”.

The SBTC will travel next to the Imperial Championship Decathlon next weekend, while the USA Track & Field Championships begin on June 26 in Sacramento, CA. For more information on the USA Track & Field Championships, please visit