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Track & Field

Nia Ali Sets Meet Record, leads heptathlon at Sam Adams Invite

World indoor 60-meter hurdles champion Nia Ali set a meet and stadium record in the 100-meter hurdles to kick off a good day in the heptathlon Friday at the fifth annual San Adams Combined Events at Westmont's Thorrington Field.

Ali posted a time of 12.94 seconds to beat the Thorrington Field and Sam Adams meet record previously held by Canada Olympian Brianne Theisen-Eaton. The mark gave her 1,133 points and put her on pace to best her personal record of 5,824 points set in 2009 when she was competing for USC. She finished the first day with 3,642 points.

The decathlon leader is Tyler Nelson with 3,906 points. His best event on the day was the 400 meters, where he set a personal best at 48.92.

Ashton Eaton, the world record holder and reigning Olympic champion, competed only in the shot put on Friday and posted a solid mark of 49-4.75, just a inch off his event record set last year. This was Ashton's first outdoor competition of the season.

Santa Barbara Track Club member Derek Masterson (USA) went 49-2.50 and Patrick Arbour (Canada / Ottawa Track Club)  threw 48-11.25. Both men are competing in the full decathlon.

Canada's Damian Warner, who trains in Santa Barbara prior to his outdoor season, looked strong in the long jump and 400 meters. He went 24-8 in the long jump and posted the best 400 time of 46.64. Santa Barbara Track Club's Thomas Hopkins had the second fastest time at 47.66. Hopkins also ran 10.93 in the 100 meters and finished second behind Japan's Toshiki Sakamoto (Kanoya Sport University) in 10.90. Sakamoto was second to Warner in the long jump at 23-4.50.

In the decathlon high jump, Calvin Sullins (USA / Santa Barbara Track Club) and Josue Louis (USA) both jumped 6-6.75″) to earn themselves 803 points.

Ali and SBTC's Chari Hawkins topped the heptathlon field in the high jump with a height of 5-10 Guest athlete Sharon Day-Monroe (USA / ASICS), a NCAA champion in the event in 2005 for Cal Poly, used an abbreviated seven-step approach as a pre-season warm-up and cleared 5-8.75. Day-Monroe is a 2012 Olympian in the heptathlon and a seven-time U.S. champion.

Day-Monroe won the shot put with a throw of 47-7.75. Amber Metoyer (USA / Texas Express Track Club) and Annette Fleming (GER / Santa Barbara Track Club) would round out the top three with throws of  45-7.75 and 45-02.50, respectively. Santa Barbara Track Club’s Lindsay Schwartz (USA) also had a foot and a half personal best with a toss of 44-10.25.

The 100 hurdles saw eight other women score over 1,000 points. After Ali's record run, Jessica Flax (USA / Texas Express Track Club) and Hawkins ran 13.28 (1,083 points) and 13.30 (1,080) respectively.

To conclude the first day of the heptathlon competition, Breanna Leslie (USA / ASICS) won a close 200-meterrace in 24.17 over Ali’s 24.20. Ali’s 962 points would catapult her into first with 3,642. Hawkins who led through three events, came across the line in 24.73 and finished day one in second place with 3,596 points.

Rounding out the top three in the heptathlon are SBTC’s Schwartz who ran a 24.32 and scored 950, bringing her within one point of her teammate  with 3595 points.

The meet continues Saturday with the decathlon competition beginning at 10:30 and the heptathlon events starting at 12:30 p.m.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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