After injuries struck two decathletes, the 49ers were able to power through and finish with five athletes in scoring positions at the end of the Big West Conference decathlon and heptathlon.
The men totalled 11 points with three athletes contributing and the women scored a total of four.
For the men, senior John Broadhead placed second overall, scoring eight points. He was able to solidify his second place finish in the javelin throw event, when he broke his personal best in the event by 18 feet with a distance of 188’ 2”.
He was followed by junior Derreck Affor, who placed seventh and scored two points. Affor was also able to top his personal best in the decathlon with a score of 6586.
Senior Herman Day came into the Big West decathlon ranked first in the conference.
Throughout day one of the competition Day was on pace to put together another strong performance before injuring his hamstring in the 400m dash, the fifth event of the 10 total, that led to him finishing eighth overall and scoring one point.
Junior Devon Alvarado was on pace to top his personal best. But on his first attempt in the javelin throw, event nine of 10, he injured his shoulder which led to him finishing last in the event, and pushed him out of a scoring position.
Because of the injury, Alvarado had to tape his arm completely to the side of his body so it wouldn’t swing during the last event of the day, the 1500m run. During the event, Day stayed back with his teammate to help him cross the finish line.
“Even though Day gave up his personal placing to do it,he did it because this group is a family,” head coach Andy Sythe said
The two 49er heptathletes also had to battle as well to ensure that they wouldn’t go home empty handed.
Headed into the final two events of the competition, juniors Sydney Barnes and Kaylee Shoemaker were hanging on to scoring positions but needed to perform well in the javelin throw and 800m run to ensure they would score points.
Both women were able to do that as they both broke their personal bests in the javelin throw. Shoemaker took second in the javelin with a distance of 129’ 2” and Barnes finished fourth at 115’ 11”.
They were able to carry that momentum into the 800m run where Barnes and Shoemaker finished with times of 2:44.98 and 2:40.62, both personal bests.
Barnes ended the competition in sixth scoring three points and Shoemaker finished eighth and scored one.
“It was a good performance from our end of things but far short of what we were capable of doing,” Sythe said. “ Nonetheless the importance was how they did it, and not so much on what they did.”
The 11 points for the men currently has then tied for second with UC Davis and three points behind UC Santa Barbara.
Sythe hopes that the showing the decathletes and heptathletes had this weekend will inspire the rest of his team to come prepared next weekend and perform to their top potential.
“They will bring back their mentality with them and pass that on to their teammates, that’s the spark and what we need to going into this upcoming weekend,” Sythe said.
The reigning Big West Champion women are headed into the final weekend with four points and with UC Santa Barbara leading the pack with 10.