A tremendous wealth of international Olympic talent will compete at the Westmont track for the Sam Adams Classic, which features events in the decathlon and heptathlon, on Friday, April 5, at noon, and Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The event includes Ashton Eaton, Olympic decathlon gold medalist; Sharon Day, who won the Sam Adams Heptathlon last year and represented the U.S. at the Olympics; Gray Horn, who placed third at the U.S. Championships last year; Brianne Theisen, an Olympian from Canada, who set a Westmont stadium record in the women’s 200 meters and the women’s 100 meter hurdles on March 30; and Damian Warner, a two-time Canadian national champion in the decathlon who finished fifth at the 2012 Summer Games. Warner holds the Westmont stadium record in the men’s 110 meter hurdles after posting 14.15 on March 30. Canadian heptathlete Jen Cotton will also join the competition.
“This many Olympians haven’t been on campus since Bill Toomey and company were training in Santa Barbara in the 1960s and 70s,” says Russell Smelley, Westmont head track and field coach. “We have enjoyed seeing Ashton and Brianne training each day along with the Women’s Athletic Performance Foundation athletes coached by Josh Priester.”
Priester, the meet director for this event, has gathered a good field with 17 decathletes, including three Westmont athletes, Ben McCollum ’16, Kyle Kemper ’15 and Bradford Ortlund ’16, and 12 heptathletes, including Westmont freshman Kristan Holding.
“With such distinguished and accomplished athletes competing on our outstanding track-and-field facility, I expect to see several new stadium records” Smelley says. “I am especially interested in seeing the sprint and hurdle events with such excellent head-to-head competition.”
The event honors Sam Adams, a legendary multi-event coach who worked with athletes at UC Santa Barbara for 34 years and 10 years with Smelley at Westmont.