With an opportunity to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as a prize, the 2016 USA Track and Field Trials begin today in Oregon. Of local interest are several multi-event coaches and athletes with ties to Westmont.
The primary reason for these connections is Santa Barbara Track Club (SBTC) director and coach Josh Priester, who also serves as an assistant coach for Westmont Track and Field. In his role at Westmont, Priester coached Becky Collier to an NAIA Women’s Heptathlon national championship.
Under Preister’s leadership, the SBTC, which trains year round at the Westmont Track, has qualified four athletes for the USA Trials – one in the men’s decathlon and three in the women’s heptathlon.
Heading the list of SBTC athletes is Barbara Nwaba, the 2015 USA Champion in the women’s heptathlon. Nwaba leads the list of qualifiers with a mark of 6,500 points. Also competing in the heptathlon from the SBTC are Lindsay Lettow, the 10th qualifier at 6,023 points and Lindsay Schwarz, the 13th qualifier at 5,998 points.