Desirae Gonder, Shelese Ruffin Finish 2-3, respectively, at the Big West Heptathlon Championship

May 8, 2010

Northridge, Calif. - Congratulations to CSUN's Robert Robinson, the 2010 winner of the decathlon at the Big West Decathlon/Heptathlon Championships on Saturday at Matador Track.

Not only did the senior from Los Angeles (Santa Monica High School), win the decathlon title, but Robinson accomplished his goal in school record fashion.

Robinson's two-day, ten-event total of 7,526 points easily beat the old school record of 7,473 points by Justin Johnson in 2008.

Robinson also shattered his previous best decathlon total of 7,020 points two years ago.

After finishing in second place the last two seasons at the Big West Championships, Robinson was determined the stand atop the victory stand at this year's conference championship.

"I was healthy the entire season, worked hard, and it eventually led to the school record," said Robinson. "This was great to win in my senior season on this great track at Cal State Northridge."

Robinson started Saturday with a sizable 330-point lead over LBS's Nicholas Armstrong. Robinson had collected 4,070 points compared to Armstrong with 3,740 points after the first five events of the ten-event competition on Friday. Robinson sacrificed only 28 points to Nicholas during Saturday's five-event competition.

On Friday, Robinson got off to a great start with a time of 10.83 in the 100 meters. That was the best time in the 13-member field and produced 899 points. Later on Friday, Robinson leaped 24-5 ½ (7.44m) in the long jump to earn 922 points. That again was the best mark in the field.

Robinson finished Friday with a throw of 37-5 ¾ (11.42m) in the shot put (571 points), a leap of 6-6 ¼ (1.99) in the high jump (794 points) and a time of 48.53 (884 points) in the 400 meters (the best time in the field).

On Saturday, under another day of warm weather, Robinson ran a 14.59 in the 110-meter hurdles to gain 900 points, his best individual point total of the day. That was also the best time among the decathletes in the 110-meter hurdles.

Robinson followed up with 657 points in the discus (130-1, 39.65m), 746 points in the pole vault (14-7 1/4m, 4.45m), 524 points in the javelin (149-7, 45.59m) and 629 points in the 1,500 meters (4:48.23).

While Robinson was taking home the championship decathlon medal, CSUN teammate Lance Gonzales finished third with 6,995 points.

The 16 points generated by Robinson's victory and the third place finish by Gonzales gives Cal State Northridge a first place team lead entering the main portion of the Big West Track & Field Championships next weekend (May 14-15) at Matador Track. Cal Poly is second with nine points followed by Long Beach State with eight points and UC Santa Barbara with six points. The Cal State Northridge men's track & field team has won three of the last five league championships.

In the conference women's heptathlon championship, Desirae Gonder of Cal State Northridge finished second behind 2010 conference winner Barbara Nwaba of UC Santa Barbara. Gonder gathered 5,512 points over the seven-event, two-day meet. Nwaba had 40 more points than Gonder to win the league title with 5,552 points.

Gonder trailed Nwaba by 54 points entering the final event, the 800 meters, on Saturday. But Gonder could only pick up 14 points on Nwaba in the 800 meters. Gonder tallied 868 points in the 800 meters with a second place time of 2:16.79 while Nwaba was timed in 2:17.80 to finish third for 854 points.

CSUN's Shelese Ruffin finished third with 5,132 points while teammate Ese Ntekume placed 12th with 4,261 points.

In the battle for the team lead entering the main portion of the Big West Track & Field Championships (May 14-15) at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors picked up 14 points via second place and third place finishes for Gonder and Ruffin, respectively. CSUN is second in the team competition with UC Santa Barbara picking up 17 points via its first, fifth and sixth place finishes at the heptathlon championships this weekend. Following UC Santa Barbara (17 points) and Cal State Northridge (14 points), UC Davis is third with five points followed by Cal Poly with two points and Long Beach State with one point.

The Matador women have won four straight Big West Conference track & field titles.

Big West Decathlon Championships at Cal State Northridge (3/7/10 - 3/8/10) - Final Results
1. Robert Robinson - Cal State Northridge (7,526 points, school record)
2. Nicholas Armstrong - Long Beach State (7,224 points)
3. Lance Gonzales - Cal State Northridge (6,995 points)
4. Mike Powers - UC Santa Barbara (6,986 points)
5. Corbin Duer - Cal Poly (6,930 points)
6. Dominic Byrne - Cal Poly (6,704 points)
7. Jordan Goffena - Cal Poly (6,551 points)
8. Josh Codding - UC Santa Barbara (6,427 points)
9. Will Guthrie - UC Davis (6,329 points)
10. Owen Morse - Cal State Northridge (6.297 points)
dnf - Michael Woodham - Cal State Northridge
dnf - Michael Larocca - UC Santa Barbara

Big West Heptathlon Championships at Cal State Northridge (3/7/10 - 3/8/10)) - Final Results
1. Barbara Nwaba - UC Santa Barbara (5,552 points)
2. Desirae Gonder - Cal State Northridge (5,512 points)
3. Shelese Ruffin - Cal State Northridge (5,132 points)
4. Anikia Jackson - UC Davis (5,126 points)
5. Christina Nowak - UC Santa Barbara (4,737 points)
6. Maureen Ajoku - UC Santa Barbara (4,590 points)
7. Turquoise Williams - Cal Poly (2,523 points)
8. Sara Macey - Long Beach State (4,445 points)
9. Sara Klein - Cal Poly (4,443 points)
10. Grace Esslinger - UC Santa Barbara (4,308 points)
11. Jessica Bragg - UC Santa Barbara (4,272 points)
12. Ese Ntekume - Cal State Northridge (4,261 points)
13. Rebecca Hamilton - Long Beach State (4,163 points)
14. Jazmine Lewis - UC Riverside (4,160 points)
-- Chelsea Pham - UC Irvine (dnf)

Conference Chatter
The Big West Conference decathlon record is 8,007 set by Mauricio Bardales of UC Irvine in 1978 ... The decathlon meet record is 7,631 set by Pete Mansur of Fresno State in 1984 ... The Big West Conference heptathlon meet record remains in tact for at least another year originally set by Sharon Day of Cal Poly with 5,642 points in 2008 ... The conference record is still held by Sheila Tarr of UNLV with 5,856 points set in 1984.