Coming down the stretch in the 800 meter, the final event of the pentathlon, Nicole Wadden didn’t realize she was about to win.
“Honestly, I didn’t know had won yet,” the senior said. “I thought Jessica (the second place competitor) was right behind me. I was just trying to run as fast as I could.”
But, once she crossed the finish line, the feelings set in.
“I was overwhelmed, so excited, so happy. It was so hard to realize it was real.”
Wadden’s day started with the 60 meter dash, where a new personal record time of 8.84 gave her sole possession of the 10th spot on the Nevada all-time indoors list. In the high jump, Wadden broke her personal record, hitting five feet and 10.75 inches on the second attempt. She left the high jump the victor and 90 points in first place in the pentathlon with a score of 1,922. Wadden set yet another personal record in the shot put, throwing 36 feet and 10.5 inches. Headed into the fourth event, she led with a score of 2,533. Wadden took sixth in the long jump, her first non-personal record event of the day, but maintained her lead by a margin of 36 points. As the 800m started, Wadden fell behind to second, then passed into first, then fell to third. However, pacing herself better than the rest of the field, she surged in the final lap, staking her claim at the top of the pent and getting her fourth personal record of the day with a time of 2:19.11. Wadden’s final score of 4,060 is not only a new school record, but is also the fifth-highest mark in Mountain West Championships history.
“Any time you can have personal bests in a multi event, that’s a good sign,” said assistant coach Scott Williamson, who oversees the multi athletes. “It’s great to see her win after working all season. Nicole did great today.”
Sophomore Alexandra Tierney also competed in the pent today, her first time since the eighth grade. The Canada native surged in the long jump and the 800m to finish in tenth with a score of 3,454. Although she missed out on scoring points for the team, she debuted at eighth on the Nevada all-time list.
“We thought she had an opportunity to score if she scored around 3,450,” said Williamson. “That just shows the strength of this conference, it’s very competitive. She put herself out there and ended up on the all-time list. We’re really happy with that.”
A squad composed of junior Sidney Root running the 1200m, sophomore Dezirae Pennington running the 400m, freshman Lindsey Adams running the 800m and sophomore Meagan Wood running the mile took on the distance medley relay later in the afternoon. Competing in an incredibly fast field, where five teams broke the conference championships record, the relay debuted third on the Nevada all-time list, coming in at 11:49.14. However, because of Albuquerque’s high altitude, all race times will be converted to a faster speed post-championships, and the relay should move up even further on the list.
“Most of the other teams stacked their squads with people who are also seeded in the mile, the 5000m, the 3000m,” said assistant coach Kirk Elias. “We went against some teams that should have beaten us by a lot and we were competitive. We got a point when we weren’t slated to get a point. I’m absolutely delighted in them.”
Nevada currently sits in second in the team score with 11, two points behind Colorado State. Day two of the championships will kick off for Nevada tomorrow at 1 p.m. MT with the long jump