EDINBURG, Texas – Freshman and Bakersfield native Nick Zandes opened up the 2017 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday, May 10, with the first five events of the decathlon. After Day 1, Zandes is in fourth place, is in contention for a medal, and is just over 100 points outside of second place.
“Nick had a solid first day with two PRs,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, Director of Track and Field at CSUB. “He's ahead of his previous decathlon mark.”
Zandes opened the decathlon 100m dash and improved his previous personal best (11.64) by over three tenths of a second. The freshman placed fourth in the event with a time of 11.31 seconds, earning 793 points.
In the long jump, Zandes PR'd again, this time by over a foot. The graduate of Stockdale High School posted a best leap of 22-00.75 to finish third in the event with 748 points.
The shot put was the third event of the day and featured the poorest performance for Zandes. A best throw of 36-08.50 helped him finish fifth with 557 points, but was more than a foot short of his personal record in the event.
Zandes tied with four others for fourth place in the high jump with a mark of 5-10.75. He cleared his first three bars on the first attempt before clearing 1.8-meters on his second leap. The mark earned the Bakersfield native 627 points, putting Zandes just 37 points behind second place.
In the 400m dash, Zandes crossed the line in 54.04 seconds to gather 638 more points. The fifth-place finish gave Zandes a total of 3,363 points, good enough for fourth place. The former Mustang is just over 100 points behind second-place Rusty Jones of Utah Valley and just over 200 points behind Grant Carpenter of Grand Canyon, the Day 1 leader. Zandes is also ahead of pace to pass his personal best in the decathlon (6,402), which is the third-best mark in CSUB history.
Zandes will return to the UT Rio Grande Valley track and field on Thursday for the second day of the decathlon competition. The freshman will be joined by junior Angel Valdez, who will represent CSUB's women in the 10,000m race. The final five decathlon events will kick off at 8:15 a.m. (PT) with the 110m hurdles while Valdez is scheduled to run at 6:45 p.m.