Barbara Nwaba

Barbara Nwaba
Barbara Nwaba 2016.jpg
Barbara Nwaba at the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships
Personal information
Full nameBarbara Udoezi Nwaba
Born (1989-01-18) January 18, 1989 (age 34)
Los Angeles, California, United States
EducationUniversity of California, Santa Barbara (B.A. 2012)
OccupationTrack and field athlete
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
College teamUC Santa Barbara Gauchos
TeamSanta Barbara Track Club
Coached byJosh Priester
Achievements and titles
World finals2016, 2015
Olympic finals2016
Medal record
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
World Indoor Championships 0 0 1
Total 0 0 1
Bronze medal – third place 2016 Portland Pentathlon
Updated on 02:41, 30 June 2015 (UTC).

Barbara Udoezi Nwaba (born January 18, 1989) is an American track and field athlete who represents the Santa Barbara Track Club. Nwaba is known for the multi events, pentathlon and heptathlon. She is the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field champion in the heptathlon.

Early life and education

Nwaba was born January 18, 1989, in Los Angeles, California, to Nigerian parents Theodore & Blessing Nwaba. She is the oldest of 6 children. A 2007 graduate of University High School, Nwaba was the CIF Los Angeles City Section champion in the 300 meters hurdles in 2007[1] and a 4-time runner up and representative in the high jump to the CIF California State Meet, but was eliminated in the preliminary rounds.[2]

Nwaba attended the University of California, Santa Barbara on academic grounds, intending to study optometry,[3] ultimately graduating in 2012 with a degree in Sociology. After redshirting a season, she set the school records in the 100 meters hurdles, 400 meters hurdles (since surpassed), and was part of the record setting 4x400 meters relay team (also since surpassed). In the process, she also ranked in the top ten in most of the heptathlon events.[4] She finished her career as the champion of the Big West Conference heptathlon in 2012 en route to being named an All-American.[5]

Her brother, David Nwaba is a professional basketball player. He made his debut with the hometown Los Angeles Lakers on February 28, 2017.

Professional career

Continuing with the multi-event oriented Santa Barbara Track Club, Nwaba continued to make steady improvements with coach Josh Priester, himself a former UCSB track and field coach.[5][6] She was fifth at the 2012 Olympic Trials scoring 5986 points.[7][8]

Nwaba was an assistant coach at Santa Barbara High School in the 2012-13 school year.[9]

At the 2014 Outdoor Championships she finished second to Sharon Day-Monroe in the heptathlon by 163 points, scoring 6307 points.[10]

Barbara Nwaba is the 2015 American Champion, edging Sharon Day-Monroe by 42 points, scoring exactly 6500 points. She finished second to Day-Monroe at the 2015 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the pentathlon. Nwaba's total makes her the sixth-highest scoring heptathlon performer in United States history.[11]

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, Nwaba misstepped the very first hurdle and then fell over the second.[12][13][14][15][16] She continued in the competition despite the event costing her points. Ultimately, Nwaba completed the heptathlon and scored 5,315 points to place 27th.[17] In the process Nwaba recorded new personal bests in the javelin and shot put.[18]

Barbara Nwaba is the 2016 American Pentathlon Champion and qualified to represent USA at 2016 World Indoor Championships in Athletics.[19] Barbara Nwaba earned a bronze medal behind Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Alina Fyodorova in the Pentathlon at 2016 World Indoor Championships scoring 4661 points.[20]

Barbara Nwaba scored 6494 points in the Heptathlon to join Team USA teammates Heather Miller-Koch and Kendell Williams at 2016 United States Olympic Trials and represented USA at 2016 Summer Olympics[21] finishing 12th as the top American.


  1. ^ "Student Athlete of the Week: Barbara Nwaba". 4 September 2010.
  2. ^ "State Finals - 2007".
  3. ^ "UC Santa Barbara".
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ a b Burns, Ryan (August 5, 2016). "Former Gaucho Track Star Aims for the Podium at Debut Olympics". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Dvorak, John (August 2, 2014). "Priester taking new Santa Barbara Track Club to elite territory". Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  7. ^ 2012 United States Olympic Trials (track and field) Heptathlon results summary
  8. ^[dead link]
  9. ^ "TRK: Feshbach a top-10 finisher in Arcadia heptathlon". 12 April 2014.
  10. ^ 2014 Outdoor Championships
  11. ^ "Heptathlon - women - senior - outdoor".
  12. ^ |date=August 2015
  13. ^ "santa barbara track club". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  14. ^ Barbara Nwaba personal account of 2015 World Championship
  15. ^ Barbara Nwaba personal account of 2015 World Championships photo Archived April 25, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ News of 2015 World Championships Archived January 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^[bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ "2016 Indoor Combined Events - 2/26/2016 to 2/27/2016 Fuhrer Field House Results - Indoor Pentathlon" (PDF). February 28, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field". July 10, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.

External links