June 11, 2010

By Doug Binder, Special to NCAA.com

EUGENE, Ore. -- Brianne Theisen of Oregon became the sixth woman to repeat as NCAA heptathlon champion on Thursday.

The junior from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan scored a personal best 6,094 points.

Theisen trailed after the first day by four points, but regained command of the competition in the first event of the day - the long jump - where she rode a wave of Hayward Field support to a season's best leap of 20 feet, ¼ inches.

"It set me up good. I got a confidence boost out of that," Theisen said of her jump. "It kind of helped me relax a little bit."

Theisen was 10 inches - and nearly 79 points - better than her nearest competitor in the long jump.

From there, she threw 138-11 in the javelin (third best in the field) and ran the 800 in 2 minutes, 15.40 seconds (fourth best time of the day).

"I was looking to break 2:15, but I was hurting the last 300 (meters)," Theisen said. "I did everything I could. I have no regrets."

Theisen said her she was motivated by earning 10 points for the Ducks' team title hopes as much as she was for herself.

"The girls really, really want to win this national title," Theisen said. "I obviously put pressure on myself, but I wanted to make sure I got those 10 points for (the team)."

Oregon is in third place with 16 points after two days of competition. Southern Illinois, which placed four throwers in the javelin, is in first place with 22 points and Iowa State (18) is second.

Theisen's total score is the highest in the event at the NCAA meet since Tiffany Lott of BYU won with 6,211 points in 1997.

Maryland's Kiani Profit, the runner-up to Theisen in the indoor pentathlon, was second. She scored 5,682 points. Alabama's Chealsea Taylor, the first-day leader, was third with 5,617.

In the hammer, Georgia sophomore Nikola Lomnicka produced the leading mark on her first attempt and then exceeded it with her final throw of the competition, finishing at 215-1.

"I wanted to go all in on my first throw," said Lomnicka, a native of Slovakia.

Her brother, Marcel Lomnicka of Virginia Tech, won the men's hammer title last year - and he'll try to defend his title on Friday.

"I hope he wins so we can celebrate together," Nikola Lomnicka said.

Dorotea Habazin of Virginia Tech was second with a toss of 210-2.

In the triple jump, Clemson redshirt junior Patricia Mamona conquered the 14-meter barrier on her final attempt, with a leap of 45-11 ¾ (14.01 meters).

Mamona, who hails from Lisbon, Portugal, had two jumps over 44 feet to start the competition.

"My friends told me they dreamed I would get 14 meters and I had a dream about 14 meters," Mamona said. "I kind of knew something good was going to happen."

Sarah Nambawa of Middle Tennessee State jumped 44-9 ¾ and finished second.

Texas A&M, the reigning team champion, picked up four points when Tiffany Peters finished sixth and Ashika Charan finished eighth in the triple jump. The Aggies (4 points) are in a four-way tie for 21st through six events.