Sharon Day, a former Costa Mesa High standout, used one word to help her win her second national women's heptathlon title Friday at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
That word? Fun.
"I was just trying to remember why I do this in the first place and just tried to have fun," Day said during a telephone interview. "I've learned it's about just trying to have fun and stay loose and not put too much pressure on myself."
The mentality worked for Day, who achieved a lifetime-best 6,550 points, which ranks No. 1 in the world this season and is fifth all-time in American history. She won the 2011 national title and finished second in 2012.
"It doesn't even feel real right now," Day said of being No. 1 in the world. "I'm glad I have that title for ever how long it lasts. I feel like it's not that big of a deal only because it can always change and there's still a lot to do."
Day, a two-time Olympian who finished 16th at the London Olympics, set personal records in the 100-meter high hurdles (13.54 seconds) and 200-meter dash (24.02), and also set a meet record in the women's high jump (6 feet, 2 3/4 inches).
She also recorded a personal-best mark in the long jump (20-2 1/2) on Friday. Her previous best was 19-10 1/2.
Day, competing for Asics, didn't stop there with personal records, as the 28-year-old posted her best mark in the javelin (155-5).
She finished sixth in the 800 in a lifetime best of 2:12.12.
She won the shotput (45-2 1/4) Thursday.
Day qualified for the World Championships in August 10-18 in Moscow, Russia.
She said she received several congratulatory texts on Friday, including some from the Costa Mesa community.
"It's awesome. I love it," Day said of the support she receives from Costa Mesa. "It's my hometown and certainly everyone has been very supportive."
— Steve Virgen