Photo courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics

Former Cal Poly athlete Sharon Day-Monroe broke the American record in the pentathlon last month.

Jessica Burger
Special to Mustang News

When Sharon Day-Monroe was at Cal Poly, she wasn’t just a member of both the women’s soccer and the track and field teams, but was  also awarded Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year — twice. She added another accolade to her resume recently, when she broke the American record in the pentathlon at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships on Feb. 21, in Albuquerque, N.M.

A pentathlon is a competition featuring five separate track and field events, resulting in an accumulated final score. By conquering the 60-meter hurdles in 8.44 seconds, winning the high jump by clearing 6 feet 2 inches, throwing a shot put clear of 15.59 meters and scoring 6.09 meters in the long jump, Day-Monroe needed a time of 2 minutes and 16.87 seconds in the 800 meters to claim the record. She came in with a time of 2 minutes and 13.9 seconds, giving her a final score of 4,805 points to break the 15-year-old record.

Day-Monroe’s score broke the record set previously by DeDee Nathan on March 5, 1999 by a margin of 52 points. Day-Monroe also broke her own personal record, 238 points ahead of her previous career best.

Day-Monroe graduated from Cal Poly in 2008, and that same year made the United States Olympic team and competed in the high jump at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing. She went on to compete in the heptathlon, making it to the World Championships in 2009 and 2011 as well as the 2012 Olympic games in London.

Her next competition will be at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland on March 7-9, according to an article published by USA Track and Field, who named her “Athlete of the Week.”

Cal Poly director of track and field Mark Conover coached Day-Monroe.

“The indoor American record is a just a feather in her cap,” Conover said.

Conover said Day-Monroe has shown consistency over the years — she came to Cal Poly as a highly touted high jumper, and then started to work on the heptathlon.

“She left (Cal Poly) as an NCAA high jump champion, a multi-time All-American and a school record holder in both the high jump and the heptathlon,” Conover said. “Her record points out that she is in a good spot headed toward world indoors this weekend and beyond.”

Day-Monroe also played soccer for the Mustangs, and her 27 goals scored over her career at Cal Poly tie her for fifth-most in school history.

“She consistently goes about her business with a positive attitude and demeanor,” Conover said. “ (Those are) key attributes to have in an athlete’s arsenal.”

Monroe was honored as the Cal Poly Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year in 2005 and 2008.

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