UCLA Ends Strong At NCAAs

May 30, 2001

When disappointing events happen to a team during a big meet, UCLA Head CoachJeanette Bolden describes it 'as a team taking hits'. The Bruin women tooktwo 'hits' on the first day of the 2001 NCAA Outdoor - the 4 X 100m relaydid not finish (and did not qualify for Friday's final) and freshman SheenaJohnson, who came into the meet with the nation's top collegiate time in the400m hurdles (56.02), placed sixth (59.84) in her heat and also did notqualify for Friday's 400m hurdle final.

But the Bruin women, who have been ranked No. 1 in the nation for most of thespring and are co-favorites to win this meet, along with No. 2 USC, came backstrong to end the day, with sophomore Chaniqua Ross placing third (180-9) inthe discus, senior Michelle Perry qualifying for the 400m hurdle final andfreshman Lena Nilsson and junior Ysanne Williams both advancing to Friday's800m final.

'You never expect a perfect meet,' said Bolden, in her eighth season as theBruin women's coach. 'We took our hits in the relay and hurdles, but cameback strong in the discus and 800m. For our relay, that was only the thirdtime they have run together and they may have lacked some experience here.That's my fault, not theirs. We have three freshmen (Sani Roseby, SheenaJohnson, Adia McKinnon) in the relay and this is a tough meet to run in. Therelay could have affected Sheena in the hurdles. She didn't seem to be in hernormal pattern, she didn't get out as well as she normally does. But Chaniqua(in the discus) and Lena and Ysanne (in the 800m) came back to do some greatthings today. At our team meeting tonight, my speech is not going to be allgloom and doom.'

Field Finals-
Discus: Sophomore Chaniqua Ross, who won the discus at the Pac-10, placedthird, with a mark of 180-9, picking up six points for the Bruins.'I'm not completely satisfied but it was a solid performance,' Ross said.'Nationals are about rising above yourself and I've been slumping a little inthe discus, so maybe I did rise above myself. I stayed relaxed and tried tonot let too many things interfere. The team race helps me relax. You are notjust out there for yourself, but for your teammates as well. We've all showedsuch togetherness through the USC and Pac-10 meets. That togetherness isgoing to help us here, too.'

Track Prelims--
4 X 100m relay: UCLA (freshmen Sani Roseby, Sheena Johnson, Adia McKinnonand senior Shakedia Jones) came into the meet with the nation's No. 5collegiate time (43.64). But Roseby and Johnson were unable to make the firstbaton handoff, and the Bruins did not finish the race.

400-meter hurdles: In heat one, senior Michelle Perry, who will be competingin the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday, placed second (57.78) and advancedto Friday's final. But Johnson, in heat two, finished sixth (59.84) and willnot advance to Friday's final.

800m - The Bruins had three runners in the prelims and qualified two for thefinal. In heat three, freshman Lena Nilsson placed first (2:07.00) and juniorYsanne Williams was second (2:07.06), both advancing to Friday's final. Inheat two, sophomore Tiffany Burgess placed sixth (2:07.64) and did notadvance.

UCLA Women-Looking Ahead To Thursday
There is one final, senior Christina Tolson, the collegiate national leader(58-3 �) and Ross (54-3 �, No. 5) will compete in the shot put. Prelimsinclude - Roseby in the 100m hurdles, McKinnon in the 400m, Jones in the 100mand UCLA's 4 X 400m relay.

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