UCLA Women's Track & Field Opens 2002 Indoor Season
Jan. 23, 2002
Jeanette Bolden's UCLA women's track & field team opens the 2002 indoor season thisweekend (Friday-Saturday, Jan. 25-26) at the Illinois Women's Invitational in Champaign, IL. Alongwith the Bruins and host Illinois, also competing for the team title will be BYU and Miami (FL).
For the last two years, the Bruin women have won the NCAA Indoor Championship andunder Bolden, the Bruins have won seven Pac-10 outdoor titles, including the last five seasons in row.
UCLA will take a squad of 23 athletes, led by six returning All-Americans. UCLA's polevault corps will feature two All-Americans, paced by senior Tracy O'Hara.
O'Hara, from San Diego Rancho Bernardo HS, is one of the top women's vaulters in the U.S. Last season she placed fourth at the USA Outdoor and was a member of the American team at theWorld University Games and World Championships. As a junior, she placed second at both theNCAA Indoor and Outdoor meets and won her third consecutive Pac-10 vaulting crown. As asophomore in 2001, she won both NCAA championships and set the collegiate outdoor record(14-7.25).
Joining O'Hara is senior Heather Sickler, who earned NCAA Outdoor All-American honorslast spring by placing ninth (top eight Americans) in the pole vault. Her personal-best of 13-3.50 isNo. 3 on the school's all-time list.
On the track, the Bruins will be led by sophomores, Sheena Johnson, Adia McKinnon andSani Roseby. Last season, Johnson was the Pac-10 Women's Newcomer of the Year. She earned twoAll-American honors last season on Bruin relays and was the Pac-10 400m hurdle champion.McKinnon in 2001 was also a two-time All-American on UCLA relays and won the Pac-10 400mcrown. Roseby last spring qualified for the NCAA Outdoor in the 100m hurdles and 4 X 100m relayand at the Pac-10, she scored in the 100m (fourth-place) and on the Bruins' 4 X 100m relay (openingleg, second-place, 43.64, season-best).
In the field, along with O'Hara and Sickler, other standouts include senior DarneshaGriffith and sophomore Cari Soong. Griffith last season earned All-American status in the high jump(fourth-place tie, 6-0) at the NCAA Indoor and won the Pac-10 title in 2000. Soong last winter at theNCAA Indoor earned All-American in the weight throw (10th place, top eight Americans, 62-8.75).
This meet will also mark the debut of heralded Bruin true freshman Monique Henderson. As aprepster at Morse HS in San Diego, Henderson was one of the nation's top young sprint stars.Henderson was a four-time CA State 400m champion, set the national women's prep 400m mark(50.74) and was an alternate on the 2000 U. S. Olympic team for the 4 X 400m relay.
Looking ahead, the Bruin women's and men's squads will travel to Seattle, WA on Feb. 2 forthe Washington Indoor Invitational.