Darnesha Griffith Wins NCAA High Jump Title
May 30, 2002
2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
May 29-June 1
Bernie Moore Track
Baton Rouge, LA
High Jump-senior Darnesha Griffith, who won the NCAA Indoor high jump titlein March, claimed the Outdoor crown as well, winning the event with a leapof6-0. She picked up 10 team points for the Bruin women. She becomes the fifthwoman in NCAA history to win the high jump at both the Outdoor and Indoor inthe same season (the last athlete to do it was Texas' Erin Aldrich in 1998;UCLA great Amy Acuff also did it in 1995). Griffith entered the meet withtheNo. 2 collegiate mark (6-0 ï¿½).
'I wanted to win and help our team,' said Griffith. 'That was my goal,tohelp our team as much as possible.' Griffith's aunt is the late Bruin greatFlorence Griffith-Joyner and her coach (Al Joyner) was Flo Jo's husband. AlJoyner's sister is Bruin great Jackie Joyner Kersee, who is married toformerBruin women's head track and field coach Bob Kersee.
Long Jump-senior, Bunmi Ogunleye, who placed fourth in this event at thePac-10, was 11th (20-1).
100m Hurdles-sophomore Sheena Johnson, who yesterday qualified in the 400mhurdles, also today qualified in the 100m hurdles and advanced to Friday'ssemifinals. Johnson, who placed second in this race at the Pac-10 meet, wasfifth in heat two with a qualifying mark of 13.36 (personal-best, No. 7 inschool history).
400m-freshman Monique Henderson, the national prep record holder in thisevent (50.74), placed second in her heat (52.36) and advances to Saturday'sfinal. At the Pac-10 meet, Henderson was second in the 200m (she did not runin this event at the Pac-10 meet). Sophomore Adia McKinnon ran in heat two,placed fifth (54.21) and did not advance to Saturday's final.
1500m-sophomore Lena Nilsson, the national collegiate leader in this event(4:14.11), won her heat (4:23.42) and advances to Saturday's final. Her timewas the second fastest of the day (behind Arkansas' Christin Wurth). At thePac-10 meet, Nilsson won both the 800m and 1500m (she's only running the1500m at the NCAA).
4 x 400m relay-Ogunleye, McKinnon, Johnson, Henderson, won heat one, in atime of 3:28.58, it was the top time of the day and a new UCLA schoolrecord,besting the old time of 3:29.41, set at the 1999 NCAA Outdoor.