Bruins Finish Second At NCAA Championships

June 1, 2002

2002 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
May 29-June 1
Bernie Moore Stadium
Baton Rouge, LA

Saturday, June 1st Results (Day Four/Final Day)

Final Team Standings:
Women-1. South Carolina 82, 2. UCLA 72, 3. USC 57, 4.LSU 43, 5. Kansas State 30, 6. Florida 29, 7. Stanford 25, 8. North Carolina22, 9. Nebraska 21, 10. Illinois/Texas/BYU 19.

Men-1. LSU 64, 2. Tennessee 57, 3. SMU 42, 4. Florida/Clemson 32, 6. South Carolina 30, 7. Arkansas 28, 8. Stanford 26, 9. Colorado/Texas 23. USC tiedfor 11th (21) and UCLA tied for 30th (8).

UCLA WOMEN
Bruin Women's Head Coach Jeanette Bolden- 'I'm so proud of this team. Wetied an NCAA record with five individual champions and were the first women'steam in Outdoor history to win four field events. We came here with a youngteam, we didn't overrun our athletes and we came into this meet with theresponsibility of still being in school with finals coming up. And through itall, we responded so well here. South Carolina just had so many athletes.'

In her ninth year as the Bruin women's head coach, Bolden has eight Top Threefinishes at the NCAA Outdoor meet, including five second-place finishes(2002-01-99-98-95). In 2001 and 2000, Bolden directed the Bruin women to theNCAA Indoor championships.

Field Finals
During the four-day meet, UCLA set a women's Outdoor record with four fieldevent winners (senior Tracy O'Hara, pole vault; senior Darnesha Griffith,high jump; junior Chaniqua Ross, discus; freshman Jessica Cosby, shot put)

Shot Put-UCLA picked up 10 first-place points in this event, as redshirtfreshman Jessica Cosby won the event with a personal-best throw of 57-0.25(No. 6 in school history; she entered the meet with the No. 10 collegiatemark, a then outdoor best of 54-10). Cosby's winning throw came on her thirdattempt in flight one. Under Bruin throws coach Art Venegas, the UCLA womenhave won the NCAA Outdoor shot put title the last four years in a row (2002,Cosby; 2001, Christina Tolson; 1999-00, Seilala Sua) and a total of seventimes since 1990. True freshman Briona Reynolds placed 17th (51-2.25).

'There is such a different environment between the NCAA Indoor andOutdoor meets,' said Cosby, who has twice earned All-American Indoor honorsin the shot put (2002, 6th; 2001, 5th). 'At the Outdoor, the stadiums arelarger and the crowds are bigger. I didn't want any of this to get to me, Iwanted to keep my nerves under control (this was Cosby's first NCAA Outdoor,she redshirted outdoors in 2001). I have trained hard all year. I had tofocus on what I had to do, I wanted to do something pretty big to contributeto our team. I was excited after the big (winning) throw, but I couldn'tcelebrate because I knew there were some throwers in flight two who couldbeat it. It's such a great feeling. The Pac-10 meet (she placed second in theshot put, 54-1) and the NCAA Indoor didn't turn out like I wanted. All that'sforgotten. I feel so good right now, I can't describe the feeling.' Cosby isfrom Mission Hills and prepped at Cleveland HS.

Triple Jump-freshman Candice Baucham, who placed third in this event at thePac-10 meet, was 18th in the final, with a mark of 40-4

Track Finals
400m- freshman Monique Henderson placed seventh in the final, with a time of52.31, picking up two points for the Bruin women. UCLA's major competitor forthe women's team crown, South Carolina, picked up 19 points in this event,finishing second, third and fourth.

1500m-sophomore Lena Nilsson picked up 10 team points for the Bruin women,winning the 1500m, in a time of 4:12.60. She came into the meet with thenation's top collegiate time (4:14.11) and her winning time and personal-bestof 4:12.60 is No. 2 in school history, trailing only Francie Larrieu's4:10.3, 1974. Nilsson becomes UCLA's fifth individual title winner at thismeet, tying an NCAA women's Outdoor meet record (joining three other schoolswho also had five individual champions at an NCAA Outdoor meet-LSU 1993-96;Florida 1992 and Florida State 1984). Under the tutelage of Bruin distancecoach Eric Peterson, this is Nilsson's second NCAA title this year (at the2002 NCAA Indoor, Nilsson ran on UCLA's winning distance medley relay).

'(Shalene) Flanagan (North Carolina) took the lead (which is what weexpected) and I just followed,' Nilsson said. 'That was our plan. I was justplanning on trying to kick the last 60 because these straightaways feelpretty long- compared to at least the straightaways we have at UCLA, whichare pretty short. I was just planning on going the last 60m and going for thefinish line. If you do it earlier, the straightaways are so long that peoplecan actually catch you. Coming into the last straightaway, I felt and I heardthe crowd. I kind of saw (Heather) Sagan (Liberty) coming behind me and I waslike 'it's time to go.' When I went for the finish line, that was my focus.'

4 x 400m relay- Going into the final race, South Carolina was the team leaderwith 72 points, followed by UCLA (66) and USC (56). South Carolina won the 4X 400m relay (3:26.46), with Texas second (3:27.05) and UCLA (senior BunmiOgunleye, sophomore Adia McKinnon, sophomore Sheena Johnson and freshmanMonique Henderson) third (3:28.79). The Bruins picked up six team points (toSouth Carolina's 10) and finished second in the team scoring (with 72 points)to South Carolina's first-place standing of 82 points. It's the second timein three days UCLA has broken the old school record in the 4 X 400m relay. OnThursday, the Bruin relay had the fastest qualifying time in a new schoolrecord time of 3:28.58 (breaking the old mark of 3:29.41, 1999.

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