Women's Track Alumni Make Presence Felt At USA Senior And Junior Track & Field Championships
June 24, 2002
Individual event winners by UCLA alumni Gail Devers in the 100m hurdles,Shelia Burrell in the heptathlon and Mebrahtom Keflezighi in the 10,000mhighlighted the recently concluded (Friday-Sunday, June 21-23) USA Seniorand Junior Track & Field Championships held at Stanford University's CobbTrack and Angell Field.
This was the first time in USA Track & Field history the Senior andJunior (between the ages of 14-19 in the calendar year 2002) national meetswere held on same dates at the same site.
Athletes who won their individual events (Devers/Burrell/Keflezighi)in the Senior meet will earn a spot on the Team USA roster for the 2002IAAF World Cup in Athletics, Sept. 21-22 in Madrid, Spain. The Junior Meet(top two finishers; Monique Henderson, 400m/Briona Reynolds, SP/JeremySilverman, SP) will serve as the selection competition for the 2002 WorldJunior T & F Championships, July 16-21 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Current Bruin Women at the Senior Meet
UCLA had four women competing in the Senior meet:
-senior Darnesha Griffith (Santa Margarita/Trabuco HS) was fifth inthe high jump (5-10.75). In 2002, Griffith became the fifth woman in NCAAhistory to win both the NCAA Outdoor (6-0) and Indoor (6-0.75) high jumpcrowns in the same season.
-senior Tracy O'Hara (San Diego/Rancho Bernardo) finished fifth inthe pole vault (13-9.25). In 2002 as a senior, even though slowed by achronic lower back injury, O'Hara won her third NCAA title, by winning theOutdoor vault with a mark of 13-9.25. During her outstanding Bruin career,she won three NCAA crowns, including the 2000 NCAA Outdoor/Indoorchampionships as a sophomore, three consecutive (1999-01) Pac-10 titles andset both the NCAA Outdoor (14-7.25, 2000) and Indoor (14-6, 2000, sincebroken) women's pole vault records.
-senior Bunmi Ogunleye (Long Beach Poly) was eighth in the long jump(19-9.50). As a senior this spring, Ogunleye at the 2002 NCAA Outdoor,placed 11th (20-1) in the long jump and ran the first leg on UCLA's 4 X400m relay that placed third (3:28.79; in qualifying, the Bruins ran aschool-record 3:28.58).
-junior Tiffany Burgess (Van Nuys/Birmingham HS), in 800m qualifying,ran a 2:11.97 and did not qualify for the final. Burgess had an outstandingjunior campaign in 2002. She entered the NCAA Outdoor with the nation'sfastest collegiate 800m time (2:03.73, school record) and placed second inthe 800m at the Pac-10. At the NCAA Indoor, Burgess ran on UCLA winningdistance medley relay (first leg (1200m), 10:58.19) and earned All-Americanon the Bruin 4 X 400m relay (third leg, fifth-place, 3:36.59). In crosscountry last fall, she helped the Bruin women qualify as a team to the NCAAChampionships.
Current Bruin Women at the Junior Meet
The Bruins had seven women in the Junior meet. With their finishes atthe 2002 USA Junior Championships, freshmen Monique Henderson (400m) andBriona Reynolds (shot put) will represent the U. S. at the upcoming WorldJunior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica.
-freshman Monique Henderson (San Diego/Morse) finished second in the400m (51.52; in qualifying, she had the fastest time of the day, 53.10).The final was won by Sanya Richards (from St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Florida,who will be a freshman this fall at Texas) in a time of 50.69 (breakingHenderson's Junior National record of 50.74 set in 2000). As a truefreshman this season, Henderson won one NCAA title (Indoor-distance medleyrelay, second leg (400m), 10:58.19) and three All-American honors(Outdoor-400m, seventh-place, 52.31, 4 X 400m relay, anchor, third-place,3:28.79; Indoor-4 X 400m relay, second leg, fifth-place, 3:36.59).
-freshman Briona Reynolds (Grand Forks, ND/Red River HS), finishedsecond in the shot put (54-2, ties personal-best) and third in the discus(164-11). In 2002 as a true frosh, Reynolds at the NCAA Outdoor earnedAll-American honors by placing ninth in the discus (171-9, top eightAmericans).
-freshman Carolyn Shea (Waterville, ME HS) placed sixth in the 3000msteeplechase (11:16.70). This spring as a true frosh at the Pac-10 meet,Shea finished sixth in the steeple (11:02.18).
-freshman Candice Baucham (Inglewood/Long Beach Poly), placed seventh inthe triple jump (39-2.25) and tied for 17th in the long jump (16-10.50). In2002 as a true freshman, Baucham at the NCAA Outdoor finished 18th (40-4)in the triple jump and at the Pac-10, was third in the triple jump(42-3.25) and 10th in the long jump (18-8.50).
-freshman Alejandra Barrientos (Felton/San Lorenzo Valley) placedninth in the 1500m (4:33.79). At this spring's Pac-10 meet, Barrientos wasfifth in the 1500m (4:26.95, personal-best).
-freshman Jamie Kolar (Long Beach Poly) finished 10th in the polevault (11-5.75).
-freshman Caroline Sommers (Westlake Village/Agoura HS) no-heightedin the high jump.
Bruin Women Alumni at the Senior Meet
The UCLA women alumni were led by champions, Gail Devers and SheliaBurrell. Devers won the 100m hurdles (12.51) and Burrell triumphed in theheptathlon (6,299 points, stadium record). With their victories, Devers andBurrell will represent the U. S. at the upcoming IAAF World Cup inAthletics.
For Devers, a three-time world champion in the event, she won hereighth USA sprint hurdle title in a world-best mark of 12.51.
For Burrell, it was her second USA heptathlon victory (also in 1999).She is the defending bronze medalist in the World Championships and is aPan American Games silver medalist. Burrell also competed in the 100mhurdles but did not advance to the final.
Also competing were past Bruin greats:
-Seilala Sua, the defending champion in both the shot put and discus,placed second in the shot put (60-8, personal-best) and fourth in thediscus (205-3). Sua was the four-time champion in the discus. During herBruin career, Sua won seven NCAA throwing titles, including six Outdoors,making her the winningest Outdoor champion in women's history.
-Suzy Powell, the current U. S. record-holder (227-10) in the discus,placed second (205-3) in the event.
-Amy Acuff, the defending champion, placed third in the high jump(6-2.75). While at UCLA, Acuff won five NCAA high jump titles.
-Marieke (Veltman) Miller placed 15th in the long jump (19-1.50).
-Bisa Grant ran a 13.04 in 100m hurdle qualifying and did not advanceto thefinal.