Nilsson Has Big Week-Wins 800m/1500m At Sweden's National Championships

Aug. 19, 2002

UCLA's Lena Nilsson, who will be a junior for the Bruins in 2002-03, last week won two individual titles at Sweden's National Championships and set the school record in the 800m.

On Aug. 17-18 in Gavle at Sweden's National Championships, Nilsson, from Vallentuna, Sweden, won both the 800m (2:04.85, 2:09.66Q) and 1500m (4:17.73) titles. In 2001, Nilsson also won the 1500m crown at the Swedish Nationals.

On Aug. 13 in Malmo, Sweden, Nilsson placed third in an 800m race and her time of 2:02.26 broke the school record of 2:03.73 (set by junior teammate Tiffany Burgess on May 4 in the Bruin women's dual victory over USC at Drake Stadium; Burgess' mark broke the 28-year-old 800m school record of 2:04.73, set by Francie Larrieu, 1974).

Nilsson has had an outstanding outdoor and indoor sophomore campaign. Outdoors, on Aug. 10 at the European Championships in Munich, Germany, Nilsson was the youngest competitor in the 1500m and equaled her school record (4:09.89) in a semi-final heat. On July 6 in Brunswick, ME, she set the school record in the 1500m, breaking Francie Larrieu's mark of 4:10.3, also set in 1974. At the NCAA Outdoor held in Baton Rouge, LA last June, Nilsson won the 1500m (4:12.60). At the Pac-10 meet in May at Pullman, WA, she became only the second athlete in Pac-10 meet history to win both the 800m (2:03.88) and 1500m (4:20.81) and was named the conference Women's T & F Athlete of the Year. Indoors, at the NCAA Indoor held last March in Fayetteville, AR, Nilsson ran the anchor leg (1600m) on UCLA's winning distance medley relay (10:58.19) and placed second (4:38.88, 4:43.16Q) in the mile.

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