Junior Lena Nilsson Wins Indoor 800m Title

March 15, 2003

Fayetteville, AR - At the conclusion of the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Coach Jeanette Bolden's Bruin women tied eighth, scoring 24.

The women's title was won by LSU, the defending NCAA Indoor champions, which scored 62 points for the victory. South Carolina and Florida tied for second, each scoring 44 points. North Carolina was fourth (38), Texas was fifth (35), Stanford was sixth (32), Auburn was seventh (29) and UCLA and Indiana tied for eighth, each scoring 24 points.

Bruin Women - Results (Saturday, March 15, 2003)

In the women's 20-lb. weight throw final, junior Cari Soong had a career day. Soong placed third, scoring six points for the Bruins, with a personal best throw of 67-4.75 (20.54m). Soong earned indoor All-America honors and also broke up a Florida sweep of the event. Florida had five of the top-six finishers. Erin Gilreath won the event with a throw of 72-3.75 (22.04m), Jukina Dickerson was second at 67-10.75 (20.69m), LaQuanda Cotton was fourth (66-11.25/20.40m), Kim Barrett was fifth (66-10.50/20.38m) and Merilyn Brown was sixth (66-1.75/20.16m).

In the 800m final, Lena Nilsson (Vallentuna, SWE/Vallentuna Gymnasium) captured her first NCAA indoor individual title, winning in 2:05.13. Nilsson scored 10 points for the Bruins. It is her third NCAA title (2002-outdoor 1500m, indoor distance medley relay) and second indoor All-America honor, third overall.

Junior Tiffany Burgess, who ran the third fastest qualifying time in the 800m (2:05.56), finished eighth in 2:09.51, scoring a point for the Bruins. She also earned the third indoor All-America honor of her career (2002-indoor 4x400m relay, distance medley relay).

Nilsson on winning the NCAA 800m crown: 'It was nice to win the 800m tonight. After the prelims yesterday [Nilsson was the final qualifier for the finals after running 2:08.59], I was so sure that I wasn't going to make the final. I had never been in that kind of position before. Once I had a second chance, I was going to run as best as I could. '

In the final of the 3000m run, Nilsson placed 13th in 9:30.73. The event was won the Shalane Flanagan of North Carolina, who finished in 9:01.05.

In the pole vault, freshman Chelsea Johnson (Atascadero, CA/Atascadero) placed 11th with a vault of 13-3.50 (4.05m). Sophomore Jamie Kolar (Atascadero, CA/Atascadero) placed 17th with a vault of 12-5.50 (3.80m).

In the 4x400m relay, the Bruin squad of Adia McKinnon (Flossmoor, IL/Homewood-Flossmoor), Sheena Johnson (Stafford, VA/Garfield), Hasani Roseby (Las Vegas, NV/Monterey, CA HS) and Monique Henderson (San Diego, CA/Morse) placed fourth, scoring five points, in 3:33.24. Texas won the 4x400m relay title in 3:27.66, a new NCAA Indoor Championships record.

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