Tiffany Burgess Has Toe Surgery, Ends Her Collegiate Career

April 30, 2003

UCLA senior Tiffany Burgess, whose 800m time of 2:04.54 is No. 5 on the current U. S. list, last Friday (April 25) had toe surgery. The six-to-eight week healing process and following rehabilitation means she will miss the upcoming Pac-10, NCAA Regional and NCAA Outdoor Championships, ending her outstanding Bruin collegiate career as one of the nation's top young, middle distance runners.

Burgess, who prepped at Van Nuys Birmingham HS, fractured the big toe on her right foot on April 19, running in the invitational 800m at the Mt. SAC Relays. Burgess was leading the race after the final turn (when she suffered the injury) and finished in sixth-place with a time of 2:04.62.

Burgess ran her season-best 800m mark of 2:04.54 on April 5, winning the event at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational, held at Drake Stadium. During her Bruin career, Burgess was an NCAA Champion, running on UCLA's winning distance medley relay at the 2002 NCAA Indoor. She also earned NCAA Indoor All-American honors in 2003 (800m) and again in 2002 (4 X 400m relay). During the 2002 outdoor season, Burgess held the UCLA school record in the 800m (personal-best 2:03.73, May 4) for several months, until teammate Lena Nilsson established the new school mark of 2:02.26 on Aug. 13.

'I would be hard-pressed to identify an athlete in our program over the last four years that has grown more as a student-athlete than Tiffany Burgess,' said UCLA distance coach Eric Peterson. 'She started as a walkon athlete, running 2:17 in the 800m and has developed into one of the nation's top, young 800m runners. Losing her is a blow to our team and so very disappointing for Tiffany. Prior to the injury, she was running at an all-time high level and was very excited for the upcoming postseason. The good news is this is not a career-threatening injury, and her future as a national class runner is very bright.'

Jeanette Bolden's UCLA women's team is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation by Trackwire. Last Saturday (April 26), the Bruin women defeated USC in the traditional dual meet 104-59 (it was the Bruins' 11th consecutive victory over the Trojans).

UCLA will have it's final home dual meet of the 2003 outdoor season on Saturday (May 3), hosting the UCLA Invitational (field events, 9 a.m./track events 11 a.m./concludes at 3:30 p.m. with the 4 X 400m relays).

After the UCLA Invitational, every remaining major outdoor collegiate meet for the Bruins will be held in the State of California. USC will host the Pac-10 Championships (May 17-18), Stanford is hosting the NCAA Regional Championships (May 30-31) and CS Sacramento will host the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 11-14).

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