14 Bruin Men Heading to Sacramento for NCAA Outdoor Championships
May 31, 2005
The No. 15 Bruin men will be well represented at the NCAA Outdoor Championships next week as 14 athletes will head to Sacramento State to compete June 8-11 for a national title.
UCLA automatically qualified eight athletes to the NCAA meet last weekend at the West Region Championships. The top-five finishers in each event were rewarded with an automatic entry into Nationals, while the top six through eight finishers had to wait and see if their performances would help them gain entrance into the meet. Athletes who finished in the sixth, seventh and eighth positions were considered for the at-large spots based on the national descending order list.
Bruin athletes who automatically qualified for the NCAA meet were - junior Craig Everhart (400m), senior Jon Rankin (800m/1500m), junior Martell Munguia (800m), junior Erik Emilsson (steeplechase), senior Tony Golston (110m hurdles), sophomore Brandon Johnson (400m hurdles), senior Jonathan Williams (400m hurdles), and junior Jeremy Silverman (shot put).
On Tuesday, the NCAA field was set, adding six more Bruin men to the championship field - 4x400m relay of Everhart, Johnson and seniors Denye' Versher and Mario Bassani, junior David Murphy (pole vault), freshman John Caulfield (shot put), freshman Greg Garza (discus), and Ely Dial (javelin).
Everhart placed third at the West Region in the 400m and has the 13th fastest mark going into NCAA's (45.87). The men's 4x400m relay team that finished fourth at regionals heads to Sacramento with the 10th fastest time (3:04.11). In the 400m hurdles, Johnson and Williams finished first and third respectively, and head to nationals with the fifth (49.18) and sixth (49.67) fastest times in the country.
Senior Jon Rankin will solely compete in the 1500m in Sacramento after a successful 800m/1500m season. He is the 2005 West Region and Pac-10 Champion in the 1500m and the runner-up in the 800m at regionals and conference. Rankin has the second fastest time in the country in the 1500m and will surely battle for a title.
On the decision of having Rankin only race in the 1500m at Nationals:
'We decided to put all of Jon's energy into the 1500m because that is the race we aimed for all year,' said Distance Coach Eric Peterson. 'The number of meets we compete in has reduced and having him run in both the 800m/1500m late in the season helped his training, and also helped us pick up team points in the championship meets.'
Junior Martell Munguia, who placed fourth in the 800m at regionals will head to NCAA Outdoor with the 15th fastest time (1:48.14) in the nation. Junior Erik Emilsson, the fifth-place finisher in the steeple at West Region, is ranked eighth (8:40.40) out of all competitors.
In the pole vault, only one vaulter will head to Sacramento, junior David Murphy, after his eighth-place finish in Oregon. Three-time All-American and 2005 Pac-10 Champion, Yoo Kim, no heighted at the regional meet and is not eligible for Nationals. Murphy is ranked 20th going into Nationals with a jump of 17-0.75.
Four throwers will head to Sacramento to round out the field event competitors. Junior Jeremy Silverman gained an automatic bid to NCAA's with a fourth-place finish in the shot put and heads to Sacramento with the ninth best throw (63-11.50). Freshman John Caulfield, the sixth-place finisher in the shot, will head to Nationals with the 19th best throw (62-1.75). In the discus throw, freshman Greg Garza picked up an at-large spot with his eighth-place finish in the discus. Garza ranks 17th going into the meet. Senior Ely Dial also earned an at-large spot with his sixth-place finish in the javelin at regionals, and heads to Sacramento with the 25th best mark (210-8).