Bruin Great O'Hara Vaults Personal-Best 15-1 at Payton Jordan Meet; Perry Wins 100m Hurdles
May 31, 2005
UCLA great Tracy O'Hara won the pole vault last weekend at the Payton Jordan U. S. Open at Stanford University's Cobb Track & Angell Field. She was one of several Bruin alumni who performed well at the meet.
On Monday, O'Hara, who won three NCAA titles during her Bruin career (2002 Outdoor; 2000 Outdoor/Indoor) won the pole vault with a personal-best 15-1, the second-best mark in the world this year. Only Stacy Dragila, Mary Sauer and Kellie Suttle have jumped higher in U. S. history.
'This is definitely huge for me,' O'Hara said. 'I have more in me. I don't want to set limits. I think I can jump 16-6.'
Other Bruin greats who competed in the two-day meet included -
-100m Hurdles - Michelle Perry, who competed for the U. S. last summer at the Athens Olympics in the heptathlon, set a lifetime best of 12.65, winning the hurdles. Her performance is the second-fastest by an American this year.
With her win in the 100m hurdles at the Payton Jordan Open, Perry moved into second-place in the race for the women's Visa Championship. During the USA T & F 2005 Outdoor Visa Championship series, American athletes will compete not only for more than $1 million in prize and athlete support money, they will also be racing toward their share of a combined $100,000 jackpot and other prizes for the Visa Championship. The male and female athlete with the top overall single performances in the 2005 Visa Championship series will be named Visa Champion and receive a $25,000 bonus to assist them on their journey to achieve their athletic goals.
'I got out so late, I'm happy with the win,' said Perry, who is this week's USA Today.com U. S. Olympic Athlete of the Week. 'The strong part of my race is the last five hurdles. I'm not going to do a heptathlon until the Nationals. I think there's a good balance between the two (events).'
-Discus - Two-time Olympian and four-time national champion Seilala Sua won the discus, with a season-best 199-7, beating former Bruin teammate and two-time Olympian Suzy Powell, who placed second (196-5).
'I'm happy because I got a season-best,' said Sua, who during her Bruin career (1997-2000) won seven NCAA Outdoor/Indoor throwing titles. 'I haven't been throwing near of what I am capable of. I'm now building toward the 200-foot mark. My training is getting better. I'm working toward U. S. Nationals.'
In men's competition at the Payton Jordan U. S. Open, John Godina continues to dominate in the shot put. The 2005 USA Indoor winner with the longest throw in the world (personal-best 72-10) this outdoor season, Godina won the shot put (71-11.50) on Monday.