Johnson and Williams Earn All-American Honors in 400m Hurdles

June 11, 2005

Sacramento, CA - Sophomore Brandon Johnson and senior Jonathan Williams capped off UCLA's NCAA Outdoor National Championships with All-American finishes in the 400m hurdles on Saturday as Johnson finished fourth and Williams was seventh.

The Bruin men finished tied for 33rd overall (out of 71 scoring teams) with eight points, while Arkansas won the meet with a total of 60 points.

Final Team Scores: 1. Arkansas, 60 points; 2. Florida, 49 points; 3. LSU, 36 points; 4. BYU, 34 points; 4. Florida State, 34 points.

Johnson, running in lane seven, ran a lifetime-best 48.59 to finish fourth overall, while Williams, running in lane two, finished seventh with a time of 49.76. Williams's 49.76 was the second fastest time he has ever run in his career.

Johnson on his run: 'I'm pretty happy because I finally pr'd this season. I wanted to run in the 47's like the other guys, but I'll take fourth-place any day opposed to not making the finals last year.'

At last year's NCAA Championships, Johnson finished 17th overall and did not advance to the finals. He did earn All-American honors with the 4x400m relay team that placed seventh overall.

Last season at NCAA Outdoor, Williams finished 11th overall in the 400m hurdles and did not advance to the finals in that event.

Williams on his first All-American honor: 'It feels so good. I wish I could have come in harder down the stretch, but my hamstring was cramping.'

This is the first All-American hurdle honors for any of Sprint Coach Tony Veney's athletes. Veney, a second-year coach at UCLA, coached the Bruins to All-American honors in the 4x400m relay at last year's NCAA Outdoor meet, as well as helped coach UCLA to a second-place finish in the DMR at this year's NCAA Indoor.

'I think that both Brandon and Jonathan put forth great effort in today's race,' said Veney.

On Brandon Johnson: 'Brandon wanted to run faster and finish in the top-2, but he still pr'd and I'm pleased with how courageous he was.'

On Jonathan Williams: 'Yesterday Jon was cramping and the trainers worked on him to get him ready for today's race. Even with the cramping, he ran the second-fastest performance of his career and that is a gutsy performance.

On both: 'This is the first ever championship final for both Brandon and Jonathan and I'm pleased with their maturity and ability to stay focused during this whole process.'

Both Johnson and Williams plan to continue their season at the USATF Senior National meet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA June 23-26.

It was the first individual All-American accolade for both men and the second and third athletes for UCLA to garner All-American honors at this year's meet. Johnson and Williams join junior Erik Emilsson as 2005 NCAA Outdoor All-Americans.

In yesterday's steeplechase final, junior Erik Emilsson earned his first All-American honor of his career after an eighth-place finish. Emilsson dropped his lifetime-best by six seconds during the national competition (old best 8:40.40), running 8:37.07 in the semifinals and 8:34.80 in the final race. He picked up the first points for the Bruins at this year's NCAA Outdoor meet.

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