Bruin Men Pull Out Narrow Victory in Annual Dual Meet; Defeat USC 83-80
April 29, 2006
The UCLA men's track and field team pulled off the narrowest of victories on Saturday afternoon against the USC Trojans, edging the crosstown rival 83-80 for their fifth consecutive dual meet win.
The Bruins' only hope was to sweep the 5000m, pole vault and triple jump after trailing 85-57 with those events and the 4x400m relay to go. UCLA did just that, going on a 27-0 run to ice the win prior to the 1600m relay. Backed by huge performances in all event groups, the Bruins pulled out the win and now trail USC only 39-34 in career match-ups.
Junior David Shortenhaus started off the day with a huge lifetime-best throw in the javelin to finish second with a throw of 204-5. He then capped off the day with a lifetime-best jump in the pole vault of 17-0.75 to lead a Bruin sweep in the vault. Junior Mike Landers and sophomore Zack Miller finished second and third as both cleared 16-6.75. All three were regional qualifying marks.
Senior Demetre Howard capped off his final home meet as a Bruin in impressive fashion, winning the triple jump with a lifetime-best and regional qualifying leap of 51-5.50 on his last jump to lead the Bruin sweep in that event. Sophomore Dominique Easterling was second with a mark of 50-4.50, while sophomore Michael Johnson was third with a jump of 50-0.75.
The Bruins got a one-two finish in the long jump as Easterling jumped a lifetime-best and regional qualifying mark of 24-1 to win the event. Howard equaled his lifetime-best with a jump of 23-0.25 for third.
Sophomore John Caulfield opened up a huge throw of 63-6.25, just two inches shy of his lifetime-best, in the second round of the shot put, icing a Bruin victory in that event. USC's Noah Bryant thought he had Caulfield beat on his second throw, but fell just an inch and a quarter short of the Bruins' mark to finish second.
In the discus, junior Jason Rider had a career day, throwing a new lifetime-best of 186-10 to win that event. Sophomore Greg Garza finished second, just off his lifetime-best by an inch, throwing 185-9.
Freshman Luke Barr finished third in the high jump, equaling his season-best with a mark of 6-6.75.
The Bruins also swept the 3000m steeplechase to start off the running events on Saturday as sophomore Drew Shackleton won the event in 9:28.07. Kyle Shackleton was second in a lifetime-best time of 9:32.45 and sophomore Matt Stollenwerk was third (9:36.40).
Senior Craig Everhart won the 400m in a new season-best time of 45.78, which moves him into a tie for the No. 5 time in college this season. Freshman Elijah Wells placed third with a season-best run of 47.42. Everhart also placed third in the 200m, running a regional qualifying and season-best time of 21.14.
Freshman Kevin Craddock dropped his season-best in the 110m hurdles to 13.94 to finish second overall in that event, but was scratched from the 400m hurdles for precautionary reasons.
Junior Tracy Session stepped up in a big way after Craddock was scratched from the 400m hurdles, running a new lifetime-best and regional qualifying time of 52.32 to finish second overall.
Emilsson finished second in the 1500m, running a season-best 3:49.58, while senior Martell Munguia finished third in the 800m in a new season-best time of 1:49.69.
The Bruins will now prepare for the Pac-10 Championships, which will be held in Eugene, OR. The decathlon competition will be next weekend, while the Pac-10 meet will be May 13-14.