Johnson, Caldwell and Leach Advance at NCAA Championships

June 8, 2006

Senior Chelsea Johnson, junior Ashley Caldwell and freshman Nicole Leach each advanced in their respective events at the NCAA Track& Field Championships in Sacramento, CA on Thursday to highlight the Bruin competitors.

Johnson cleared the first hurdle in regaining her NCAA outdoor pole vault title on Thursday, automatically qualifying for Saturday's final with a clearance of 13-5.25. Johnson passed on the first three heights (12-3.50, 12-9.50, 13-1.50) and then cleared automatic mark on her first jump.

Leach notched a lifetime-best in the 400m hurdles to advance to Friday's semifinal, running 56.61 for the second-fastest time of the day (won heat two). Her new best time moves her to No. 9 in Pac-10 history and No. 7 in UCLA school history.

Caldwell ran a lifetime-best in the semifinal of the 1500m to advance to Saturday's final. Caldwell's time of 4:20.15 was the sixth-fastest time in heat one and 11th overall.

Freshman Rhonda Watkins fell short in her first chance for All-American honors after finishing 10th in the long jump final with a mark of x. Watkins could still earn honors in the high jump on Friday.

The 4x400m relay team of junior MacKenzie Hill, freshman Krystin Lacy, sophomore DeShanta Harris and freshman Chanelle Curry placed fifth in heat two and 20th overall, running 3:43.25.

Looking Ahead
Sophomore Renee Williams will compete in the triple jump qualifying at 1:00 pm, while Watkins will go for her second All-American honor on Friday in the high jump final at 3:45 pm. In running events, senior Dawn Harper will go for her seventh and final All-American honor in the 100m hurdles (5:00 pm), while Leach will run in the 400m hurdle semifinal at 6:10 pm.

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