Caulfield, Landers and Griffin Highlight the Bruin Men's Track Team on Final Day of RJ/JJK Invite
April 14, 2007
Mike Landers, John Caulfield and Stan Griffin highlighted the UCLA men's track and field team on the final day of the fifth annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational as all three posted wins in their respective events.
Landers won the pole vault with a mark of 17-3, just 3.5 inches shy of his season-best 17-6.50. Caulfield won the shot put with a season-best and regional qualifying throw of 61-10.25 as the junior moved to No. 5 on the national list. Griffin won the 200m in a season-best time of 21.31.
Saturday's meet also marked the return of senior All-American Brandon Johnson after nearly a year off from injury. Johnson, who ran a 1:50.85 800m at the Cal/Nevada meet a few weeks ago, returned to the scene of last season's fateful 4x400m relay in which he tore his hamstring in the final leg of the relay race. Johnson was the lead-off leg for the relay on Saturday, running a 46.6 split as the Bruins finished second in a season-best and regional qualifying time of 3:09.74. Next week at the UCSD Triton Invitational, Johnson is scheduled to open up in the intermediate hurdles.
The meet also saw multi-faceted super-frosh David Klech compete in the hurdles, long and high jump after having made his debut in the high hurdles in Friday's open meet. Klech finished fourth in the high jump with a mark of 6-8.75 and also in the long jump with a mark of 22-1.
Also in the pole vault, junior Chris Bencomo cleared a lifetime-best 16-11, improving on his regional qualifying mark. Senior David Murphy also cleared that height to improve on his regional qualifier and post a new season-best vault.
Junior Zack Miller, who has been out all of the outdoor season due to a hand injury suffered in practice, competed for the first time on Saturday as he finished seventh in the vault with a mark of 16-1.25.
In the discus, junior Greg Garza finished second with a fine throw of 192-0, while Caulfield (185-1, 5th) and senior Jason Rider (179-9, 7th) threw season-bests to improve on their regional qualifiers.
Freshman Darius Savage threw a two-foot season-best in the shot put, finishing second overall with an improved regional mark of 57-6.25.
In the triple jump, freshman Steven Taylor jumpd a season-best 48-3.50 to place second overall.
For the second straight day, freshman Darius Reed competed in the high hurdles as he finished second on Saturday in a time of 14.11 (just .02 shy of his lifetime-best, 14.09).
In the 800m, freshman Marlon Patterson ran just off of his lifetime-best (1:52.09), finishing second overall in a time of 1:52.77.
In the mile race, junior Austin Ramos and sophomore Laef Barnes ran lifetime-bests to finish third (4:03.78) and fourth overall (4:05.00). Ramos, who is primarily a long distance runner, dropped down to the four lap race and put on quite a performance. Barnes, who won the 5000m in a lifetime-best run last night, showed incredible strength in coming back to run the mile on Saturday.
The Bruins will head down south to La Jolla, CA and the UCSD Triton Invitational next Friday and Saturday as the regular outdoor season is nearing the finish.
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