#14 Bruins Ready to Battle USC for Dual Meet Crown This Weekend
April 25, 2007
The No. 14-ranked men's and women's track and field teams will travel crosstown to take on rival USC for the annual dual meet showdown. The women have won the last 14 meetings, while the men have won five straight over the Trojans. Competition begins Friday afternoon with the hammer throw at West LA College. The rest of the meet will be held on the campus of USC on Saturday, beginning at 11:00 am. FSN will televise the meet live from 12:00 pm until around 3:30 pm.
No member of this year's men's team has ever lost to USC in the dual meet, and the Bruins will look to continue that tradition as a strong team will compete this weekend. UCLA is led by the vaulters and discus throwers, who have each qualified six athletes to the regional meet. Mike Landers leads the group as the No. 2 vaulter in the country. Greg Garza (#5) and Darius Savage (#6), along with John Caulfield (#22) are some of the top discus throwers in the country and will look to own the ring on Saturday.
Brandon Johnson, who ran his first intermediate hurdles race in over a year last weekend in San Diego, currently ranks fifth in the country and will look to move up in the national rankings while winning his event. He will also bolster the 4x400m relay team.
In the jumps, Terrence Austin will make his UCLA debut in the high jump as he will finish spring ball on Friday. Austin hasn't competed in track and field since the CA state meet last June, but will add needed points towards the team title.
The distance runners have incredible depth and are led by Austin Ramos. Several Bruins will run in multiple events to help pick up points in all disciplines.
The last two meetings between the two rivals were decided by three points or less (83-80 in 2005 and 2006), and this year looks to be just as close.
The Bruins are riding a 14 meet win streak and this year the Bruins will look to extend that number to 15. UCLA has skill, talent and depth in all areas and will be a formidable opponent for the Trojans this weekend.
Nicole Leach leads UCLA in the sprints as she will make her 2007 debut in the intermediate hurdles. She is also slated to run the 400m and on the relays.
The Bruins have an incredible amount of talent in the jumps events highlighted by vaulters Jacqueline Nguyen, Ingrid Kantola and Megan Jamerson, along with jumpers Rhonda Watkins, Keneisha Creary and Renee Williams.
All three vaulters currently rank in the top-10 in the country and Saturday's vault title is clearly up for grabs between any of these women.
Watkins, the No. 1-ranked jumper in the nation and fifth-best jumper in the world will compete in both the high and long jump. She also ranks in the top-10 in the country in the high jump.
Williams is a double threat in the long and triple jump and had a breakout meet against USC last season. She ranks in the top-10 in the long jump and top-15 in the triple jump in the nation this season. Creary is another double threat in the high and triple jump and could vie for a title this weekend.
In the throws, Kamaiya Warren leads the women as the 12th-best shot putter in the country.
Last year, the Bruins won by a score of 90-73, and UCLA will look for a similar outcome this weekend.
DON'T FORGET - YOU CAN WATCH THE MEET LIVE ON FSN ON SATURDAY FROM 12:00 PM TO 3:30 PM
TOMORROW | 7:30pm PTLive