Watkins Leaps Past The Competition at West Region Championships

May 25, 2007

Rhonda Watkins had a stellar afternoon in Eugene, OR at the NCAA West Region Championships as the sophomore posted the No. 2 mark in the world this year (22-4.25, wind-legal) to win the long jump competition.

That mark breaks the nearly 20-year old Pac-10 record set back in 1988 by former Bruin Gail Devers (22-2.50) and moves her to No. 2 all-time behind UCLA great Jackie Joyner-Kersee (23-9). The mark also breaks Watkins' own West Region record (21-6), which she jumped in 2006 to win the regional title. It also gives her the World Championships qualifying mark.

UCLA currently stands in second-place with 22 points, while Arizona State leads with 25.

Prelim Results

100m - No entries.

200m - No entries.

400m - Maris Wisdom (53.90) and Johanna Monthe (54.28) both advanced to Saturday's final after running the fourth and fifth fastest times during the preliminary rounds. Wisdom was second in heat one, while Monthe was third in the same heat. Krystin Lacy finished 11th in a time of 55.05 and will not advance to the finals.

800m - No entries.

1500m - Allie Bohannon, who is racing through a knee injury suffered two weeks ago at the Pac-10 meet during a fall in the 800m final, ran a lifetime-best 4:22.30 (old best, 4:23.59) in the 1500m to advance to Saturday's final. She had the ninth-fastest time overall and was fifth in heat two.

5000m - Claire Rethmeier finished 12th in a time of 16:55.38.

100m Hurdles - MacKenzie Hill ran a lifetime-best 13.61 (old best, 13.65) in the prelim rounds of the hurdles to advance to Saturday's final. She had the third-fastest time in heat three, and seventh-fastest time on the day. DeShanta Harris clipped the first few hurdles and did not finish the race.

400m Hurdles - Nicole Leach easily won heat one by over three seconds as she posted the fastest qualifying time of the day (56.86). MacKenzie Hill also qualified for Saturday's final after posting the seventh-fastest time of the day (1:00.15). Hill was third in heat two.

Finals Results

High Jump - Rhonda Watkins earned a spot to the National Championships with her third-place finish in the high jump with a mark of 5-11.25. Keneisha Creary and Maryann Wee both failed to clear a height.

Long Jump - Rhonda Watkins led the way with her winning mark of 22-4.50. Renee Williams also automatically qualified for Nationals with her fourth-place jump of 20-4.50.

Danielle Watson placed 14th with a mark of 19-3.50.

Shot Put - Kamaiya Warren finished 18th with a toss of 46.10.75 and will not receive an at-large bid to NCAA's.

Javelin - Tara Ross finished eighth in the javelin with a throw of 152-5, just nine inches shy of her lifetime-best mark (153-2). She is eligible for an at-large bid to the NCAA meet since she finished in the top-12, but will most likely not get in based on her national rank (44th).

Competition continues on Saturday with all running event finals, as well as the pole vault, triple jump and discus competitions.

Team Standings After 5 Scored Events (top-10 of 21 teams)
1. Arizona State, 25 points; 2. UCLA, 22 points; 3. Stanford, 20 points; 3. Oregon, 20 points; 5. California, 13 points.