Leach and Johnson Qualify for World Championship Team
June 24, 2007
Former Bruin and NCAA Champion Sheena Johnson and current NCAA Champion Nicole Leach earned spots on Team USA for the World Championships in Osaka on the final day of the USATF Senior National Championships in Indianapolis, IN. In all, UCLA will have six senior women at the World Championships and two incoming freshmen on the PanAm Junior team.
Johnson finished second in the 400, hurdles in a time of 53.29, .01 seconds shy of the first-place spot. Leach finished just behind Johnson in a time of 54.49. This will be Leach's first roster spot for a senior meet.
'It hasn't hit me yet,' said Leach. 'What it means is more hard work. This means a lot to me. I had to run my own race. If I didn't run my own race my coach would have killed me.'
Also on Sunday, former Bruin Chelsea Johnson finished in fifth-place, just missing a spot on the world team with a mark of 14-3.25. Incoming frosh and high school record holder Tori Anthony (who won the junior title on Friday), finished in a tie for ninth with former Bruin Tracy O'Hara (13-9.25).
Heading to Osaka in late August-early September are Amy Acuff (high jump), Suzy Powell (discus), Michelle Perry (100mH), Jessica Cosby (hammer), Sheena Johnson (400mH) and Nicole Leach (400mH). Heading to Brazil in July for the PanAm Junior Games are Ke'Nyia Richardson (triple jump) and Tori Anthony (pole vault).