Watkins And Leach One Step Closer To Defending NCAA Titles

June 11, 2008

Juniors Nicole Leach and Rhonda Watkins are one step closer to defending their respective NCAA crowns as the duo highlighted Bruin competitors on day one of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, IA. Although the meet was delayed for two hours due to severe weather which featured heavy rain, lightning, thunder and winds, blue skies and sunshine came through in the afternoon allowing the competition to take place.

Leach was the No. 1 qualifier in the 400m hurdles with her time of 56.75 and will run in the semifinal round on Thursday. Watkins jumped an automatic qualifier of 20-8.25 to tie for third in the long jump and will defend her NCAA title on Thursday.

In the pole vault, junior Katy Viuf was the sole qualifier into the final as the former Bruin cheerleader cleared 13-5.25 on her first attempt to move on to Friday's final. Sophomore Tori Pena and freshman Tori Anthony tied for 15th with equal clearances of 13-1.50 and do not advance to the final.

In preliminary running events, senior Jolanda Diego finished 24th in the 100m as she posted a time of 12.13 as she ran into a -4.4 wind. Sophomore Krishna Curry missed a spot in the semifinals of the 800m by one spot as she finished 17th in a time of 2:08.69.

In the high jump, senior Keneisha Creary tied for 17th (5-8.50), while senior Allison Miller no heighted. Senior Renee Williams tied for 21st with her mark of 20-2.25.

Competition continues on Thursday with the finals of the long jump, the semifinals of the 400m hurdles, the first round of the high hurdles and 200m and the semifinals of the 4x400m relay.

Event Results (*=advances to next round or field event final)

100m - 24. Jolanda Diego, 12.13 (w-6.4)

800m - 17. Krishna Curry, 2:08.69

400m Hurdles - 1. Nicole Leach, 56.75*

High Jump - 17T. Keneisha Creary, 5-8.50/1.74m; Allie Miller-NH

Long Jump - 3T. Rhonda Watkins, 21-8.25/6.61m*; 21T. Renee Williams, 20-2.25/6.15m

Pole Vault - 1T. Katy Viuf, 13-5.25/4.10m*; 15. Tori Pena, 13-1.50/4.00m; 15T. Tori Anthony, 13-1.50/4.00m

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