UCLA Women to Compete in Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee T & F Invitational Friday/Saturday

March 31, 2003

UCLA will host the first annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on Friday/Saturday (April 4-5) at Drake Stadium. The meet will highlight some of the nation's top professional and collegiate athletes.

Johnson and Joyner-Kersee are two of the greatest Bruin athletes in history. Johnson won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. As a Bruin, he was an all-around track & field athlete under Ducky Drake and a two-year (1958-59) letterman in basketball under John Wooden. Johnson is the director of the Southern California Special Olympics.

Joyner-Kersee is the world record-holder in the heptathlon (7,291), American record-holder in the long jump (24-7) and was named by Sports Illustrated for Women the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century. In Olympic competition, JJK won six medals, including three gold (1992 heptathlon/1988 heptathlon-long jump). As a Bruin, JJK was a two-time 1982-83 national collegiate champion in the heptathlon and a four-year (1980-83, 1984-85) starter on the UCLA women's basketball team.

Rafer Johnson/JJK Invitational
World-class athletes competing include - Bruin great John Godina, who recently placed second in the shot put at the 2003 World Indoor meet; former USC standout Felix Sanchez, running for the Dominican Republic, who for the last two years has been ranked No. 1 in the world in the 400m hurdles; Tyree Washington, the 2003 World and USA Indoor 400m champion and Eunice Barber, competing for France, who in 1999 won the world heptathlon crown.

Bruin standouts also competing include - junior Lena Nilsson, who recently won the 800m at the 2003 NCAA Indoor; senior Chaniqua Ross, the 2002 NCAA Outdoor discus champion; sophomore Jessica Cosby, the 2002 NCAA Outdoor shot put champion, senior Scott Wiegand, the 2002 Pac-10 shot put champion and junior Dan Ames, who recently earned All-American honors in both the shot put and 35lb. weight throw at the 2003 NCAA Indoor.

Last weekend (March 28-30), the Bruin women and men competed at the Stanford Invitational and the Rainbow Relays in Honolulu.

Bruin Women
Rainbow Relays

At the Rainbow Relays (March 28-29), the Bruin women were led by sophomore Candice Baucham and freshman Dawn Harper. Baucham won the long jump (18-00.25), triple jump (41-7.25) and ran the opening leg of the Bruins' 800m sprint relay, which won in 1:46.44. Harper won the collegiate open 100m in 12.38, placed second in the 100m hurdles in a NCAA Regional Qualifying 13.76 and ran the second leg of the victorious 800m sprint relay.

Other Bruin winners were freshman pole vaulter Chelsea Johnson, who won with a vault of 11-8.50 and sophomore shot putter Jessica Cosby, who threw a NCAA Regional Qualifying 52-7.25. The 800m sprint relay squad of Baucham, Harper, Dana Bethel and Hasani Roseby won in 1:46.44.

Bethel placed second in both the college open 100m (12.73) and long jump (17-2). Freshman Sheena Gordon placed third in the high jump with a NCAA Regional Qualifying jump of 5-7. Jamie Kolar was second in the pole vault at 11-8.50. In the shot put, the Bruins had NCAA Regional Qualifying throws. Briona Reynolds was second (50-3.50), Chaniqua Ross was third (50-2) and Lara Saye was fourth (45-8). And, the distance medley relay of Sheena Johnson, Adia McKinnon, Monique Henderson and Ysanne Williams placed second in 12:49.66,

Stanford Invitational
At the Stanford Invitational (March 28-30), junior Lena Nilsson placed third in the 800m in a NCAA Regional Qualifying 2:07.13. Senior Melissa McBain set a new school record in the 3000m steeplechase, placing sixth in a NCAA Regional Qualifying 10:36.06. In the 1500m, senior Tiffany Burgess placed 11th in a NCAA Regional Qualifying time of 4:27.56. And, in the 10,000m, Valerie Flores was 19th (35:08.05) and Carmen Winant was 20th (35:15.04). Flores' time was No. 6 in school history and Winant's was No. 8 in school history.

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