2005 USA T & F Championships/Home Depot Center/Carson, CA/Day One Women's Results
June 24, 2005
UCLA highlights following the first day (June 23) of competition at the 2005 USA Track & Field Championships included - Bruin great Amy Acuff winning the high jump, four-time U. S. Champion Seilala Sua placing second in the discus and UCLA senior Monique Henderson advancing in the 400m.
The concluding event of USA T & F's 2005 Visa Championship Series, the meet, which ends Sunday, hosts more than 1000 athletes as they compete for the right to represent Team USA at the 2005 World Outdoor T & F Championships, Aug. 6-14 in Helsinki, Finland (top three finishers in the final events will make the U. S. team).
In the high jump final, Acuff won the fifth women's USA outdoor championship of her career, with a leap of 6-2.75. During her Bruin career (1994-97), Acuff won five NCAA Outdoor and Indoor high jump titles.
'My goal was to come out and clear the height,' said Acuff. 'Everyone seemed to be a little off so I snuck in there and won. I was glad they went up 5 cm. That worked to my advantage.'
On last month's foot injury at the Adidas Track Classic: 'I tore some ligaments inmy take-off ankle at the adidas meet,' she said. 'It was really touch and go, it really came down to the wire, being able to jump at this meet. I'm really lucky that I was able to jump here, and I can't believe I won the meet. I was just hoping to clear the bar here.'On World Championships and being prepared: 'I think I have plenty of time to get everything in order for World Championships,' Acuff said. 'I look forward to competing healthy and getting back to jumping in practice.'
On the conditions today: '[The conditions] were fine,' she said. 'We'd always like for it to be warm and sunny, but it was a really good track from the performance standpoint tonight.'
In the discus final, Bruin great Seilala Sua, who during her Bruin career (1997-2000) won seven NCAA Outdoor and Indoor throwing titles, placed second (202-10). Five-time USA runnerup and Bruin great Suzy Powell finished fourth (200-01) and UCLA senior Lara Saye placed 18th (171-04).
In the 400m qualifying round, Bruin senior Monique Henderson, who two weeks ago set the NCAA in-season record by winning the NCAA Outdoor 400m (50.10), placed third in her heat (52.06/seventh overall) and advances to today's semifinal (7 p.m.). The final is Saturday at 2:02 p.m. At last summer's Athens Olympics, Henderson was a member of the U. S. gold medal 4 X 400m relay and all of her relay teammates are in the 400m competition - Monique Hennagan won heat one (51.80), Sanya Richards won heat two (51.79) and De'Hashia Trotter won heat three (51.81).
'I knew who was in the race with me and I knew we'd be bringing it home together,' said Henderson, who recently won the Honda Award for women's track and field. 'I'm possibly running the 200m also this weekend. I don't know about the 200m yet-I'm entered, but my coach (Jeanette Bolden/Bob Kersee) and I will decide after the 400m on Saturday.'
Bruin Great Sheena Johnson in the 400m Hurdles
UCLA great Sheena Johnson, who last year led the Bruin women to the NCAA Outdoor title and was named the Outstanding Women's Collegiate T & F Athlete of the Year, won heat one in the 400m hurdles, with a time of 56.01 (third overall). Johnson, who last summer at the Athens Olympics placed fourth in the 400m hurdles, advances to today's semifinal (4:50 p.m.), with the final set for Saturday (1:50 p.m.).
UCLA Athletes in USA Junior Competition
On Thursday at the Home Depot Center, the Bruins had three athletes in junior competition - sophomore MacKenzie Hill in the 400m hurdles, incoming freshman Nicole Leach, also in the 400m hurdles and freshman Ingrid Kantola in the heptathlon.In the Junior competition, athletes ages 19 and under are competing for the right to represent the U. S. at the Pan Am Junior Championships, July 29-31, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (by placing in the top two of their events).
In the 400m hurdles, Leach, from West Philadelphia, PA Catholic HS who has the nation's leading high school mark of 57.44, won heat two (58.13/best time) and Hill won heat three (59.69/second-best time). The 400m hurdle final is today at 4:40 p.m.
In the heptathlon, Kantola's first day total was 2,409 points after four events -- 100m hurdles (16.04, -2.2w/12th overall/709 points); high jump (4-11.50/12th overall tie/632 points); shot put (28-10.50/14th overall/451 points) and 200m (28.17, -1.3w/15th overall/617 points). The heptathlon will conclude today with the long jump, javelin throw and 800m.
On Saturday, Bruin great Tracy O'Hara will compete in the pole vault; UCLA senior Jessica Cosby and UCLA great Cari Soong in the hammer throw and in one of the top events at the championships - UCLA junior Dawn Harper, UCLA greats Joanna Hayes and Michelle Perry, along with Sheena Johnson, will run in the first round of the 100m hurdles.
On Sunday, Baucham, who won the triple jump two weeks ago at the NCAA Outdoor, will compete in the triple jump, along with the semifinals and final in the 100m hurdles.
For up-to-the minute Bruin results at the 2005 U. S. Track & Field Championships, please go to - http://www.usatf.org/events/2005/USAOutdoorTFChampionships/schedule.asp
The Bruin website will be updated Monday morning (June 27) with the weekend results.