Leach Wins Fourth West Region 400m Hurdles Crown To Advance To NCAAs

May 30, 2009

Nicole Leach, Krishna Curry, Krystin Lacy, Yasmin Woodruff and the 4x400m relay punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships on the final day of the West Region meet in Eugene, OR. As a team, the women finished fourth overall with 64.50 points, while Arizona State won the team crown with 95 points.

For the fourth consecutive year Leach has won the NCAA West Region 400m hurdles crown, this time winning by over a second to earn a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Leach, the West Region record holder in the event, won in a season-best time of 56.29. That marks continues to rank Leach No. 2 in the NCAA this season.

The 4x400m relay team of Leach, Ashlea McLaughlin, senior Krystin Lacy and freshman Camilla Dencer ran the No. 4 time in the NCAA this season to win the event for the second straight season as the foursome ran a season-best 3:33.34 to automatically advance to Nationals.

Lacy qualified for her first NCAA Championship as an individual as she finished third in the 400m (53.49) to earn an automatic bid to Nationals. Lacy has competed at NCAAs every year as a member of the relay squads, but will get her first individual opportunity in Arkansas in two weeks.

In the 200m, freshman Yasmin Woodruff had a big run as she ran a lifetime-best 23.70 to finish fourth overall and automatically advance to the National meet.

Junior Krishna Curry also punched a ticket to Nationals with her third-place run in the 800m as she ran 2:06.97. Dencer finished seventh in a time of 2:12.88.

Freshman Ryann Krais finished sixth in the 400m hurdles in a season-best time of 58.81, over a second better than her previous season-best, just missing a spot at Nationals in the event. However, Krais will compete at Nationals in the heptathlon as she scored an NCAA auto qualifier at Pac-10s.

Sophomore Lindsay Rowe missed a spot at Nationals by .006 seconds as UNLV's Candise Maxwell edged her out for the fifth and final spot to NCAAs. Rowe and Maxwell both ran 13.48, but upon closer examination of the photo finish, Maxwell finished ahead by the slimmest of margins, leaving Rowe in sixth-place. She is eligible for an at-large beth to NCAAS, but is not high enough on the descending order list to make it.

In the steeplechase final, junior Ciara Viehweg finished 12th in a time of 10:38.68. This was Viehweg's final run in a Bruin uniform as she is bypassing her senior year of eligibility to study abroad. Viehweg redshirted the 2008 season and had one year of competition left. She will instead head to Manchester, England to finish her degree in Political Science. Viehweg ends her career as the Bruin school record holder in the steeplechase with a mark of 10:20.66.

Senior Rhonda Watkins will only compete in the long jump at Nationals as she finished in eighth in the high jump on Saturday with a mark of 5-8.50. She is not high enough on the descending order list to earn an at-large berth.

Freshman Ke'Nyia Richardson finished just outside of the top-five in the triple jump as she placed sixth with a season-best mark of 41-9.25.

UCLA automatically qualified five athletes and one relay to the NCAA Outdoor Championships - Rhonda Watkins (long jump); Danielle Watson (long jump), Krystin Lacy (400m), Krishna Curry (800m), Yasmin Woodruff (200m) and the 4x400m relay. Ryann Krais will also head to Nationals to compete in the heptathlon. Katy Viuf will be in a wait-and-see mode as to whether she receives an at-large bid in the pole vault.

100m - No entries

200m - 4. Yasmin Woodruff (23.70), advances to NCAA Championships

400m - 3. Krystin Lacy (53.49), advances to NCAA Championships

800m - 4. Krishna Curry (2:06.97); 7. Camilla Dencer (2:12.88)

1500m - no entries

Steeplechase - 12. Ciara Viehweg (10:38.68)

100m Hurdles - 6. Lindsay Rowe (13.48)

400m Hurdles - 1. Nicole Leach (56.29), advances to NCAA Championships; 6. Ryann Krais (58.81)

4x100m Relay - no entries

4x400m Relay - McLaughlin, Lacy, Dencer, Leach (3:33.44)

High Jump - 8. Rhonda Watkins (5-8.50/1.74m)

Triple Jump - 6. Ke'Nyia Richardson (41-9.25/12.73m)

Shot Put - 11. Brittany Borman (47-1.50/14.36m)

Javelin- no entries

Team Scores (top 10 of 28 teams)
1. Arizona State, 95
2. Oregon, 80.50
3. USC, 68
4. UCLA, 49
5. Stanford, 54
6. BYU, 49
7. California, 42
8. Washington, 38
9. San Diego State, 36
10. Arizona, 33


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