Track & Field and Cross Country Announce NLI Signees
Los Angeles, Calif. – The UCLA Track & Field and Cross Country programs have signed seven combined student-athletes to their respective 2021 recruiting classes as of Friday, Jan. 8.
Below is biographical information on each of the team's current signees for the 2021 recruiting class.
UCLA Track & Field 2021 Signees
Jillian Stafford – Throws – Dana Point Calif. – Dana Hills HS
Personal Bests – Shot Put: 33-00.00 … Discus: 126-3 … Hammer: 163-11
Senior at Dana Point HS … 2020 California State weight throw champion … Her mark of 163-11 in the hammer was good for the third-best toss among juniors … Threw 126-3 in the 1kg discus at the South County Classic (Mar. 3) … Notched top-8 finishes in each of her 10 discus competitions as a sophomore in 2019 … Finished eighth overall in the CIF-SS Finals in the discus, going 119-7 in the performance … Took sixth place overall in her lone hammer throw competition of the season at the California HS Hammer Championships, posting a mark of 128-5 … Her brother is Justin Stafford, who graduated from UCLA in 2019 and ranks No. 2 all-time in the weight throw (21.66m, 71-00.75) and third in the hammer throw (68.57m, 225-00) in men's program history.
Why UCLA: "I am so grateful for the opportunity throwing in college and to be a part of the UCLA Track & Field team. I chose UCLA because they do such a great job of supporting their athletes, while additionally offering a prestigious education. The location and weather is an amazing plus to the university. I am also excited to meet so many new people that UCLA attracts from all over the nation and world. Go Bruins!"
Lyvante' Su'emai – Throws – Marsden, Queensland, Australia – Marsden State High School
Personal Bests – Shot Put: 14.48m … Discus: 53.80m … Hammer: 52.99m
One of Australia's elite youth throwers … Took victories in eight of her 15 competitions in 2020 across various throwing disciplines … Won all six of her shot put competitions in 2020 … Won the shot put competition at the Queensland Championships with a throw of 14.21m (Mar. 5) … Set a personal-best in the preliminary flights, posting a mark of 14.48m … Also took second place in the discus (51.75m) and hammer throw (49.58m) at the Queensland Championships (Mar. 5) … Earned victories in the shot put (13.51m) and discus (51.01m) at the Norma Croker Shield in January, 2020 … Won the discus competition (51.18m) and finished second overall in the shot put (13.77m) and at the Australian U20 Championships.
Why UCLA: "Everything about UCLA is amazing, but as a Polynesian, I was inspired to become a Bruin because of UCLA legend, Seilala Sua. She has accomplished so much and I aspire to follow in her footsteps. After meeting Coach Frazier, I became more comfortable and confident with my decision because of the support and transparency throughout the process. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to represent my family, culture, and community as a UCLA Bruin!"
Patrick Curulla – Distance – De La Salle HS – Livermore, Calif.
Personal bests – 800m: 2:15.05 … 1600m: 4:29.89 … 3200m: 9:34.11
Senior at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif. … Reigning CIF North Coast Section Champion in cross country … Ran 14:55.2 on the three mile course to win the section title as a junior in 2019 … Posted top-12 finishes in each of his eight cross country races in 2019 … went on to finish eighth at the 2019 CIF State Meet, clocking a time of 15:15.0 on the 5k course … Improved his State Meet time by almost a minute from her sophomore year … Won each of his three races in the shortened 2020 outdoor track season, taking wins in the 1600m (4:29.89), 3200m (9:34.11), and 4x800m relay (8:15.84) Took eighth in the 3200m at the 2019 EBAL Championship Finals (9:49.43) and 11th in the event at the NCS Tri-Valley Championship (9:52.59).
Why UCLA: "I chose UCLA because the combination of top tier athletics, outstanding academics, and amazing location were too hard to pass up. Even before I realized that running was an option in college, UCLA was my dream school, and getting the opportunity to run here is a blessing."
Amber Jackson – Jumps/Sprints – Ardrey Kell HS – Charlotte, N.C.
Personal bests – HJ: 5-08.00 … LJ: 17-04.00 … TJ: 38-05.00 … 55m: 7.64 … 55mH: 9.00
Current three-year letterwinner for Ardrey Kell HS, where she has competed in a variety of events on the track and in the field … Posted top-3 finishes in each of her seven high jump appearances in the 2020 indoor season … Opened the 2020 indoor campaign with a second-place finish in the high jump at the JDL Visit Winston-Salem HS Kick-Off, clearing 5-08.00 for a personal-best mark … Went on to finish third overall in the high jump at the NCHSAA 4A Indoor State Championships … 2020 Charlotte City indoor champion in the triple jump with a leap of 35-11.00 … Took third in the high jump at the 2019 outdoor State Meet with a clearance of 5-06.00 … Went on to qualify for New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the high jump … Took eighth overall in the triple jump at the 2019 North Carolina State Meet, going 36-08.50 for an outdoor-best mark.
Why UCLA: "Over the last several years, my parents would fly to LA on business trips, and bring me along. While in LA, we would always go to Drake Stadium to run as a family and walk around the campus. It was always a great time! … I attended UCLA's Track Camp in 2018 and 2019. During that time, I was able to receive excellent coaching and I realized how much I wanted to be a part of the Bruin family! I focused on my school work and put forth great effort into training, to ensure my standards matched UCLA standards."
Sydney Johnson – Jumps/Hurdles/Sprints – Roseville, Calif. – Whitney HS
Personal bests – LJ: 19-06.75 … TJ: 39-01.75 … HJ: 5-05.00 … 100mH: 14.59
Won six of the seven events in which she competed during the shortened 2020 outdoor season … 2019 CIF State Qualifier in the long jump … cleared a personal-best mark of 19-06.75 to finish fifth at the State Meet … 2019 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section champion in the long jump (19-00.25) and triple jump (39-01.75 ) … Notched seven long jump victories and six triple jump victories as a sophomore in 2019 … 2019 SFL league champion in the long jump (17-07.50) and triple jump (36-11.50) … Section Championship runner-up in the 100m hurdles, going 14.70 on the day … Anchored Whitney's 4x100m team to a second-place finish at the SJS Championships with a school-record time of 48.73 … Won each of the three 100m races she entered as a sophomore, notching a season-best time 13.03 in Whitney's Tri Meet against Del Oro and Granite Bay.
Why UCLA: I chose UCLA because of its renowned top-notch academic and athletic programs. I am honored to become of a part of the UCLA family and its rich track and field history. Not to mention UCLA's campus and location is unbeatable and totally felt like home when I visited. Go Bruins!!
Mia Kane – Distance – Portland, Ore – Lincoln HS
Personal bests – 1500m: 4:38.92 … 3000m: 10:07.32
2019 Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) qualifier … Finished 23rd at the NXR Northwest Regional Championships, crossing with a 5k time of 18:23.8 … Took 19th overall at the OSAA 6A State Championships in Cross Country with a season-best 5k time of 18:07.8 … 2019 State qualifier in the 1500m and 3000m … Finished eighth overall in the 3000m with a time of 10:08.87 and took ninth in the 1500m with a personal-best time of 4:38.92 … Took fourth in the 1500m (4:41.09) and 3000m (10:07.32) at the 6A-1 PIL District Championship … Also ran legs for the 4x400m squad in three separate meets, helping Lincoln secure a pair of relay victories … Notched 10th place at the OSAA 6A State Cross Country Meet as a sophomore in 2018.
Why UCLA: "I chose UCLA for the outstanding academics and to be a part of such a historic athletic program. To wear a UCLA jersey is to be part of something so much larger than myself, and I can't wait! I am so excited for this is opportunity – go Bruins!"
Trinity Rossum – Sprints – Atlanta, Ga. – Greater Atlanta Christian School
Personal bests – 60m: 7.50 … 100m: 11.55 … 200m: 24.11 … 400m: 57.01
Ranked as the No. 22 recruit in the country on MileSplit Top 50 … Competes for Buford HS and ATL Zoom Athletics Club … Took fifth in the 100m at 2019 New Balance Nationals after clocking a personal-best time of 11.55 to win her prelim heat … Went on to qualify for USATF U-20 Junior Nationals in the 100m … Was the runner-up in the 100m at the GHSA 5A State Championships, clocking a time of 12.00 in the final … Ran the second leg for Buford's 4x100m (46.25) and 4x400m relay (3:44.28) squads that won State titles in 2019 … Also won a 4x100m State title as a sophomore in 2018 … Finished third in the 60m at New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2019 after winning her prelim heat with a personal-best time of 7.50 … Member of 4x100m teams that ran the two fastest high school relay times in Georgia state history … Father is Allen Rossum, who compiled over 15,000 all-purpose across a 12-year career (1998-2009) in the NFL.
Why UCLA: "I chose UCLA because I like how they value both athletics and education, allowing me to grow as a student-athlete. Also, I can create new opportunities and diversify my surroundings with different groups of people. Although it is kind of far from my home town Atlanta, Georgia, I loved the atmosphere of the campus and from the people I did meet, they were overall just really vibrant and it seemed like they actually enjoyed going to school. I believe UCLA is a campus that offers the students everything. A great athletic program, a campus located in the heart of Los Angeles, beautiful weather, prestigious academics, and, ultimately, a utopian campus that looks after the needs of the students."