UCLA Track & Field Announces Outdoor Schedule, Opens Season at Fullerton
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA Track & Field program has announced its tentative outdoor schedule for the 2021 season. The team is set to participate at the Ben Brown Invitational this weekend and compete in various meets through the end of postseason competition in early June.
UCLA will host three meets during the outdoor season: the Jim Bush Legends Invitational (March 24), the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational (April 8-9), and the dual meet against USC (May 2).
Postseason competition begins with the Pac-12 Championships (May 14-16), hosted by USC. The Bruins will cap the year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., a three-day meet kicking off on June 9.
2021 UCLA Track & Field Outdoor Schedule (subject to change)
March 12-13: Ben Brown Invitational – Fullerton, Calif.
March 24: Jim Bush Legends Invitational – Los Angeles, Calif. (Drake Stadium)
March 25-26: Aztec Invitational Multi Events – San Diego, Calif.
April 3: Stanford Invitational – Stanford, Calif.
April 8-9: Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational – Los Angeles, Calif. (Drake Stadium)
April 9-10: Franson Classic – Azusa, Calif.
April 17: UNLV Invitational – Las Vegas, Nev.
May 2: Dual Meet vs. USC – Los Angeles, Calif. (Drake Stadium)
May 14-16: Pac-12 Championships – Los Angeles, Calif.
June 9-12: NCAA Championships – Eugene, Ore.
Meet Preview: Ben Brown Invitational
The Bruins open the 2021 outdoor campaign with a short trip to Fullerton, Calif., for the Ben Brown Invitational. The two-day meet kicks off on Friday, Mar. 12 and runs through Saturday, Mar. 13. Friday's meet program is set to open with the men's hammer throw at 10:00 a.m. PT. The women's 5000m will be the last event of the day, with the gun going off at 6:40 p.m. PT. Saturday's schedule opens with the men's long jump at 11:00 a.m. PT. The women's 4x400m relay closes out the day at 4:45 p.m. PT.
Sizing Up the Competition
The following teams are sending contingents to toe the line at the Ben Brown Invitational: Cal State Fullerton, Cal Baptist, Hawaii (W), LMU, Sac State, and UC Irvine.
Notes on the Bruins
- UCLA's women's 4x400m relay squad has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in back-to-back seasons.
- The Bruins return four men that scored in the 2019 Pac-12 Championships: Kyle Brown (pole vault), Tate Curran (pole vault), Harrison Schrage (long jump, triple jump), Myles Webb (100m).
- The Bruins return redshirt junior thrower Alyssa Wilson, one of the greatest throwers in UCLA history. Wilson owns school records in the weight and hammer throws, and is a multi-time All-American across indoor and outdoor competitions.
- Junior sprinter Kenroy Higgins II returns for his second outdoor campaign with the Bruins. He owns the UCLA indoor 60m record with a time of 6.59.
- Junior sprinter Shae Anderson is set to make her outdoor debut for the Bruins in 2021. She transferred from Oregon after the 2018 outdoor season in which she finished ninth in the 400m at NCAA Outdoors. She owns the UCLA indoor 400m record with a time of 52.07, which she set last season.
- The Bruins return javelin throwers Ilaria Casarotto and Lauren McFall from the 2019 outdoor squad. Casarotto is currently second on UCLA's all-time javelin list with a toss of 51.53m (169-1). McFall boasts a personal best of 43.35m (142-3), set against USC in 2019.
- Senior sprinter Meleni Rodney took fourth at the 2019 Pac-12 Championships in the 400m with a personal-best time of 52.06. She later qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event, finishing 21st overall.
- Four of UCLA's top 10 indoor 200m times are held by current Bruins: Chinyere Okoro (No. 4, 23.83), Meleni Rodney (No. 5, 23.92), Catherine Leger (No. 6, 24.02), and Makenzy Pierre-Webster (No. 8, 24.14)
- Senior multi athletes Isa Videler and Christina Chenault are both set to return for the 2021 outdoor season. Videler and Chenault own the No. 5 (3,896 points) and No. 6 (3,872 pts) pentathlon marks in UCLA history.
- Senior distance runner Paige Carter returns for the outdoor campaign after a 2020 indoor season that saw her set four separate personal-best times in the mile. She currently boasts a PR of 4:52.34.
2021 in Review (Indoor)
UCLA competed in just one regular season meet this past indoor season. The Bruins traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Arkanasas Qualifier on Feb. 5. Junior Shae Anderson headlined UCLA's performances, taking the event victory in the 400m with a time of 52.67. Anderson followed her individual feat with an appearance on the 4x400m relay squad, teaming up with Makenzy Pierre-Webster, Chinyere Okoro, and Catherine Leger to finish second overall with a time of 3:36.65. The time held as the No. 11 mark in the nation, qualifying the Bruin squad for the NCAA Indoor Championships (Mar. 11-13).
Okoro and Leger would join fellow sophomore Maddy Doane as the three UCLA women to qualify for the 60m final. Okoro (7.54) and Doane (7.57) went 4-5, while Leger took seventh overall with a time of 7.64. Senior Kyle Brown was the Bruins' top finisher in the pole vault, as he cleared a personal-best 5.06m (16-07.25) for fifth place overall. Fellow senior Tate Curran also cleared 5.06m, but finished tied for sixth place on attempts. Senior Jacob Wilson led the way for the UCLA throwers Friday, taking second place overall in the shot put with a toss of 17.57m (57-07.75). Freshman Dayne Gordien took seventh in his UCLA debut, posting a mark of 15.89m (52-01.75). The women's shot saw sophomore Natalie Ramirez finish sixth, going 14.28m (46-10.25) in her first meet donning the four letters.
2019 in Review (Outdoor)
As the 2020 outdoor track and field season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bruins have not competed in an outdoor meet since the 2019 NCAA Championships (June 5-8). The 2019 season saw the UCLA men take second place at the Pac-12 Championships with 140 points, good for the team's highest placement at the Conference meet since 2005. Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Avery Anderson earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors, while Alyssa Wilson picked up Pac-12 Female Meet Athlete of the Year honors after compiling 26 points at the league championships. The Bruin men went on to finish tied for 18th at the NCAA Championships. The women's squad finished 25th.