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Bruins Open Outdoor Campaign in Fullerton, Wrap Indoor Season at Nationals

Mar 10, 2022
Christopher Hill (photo by James Lee)

LOS ANGELES – UCLA Track & Field is set to open its 2022 outdoor campaign and close its indoor season this upcoming weekend with trips to the Ben Brown Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. and NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
 
A large contingent of the team is headed to Fullerton for the two-day competition, which kicks off on Friday, March 11. UCLA's women's 4x400m relay squad will toe the line at Indoor Nationals after qualifying for NCAAs at the Pac-12 Invitational (Feb. 25-26).
 
The Ben Brown Invitational opens on Friday with the men's hammer throw competition at 12 p.m. PT. The AstroAI Distance Classic portion of the meet opens at 5 p.m. PT with the men's 3000m steeplechase. Saturday's competition kicks off with the men's discus at 10 a.m. PT and caps with the women's 4x400m relay at 4:45 p.m. PT.
 
The women's 4x400m relay event at Nationals will take place at 8:20 p.m. CT / 6:20 p.m. PT on Saturday in Birmingham.
 
Meet Recap – Pac-12 Invitational (Feb. 25-26)
The Bruins traveled to Seattle, Wash. for the inaugural Pac-12 Invitational, an indoor meet featuring a host of Pac-12 programs.
 
The event was capped by historic performances from UCLA's 4x400m relay squads. The men's quartet of Myles Misener-Daley, Ismail Turner, Chase Wells, and Cameron Reynolds combined to run 3:05.80 to break the program's indoor school record, while the women's team – Catherine Leger, Makenzy Pierre-Webster, Kate Jendrezak, and Shae Anderson – ran 3:32.55, good for qualification to NCAA Indoors and the second-fastest time in UCLA indoor history.
 
The Bruins' distance runners also put on a show at Dempsey Indoor. Peter Herold ran the second-fastest program indoor times in the 5000m (13:46.12) and 3000m (7:53.92) while Ronan McMahon-Staggs went 4:01.43 in the mile, the No. 4 time in program history. Emma Tavella ran a lifetime-best time of 16:29.06 in the 5000m to become the fourth-fastest woman all-time at UCLA indoors, while Ashley Johnson earned a heat victory in the mile at 4:48.33 to move to No. 9 all-time in the event for the Bruins.
 
Last Time Out – 2021 Ben Brown Invitational
Ilaria Casarotto and Lauren McFall went 1-2 in the women's javelin in Fullerton in 2021, going 51.29m (168-3) and 46.84m (153-8), respectively. Mia Cervantes picked up the win in the women's pole vault with a clearance of 3.76m (12-04.00). The men's 1500m saw the Bruins go 1-2-4, with Andrew Martinez taking the win in his UCLA debut, clocking a time of 3:55.81.
 
Maddy Doane swept the 100m and 200m competitions on day two of the meet, later helping the women's 4x400m relay squad (Doane, Jendrezak, Christina Chenault, Dakota Stanly) to a victory with a time of 3:50.01. The men's 4x4 squad (Christopher Hill, Misener-Daley, Josh Pikes, Reynolds) also picked up the win with a time of 3:14.09.
 
 
Last Time Out – 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships
The quartet of Shae Anderson, Catherine Leger, Chinyere Okoro, and Makenzy Pierre-Webster took 10th place at the 2021 National Meet, clocking a season-best time of 3:35.23. It was the second-straight season the women qualified for Indoor Nationals; the 2020 meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Looking Back – 2021 Outdoor Season
The 2021 outdoor season was successful for the women's and men's programs at UCLA.
 
The Bruin women qualified both relays to the National Meet, with the 4x400m relay squad finishing third overall with a school-record time of 3:25.01, the eighth-fastest time in collegiate history. Shae Anderson later advanced to the 400m final at the U.S. Olympic Trials and was selected to the relay pool for Team USA in Tokyo. Meleni Rodney qualified to compete for Grenada in the 400m at the Olympics. The Pac-12 Championships saw Ilaria Casarotto pick up the school record in the javelin with a lifetime-best toss of 53.09m (174-02).
 
The UCLA men had a pair of Olympic Trials qualifiers in Harrison Schrage (United States – long jump) and Myles Misener-Daley (Canada – 400m). Schrage also picked up the Pac-12 title in the long jump with a mark of 7.81m (25-07.50). Ismail Turner punched his ticket to the National Meet after running 45.64 at the NCAA West Prelims, tied for the 10th-fastest time in school history and the fastest time by a Bruin man since 2004.