Throwers Dominate at Ben Brown Invite
Fullerton, Calif. – UCLA's throwers put on a show on day one of the Ben Brown Invite, with the Bruins earning four lifetime-best performances and three event victories to highlight an impressive day.
Kris Emig got the day started with a stellar performance in the men's hammer, finishing as the top collegian with a lifetime-best toss of 63.61m (208-8) in his UCLA debut. Senior Jacob Wilson was close behind in fourth overall, going 61.02m (200-2) on his first attempt of the day.
The Bruin women were also impressive in the hammer, as freshmen Lyvante Su'emai and Jillian Stafford each posted lifetime-best performances in their collegiate outdoor debuts. Su'emai was fourth overall with a mark of 59.70m (195-10) and Stafford took fifth at 59.15m (194-0). Su'emai and Stafford are now ninth and 10th, respectively, on UCLA's all-time list in the event.
Anoop Khatra made his UCLA debut in the men's javelin and did not disappoint, launching a huge PR of 66.96m (219-8) for the event victory. Lauren McFall earned the win in the women's competition, notching a solid season-opening mark of 46.96m (154-1). Kaitlyn Menichetti donned the four letters for the first time, finishing 11th overall with a toss of 31.54m (103-5).
Tate Curran picked up a win in the men's pole vault competition, clearing 5.21m (17-01.00) for the victory. His mark was over nine inches clear of his nearest challenger. Isabella Grant, Mia Cervantes, and Katerina Adamiec all tied for second in the women's competition with clearances of 3.67m (12-00.50).
UCLA's distance squad also opened up its outdoor campaign on Friday evening with participants in the 1500m and 800m competitions.
Sophia Hoelzel was the Bruins' top finisher in the women's 1500m, going 4:35.22 for sixth overall. Siena Palicke (4:39.73), Kerrigan McGreevy (4:45.33), and Lavanya Pandey (4:45.33) went 10-11-12 in the race. William Frankenfeld toed the line in the men's competition and finished eighth overall with a time of 3:57.47.
Ajani Salcido secured an impressive second-place finish in the men's 800m, notching a time of 1:51.63. Andrew Martinez was 12th with a time of 1:55.23. Gwyn George and Ashley Johnson went 2-3 in the women's 800m, going 2:08.87 and 2:13.53, respectively. George's time was a lifetime-best mark, ducking under her previous best of 2:09.29.
The Bruins are back for day two of the Ben Brown Invite on Saturday. The men's discus and long jump competitions open the day at 10 a.m. PT. UCLA's 4x400m relay team will also be in action at the NCAA Indoor Championships, with the race scheduled for 8:20 p.m. CT / 6:20 p.m. PT from Birmingham, Ala.