UCLA Set to Host Pair of Meets This Weekend
LOS ANGELES – UCLA Track & Field continues its 2022 outdoor campaign with its only home competitions of the season, as the Bruins are set to host the annual Bob Larsen Distance Invitational and the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational this weekend at Drake Stadium.
The Bob Larsen Distance Invitational will be an evening competition on Friday, March 25, kicking off with the women's open 5000m at 5:30 p.m. PT.
Saturday's Rafer/JJK Invite will open with the men's discus at 10:30 a.m. PT. The men's 4x400m relay caps Saturday's competition at 5 p.m. PT.
UC Riverside Spring Track Classic (Multis)
The Bruins will also have a contingent of heptathletes competing at UC Riverside on Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25.
Event Schedule – Heptathlon
- Thursday: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m
- Friday: long jump, javelin, 800m
Meet Recap – Ben Brown Invitational (March 12-13)
UCLA's throwers put on a show at the Ben Brown Invite in Fullerton, UCLA's first outdoor meet of the 2022 season. Kris Emig got the action 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. 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).
Anoop Khatra and Lauren McFall picked up wins in the men's and women's javelin competitions, respectively. Chinyere Okoro was one of just two UCLA track athletes to compete on the second day of competition, earning a win in the women's 200m with a season-opening time of 24.00.
Notes on the Bruins
- The Bruins' quartet of Catherine Leger, Kate Jendrezak, Maddy Doane, and Makenzy Pierre-Webster finished sixth overall in the 4x400m relay at the NCAA Indoor Championships, clocking a time of 3:33.32 for the third-fastest time in program indoor history.
- Lyvante Su'emai owns the No. 9 mark in the nation in the discus (53.26m, 174-9) and the No. 23 mark in the nation in the hammer (59.70m, 195-10).
- Tate Curran's clearance of 5.21m (17-01.00) in the pole vault is the sixth-best mark in the nation thus far.
- Anoop Khatra's toss of 66.96m (219-8) in the javelin is the No. 16 mark in the country.
About Bob Larsen
Bob Larsen served as Head Coach for UCLA Men's and Women's Cross Country from 1980-99 and Head Coach for UCLA Track & Field from 1985-99.
He led the UCLA men's track and field teams to two NCAA Championships, nine Pac-12 titles and four national dual meet titles during his nearly 20 years as head coach. He had an incredible dual meet record of 118-3-1 that included an unbeaten 15-year dual mark versus rival USC.
In cross country, he led UCLA to two conference crowns and six NCAA appearances. The four-time NCAA Coach of the Year guided 13 athletes to a total of 25 national championships and was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2013. Larsen's star runner Meb Keflezighi, also a UCLA Athletic Hall of Famer, became the first Marathon runner in history win an Olympic medal and the Boston and New York City Marathons.
Larsen was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 2017.
About Rafer Johnson
Legendary Bruin, Rafer Johnson, was a champion on and off the field of competition.
Johnson helped lead the UCLA Men's Track & Field to its first-ever national title in 1956. He competed for two legendary Hall of Fame Coaches in Elvin "Ducky" Drake and John Wooden on the basketball court. He was the flag bearer for Team USA at the 1960 Olympics and went on to win the gold medal in the decathlon.
Following his retirement from athletics, Johnson co-founded Special Olympics Southern California and was eventually named chairman of the Board of Governors for the organization. Johnson was a member of the inauguaral 1984 class of UCLA Hall of Fame honorees. In 2016, he was awarded the UCLA Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by UCLA.
He passed away on Dec. 2, 2020 surrounded by his family in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
About Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Jackie Joyner-Kersee (JJK) earned the title of "world's greatest female athlete" as she dominated the track and field events of the heptathlon and long jump from the mid-1980s into the late 1990s.
She led the UCLA women's track and field program to national titles in 1982 and 1983, winning the heptathlon competition in both years. Joyner-Kersee still owns UCLA records in the heptathlon (6,390 pts) and long jump (23-09.00). She won the Honda Award as the nation's top collegiate track and field competitor in 1983 and 1985 and earned the Honda-Broderick Cup as the nation's best collegiate athlete in 1985. She earned six medals across four appearances in the Olympics, including golds in the heptathlon and long jump in Seoul in 1988 and the heptathlon again in Barcelona in 1992.
She was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2004 and the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Last Time Out – Bob Larsen Track Meet (March 27, 2021)
The meet was called the Bob Larsen Track Meet during the 2021 season, a competition that saw the Bruins notch 13 event victories on the day. Shae Anderson earned victories in the women's 200m and 400m competitions while Ismail Turner picked up the win in the men's 400m. Catherine Leger took the win in the women's 100m with a time of 11.66. Jacob Wilson went 59.25m (194-4) in the hammer for the victory while Ilaria Casarotto and Lauren McFall went 1-2 in the women's javelin. The Bruin women also secured a 1-4 sweep in the pole vault competition, with Mia Cervantes taking the win.
Last Time Out – Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational (April 8-9, 2021)
The 2021 Rafer/JJK Invite saw Isa Videler earn a victory in the heptathlon competition with a lifetime-best total of 5,290 points. Shae Anderson picked up the win in the women's 100m while Maddy Doane crossed in 23.66 for the victory in the 200m. Kyle Brown (5.07m, 16-07.50) and Mia Cervantes (3.75m, 12-03.50) secured wins in the men's and women's pole vault competitions, respectively.