April 17, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA Track & Field heads down the I-10 freeway this weekend to compete in the 55th annual Mt.SAC Relays, April 18-20, in Walnut, Calif. Individual competition begins Thursday, April 18, at 1:30pm PST.
The meet's slogan is "Where the world's best athletes come to compete"--and that's exactly what to expect. Elite high school, collegiate and international athletes will gather at the Historic Hilmer Lodge Stadium this weekend to compete in an invitational-style meet to showcase themselves in front of the track and field community.
For the collegians, this will also be a chance to improve their best marks of the season, with hopes of placing themselves in qualifying position for June's NCAA Championships in Eugene, OR. To qualify for the NCAA Championships, athletes must first compete at the NCAA Preliminary Championships. The nation's top-48 athletes for each individual event (top-24 for relay events) will be accepted into the preliminary competition, where they will then compete for the twelve spots in the championships. Combined event athletes do not compete at the prelims, and instead the nation's top-24 combined athletes for both men and women will advance to the national championships.
A total of 74 Bruins will make this weekend's trip to Walnut, many of whom currently sit within the top-48 in the 2013 NCAA West Outdoor Qualifying List.
On the men's side, Bruins qualify for 20 spots across 16 events for NCAA Prelims. Yusef Merriweather and Pete Lauderdale are the current frontrunners for the Bruins in short distance events. The senior captain Dyce currently finds himself in 15th the NCAA for the 100m dash (10.44) as well as 42nd in the 200m (21.24). Fellow sprinter Merriweather also finds himself in qualifying position in the 100m dash, t-41st (10.57) but sits just outside the top-48 in the 200m, t-47th place (21.27). The two are also part of the 12th-ranked Bruin 4x100 relay team (40.09). Lauderdale is seeded t-32nd in the men's 400m dash (47.16). All three will compete across these short distance events, looking to improve on solid results as well as improve upon their marks in hopes of a postseason push.
There are several other Bruins who hope to use this weekend to improve their seeding this weekend, on the track as well as on the field. Philip Kostelnik currently finds himself in the 49th position for the men's 800m (1:50.95) and will compete in the 800m this weekend. Freshman Nick Hartle is 53rd in the 1,500m (3:49.10) but is less than a second away from qualifying position. On the field, pole vaulters Connor Stark are tied for 52nd (5.05m/16-6.75) and need add at least another inch to their height to be in contention. RS senior Dillon Stucky is right on the cusp for the men's triple jump in the No. 46 position (14.66m/48-1.25).
This weekend is also very important for the No. 20 women, who also are eager to boost their top marks as the regular season comes to a close in just two weeks. 18 Bruin women across 13 events currently sit in postseason positions; however there are a few still looking for a result to put them over the top. The 4x100m relay team of Maya Brown, Trinity Wilson and Kylie Price hold the No. 42 seed in the West (45.78), but they still could use a better time to sit more comfortably. The women's 4x400m relay team (Thompson, Reid, LaMar, Low) is the 46th seed (3:43.27) and need a boost to make it to NCAA Prelims.
On the field, the women currently have four pole vaulters in qualifying position (Koressel, Kolbo, Goodrich, R. Greene) but still have a few with hopes of jumping inside the 48 athlete cutoff. At the t-45th position, Courtney Reginato (3.85m/12-7.5) still technically is on the outside looking in (the entries for NCAAs are absolute, no ties considered) and could use a big result this weekend.
Live results for this weekend's competition can be found here.