May 13, 2006
Eugene, OR - The UCLA men's track and field team saw its first Pac-10 title of the 2006 Track & Field Championships come from a first-time conference competitor, freshman Boldizsar Kocsor, who won the hammer throw with a seven-foot lifetime-best throw of 219-1. UCLA finished day one of the conference meet in second-place (49.00 pts.), while Arizona stands in first with 53.50 points.
Kocsor scored the first Bruin points of the meet, winning the men's hammer throw with a new freshman record of 219-1 (old best 212-11). Kocsor, battling the flu, threw lifetime-bests in five of his six attempts on the day, with the winning throw coming in the second round. The new mark moves Kocsor into the collegiate top-10, as he advanced from the No. 15 spot to the No. 9 spot on the national list. The throw also moves him to No. 2 all-time on the UCLA top-10.
"It feels really good," said Kocsor. "I didn't expect to throw very far because I just wanted to do my best - get a p.r. and do well. I knew (Adam) Midles (USC) threw 219 last week so I knew it would be tough. I just tried to be ready and be relaxed. This is Pac-10's, and there is a lot of history of great throwers that wore the UCLA uniform like John Brenner and John Godina, and the guys we have now are so great. I just wanted to be able to come here and start us off in a great way."
Junior Mike Landers had another impressive outing in the pole vault, earning all-conference honors as he equaled his lifetime-best of 17-8.50 to finish second overall. Junior David Shortenhaus finished fifth overall, clearing 17-0.75, equaling his season-best. Sophomore Chris Bencomo placed 11th with a mark of 16-6.75, while sophomore Zack Miller was 15th with a mark of 16-0.75.
The Bruins picked up several points from the shot putters as all three competitors made the finals. Senior Jeremy Silverman just missed all-conference honors as he finished fourth overall with a season-best throw of 60-5.25. Sophomore John Caulfield was sixth (59-7.50), while senior Jake Knight placed seventh (57-6.25).
Sophomores Joel Tuosto and Dominique Easterling picked up points in the long jump as Tuosto finished fourth (24-5.50) and Easterling was fifth (24-2.25, lifetime-best/regional qualifier). Senior Demetre Howard finished 13th (22-8), while sophomore Michael Johnson was 16th (22-5.75, season-best) and junior Chris Merriweather was 18th (22-5.75).
Senior Martell Munguia finished second in his heat and second overall to advance to Sunday's 800m final, running 1:50.00.
Senior Craig Everhart won heat one of the 400m (46.72) and automatically advanced to Sunday's final. Overall, Everhart had the third-fastest time on the day. Sophomore James Rhoades finished seventh in heat two and 10th overall (48.22), while freshman Elijah Wells was fourth in heat one and 11th overall (48.55).
Freshman Kevin Craddock won heat two and ran the second-fastest 110m hurdle time on Saturday to advance to Sunday's final (14.05).
In the 1500m, sophomore Mike Haddan advanced to Sunday's final as he ran 3:48.40. His time was 10th overall and sixth in heat one. Freshman Laef Barnes finished 19th overall (9th in heat two), running 3:54.63.
Senior Erik Emisson placed fifth in the steeplechase final, running 8:58.84. Sophomore Drew Shackleton finished 12th overall, running 9:33.28.
Junior Tracy Session finished 10th in the 400m hurdles (53.54) and will not advance to Sunday's final.
Team Standings after day one:
1. Arizona, 53.50; 2. UCLA, 49.00; 3. Oregon 42.50; 4. Washington 39.00; 5. Stanford 35.00; 6. USC, 34.00; 7. ASU, 29.00; 8. California, 24.00