July 17, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Former UCLA standouts, Mebrahtom Keflezighi (Ma-bra-tum Ka-flez-ghi), Shelia Burrell and Amy Acuff, by placing in the top three of their respective events at the USA Track and Field Trials currently being held in Sacramento, have earned a spot on the 2000 U. S. Olympic Track and Field team. The U. S. squad will compete at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 22-Oct. 1.
Keflezighi, who won four individual NCAA distance titles during his Bruin career (1994-98), won the 10,000m men's final last Friday (July 14), the first day of the Trials, held at Hornet Stadium on the campus of CS Sacramento. Keflezighi's winning time was 28:03.32. Born in Eritrea, Keflezighi?s family moved to San Diego when he was young (1987) and he graduated from San Diego HS (1994). On July 2, 1998, Keflezighi became a U. S. citizen.
Burrell finished second in the heptathlon with 6,339 points. DeDee Nathan won the two-day competition (Friday-Saturday), with 6,343 points, just four points ahead of Burrell, who was in fourth place after the first day. While at UCLA, she placed fourth at the 1995 NCAA heptathlon, with 5,720 points (No. 3 in school history).
Acuff, who won four NCAA Outdoor and Indoor high jump crowns during her Bruin career (1994-97) and is co-holder of the collegiate record (6-6), placed third (6-2 3/4) in the high jump final on Sunday (she earned her berth after a jump-off with Tisha Waller). In Friday?s qualifying, Acuff?s jump was 5-10 3/4.
Here is a rundown of other former and present UCLA track and field athletes who have competed during the first three days (Friday-Sunday) at the 2000 USA Track and Field Trials in Sacramento.
100m - In Saturday?s final, Gail Devers, who is the two-time defending Olympic gold medal winner in the 100m, will not be able to defend her crown after placing fifth (11.15). Her semi-final time was (11.25) and her prelim mark was (10.99).
Her semi-final time was (11.25) and her prelim mark was 10.99. Add this--Devers can still make the U. S. team as she is one of the favorites to place in the Top 3 of the 100m hurdles (prelims, July 22, semis and final, July 23).
Also running in the 100m was UCLA senior-to-be Shakedia Jones. Jones did not make the final, her 11.32 semi-final mark was the ninth-best time and only eight make it to the final. Her prelim mark was 11.25.
400m - Andrea Anderson placed sixth (51.32) in Sunday?s final, after running a 51.18 in Saturday?s semis and a 51.51 in Friday?s prelims. While at UCLA, Anderson was the Pac-10 400m champion in 1999 and ?98 and the conference 200m winner in 1997.
1500m - Karen (Hecox) Candaele, placed eighth in Sunday?s final, with a time of 4:14.71. In Friday?s qualifying, Candaele?s time was 4:13.28. As a Bruin, Hecox won the 1994 NCAA Outdoor 3000m.
400m Hurdles - Joanna Hayes, who won the 1999 NCAA Outdoor 400m hurdle crown, advanced to Monday's final, with a 55.32 Sunday semifinal time and a 55.50 Saturday preliminary mark.
Not advancing to Monday's final was Bruin senior-to-be Michelle Perry. Perry, who placed fourth in this event last spring at the NCAA Outdoor, did not get past the preliminary round, running a 57.71.
High Jump - Along with Acuff, also competing was 2000 Pac-10 champ, UCLA junior-to-be Darnesha Griffith, who no-heighted in Friday?s qualifying.
Long Jump - Jackie Joyner-Kersee, trying to make the U. S. Olympic team for the third decade, placed sixth in Sunday?s final, with a mark of 21-10 3/4 (her qualifying mark on Friday was 21-0 3/4). The world record holder in the heptathlon and the American record holder in the long jump, JJK came out of retirement to try and make her fifth consecutive U. S. Olympic team. Another former Bruin, Marieke (Veltman) Miller, placed 10th (20-10) in the final. Her Friday qualifying mark was 21-0 3/4.
Discus - Suzy Powell and Seilala Sua will be competing in Monday's final. In qualifying on Sunday, Powell had the best effort, a throw of 203-1. Sua's mark of 190-6 was the fourth-best qualifying mark. Sua is the two-time defending USA discus champion, winning the event in both 1999 and '98. Powell is the school record-holder in the discus (214-0), while Sua is the winningest NCAA Outdoor female competitor in history. During her Bruin career (1997-2000), she won six NCAA Outdoor throwing titles, including the 2000 and '99 shot put and discus crowns. She is only the second women's athlete in NCAA Outdoor history to win four consecutive individual championships (discus, 1997-2000).
Hammer Throw - UCLA senior-to-be Christina Tolson placed 11th (189-9) in Saturday?s final and had a qualifying mark of 197-11. In 2000, Tolson set the Pac-10 record in the hammer (208-11) and won the event last spring at the conference meet.
100m - Mike Marsh, who won a gold medal in the 200m at the 1992 Summer Games, did not advance to Saturday?s final, running a 10.20 in the semis (Marsh?s prelim mark was 10.12).
Also in the 100m, Gentry Bradley, who won the 200m at the 1998 USA Championships, did not advance to the semis, after running a 10.64 in Friday?s qualifying.
Pole Vault - Scott Slover, a three-time NCAA Outdoor All-American who placed third at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor and who has the No. 2 mark in school history (18-7 1/4), no-heighted in Sunday?s final. In Friday?s preliminary, Slover qualified with a mark of 18-2 1/2.
Shot Put - John Godina, who won a Silver Medal in this event at the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996, failed to make the U. S team in the shot put, placing fourth (69-2 1/2) in Saturday?s final (his qualifying mark was 65-3 1/2). Godina can still make the U. S team in the discus (qualifying is July 22, final is July 23).