Feb. 4, 2006
Senior Chelsea Johnson and junior Kamaiya Warren continued to shine in the indoor season as both improved on their season-best marks to lead the No. 8 UCLA women's track and field team at the United Heritage Invitational in Nampa, ID.
Johnson continued an already successful indoor season, improving her season-best to 13-11.25, giving her an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships next month. She placed second to former NCAA record holder Becky Holliday (14-3.25) and is now tied for the top mark in the nation this year. Sophomore Ingrid Kantola jumped an indoor lifetime-best 12-5.50 to place fifth, while sophomores Elizabeth Woepse (11-11.75) and Nicci Faires (11-5.75) finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
Warren improved her season-best shot put mark by nearly a foot and a half, throwing 54-4.50 (No. 5 mark in the Nation) to place fourth overall. She was the top collegiate finisher in that event. Jessica Cosby, who finished her eligibility in May of 2005, placed third with a season-best mark of 56-3.75.
Senior Leslie Barrie won the Mile, running an indoor lifetime-best 5:06.37. In the 800m, sophomore Shantae McKinney placed third (2:17.63), while junior Allison Hall was fifth (2:17.86) and freshman Gabrielle Bournes was sixth (2:17.95, season-best).
In the long jump, 2004 NCAA Indoor All-American Renee Williams achieved a provisional qualifier for the NCAA meet, jumping 20-1.50 to win the event. Sophomore Leslie Rychel placed third with a leap of 18-10.50, while freshman De'Lana Minnis was seventh with a mark of 17-0.50.
Another former Bruin, Cari Soong continued her unbeaten streak in the 2006 indoor season, winning the weight throw with a season-best toss of 65-5.50. Cosby, who was competing in her first weight throw competition this year, finished second to Soong with a throw of 63-10.50.
The Bruin women will next head to Fayetteville, AR, the host of the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, for the Tyson Indoor Invitational next weekend. The meet has always been a hot spot for national and international talent, and will be an important meet to pick up NCAA qualifiers and improve on season marks posted by the team this year.