July 18, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Former UCLA track and field stars Seilala Sua and Suzy Powell went one-two in the women's discus final on Monday at the USA Track & Field Trials at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento. Sua and Powell earn a place on the 2000 U. S. Olympic team and bring the total number of Bruins on the USA track & field squad to five.
Sua, who has now won the U. S. discus national title three straight years, took first place in the competition with a throw of 216-2, a personal-best and just eight inches from tying the American record of 216-10, set by Carol Cady in 1986. Powell was second with a mark of 211-10.
Sua and Powell are two of the greatest women?s throwers in UCLA history. Powell holds the school record in the women's discus of 214-0. Sua, who just completed her collegiate eligibility, is the winningest women's athlete in NCAA Outdoor history. During her Bruin career, Sua won six NCAA Outdoor individual throwing championships, including the 2000 and 1999 shot put and discus. She is only the second woman in NCAA Outdoor history to win an individual event four consecutive years (discus, 1997-2000).
In another final on Monday involving a Bruin athlete, Joanna Hayes placed fourth in the 400m women's hurdle final, just missing her chance to make the U. S. Olympic team. Hayes' time was 54.97. Third-place went to Tonja Buford-Bailey, with a mark of 54.80. In 1999 as a senior at UCLA, Hayes won the NCAA Outdoor 400m hurdle championship.
In a qualifying event on Monday involving UCLA athletes, in the men?s javelin, Josh Johnson, son of Bruin great and 1960 Olympic decathlon Gold Medalist Rafer Johnson, placed fifth (226-9) in his flight and advanced to Thursday's final. Another Bruin, Jason Bender, was 11th (218-6) in his flight and did advance.
To make the U. S. Olympic Track & Field team, an athlete needs to finish in the top three of their respective event and make the Olympic qualifying standard. UCLA now has five athletes on the U. S. Olympic team. Joining Sua and Powell are Mebrahtom Keflezighi (men's 10,000m champion), Shelia Burrell (second-place in the heptathlon) and Amy Acuff (third-place in the women's high jump).
The 2000 U. S. Track & Field Trials will take Tuesday and Wednesday off, resume on Thursday and conclude Sunday on the campus of CS Sacramento. The 2000 Summer Olympic Games will take place in Sydney, Australia from Sept. 22-Oct. 1.