April 8, 2006
Mike Landers highlighted the third and final day of the fourth annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational as the junior had a tremendous meet, jumping a new lifetime-best of 17-8.50 (old best, 17-2.75), to move into No. 2 on the National list. Landers also won the competition and had several strong attempts over 18-0, but couldn't quite keep the bar up. His mark of 17-8.50 also moves him into a tie for eighth all-time at UCLA and ranks third on the U.S. National list. The mark also equaled the meet record set in 2003 by Scott Slover and in 2004 by Yoo Kim.
Senior Craig Everhart also put on quite a show Saturday, running a season-best 45.92 to finish third overall. He was the top collegiate finisher in the invitational 400m, posting the No. 3 collegiate mark in the Nation. Freshman Elijah Wells finished sixth in a time of 47.85.
Sophomore Joel Tuosto also had a great meet, leaping to a new lifetime-best and regional qualifying mark in the long jump of 24-9 to win that event. His mark ranks 11th in the nation collegiately and bettered his season-best by over a foot (old best, 23-6). Senior Demetre Howard equaled his lifetime-best in the long jump, jumping 23-0.75 for second, while sophomore Dominique Easterling was fourth with a mark of 22-8.50. Easterling also equaled his season-best in the high jump, clearing 6-8.75 for second place. Tuosto and freshman Luke Barr both cleared 6-6.75 to finish tied for fifth-place.
Junior Brandon Johnson also posted one of the top-five marks in the nation in his signature event, the 400m hurdles, running 50.12. His time moves him into the No. 2 spot in the Nation. Recent alum Jonathan Williams was fifth in 51.39, while freshman Kevin Craddock finished ninth in 52.51.
In a special running of the men's mile, standout 2005 graduate Jon Rankin won the race, dipping below the four-minute barrier for the second consecutive year, running 3:58.28. Freshman Laef Barnes had a strong race to finish fourth overall, running a lifetime-best 4:06.25. Sophomore Micky Cobrin was seventh (4:09.29) and seniors Erik Emilsson (4:11.03) and Martell Munguia (4:16.49) finished 10th and 11th respectively.
Freshmen Alex Pearlstone and Garland West, who had competed on Friday in the open section of the 100m, competed on Saturday in the invitational portion of the meet. Pearlstone ran a season-best 11.03 for sixth-place, while West was seventh in 11.11.
In the 800m, sophomore Mike Haddan finished 11th overall, running 1:51.40.
In the triple jump, sophomore Michael Johnson, Jr won the invite section with a season-best mark of 50-8.75. Howard was second with a mark of 50-6.75, while junior Chris Merriweather was third with a lifetime-best jump of 48-8.
Senior Jake Knight had a breakout meet in the shot put, throwing a season-best by over a foot, 61-3, to finish second in that event. Caulfield finished just behind Knight in third with a toss of 60-8.50.
The 4x400m relay team comprised of Wells, Everhart, Craddock and Johnson were well on their way to what would have been one of the top-five times in the Nation as they led by over a 100m going into the anchor leg. Johnson took off on the final 400m of the relay, but just 100m into it, he pulled up with a hamstring injury and the Bruins could not complete the race.
Next weekend, the Bruins will split up in several different directions as the throwers, jumpers, distance runners and two decathletes head to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA. The Sprinters will travel to Tempe, AZ for the Sun Angel Invitational, while a few athletes will compete at the Long Beach Invitational.