April 9, 2005
The final day of the third annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational saw its competitors produce some of the top marks in the U.S. and World on Saturday in an exciting day of track and field. Arizona's Sean Shields shot put throw of 65-7.75 not only broke the Wildcat school record, but was the No. 1 toss in the U.S. and fourth-farthest throw in the World this year. Senior Jon Rankin ran a world-leading mark in the mile (3:57.89), while the discus produced the first (Carl Brown, 205-5), second (Ian Waltz, 204-6) and third-best (202-5) throws in the U.S. this year.
Rankin became a part of history on Saturday as he broke the four-minute barrier in a special running of the mile, running a lifetime-best 3:57.89 (old lifetime-best 4:05.24, indoor). His time now ranks third on the UCLA All-Time list and was the first time a Bruin had broken the four-minute barrier since Ron Cornell in 1980 (3:57.7). BYU's Bryan Lindsay also dropped below the four-minute mile, running 3:59.16 to place second. Senior Ben Aragon and Erik Emilsson also posted lifetime-bests in the mile, as Aragon ran 4:02.69 and Emilsson ran 4:06.10.
The men's 4x400m relay team of seniors Mario Bassani and Denye' Versher, sophomore Brandon Johnson and junior Craig Everhart ran the sixth-fastest collegiate time, winning in a meet record of 3:05.42. Everhart's 45-second anchor leg helped improve on the Bruins' previous season-best of 3:10.30 and is a regional qualifying time. The UCLA "B" 4x400m relay team of sophomore Mike Elbogen, freshmen James Rhoades and David Shipp, and sophomore Jeff Jacobs fell just short of a regional qualifier, finishing second in a time of 3:10.51.
Everhart also had an impressive showing in the 400m as he improved on his season-best, running 46.28 to win (old best of 46.38). Versher also ran a season-best, 46.79 (old best 47.05), placing second to Everhart. Johnson posted the second-fastest collegiate time this year in the 400m hurdles, running 49.65 to win (regional qualifier).
In the 110m hurdles, senior Jonathan Williams placed second with a regional qualifying time of 13.84 and ran a lifetime-best in the 200m (21.59). Junior Matt Bruno ran a season-best of 10.67 in the 100m and a season-best 21.69 in the 200m.
In the 800m, junior Martell Munguia, running in his 800m season-opener, placed second, running a regional qualifier of 1:49.98.
Former Bruin Juaune Armon posted the second-longest long jump in the U.S. this year as he won with a meet record leap of 25-6.75. Armon's farthest jump of the day, 25-10.00, did not count for record purposes because it was not wind-legal (+5.0).
In the triple jump, UCLA junior Demetre Howard jumped a lifetime-best 49-11.75 to win, picking up a regional qualifier in that event. Sophomore Chris Merriweather also posted a lifetime-best in that event, jumping 48-6.25 to place second. Freshmen Dominique Easterling and Michael Johnson, Jr., competing in their first triple jump competition of the outdoor season, finished third (48-3.50) and fourth (48-1.25), respectively.
In the pole vault, junior David Murphy equaled his lifetime-best with a regional qualifying jump of 17-00.75, placing third overall. Murphy also jumped a lifetime-best 6-4.75 in the high jump on Saturday, while freshman Joel Tuosto posted a season-best jump of 6-6.75.
In the shot put, junior Jake Knight posted a four-foot season-best in the shot put with a regional qualifying mark of 61-4, placing third overall. Knight was just inches off his lifetime-best set last year, 61-7.25. Junior Jeremy Silverman had a solid competition, throwing 62-8.50 to place second. Each of Silverman's six throws in the shot put surpassed the 60-foot mark on Saturday.