Bruin Jumpers Head to Virginia Tech Challenge

Feb. 12, 2004

This weekend, February 13 and 14, the UCLA jump squad will compete at the Virginia Tech Challenge, held at Rector Field House, in Blacksburg, VA. UCLA will compete against two of the nation's top ranked jumpers. Georgia's Hyleas Fountain, the No. 1 women's long jumper in the nation at 21-1, and Antonio Saunders, the No. 6 men's triple jumper at 52-7.25, will be in the field. On Friday, the men and women's triple jumpers will compete at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM, respectively. On Saturday, the Bruin long jumpers will compete at 11:00 AM (men) and 1:30 PM (women).

Competing for the Bruin women are freshman Renee Williams, sophomore Sheena Gordon, junior Candice Baucham and senior Sheena Johnson. At least weekend's United Heritage Indoor Invitational, Williams made her Bruin debut and Baucham and Johnson made their season debuts. This weekend's meet will be Gordon's season debut.

Williams won the long jump with a personal best jump of 20-6.50 (6.26m). Her previous best was 20-4. "Renee shows tremendous potential," said first year jumps coach Robert Johnson. "She will only improve as her workouts and practices get better. It was a good opener for her and will add to her confidence in herself and UCLA."

Baucham placed second in the triple jump with a personal best mark of 42-9 (13.03m). Her previous best was 42-8.75. "It was very inspiring for Candice to do so well early in the season," said Johnson. "She feels like she's picked up from where she left off last season and the momentum she gained has continued."

Sheena Johnson made her indoor season debut at the United Heritage Indoor Invitational. She placed second in the 60m hurdles in 8.34, after posting 8.21 in the preliminary.

Competing for the Bruin men are senior Juaune Armon and true freshman Chris Merriweather. In his season opener, Armon won the long jump at the United Heritage Indoor Invitational, posting a mark of 24-5.50 (7.45m). Merriweather made his collegiate debut at the Husky Invite on January 31. At that meet, he placed fourth in the triple jump (47-5/14.45m) and was 10th in the long jump (21-10.25/6.66m). "It was good to see Juaune get a victory in his first meet this season," said Johnson. "Chris has done well. He is still adjusting to collegiate competition."

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