May 3, 2008
The UCLA men's track and field program has not lost a home dual meet to USC since 1977, and that streak lives on as the Bruins took down the Trojans 89-74 on Saturday. Behind six event sweeps and some high caliber performances, the Bruin men used home field advantage to post their biggest win since the 2004 season.
During the meet, UCLA athletes posted 13 lifetime-bests, 22 season-bests, and 18 regional marks.
The biggest highlights of the day came from Kevin Craddock and Johnny Quinn as both posted lifetime-best marks to win their respective events. Craddock, who had only ran in one high hurdles race this season, blazed past the competition to win in a wind-legal lifetime-best of 13.46. That mark is the No. 1 wind-legal time in the nation this season and the No. 2 mark overall in the NCAA. It also moves him into a tie for No. 2 all-time at UCLA with Bruin great James Owens. Quinn had a huge day in the pole vault, winning the event based on misses with a new best mark of 17-5 (old best, 17-00.75). That mark ranks fifth in the NCAA this season.
Junior Dustin DeLeo finished second to Quinn in the vault with an identical mark of 17-5. Junior Bobby Talley was third with a mark of 16-7.25, while senior Zack Miller was fourth with the same mark. Freshman Greg Woepse cleared a lifetime-best 16-7.25 to finish fifth as all five vaulters posted regional marks.
Freshman Spencer Knight led a Bruin sweep in the steeplechase as he had a huge career day, running a new personal-best of 8:59.94 to win. That mark is a regional qualifier and bettered his previous top mark of 9:12.68. Twin brother Dylan Knight also ran a PR as he finished second in a time of 9:07.71. Sophomore Kevin Sullivan was third (9:14.78) to round out the Bruin sweep.
Another event sweep for the Bruins came in the high jump as three men cleared 6-8.75. Freshman Jonathan Clark won the competition based on misses with sophomore Terrence Austin and freshman Taylor Hobson tying for second. Austin joined the track team during the days leading up to the meet after the completion of spring football practice and with only a few days of practice under his belt, was able to put some points on the board for the Bruins.
The throwers were key to today's win as they swept both the shot put and discus competitions. Senior John Caulfield led the Bruins in the shot put as he posted a season-best mark of 62-10.75 (ties for No. 5 in the U.S. this season). Sophomore Darius Savage was second (58-11.25), while senior Greg Garza threw a lifetime-best and regional qualifying mark of 57-2.75 to finish third. Garza won the discus with a mark of 190-1, while Savage improved upon his regional mark with a throw of 187-4 for second. Caulfield rounded out the sweep in third with a mark of 184-11.
Junior Laef Barnes won the 1500m contest in a time of 3:45.89.
Several Bruins stepped up in a big way as their performances proved key to UCLA's win. Sophomore Brandon Smith had a strong run in the 100m (10.67) to finish second overall, while fellow sophomore Stan Griffin got his regional mark in the 200m with his third-place lifetime-best run of 21.15. Senior Elijah Wells had a breakout meet as he ran a huge lifetime-best of 46.78 to finish third overall. That mark is a regional qualifier as well.
Senior Joel Tuosto (23-11.75) and Clark (23-6.75) posted season-best marks in the long jump as they finished second and third, respectively. Clark was also second in the triple jump (50-1.25). Sophomore Steven Taylor returned from what was thought to be a season-ending knee injury to finish third in the triple as he was just off his lifetime-best with a jump of 49-2.25. In the javelin, sophomore Andreas Drbal finished second with a throw of 175-5.
Although he didn't score, freshman Brian Law had a big day in the intermediate hurdles as he broke 53 seconds for the first time in his career, running 52.74 to place fourth overall.
Pole vaulters, jumpers and throwers will head to Modesto midweek to compete at the Modesto Relays, while some athletes will competed next weekend at the Occidental Invitational to prep for the post-season which begins May 9-10 with the Pac-10 Heptathlon/Decathlon Championships in Tempe, AZ.