Aug. 14, 2009
Seven Bruin alums and several elite athletes coached by UCLA's own Bobby Kersee will begin competition at the 2009 World Track & Field Championships on Saturday in Berlin, Germany.
Representing the U.S. and UCLA are Michelle Perry (100m hurdles), Dawn Harper (100m hurdles), Sheena (Johnson) Tosta (400m hurdles), Amy Acuff (high jump), Chelsea Johnson (pole vault) and Jessica Cosby (hammer). Jonathan Williams will represent Belize in the 400m hurdles.
Kersee-coached athletes include Kerron Clement (400m hurdles), Shawn Crawford (200m/relays), Virginia Powell (100m hurdles) and Allyson Felix (200m/relays).
Perry is the reigning world champion in the high hurdles, while Harper won gold at last year's Beijing Olympic Games. Harper has had a big 2009 season, clocking a lifetime-best and the No. 4 time in the world this year (12.53), while Perry heads into the meet with the 14th-best time (12.74).
Tosta ranks fourth in the world in the 400m hurdles (54.19) and was a 2008 finalist at the Beijing Games. Acuff heads into what could be her final world championship meet with a top high jump mark of 6-4.75 (tied for 12th in the world).
Johnson heads to worlds as the top American after Jenn Stuczynski had to pull out due to injury. She has a 2009 best of 15-1 and ranks 11th in the world. Cosby ranks 17th in the world in the hammer heading into the meet with a top throw of 236-4. She was a 2008 Olympian at the Beijing Games.
Williams, also a 2008 Olympian for Belize, heads into the meet with a top 400m hurdles time of 49.73 (41st in the world).
Kersee-coached athletes also hold some of the top marks in the world. Felix ranks No. 1 in the 200m with a time of 21.88. She is the only athlete to crack 22 seconds in 2009 and is the favorite to win gold in Berlin. Powell ranks ninth in the high hurdles with a time of 12.64. Crawford ranks 10th in the men's 200m (20.19), while Clement ranks fourth in the intermediate hurdles (48.09).
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