Behind The Lanes With Ashlea McLaughlin & Kelcie Wiemann

April 4, 2011

Seniors Ashlea McLaughlin and Kelcie Wiemann are the latest contributors for Behind The Lanes, the blog of UCLA Track and Field. The two women will recap the Stanford Invitational and UCLA/Tennessee Dual Meet.

Outdoor track seems more even official now that the UCLA Women's Track team competed in our first home meet of the season. After a great (and hot) week of practice, we were all ready to face off against Tennessee's Lady Vols for a day of head-to-head competition. Although we knew we would sweep the high jump and pole vault, every other event was really a toss-up between our team and theirs. Starting the meet off bright and early was Ida Storm, who easily defeated her competition in the hammer throw and started the momentum for our team going into what would be a great day of track and field.

In our team meeting on Thursday, Coach Bolden told us the stats and although things didn't seem to be in our favor, she told us to get out there and compete and that's just what we did. Elle Sanders, a freshman middle distance runner fully embodied the spirit of competition by racing in the steeplechase with zero days of practice prior. Stepping up to compete without complaint, she placed second in the race and really exemplified what it means to be a member of the UCLA Women's track team. No one event was more important than another. From Ida winning the hammer to Meghan Marvin running a heck of a race to place third in the 3000, this dual meet was certainly a great day for most. Altough the meet was not without a few upsets, with the upsets came the surprises of new pr's by Allison Koressel in the pole vault and Joy Eaton running a great time in the open 400m. I could probably go on forever reporting the times or marks of each of my teammates because everyone really stepped up and made what was expected to be a blowout into a really close meet. And, this is just the start.

As injuries heal, and each practice brings us closer to nationals, we are undoubtedly on a path to a great season. Next week promises to be another great meet and I'm truly looking forward to seeing what my team is capable of.


Over Spring Break the women's track and field team traveled around thirty members of our team along with a few of the men's distance runners up to Palo Alto to compete in the prestigious Stanford Invitational. On Wednesday night, we were lucky enough to have a team dinner at pole vaulter Tori Anthony's home. We bonded over homemade food and classic games of Pictionary and Cranium; it was a lot of fun! So a special thank you to the Anthony family!

After our pre-meet workouts at the track on Thursday we did some team bonding at the bowling alley. This got pretty competitive, as our coaches split us into teams and we competed to qualify to the championship round. Of course, my crazy friend Allie Lopez won overall, as she usually does in all games we play. Tori Anthony and Mariah Gibson rounded out the top three. All we know is that we all beat the coaches' team.

Friday kicked off the first day of competition at Stanford. Our freshman heptathletes Kimmie Conner and Tatum Souza both came away with lifetime-bests. Kimmie ran 14.79 in the 100m hurdles while Tatum ran 14.74. Tatum also jumped a lifetime-best of 18-3 in the long jump. Our freshman thrower, Ida Storm, debuted in the hammer throw with a mark of 197-4 and was the top collegiate athlete in the event, placing third overall. Turquoise Thompson also had a solid run in the 400m with a time of 53.41. On the distance side of things, fellow senior Shannon Murakami and I led the way with opening outdoor marks of 16:54 in the 5k for Shannon and 35:30 in the 10k for me. We both were aiming higher, but as she so perfectly phrased it, 'it may not be our week, but it is going to be our year.'

On the second day of competition, our pole vaulters had a good day with Tori Anthony placing third with a clearance of 12-11.50 and Allison Koressel placing fourth with a clearance of 12-5.50. Ashlea McLaughlin led our 800m runners with a time of 2:09.11, and Lindsay Rowe ran a lifetime-best of 25.16 in the 200m. The 4x400m relay was exciting to watch, as the girls placed seconnd overall with a time of 3:39.86 to conclude the meet for us. Overall, it was a fun trip and we returned back to Los Angeles in preparation for our first dual meet of the year against Tennessee.

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