Nov. 15, 2006
Jeanette Bolden and the UCLA women's track and field team announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent on Wednesday. The class is highlighted by two of the Nation's top athletes, triple jumper Ke'Nyia Richardson and pole vaulter Tori Anthony.
Joining Richardson and Anthony next Fall as Bruins are distance runner Shannon Murakami, pole vaulter Aubree Stark and sprinter Joy Eaton.
TORI ANTHONY - Pole Vault, Castilleja HS (Woodside, CA)
Anthony enters her senior year as the No. 2 prep vaulter in the country with a best vault of 13-4. Her mark ranked first in California last season. Anthony was the CA State Meet champion in 2006, as well as the USATF Junior National Champion last season. She represented the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Beijing, China this past summer, finishing eighth overall. Her mark of 13-4 is a Central Coast Section record and ranks sixth all-time in CA.
"It is great getting one of the top recruits in the country, especially one that is so consistent, and that's something you want in a sport like pole vaulting," noted Vault Coach Anthony Curran. "Vaulting is an unpredictable sports and Tori is as solid as you can get."
KE'NYIA RICHARDSON - Hurdles/Jumps, Holy Names HS (Oakland, CA)
Richardson enters her senior season as the No. 1 triple jumper in the nation and CA with a best mark of 43-3.25, a mark that ranks fourth all-time in California. In 2006, Richardson won the CA State Meet triple jump title and finished seventh in votes in the race for Track and Field News' Prep Girls Athlete of the Year.
Richardson also ranked eighth in California in the high hurdles last season (14.08) and 13th in the long jump (18-10.25).
"I'm excited because we already have a great group of jumpers at UCLA with Rhonda Watkins and Renee Williams, especially, and now we are adding the nation's top triple jumper," said Jumps Coach Mike Powell. "We are rolling on our way to my goal of being the top jumps program in the country. I'm just very excited because I can't wait to have Ke'Nyia train with these girls and excel."
SHANNON MURAKAMI - Distances, Saugus HS (Santa Clarita HS)
Murakami ended her junior season as the No. 4 800m runner in CA with a top time of 2:10.03. Her 1500m time (4:25.2) and 1600m time (4:43.04) both ranked her fifth in CA last season. At the CA State Meet in 2006, Murakami finished third in the 1600m.
"Shannon is entering UCLA in the fall of 2007 with one of the fastest PR's in the 1600m that we've had in recent history, and she demonstrates terrific range from 800m all the way through the cross country distances," noted Distance and Cross Country Coach Eric Peterson. "She is an impressive competitor because she appears to be an athlete that is able to come up with her best performances in championship races. She is also a great kicker, a skill that few people have, and we are very excited about her enthusiasm for UCLA and the track and field program here."
JOY EATON - Sprinter, St. Lucy's HS (Hacienda Height, CA)
Eaton ended her junior season with the No. 15 400m time in CA in 2006 (55.67). At the CA State Meet, Eaton placed fourth in the quarter-mile.
"Joy will add depth to our 400m team here at UCLA," said Head Coach Jeanette Bolden. "She will also add depth to our relays and I am excited she has chosen to come to Westwood next fall."
AUBREE STARK - Pole Vault, Oak Park HS (Agoura Hills, CA)
Stark was the No. 18 ranked pole vaulter in California last season with a best vault of 11-9 and is expected to have a solid senior season.
"Although Aubree has a modest best of 11-9, she's a hardworker who will undoubtedly have a strong final year of high school track," noted Coach Curran. "I am excited that she will be coming here next fall because we have such a great group of vaulters."
Dayna Hill - Jumps, Edison HS (Fresno, CA)
Has best marks of 18-6 (wind-aided) and 18-4 (18th in CA in 2006) in the long jump. Also has a best mark of 38-6 in the triple jump (No. 19 in CA in 2006). She is a three-time CA State Meet competitor in the jumps.
"We are excited to have Dayna commit to UCLA," noted Coach Powell. "She is a solid jumper and will be a great addition to the squad next year."