April 19, 2008
On a day where cold weather, rain, hail and snow ruled the day, the No. 3 UCLA Bruins succumbed to the No. 25 Oregon Ducks by a score of 94-69 in a scored track and field dual meet. It was the first head-to-head meeting between the two storied programs since 1985. UCLA still holds a 10-5 all-time lead despite today's loss.
The weather did not play any favorites as temperatures were freezing and frequent hail storms blanketed the track with ice, but the Bruins did post some impressive performances despite the weather difficulties. In all, UCLA tallied four lifetime-bests, 10 season-bests, and two improved regional qualifying marks during the meet.
Senior Joel Tuosto started the Bruins off in the win column with a big victory in the long jump as he equaled his season-best with a mark of 23-6.75. Junior Matthew Reuter also equaled his lifetime-best in the long jump with a mark of 21-9 to finish fifth overall as UCLA's next highest finisher.
Junior Boldizsar Kocsor was upset in the hammer, finishing third overall (212-4) behind two Oregon Ducks, but still managed to pick up a point for the Bruins team total.
In the steeplechase, senior Henry Hagenbuch fought to the finish as he trailed most of the race. Over the final 100m, Hagenbuch surged into the lead, taking the steeple title in a strong time of 8:56.31. Sophomore Jake Matthews equaled his lifetime-best (9:02.16) to finish in a third-place scoring position.
One of the big performances of the meet came from junior Dustin DeLeo as he cleared a lifetime-best 17-3 in the pole vault. That mark is also a regional qualifier and will rank in the top-10 in the country this season. Freshman Johnny Quinn tacked on three more points for the Bruins as he placed second with a mark of 16-1.25.
The Bruins swept the discus behind a fine performance by senior All-American Greg Garza as he posted a mark of 195-3. It seemed to be the only event of the day in which it did not hail, and Garza took full advantage. Fellow senior All-American John Caulfield had a fine performance in the shot put (62-5.25) as he won the event with a throw just inches off of his lifetime-best. Freshman Bo Taylor was second in the shot with a mark of 58-8. Caulfield was also second in the discus (178-4), followed by sophomore Darius Savage (171-10).
Freshman Jonathan Clark won the triple jump by nearly three feet (49-00.75), leading another Bruin sweep. The long jumper winner, Tuosto, finished second (46-1.50) and freshman Bryson Banks was third (46-0).
In the 1500m, junior Laef Barnes was third in a time of 3:47.55 and freshman Cory Primm improved his regional mark and season-best in the 800m with his second-place run of 1:49.86. In the high hurdles, freshman JP Castel placed third (15.10). Freshman Brian Law had a huge run in the 400m hurdles as he ran a lifetime-best of 53.97 for second-place. Senior Elijah Wells ran a season-best 47.95 in the 400m to place fourth. Sophomore Stan Griffin placed second in the 100m (11.11) and 200m (21.65). Teammate Brandon Smith was third in the 200m in a time of 21.82. The 4x100m relay team of Smith, Wells, Ward and Griffin ran a season-best 41.13 to finish second.
In the 5000m, junior Kyle Shackleton ran a lifetime-best of 14:12.02 to finish second overall. He was just .02 seconds shy of the regional standard in the event.
Junior Kevin Craddock did make the trip to Eugene, but was scratched from the hurdle events. There was no injury, but due to the inclement weather, the coaching staff felt it was better to hold him out of the meet so he will be 100% for the dual with the Trojans in two weeks.
The Bruins will return to Oregon in 2009 for another dual meet next season. Next week, the team will head down to San Diego for the UCSD Triton Invitational as the discus throwers will look to take advantage of big winds in La Jolla.