April 11, 2008
Kevin Craddock, Darius Savage and three steeplechasers highlighted the No. 3 UCLA men's track and field team on day two of the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invite as Craddock and Savage posted event wins and the men ran regional marks in the steeple.
Craddock, a 2006 All-American, has not competed in a high hurdles race since the Pac-10 Championships nearly a year ago where he won the conference crown. After a hamstring injury derailed his sophomore season, and an ankle surgery disrupted his fall training, Craddock showed why he will be a top contender for the NCAA title in June.
Running in the open section of the hurdles, Craddock blazed through the race to win in a regional time of 13.73. His nearest competitor clocked in at 14.12. Craddock's mark also ranks sixth in the country this season.
Savage, who was competing on an off day from spring football practice, won both the shot put and discus competitions. He threw a regional qualifying mark in the discus (172-2), winning the event by nearly 11 feet. In the shot put, Savage posted a mark of 56-1.25 to win.
The steeplechase was a highlight for the distance team on Friday evening as five men ran lifetime-bests and Kevin Sullivan, Jake Matthews and Drew Shackleton each achieved an NCAA Regional mark. Sullivan led the team with his lifetime-best run of 9:01.67 to place fourth overall. Jake Matthews was fifth (9:02.16) and Drew Shackleton placed sixth (9:02.43) to round out the regional qualifying trio. Spencer Knight (9:12.68) and Marco Anzures (9:13.02) also ran lifetime-bests as Knight finished 11th and Anzures was 12th.
Sophomore Andreas Drbal had a big day in the open javelin competition as he threw an 11-foot PR to win the event (187-9).
Freshman Bryson Banks had a big day in the triple jump as he won the open section with a lifetime-best mark of 49-1. That mark is just 1.50 inches shy of the regional standard and improved on his previous lifetime (47-9) and season-best (46-2) marks.
In the 1500m, sophomore Alex Crabill led the way with his lifetime-best run of 3:48.58 to place third overall. That time is just under one second shy of the regional mark (3:47.80). Junior Kyle Shackleton also ran a lifetime-best as he finished fifth in a time of 3:50.39. Freshman Kent Morikawa finished just behind Shackleton in a time of 3:54.05 (6th).
In the decathlon, Matthew Reuter placed second overall despite failing to get a mark in the discus. Reuter was on track to score a lifetime-best in the 10-event competition, but instead ended the meet with a total of 5750 points. Reuter was third in the high hurdles (16.27/703 pts.), fouled out in the discus, won the pole vault with a jump equal to his lifetime-best (14-1.25/702 pts.), placed second in the javelin (142-11/494 pts.) and was fourth in the 1500m (5:23.64/431 pts.).
Competition wraps up on Saturday with the invitational section of the meet.