May 31, 2008
Junior Kevin Craddock blazed his way into the West Region record book with his win in the high hurdles to highlight a very solid team competition by the No. 3 Bruin men on Saturday at the NCAA West Region Championships in Northridge. The Bruins placed third overall and were just 6.50 points out of first-place as Arizona State took the team crown with 74 points. USC was second with 72 points, followed by the Bruins with 68.50 points.
Craddock easily won the 110m hurdles crown with his record-setting time of 13.47 to give UCLA its first individual champion of the meet. With the win, Craddock automatically advances to the NCAA Championships, held in two weeks at Drake University in Des Moines, IA.
Joining Craddock at Nationals with automatic bids during Saturday's competition were seniors Greg Garza and Henry Hagenbuch, juniors Boldizsar Kocsor and Dustin DeLeo, sophomore Darius Savage and freshmen Jonathan Clark, Johnny Quinn and Cory Primm as all nine men finished in the top-five in their respective events.
Garza was leading the discus competition heading into the finals with a mark of 194-11, but opted to pass on the three throws in the finals to preserve his health for Nationals and was passed during the final three rounds. Despite the loss, Garza automatically advances to the National meet. Also placing in the top-five in the discus was Savage who was fourth overall with a mark of 187-0. Senior John Caulfield was 10th overall with a throw of 180-7 but it eligible for an at-large spot due to his finish within the top-12 during the competition. He ranked ninth in the country heading into the meet and will receive an at-large bid. Freshman Bo Taylor finished 12th in the disc (178-5) and is ranked 22nd in the nation, meaning he will most likely receive an at-large bid as well.
In the hammer competition, Kocsor led for the majority of the contest until the second to last round as he ended the meet second overall with a throw of 215-8. Last year, Kocsor missed qualifying for the National meet with his 13th-place finish. Hagenbuch took second in a competitive steeplechase in a time of 8:47.57 to also automatically qualify for Nationals.
Deleo and Quinn had solid days in the vault as they went three-four with a 17-5 clearance by DeLeo and 17-1 clearance by Quinn. Senior Chris Bencomo was ninth overall with a mark of 16-7.25 and is eligible for an at-large bid. In the triple, Clark came up big with a fifth-place jump of 50-11.50 to move on to Nationals. Primm was also fifth in his event as he ran 1:49.76 in the 800m to advances to Nationals.
In all, the Bruins automatically qualified 11 athletes to the NCAA Championships, while multiple athletes will be awaiting at-large bids. It was an incredibly successful meet for the Bruins and foreshadows a very strong showing at Nationals in two weeks.
Final Team Scores (top-10)
1. Arizona State, 74
2. USC, 72
3. UCLA, 68.50
4. Washington, 54
5. Oregon, 53
6. California, 50
7. Arizona, 42
8. Boise State, 40
9. Stanford, 39
Washington State, 39
Long Beach State, 39
100m - no entries.
200m - no entries.
400m - no entries.
800m - 5. Cory Primm, 1:49.76.
1500m - 8. Laef Barnes, 3:45.90.
110m Hurdles - 1. Kevin Craddock, 13.47 (West Region Record).
400m Hurdles - no entries.
4x100m relay - no entries.
4x400m relay - no entries.
Triple Jump - 5. Jonathan Clark (50-11.50/15.53m).
Hammer - 2. Boldizsar Kocsor (215-8/65.74m).