May 14, 2008
The No. 7 men's and women's track and field teams are heading to the Arizona desert this Friday and Saturday to compete in the Pac-10 Championships, hosted by ASU. Both teams will head to the meet with the hopes of posting some big time marks and a high team finish, as well as coming back home with the health of the athletes intact.
Last season, the women finished third, while the men were fourth. ASU won the women's team title and is favored again this season. The Oregon men won the team title in 2007 and will again vie for this year's crown along with the ASU men's team. Six Pac-10 men's team are ranked in this week's USTFCCCA Top-25 poll - USC (5), ASU (6), UCLA (7), Oregon (13), Arizona (16) and Washington State (20). On the women's side, five women's teams are in the top-20 - ASU (1), USC (4), UCLA (7), Stanford (8) and Oregon (15).
Many of UCLA's men and women are ranked in the top-10 in the conference and several of those athletes will be defending Pac-10 titles in their events. Greg Garza (discus) and Kevin Craddock (110m hurdles) are favored to win their respective events and defend last year's titles. Garza is the two-time defending discus champion and Craddock won the hurdles in 2007. Both men are ranked No. 1 in the conference this season.
Although Nicole Leach (400m hurdles) and Rhonda Watkins (high/long jump) are the defending Pac-10 champions in their respective events, they will not make the trip to Arizona as head coach Jeanette Bolden is holding them out of the meet for precautionary reasons. Leach, the two-time defending champion in the intermediate hurdles and Watkins, the two-time Pac-10 high jump champion and 2007 long jump titlist are not hurt, but to insure their health throughout the rest of the season and into the Olympic Games will not be competing. Both women will compete in two weeks at the West Region Championships in an effort to defend their NCAA crowns in June.
Freshman Tori Anthony will also not make the trip to Pac-10's as she is suffering from mononucleosis. Her status for the rest of the season has not yet been determined. Anthony was a pre-season favorite to win the outdoor vault crown and if she does not compete at the West Region meet in two weeks, will not be able to compete at NCAA's.
Even without the trio of Anthony, Leach and Watkins, the women still have plenty of talent on their roster to step up for a strong team performance. Senior sprinter Jolanda Diego has come on strong this season in the 100m and 200m and will definitely be in the hunt for an individual title. Junior Krystin Lacy has also posted some fast times during the last month of the season in the short sprints and could be a triple scorer in the 100, 200 and 400m. Lacy and Diego will also see action on the Bruin Relays.
Krishna Curry has dropped her 800m time nearly every week in the last month and could be a surprise scorer at Pac-10's. Hurdlers Lindsay Rowe, DeShanta Harris and Chanelle Curry could also add some needed points in the hurdle events, as well as assist in the relays.
The field events look to be incredibly vital to UCLA's performance as many women are ranked in the top-10 heading into this weekend. Three high jumpers - Keneisha Creary, Allie Miller and Maryann Wee are poised to score some points, while four vaulters - Ingrid Kantola, Tori Pena, Katy Viuf and Megan Jamerson should definitely find themselves in the top-8.
In the horizontal jumps, Renee Williams and Danielle Watson lead the way as both rank in the top-10 in the long jump, and Williams ranks second in the triple. Tara Ross leads a young contingent of throwers into the meet as most of them will look to gain experience in their first year as Bruins.
Bruins Ranked In The Top-10 In The Conference
100m - Jolanda Diego, 4th, (11.46); Krystin Lacy, 9th (11.74)
200m - Jolanda Diego, 2nd (23.14); Krystin Lacy, 10th (24.10)
400m - Krystin Lacy, 10th (54.30)
800m - Krishna Curry, 9th (2:08.64)
100mH - Lindsay Rowe, 7th (13.74); DeShanta Harris, 10th (13.87)
400mH - Chanelle Curry, 9th (1:00.75)
HJ - Keneisha Creary, 5th (5-11.25); Allie Miller, 6th (5-10.75); Maryann Wee (8thT, 5-8.75)
PV - Ingrid Kantola, 6th (13-5.25); Tori Pena, 7thT (13-3.25); Katy Viuf, 9th (13-1.75)
LJ - Renee Williams, 6th (20-11.75); Danielle Watson, 8th (20-10)
TJ - Renee Williams, 2nd (44-3)
SP - Alexa Berg, 10th (43-6.75)
JT - Tara Ross, 4th (162-9.50)
On the men's side of things, the Bruins will look to be lead by jumpers, throwers and distance runners. In all, the Bruins have 26 marks ranked in the top-10 in the conference with three ranked No. 1 - Craddock, Garza and Boldizsar Kocsor.
In the distances, youth leads the way in the 800m as Cory Primm and Scott Crawford will look to score in the two-lap race. Laef Barnes, who has had a breakout junior season, will look to contend in a very competitive 1500m competition. The Bruins have four men ranked in the top-10 in the steeple, but only three will see action in Tempe - Henry Hagenbuch, Dylan Knight and Spencer Knight. The men will also have a large contingent of athletes in the 5000m as the Bruins are still looking for regional qualifiers in the event. Kyle Shackleton is just .02 seconds shy of the mark and All-American Austin Ramos will be competing in his first 5000m race of the season.
In the jumps, youth is again a common theme as the Bruins will have two freshman high jumpers in Jonathan Clark and Taylor Hobson. Clark, along with Steven Taylor will content for points in the triple jump. The pole vaulters hold four of the top-10 spots in the conference this season as Dustin DeLeo leads the way. UCLA should pick up many points in this event to help towards a team title.
The throwers also hold many spots in the conference's top-10 with four ranked in the discus and three in the shot put. John Caulfield leads the shot putters and is on track to score in both events, while Kocsor will look to pick up the second Pac-10 title of his career (he won in 2006 as a freshman).
Bruins Ranked In The Top-10 In The Conference
200m - Stan Griffin, 8th (21.15)
800m - Cory Primm, 7th (1:49.70); Scott Crawford, 10th (1:50.19)
1500m - Laef Barnes, 7th (3:41.76)
110mH - Kevin Craddock, 1st (13.46)
Steeple - Henry Hagenbuch, 3rd (9:52.14); Dylan Knight, 7th (8:58.36); Spencer Knight, 9th (8:59.94)
HJ - Jonathan Clark, 9thT (6-10.75); Taylor Hobson, 9thT (6-10.75)
PV - Dustin DeLeo, 2nd (18-1); Johnny Quinn, 3rd (17-5); Bobby Talley, 5thT (17-00.75); Chris Bencomo, 5thT (17-00.75)
TJ - Jonathan Clark, 3rd (51-5.50); Steven Taylor, 9th (49-3.25)
SP - John Caulfield, 4th (63-7); Darius Savage, 5th (61-00.25); Bo Taylor, 8th (59-1.75)
DT - Greg Garza, 1st (204-9); John Caulfield, 4th (197-10); Darius Savage, 5th (187-3.50); Bo Taylor, 8th (183-7)
HT - Boldizsar Kocsor, 1st (222-6)
The meet will be broadcast on FSN several times throughout the next two weeks. Below is a schedule for local broadcasts on FSN West and FSN Prime Ticket.
FSN PRIME TICKET Thursday - 05/22/2008 8:00 PM
FSN WEST Saturday - 05/24/2008 2:00 PM
FSN WEST Monday - 05/26/2008 12:00 PM
FSN PRIME TICKET Friday - 05/23/2008 1:00 AM
FSN PRIME TICKET Friday - 05/23/2008 5:00 PM
FSN PRIME TICKET Saturday - 05/24/2008 12:00 PM
FSN PRIME TICKET Saturday - 05/24/2008 11:00 PM
FSN PRIME TICKET Sunday - 05/25/2008 11:00 AM
FSN PRIME TICKET Monday - 05/26/2008 10:00 AM
FSN PRIME TICKET Tuesday - 05/27/2008 12:00 PM
The ASU website will have live meet updates throughout the course of the competition on Friday and Saturday. Check thesundevils.com for updates.