March 3, 2007
Sophomore Rhonda Watkins, who will vie for an NCAA Indoor long jump title next weekend in Arkansas, opened up the outdoor season with a monster jump of 21-9.50 to lead the No. 12 Bruin women at the UCLA Invitational. Watkins' jump was a lifetime-best by 3.25 inches and moves her into the forefront as a favorite for an NCAA outdoor title in June.
Watkins' win and regional qualifiying mark were just one of many for the Bruins as they notched 11 event wins and 14 regional qualifiers.
Freshman Tara Ross threw a 13-foot lifetime-best in the javelin, winning the event with a regional mark of 150-4. Senior Kamaiya Warren also got her regional mark in the shot put, winning with a throw of 52-6.75.
Junior Megan Jamerson had a huge day in the pole vault, jumping a lifetime-best and regional mark of 13-3.50 (old best, 12-6). The mark also moves her into a tie for sixth all-time at UCLA. Junior Ingrid Kantola, who currently ranks fourth in the country in the pole vault and will be competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships next week, finished second with a regional mark of 12-11.50. Senior Jacqueline Nguyen tied for third, also with a regional mark, clearing 12-5.50.
Sophomore Ciara Viehweg ran a regional qualifying time of 10:49.67 to win the steeplechase, while sophomore Allie Bohannon won the 800m with her lifetime-best and regional qualifiying time of 2:07.06.
Junior Claire Rethmeier won the 2-mile race in a time of 10:38.37.
In the 400m, sophomore Krystin Lacy ran a lifetime-best and regional qualifier of 54.30. Sophomore Nicole Leach ran just shy of her lifetime-best in the 200m (23.95), winning in a regional time of 23.95.
The 4x100m relay team of Leach, Lacy, MacKenzie Hill and Jolanda Diego won in a regional time of 44.98, while the 4x400m relay team of Lacy, Chanelle Curry, Diego and Leach also won with a regional time of 3:39.78.
Also in the long jump, junior Renee Williams jumped a regional mark of 20-4.25 to finish second to Watkins. Fullerton College transfer Maryann Wee finished second in the high jump with a regional mark of 5-8.75.
The Bruins will send a few athletes to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, AR March 9-10, while the remainder of the team rests up for the Northridge Relays.