March 24, 2012
The UCLA men's track and field team came from behind to upset No. 7 Texas in a scored dual meet in Drake Stadium on Saturday. The Bruins defeated the Longhorns 85-77 behind many impressive performances highlighted by Mike Woepse's clearance of 18-2.50 and Derek Eager's javelin mark of 229-9.
During the meet, the Bruins posted nine event wins, three event sweeps and 13 season-best or lifetime-best marks along with multiple marks that rank in the top 10 nationally. Today's win was sweet for UCLA after finishing second to Texas last year in Austin in a triangular meet with Arkansas.
There were many huge performances on Saturday, but none stand out more than Woepse and Eager's performances in their respective events.
Woepse came into the meet with an indoor lifetime-best of 18-00.50 (set this season) and an outdoor-best of 17-6 (set in high school) and far surpassed both on Saturday as the sophomore won the pole vault with a new lifetime-best clearance of 18-2.50. That mark broke the meet record set in 1982 by UCLA's own vault coach, Anthony Curran (17-8), moved him into a tie for No. 4 all-time in school history (w/ Coach Curran) and ranks No. 1 in the NCAA this season by over five inches. The mark also equaled the sophomore class record that Yoo Kim set back in 2003.
After clearing 18-2.50, Woepse moved the bar to 18-9, which would have given him the Olympic "A" standard. He had three solid attempts, but missed, coming closest to clearing the bar on his third try.
Eager, who redshirted the 2011 season and won the USATF Junior National javelin crown last June, opened up his Bruin career with a statement as he threw 229-9 to win. That mark was nearly 30 feet further then second-place and was just nine inches shy of his lifetime-best (230-6). It also ranks eighth in the NCAA this season, No. 6 all-time in UCLA history and is a new freshman record (previous record held by Josh Johnson, 229-5, 1995).
The Bruins started the day off in the win column as three-time All-American Alec Faldermeyer won the hammer with a mark of 200-9. Senior Thomas Nagengast was third (157-3) to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead. UCLA then swept the javelin behind Eager's win and Carlo Valdes (199-10) and Matthew Kosecki (183-11) who finished second and third, respectively. Senior Taylor Hobson was second in the long jump with a mark of 23-11.75 as UCLA would take an early 18-9 lead.
UCLA looked to sweep the steeplechase, but a crash early on in the race would drop the Bruins out of contention to win. Sophomore Jacob Wood fought back hard and finished second as he ran just shy of his lifetime-best with a time of 9:18.31.
Hobson won the high jump with a clearance of 6-5, while frosh Aleksander Koch was second (6-3.25) to give UCLA a 29-15 lead after five events.
The 4x100m relay team looked poised to win the event, but a shaky handoff gave Texas the edge. Despite baton difficulties, the Bruins still ran sub-40, clocking 39.77 for second as the Longhorns would pull to within 29-20. The Bruin time ranks fifth in the NCAA this season.
Sophomore Philip MacQuitty finished third in the 1500m (3:51.66) as Texas would go 1-2 in the event The Longhorns then went 1-2 in the hurdles as sophomore Marcus Nilsson placed third for the Bruins with a lifetime-best run of 15.18. After back-to-back 1-2 finishes, Texas would then take the lead at 36-31.
Senior Mark Weber had a big day in the shot put as he threw nearly a one foot lifetime-best in the event to finish second (57-3.75, top 10 in NCAA), but Texas went 1-3 and continued to lead. Junior Nigel Davies also threw a lifetime-best in the shot as he finished fourth with a toss of 55-7.75.
In the 400m, freshman Pete Lauderdale came up big for the Bruins as he finished first with an impressive time of 47.93, but Texas continued to lead 46-39 after 10 events.
The Bruins picked up six points in the vault behind Woepse's win and freshman Scott Cook's third-place finish (16-4.75, lifetime-best), but a sweep by Texas in the 100m would put them back in the lead at 58-45.
The Bruins would get a huge point swing in the 400m hurdles as UCLA swept the event. R.J. Frasier and Trent Perez, who had never raced the intermediates before, went 1-2 as Frasier ran a solid time of 52.63 and Perez ran 54.20. Nilsson finished third to round out the sweep (54.76) as UCLA would pull to within 63-58.
Maxwell Dyce then ran one of the top five times in the NCAA this season to win the 200m, breaking the meet record with a time of 20.97. Karlton Rolle finished second with a time of 21.55 as UCLA would take a slim lead over the Longhorns (66-64).
Texas retook the lead (72-67) after the triple jump with a 1-3 finish as Dillon Stucky placed second (48-00.50), but the Bruins used a 16-2 point swing after the discus and 5000m competition to win the meet.
Matthew Kosecki won the discus with a throw of 181-9, while Nagengast was second with a lifetime-best mark of 179-1. Dustin Fay won the 5000m with a lifetime-best run (14:11.85) and Alec Govi placed second, also with a lifetime-best (14:21.52,) to clinch the dual meet win for the Bruins.
The Bruins have not lost a home meet since the 2010 season and head coach Mike Maynard is now 3-2-1 all-time at the helm of the men's program.
UCLA will next host Tennessee and Pac-12 member school Washington State on Saturday, March 31. The Bruins defeated Tennessee last year by a score of 111-50.