April 12, 2008
The No. 3 men's track and field team showed why it's been garnering national attention on Saturday at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational as several Bruins won individual events and posted lifetime or season-best performances.
Junior Laef Barnes had a big day in the mile race as he cracked the four-minute barrier, becoming the 307th American all-time and just the fourth Bruin in UCLA history to do so. His time of 3:59.96 easily won the even as he improved upon his previous lifetime-best of 4:05.00. With the conversion from mile to 1500m, Barnes' time will move him into the top-5 in the country collegiately. Also in the mile, sophomore Marlon Patterson ran a lifetime-best, finishing third in a time of 4:07.87 (previous best, 4:36.98).
In the invitational 800m, freshman Cory Primm posted a season-best and improved regional qualifying time as he won the event in 1:49.97. Redshirt freshman Scott Crawford finished just behind Primm as both battled through the finish line. Crawford ended in second-place with a lifetime-best and regional qualifying time of 1:50.19.
Senior Greg Garza captured the discus title on a day where there was very little wind. Garza posted a mark of 192-6, while fellow senior John Caulfield was second with a throw of 187-11. Caulfield was also second in the shot put (top collegiate overall) with a throw of 61-4.25.
In the triple jump, freshman Jonathan Clark also had a big day as he leapt out to a lifetime-best of 51-5.75 (previous best, 49-11) to place third overall. Two Texas A&M Aggies posted the No. 1 and No. 2 marks in the country during the meet as Julian Reid (54-3.75) won and Zuheir Sharif was second (53-10.25). Clark's mark will rank amongst the top-15 in the country.
The Bruin men will next head to Eugene, OR for an old school dual meet with the Ducks. The Bruins have not competed against Oregon in a one-on-one meet since 1985.