April 5, 2011
The UCLA track and field teams will host the annual Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational this Thursday through Saturday at Drake Stadium. The three-day meet features a heptathlon/decathlon competition, an open section of events on Friday and an invite competition on Saturday.
"I'm always excited to come back to UCLA and I think it's great that they have the meet named after myself and Rafer," said Joyner Kersee. "I'm looking forward to seeing some exciting competition this weekend. UCLA, to me, is a centerpiece for the sport of track and field, and with an Olympic year coming, building up this meet will be very important."
"This is one event I look forward to every year," said Johnson. "I consider Jackie to be one of UCLA's greats who has had an effect not only in the sport of track and field, but around the world. We will have a lot of former athletes present this weekend and it's always great to see the men and women who have contributed to the program come back. Reunions are built at this meet. I'm very please to have the opportunity to have my name attached to the meet along with Jackie. I also appreciate the great work the UCLA coaches have done in building strong teams that continue to represent the strong Bruin track and field tradition."
Teams competing this weekend include the Bruins, Michigan, Cal State LA, Cal State Northridge, Monmouth, Loyola Marymount, Cal Poly SLO, Azusa Pacific, San Francisco, San Francisco State, Hawai'i, San Diego State, UNLV.
Several top professional athletes are also slated to compete including Carmelita Jeter, Lashinda Demus, and many runners from Bobby Kersee's World Class Track Club.
This weekend, five Bruin multi-event athletes will be competing in the heptathlon and decathlon competitions. Freshmen Tatum Souza and Kimmie Conner will compete in the heptathlon, while sophomores David Thomas and Dominic Giovannoni, and junior Trent Perez will compete in the decathlon.
Both the men and women's teams posted some very impressive performances last weekend when they faced off with Tennessee in a scored dual meet. The women were highlighted by Turquoise Thompson in the 400m hurdles (56.73), Allison Koressel in the pole vault (13-5.25) and Ida Storm in the hammer (204-2). The men were highlighted by Greg Woepse in the pole vault (17-4.50) and Alec Faldermeyer in the hammer (207-4). The men have now moved from 24th in the pre-season poll to 21st after several weeks of strong marks being achieved by the Bruins. Below is a list of athletes ranked in the NCAA top 25 heading into this weekend's meet.
Admisson: Students with an ID card receive free admission. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth.
Live stats during the meet will be available here.