Aug. 14, 2006
Sophomore Nicole Leach will compete at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing, China August 15-20 with the hopes of bringing home her first individual world title.
Leach earned a spot on the U.S. Junior team with her easy victory in the 400m hurdles at the USATF Junior National Championships in June. She will also compete on the 4x400m relay team. In 2004, Leach was a member of the U.S. Junior team, and earned gold in 2005 at the PanAm Junior Championships as a member of the 4x400m relay team.
In just her first season at UCLA, Leach won the Pac-10 and West Region intermediate hurdles titles, and earned All-American honors with her fourth-place finish at nationals. Leach ran a lifetime-best of 55.35 during the season, a mark that ranks No. 5 all-time at UCLA.
Three incoming Bruins will also be competing for the U.S. at the World meet - discus throwers Nick Robinson and Bo Taylor and hurdler Darius Reed.
Taylor won the discus crown at the USATF Junior National meet, throwing 192-1, while Robinson was second with a mark of 188-5, qualifying the duo for the World meet. Taylor ended his prep career with the No. 1 discus mark in the nation and in California (213-7). He also ranks No. 3 in CA in the shot put (63-11.25). Robinson ended his high school career with the No. 8 discus mark in the nation (197-0).
Reed finished third in the 110m hurdles (13.47), but one of the top-two finishers ahead of him was taken off the U.S. team, giving Reed the spot to compete.