April 27, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - No. 13 UCLA Track & Field had a spectacular day at Loker Stadium Saturday, claiming both the men's and women's dual meet victories over crosstown rival USC. The 13th-ranked Bruin men upset No. 9 USC, 85-78, while the No. 13 women snapped a five-year losing skid against the No. 23 Trojan women, 90-73. This marks the first time both squads have won the annual dual meet since 2006, and the last time since '05 that the Bruins have accomplished this feat on the road.
After failing to come away with event victories in either the men's or women's hammer throw Friday at West LA CC, the Bruins track and field teams came out Saturday determined to end their season on a high note.
And that's exactly what they did.
The No. 13 Bruin women opened Saturday's competition with a sweep in the women's 5,000m race, as Katja Goldring (17:12.75), Kelsey Smith (17:21.31) and Hannah Valenzuela (17:26.50) finished 1-2-3 to give the Bruins a quick nine points.
As the meet moved to the short distance portion of the competition, sophomore Brea Buchanan got the Bruin women started off on the right foot, earning five points in a first place finish in the women's 100m hurdles (12.95). Saturday's performance, a lifetime best for Buchanan, also ranks fifth all-time in Bruin's history and fourth best in the world in 2013. With this result, Buchanan, who already holds the tenth best time nationally in the 100m hurdles event this season, will move inside the top ten, potentially as high as No. 5 in the country.
The No. 13 Bruin men also came away with a point in the 100m hurdles, as Marcus Nilsson finished third overall (14.85).
Turquoise Thompson continued to set the winning pace for the Bruin women on the track at Loker Stadium, claiming victories in both the women's 400m race (52.31) and 400m hurdles (57.60). Settled between two Trojans in lane five, Thompson improved upon a PR she set two weeks ago (52.62) in the women's 400m race at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite, this time running a lifetime best 52.31. Thompson will expect to move into third place on the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Qualifying List. Her mark also pushes her into sole position for the tenth best time in UCLA history.
Then, an hour later, the senior captain took to lane five again for the 400m hurdles. In what is considered to be "her event," Thompson dominated the field and cruised to victory to give herself a second event victory on the day. She, along with third place finisher Laurie Femmel (62.73), provided a much needed six points to the women's dual meet score. Through 14 events, the No. 13 Bruins held a 12-point lead over the No. 23 Trojans, 67-55, bringing them that much closer to the meet clinching 82-point total.
Senior captain Maxwell Dyce was a major contributor for the No. 13 Bruin men Saturday, finishing third overall in both the men's 100m (10.31) and 200m (20.84).
As the Bruins continued to make strides on the track, they were just as persistent in the field. In tough conditions, highlighted by unrelenting heat and consistent wind, Bruins throwers and jumpers kept focus.
"When I met with the team last night, I just told them to keep fighting," Director of Track & Field Mike Maynard said. "For every one person that went down, I expected two to step up. And that's exactly what happened."
On the men's side, the Bruins claimed six points in the javelin throw, with Derek Eager claiming the event title (221-5) and teammate Carlo Valdes finishing third (212-3). Eager's throw is a season best.
Michael Perry added some crucial points of his own, winning the men's long jump with a team-best 7.47m/24-6.25 over a field that featured USC wide receiver Marquis Lee (3rd, J7.41m/24-3.75).
For the women, Kylie Price began her impressive day at Loker Stadium with a winning performance in the women's long jump, jumping 6.33m/ 20-9.25 (1.9 wind). For Price, this was one of two event wins Saturday.
Ultimately, the Bruins would account for six event sweeps in the field (3 for the men, 3 for the women), giving them a huge boost in the dual meet score.
The women jumped out to a solid start Saturday morning as UCLA secured all nine points in the women's pole vault. Although no Bruin vaulter was able to top the 14-foot height, Allison Koressel took the event title with a winning jump of 3.97m/13-0.25. She was followed by Courtney Reginato in second (J3.97m/13-0.25) and Natasha Kolbo in third (3.82m/12-6.25). Reginato's jump in her second place finish marks a season-best.
Heptathlete Tatum Souza came out firing for the Bruin women in the women's javelin throw, leading the Bruins with a winning throw of 38.64m/126-9. Kimberly Conner (37.97m/124-7) and Victoria Bredenthal (36.31m/ 119-1) picked up the remaining four points, finishing second and third, respectively.
With Trojan shot putter Jemal Williams scratched from the event, the three Bruin competitors cruised to a nine-point sweep in the men's shot put, led by freshman Nicholas Scarvelis in first (17.88m/58-8), senior Nigel Davies in second (16.50m/54-1.75) and redshirt freshman Ryan Andrews in third (16.02m/52-6.75).
Redshirt junior Julian Wruck once again finished first in the men's discus throw, this time with a UCLA-USC dual meet record throw of 65.31m/214-3, which measures over seven feet better than the record set by Bruin alum John Godina (204-11) back in 1995. Wruck was followed by teammates Matthew Kosecki (55.69m/182-8) and Tom Hart (51.88m/170-2), who finished second and third, respectively.
Junior captain Mike Woepse was the leader of the men's third field sweep, taking first in the men's pole vault (5.18m/17-0) among a field in which the Bruins claimed the event's top five spots.
With the finish line in sight, the women turned their attention to the track with the last three events remaining (200m, 1,500m and 4x400m). A second place finish from Kylie Price (23.77, new lifetime best) in the 200m, along with a 1-2 finish for Sarah Toberty (4:24.64) and Rachel Butler (4:28.05) in the 1,500m, would give the Bruins the final points necessary to lock down the dual meet victory over the No. 23 Trojans, 90-73.
Still, though, in spite of all the points gained on the field, the Bruin men found themselves in a tight competition as the meet began to wind down.
A sweep of the men's 5,000m race would bring the Bruin point total to 80 through 17 events, leaving them only two points shy of a dual meet victory with only the triple jump and 4x400m relay events remaining.
A second place finish would suffice for the Bruins in the triple jump, but Dillon Stucky would not settle. Through his first four attempts in the men's triple jump, Stucky found himself in third place. However, the senior captain rose to the occasion, jumping 15.58m/51-1.5 to catapult himself to the top of the leader board.
Stucky's mark would withstand two last chance efforts from the Trojan jumpers, and thus his first place finish secured the dual meet win for the Bruins. The No. 13 Bruins would finish the day with a second place finish in the men's 4x400m relay (3:12.61), but would prevail over the No. 9 USC Trojans, 85-78.
This is the first time any current Bruin woman has been a part of a dual meet win against the cross town rival. More importantly, this is the first time a current Bruin athlete on either team has been a part of a victory lap that involved the entirety of UCLA Track & Field.
"Seeing our team do their victory lap together was one of the coolest experiences I've had since coming here," Maynard said. "I'm so proud of our teams today, and just so happy to send our seniors out with a victory. Go Bruins!"